Karrimor have created a wide range of functional, fairly cheap running clothing and accessaries. Whilst they don’t tend to be the best quality products available, if you want a functional hat or a pair of gloves then they are always a good bet. In more recent years they have started to offer compression clothing and today I want to talk about their compression tights which are available here for £10.99. Compared with other brands such as Skins (available here for over £40) this is a great price and with Winter now appearing on us, it’s a good time to have a look for warmer kit.
I’m not normally a big fan of compression, so Karrimor have to do a lot to win me over. I just don’t feel the need for full tights and much prefer to wear my 2XU Calf Compression only. I find these have a perfect level of compression and they deliver it where I need it.
Putting the tights on they feel, well, tight is the only word for it. Around the quads and the calfs I can feel some serious snugness. However, they are comfortable and feel supportive, not restrictive. The bottom of each leg does feel a bit too tight, however, the give in the fabric feels as though it should not cause me any issues when running in them. They also feel strangely cold, rather than warmer in them, when moving around it feels as if the air around my legs has dropped a few degrees, which is something that I wasn’t expecting.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating and the proof of the compression tights is certainly in the running. Setting off, everything feels fine. It does feel as though the muscles are being pulled in throughout my legs which is good – it seems to increase the feeling of power from the muscles. However, after about 5km, the soleus muscles start to ache down the outsides of both of my lower legs. Where the bottom of the tights was feeling restrictive before the run, now, with the calf fully expanded after 5km of exercise, they feel as though they are cutting into my legs. I continue to run for some time and the pain continues to the end of the run. Even after taking the tights off, the pain is still present. I try again the next day, but again the pain comes back – this time more quickly than before. To check that it’s not just a coincidental injury and nothing to do with the tights I ran without them. The first run I did experience some pain, but certainly less than when wearing the tights. I then ran again without the tights and the pain was gone. I tried the tights once more and the pain came back – again after about 20 minutes of running. Since then I have only used the tights for cycling – which is absolutely fine and I have enjoyed them for that purpose. For running, however, I cannot wear them.
If you’re looking for cheap compression tights for running through the winter months then I would think very carefully before choosing these. Others in the price range include the Time to Run tights here. However, the reviews do not look good. I think you get what you pay for with compression gear and I’m going to stick with my 2XU calf compression for now when running. If you want something to keep your legs warm when cycling however, I would recommend these as I have had no issues at all.
Currently available here for £10.99