10
Feb
17

Gear Review: Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights

I’ve been a fan of running tights before, but I’ve lost it some time ago when a local brand that I wore which used garters gave me wounds around my waist.  Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights came at the perfect time just as I was starting to use running tights again.  Here’s my review:

Testing my Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights at the gym

I got my Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights during its launch at one of the sessions of Nike Run Club Manila.  Since I’ve used tights before and had a run in one already with the one I purchased last Christmas season, I have certain expectations already in my mind.  Of course, given that it’s Nike, my expectations were higher than the tights I used to wear.

First Impressions

I already saw online what the Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights looked like before I even got mine so there was no surprise there.  The surprise came the first time I wore it—it’s not the usual tights that merely hug your thighs, it’s compression!  And I quickly noticed how well it supported key muscle areas of my legs.

That day’s session of NRC Manila was the perfect venue to take these tights for a run.  While our run that night wasn’t particularly fast nor far, it gave me an idea on how well it hugs your legs.  When it comes to compression, Nike always rank high on my list as I’ve been a fan of their compression shirts for years now, and Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights does not disappoint.

With fellow bloggers, wearing our Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights
(Courtesy NRC Manila)

On the treadmill

Since I felt like our NRC Manila session was too short to give the Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights a decent review, I decided to give it an additional quick test on the gym treadmill.  By quick I meant running at least a kilometer, half of which at speeds of 15.1kph.  During that period, I didn’t get any issues and my leg muscles remained well supported even during the fast part of the run.

A close look at the compression areas of the Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights

More than running

It was actually my leg day at the gym when I wore my Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights for review.  The treadmill test was simply my warmup.  My menu of activities for the day included squats, leg presses and extensions, etc.  Afterwards, I also had my stretching routines.

During all my routines, I felt that my legs were well supported.  Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights did not hamper my movements in any way so I was able to move just as well as when I’m wearing shorts.  Unlike wearing shorts though, I had support.  This held true even during my stretching when my Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights was stretched in ways you won’t normally have when running.  Despite all the movements and stretching, it stayed firmly in place and I did not even once felt that it would rip somewhere.  The build quality is excellent.

This mesh-like pattern that provides compression wraps around your leg in key muscle areas

Summary

I can easily say that the Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights are the best running tights I’ve ever had!  It goes beyond the usual tights by providing compression in key muscle areas of the legs.  In terms of looks, it’s not too flashy that it goes well with just about any of your running attire and not too simple that you can proudly wear it as it is.  Personally, I prefer wearing tights as is (when I run) but I like tights that also complements my running and non-running shorts (when I’m going to where I’d run).  The side pocket is quite convenient as well and it easily accommodated my iPhone 5 (with case)!

Pros:

  • Excellent targeted compression
  • Full-length support
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Non-Restrictive
  • Amply-sized side pocket
  • Relatively inexpensive compared to similar compression tights (SRP ₱6,295)

Cons:

  • Limited color options
  • Limited reflective elements

Additional Thoughts

Frankly, I had difficulty in finding faults specific to the Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights and not inherently with the nature of tights.  If you’ve never worn tights before, the biggest drawback for me would be extra time and effort in putting it on (or off).  They also don’t usually come with guides on how to wear it so you may be wearing it too high or low without knowing it.  But my usual complaint for just about all men’s tights is that they usually just have one seam in the middle which isn’t really that considerate, anatomically speaking.  The Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights have Y-shaped seams so it’s a bit considerate in this department.  Also inherent with tights, they don’t usually provide good support in the crotch area so I suggest wearing extra support underneath, e.g. jockstraps and the like.

On a positive note, I started wearing tights (despite the stigma of men wearing tights) because I wanted support for my leg muscles during long run, i.e. 21K and above, by my personal definition.  Tights do a good job at that and compression does it better!  Somehow, I feel less muscle fatigue when I wear tights.  And I can always wear a short over it if I find it too revealing.

Conclusion

All I can say is that I love my Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights so much that I can no longer think of wearing my other running tights for serious runs!  If you’re looking for full-length compression tights that aren’t too flashy, well-built, goes well with what you already have, with a pocket for some small things when you run, and not that expensive, Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights is very easy to recommend.

* * *

This review is for the Men’s Nike Zonal Strength Running Tights only.  Women’s edition may differ significantly.  In the Philippines, it has an SRP of ₱6,295 (men) and ₱5,795 (women).


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