The CEP Run Compression Tights 3.0 in a sentence: comfort wins out with these 'medical grade' tights, which that fit like a second (tight) skin without any irritation from seams or the fabric.
For years CEP has been the go-to brand for high grade compressive tights, and their latest 3.0 version of their main offering, the Run Tight, benefits from many years of research. They will feel tight when you first try them, especially around your calves, but this builds confidence that they will deliver the benefits of a compression fit.
These tights aim to offer several benefits, including supporting and stabilising your joints and muscles. By doing this, less micro damage occurs while you train, meaning you are able to rest and repair quicker than when wearing normal run tights, making you more ready to hit training at your next session.
Unlike other compression tights, the CEP Run Compression Tight offers you a 'medical grade' fit, having transferred the science of compression clothes used in medicine into their sports performance kit. It is graduated, with a tighter fit around the bottom of your legs, to help boost blood flow back to your heart, as well as energise your muscles.
They don’t need to be worn solely when training; if you are on a rest day, or have just completed a marathon, pulling on these tights on recovery days can boost muscle repair and recovery. Reflectivity is also brilliant, although storage, as we shall see, is a little disappointing.
CEP Run Compression Tights: price and availability
CEP Compression Tight Review: Design
A thick waistband is easy to adjust, and storage consists of a small zipped rear pocket and two external waist-height gel stash pockets. Neither are large enough to fit a smartphone. The tights have panels, with alternating compressive fabric for muscle group areas, and more traditional fabric for your knees and lower trunk.
The knee zone feels much softer and doesn’t pinch on the softer skin behind this joint. There are three choices of colour, with each version featuring the impressive reflective pattern on the back of the calves. The distinctive design of these tights not only gives you reassurance to run in dark conditions, it also breaks away from the more traditional and boring single colour you get with many tights.
With such a tight fit any excess weight is going to show, especially as the seams around the different panels tend to accentuate this!
CEP Compression Tight Review: Performance
These tights are versatile, so they’re not just aimed at runners. Wherever your fitness takes you, from triathlon to team sports, with maybe lots of trail runs in between, they offer compression fit to a high standard. Graduated compressive zones give a tighter squeeze to your muscles around your calves, with just as solid support around your thighs. You almost feel like you’ve got your compressive armour on with these tights, with the shiny compressive fabric a soft version of a protective suit.
Both types of material feel soft against your skin, with a fit that stays put. They do feel tight when on, but once you’re moving it’s not noticeable. The compression zones also feel thicker than the other panels, which have a slightly softer feel. You’ll notice that there’s zero bounce of your large muscle groups when your feet hit the ground due to the stabilising, and snug, fit.
Even though runners may not feel an instant ‘wow’ factor, with your legs suddenly performing to a level never imagined as you are running, it’s when you next come to train that you will notice their benefit the most. The fabric is also quick-drying and this is a big plus – but what you should expect at the price point.
CEP Compression Tight Review: Verdict
These tights feel like they will last and even though they are expensive, when you run in them you feel like the price is justified. They don’t lose their fit however much you wash them; CEP kit is long lasting, making the initial price a little easier to bear.
You have different material around your muscle areas compared to around your knees and leading up to your waist and this tight-fitting fabric does the job you want it to. The seams are a high quality. In fact only the lack of storage – such a basic for a pair of tights – lets these excellent tights down.
Also consider: CEP Compression Tight, the women’s version
CEP Women’s Run Tights 3.0 offer the same high grade compression fit and design. If a high level of visibility is essential to you for runs in lower light, these women’s compression tights offer much more support than normal running tights. The women’s version also come in three distinctive colours: grey with mint flashes, black with silver flashes and black with blue flashes. You’ll pay the same price as the men’s version.