10 Best Men’s running tights and leggings in 2021
Wrap up warm this winter with these ten pairs of men’s running tights and leggings.
When the weather gets cold and the icy mornings begin, you don’t want to be caught out. It’s essential to invest in some warm weather running gear such as a running jacket, running gloves, long-sleeved tops, and a pair of men’s running tights – as covered in this article.
Running tights are especially great for warmups in the cold and general winter and spring runs. Wearing tights improves circulation, increases blood flow, and allows you to maintain body temperature much easier. If you are wearing tights for a warm-up, these can later be removed before your interval session or run properly begins.
In this article, we provide you with ten of the best men’s running tights and leggings, followed up with a little extra information on how to wear these and a short FAQ.
The Best men’s running tights
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1. Rockay men’s performance run tights
Best overall & most sustainable
- HeiQ Fresh odour control
- Refective details
- Secure pocket on the right side of the tights
- Created using recycled fabrics
- Created using recycled materials to help fight ocean waste
- Can wear multiple times before washing
- Elasticated waistband
- Slightly more expensive than other running tights
The Rockay men’s performance run tights are created using recycled fabrics to help clean up the oceans. However, not only is this pair of tights good for the environment, but they’re comfortable and contain HeiQ Fresh odour control technology to help keep you dry while remaining odour-free.
The Rockay men’s performance run tights are ranked our best overall, thanks to its sleek design, impressive sweat-wicking and odour-control technology, and not to mention its sustainable design.
Each purchase helps fight ocean waste, cleaning up the environment and contributing to a sustainable future.
2. New Balance accelerate
Great for cold but not freezing temperatures
- Interior pocket
- Elasticated Waistband and blended polyester and spandex fabric
- Super breathable fabric and design
- Several reflective details help increase visibility
- Ankle zips can be opened to provide cool air on hotter runs
- An exterior pocket would be a nice addition
- May need to order a size larger than usual
These New Balance running tights for men rank in our number two spot thanks to the competitive price and wide variety of features available. For example, the spandex fabric and elasticated waistband result in a comfortable yet supportive fit, unlike other running leggings which utilise a drawstring design.
With the addition of ankle zips that do not get in the way (as opposed to others), this makes them a great choice for those warm but not freezing runs (somewhere between a pair of shorts and a pair of tights).
Despite the several benefits, it is worth mentioning that the tights may run a little larger than usual, so you may need a size bigger than normal. Also, although there is an interior pocket, an exterior pocket would be welcomed. This would provide more options to store valuables such as keys, cash or your smartphone in case of an emergency while out running.
3. Phenom elite Nike running leggings for men
Best for pockets
- Three pockets (one for your phone)
- Optimal ventilation for maximum comfort
- Reflective details
- Designed using data from hundreds of runners
- Nike Dri-Fit technology
- There are more reflective tights available
The Nike men’s running leggings were designed using data from hundreds of runners. The result? A pair that contains ventilation in the exact right places, improving comfort drastically.
Also, the strategic wrap supports the muscles and provides a unique fit like no other running leggings, enabling you to feel supported throughout your entire run.
Unlike other running tights, such as the Adidas Alpha Skin 360 (below), this pair contains three pockets, with one of these dedicated to your smartphone.
It would be nice to see a few more reflective elements. However, it gets the job done for a competitive price!
4. Higher State men’s running tights
Comfortable, practical and a good all-rounder
- Rear zipped pocket
- Ergonomic performance fit for added comfort
- UV protection
- Highly reflective design
- Ankle zips
- Rear pocket runs a little small (does not fit most smartphones)
You’ll struggle to find quite as good of an all-rounder at such a low price. This pair of tights from Higher State contains an ergonomic fit, pockets, reflective elements, and an excellent reputation- a favourite in the running community.
Although not quite as reflective as the other pair of Higher State tights (number seven), there’s plenty of details to ensure you remain visible when running early in the morning.
Finally, while there is a rear zipped pocket, it isn’t the biggest. You’ll struggle to fit your smartphone. Therefore, if you’re looking to carry your phone while running, consider the pair either from Rockay with the dedicated sleeve, or the Nike Phenom running leggings.
5. Adidas Alpha Skin 360 long tights
The most comfortable
- Compression design
- Reflective details
- Close-to-skin comfort improves freedom of movement
- Climachill technology (quick-drying and breathable)
- No pockets
- Only one colour choice
- Not many other features
While this pair of tights may not contain any pockets, they are the most comfortable on our list thanks to the close-to-skin design. Furthermore, you also benefit from the compression – supporting your muscles and reducing your risk of injury.
Despite this, there are not many other features available – it’s the barebones but enough if you’re looking for a basic pair of tights.
6. Nike Pro men’s training tights
Best for: those looking for compression
- Basic reflective detailing
- Signature Nike technology
- Wide choice of colours
- Comfortable and tight design
- Material is thin
- Not many additional features
- No pockets
Many runners love compression, while others hate it. If you’re in the love section, then these are the tights for you. Snug and comfortable you’ll feel as light as a cloud while running.
Equally as good for those harder sessions or long runs, this pair belongs in your arsenal. However, similar to the Alpha Skin 360 men’s tights, these do not contain any pockets.
While this is disappointing, these are more of a performance tight and therefore, somewhat expected.
7. Higher State winter reflective running tights for men
Most reflective pair
- Impressive reflective details
- Brushed inner lying for increased warmth
- Zipped pocket
- Ergonomic seams
- Performance fit – designed for optimal range of motion
- May be too big for some runners
Our second pair of men’s running leggings from Higher State, this pair is designed for those who intend to run in low visibility, whether early morning or late at night.
The reflective detailing is impressive, illuminating you to all road users and passersby with ease – almost like the Blackpool illuminations. Well, not quite. But you get the point!
The fit is ergonomic and performance-focused, too. This allows you to get the most out of each run, whether training for a marathon or crushing an interval session or tempo run.
8. Adidas Men’s Alphaskin Sport leggings
Great value from a trusted brand
- Sweat-wicking Climalite fabric keeps you dry
- Ergonomic cut lines for added comfort
- Excellent in colder weather conditions
- Affordable and comfortable thanks to the AlphaSkin sport fabric
- Some runners may find these a little too tight
- Tights appear to be a little longer than regular men’s running leggings
- No Pockets
The Adidas men’s Alphaskin sport long men’s running tights are a very affordable option to keep you warm on those cold and wintery runs. While unfortunately there are no pockets (inside or out), the fabric is comfortable, well-fitting, and certainly does the job.
With this being said, these tights act more like a base layer and less like a pair of running trousers. You may wish to choose another pair of tights if you require pockets. Otherwise, the Alphaskin is a great choice to accompany you on those long runs during the colder months.
Some runners may find these a little tight, so be sure to check your size before ordering!
9. Salomon Men’s agile tight running pants
- Breathable and quick-drying material
- Freedom of movement ideal for any sport including running
- Excellent in cold and more severe weather conditons
- Reflective detailing may begin to show signs of wear over time
The tights are created using a breathable and quick-drying material, all without restricting movement. As a middle of the range legging, you benefit from a comfortable and satisfying fit. However, some users have reported that over time, the reflective details begin to show signs of wear and tear – so it’s just something to keep an eye out for.
10. Under Armour mens running leggings
- Elastic waist design for added comfort without restriction
- HeatGear fabric for added warmth
- Ergonomic design offers increased durability and stretch
- Small side pocket
- Universal pair of running leggings – can be used for all activities
- Can easily be worn under shorts or track pants
- They look more like a traditional “legging” so may not be to everybody’s liking
- More intended for the gym and general training rather than running
The Under Armour men’s leggings are a suitable option for running, but more targeted towards general sports and training, unlike a more running-specific pair of men’s leggings such as the Rockay tights listed at the number one spot in this article.
Similarly, this pair of men’s running tights appear to have a more traditional “leggings” look and may not be the number one choice for all runners. Despite this, they can be worn under a pair of shorts or track pants if you prefer, changing the look and adding warmth when needed.
If you’re looking for a versatile pair of men’s running leggings on a budget, then you can’t go wrong with this pair from Under Armour.
When should I wear my running tights?
Runner’s World recommends wearing running tights in anything colder than four degrees Celcius and certainly below freezing. This will reduce your risk of hypothermia while keeping your muscles nice and warm, also lessening your risk of pulling a muscle, increasing your performance, and of course, keeping you nice and toasty.
How do I wear running tights?
Many people wear men’s running tights in entirely different ways. Some wear running tights by themselves while others wear shorts over or even under them. However, ultimately this depends on the style and make of your running tights.
Personally, we suggest wearing a pair of running shorts over your running tights, especially in cold weather. However, with a high-quality pair of running tights, this won’t make a huge difference in terms of warmth.
How tight should my running tights be?
You may be wondering: how tight is too tight? When it comes to running tights, they should be tight but not restricting. If you’re having trouble maintaining your regular running form or start to get muscle cramps, chances are they’re too tight. If running tights aren’t for you, you could always invest in a pair of running trousers?
Frequently asked questions
Below you will find some frequently asked questions regarding men’s running tights:
What are men's running tights for?
Running tights are great for running in the winter, increasing warmth and protecting you from the elements. Many runners also choose to wear a pair when warming up for a track or interval session, later removing this layer once warm.
Should you wear shorts over running tights?
Some running tights for men are designed to be worn by themselves. However, others are meant to be worn with a pair of shorts. Besides, if you're a little cold, layering up with a pair of shorts will not hurt your performance.
Can men wear running tights?
Of course, men can wear running tights! In fact, a lot of elite athletes wear these in training both during their warmup and on their regular everyday runs. If you too want to feel the performance benefits, increase warmth, and look like the pros then what are you waiting for!
What is the difference between running tights and compression tights?
Regular running tights are designed to keep your muscles warm while running. On the other hand, compression gear supports your muscles and provides greater blood flow to the lower limbs. This supposedly increases performance while also supporting recovery.
Matthew is an avid runner, freelance writer, Durham University graduate, and the founder of Running101.