Best Compression Tights to Wear Under Shorts
Tights that fit and feel great under athletic shorts.
While you likely first saw them being worn by professional athletes, nowadays, you’re just as likely to see your average gym-goer rocking a pair of compression tights. It’s no surprise that the popularity and use of compression tights continues to grow across the world of sports, as their benefits are immediately noticeable.
So, while some outside observers tried to write compression tights off as a mere fashion trend, the reality is that more and more athletes of every stripe are starting to utilize tights for both performance and recovery purposes.
Gearing up in a pair of compression tights is a great idea before any workout or physical activity, as the compressive pressure applied to your muscles helps you warm up faster, improve overall endurance, and recover at a quicker rate.
When it comes to wearing compression tights, whether full-length tights or ¾ length tights, many men opt for a pair of athletic shorts over the top. And it’s worth noting that certain compression tight styles work better than others when worn under shorts as a baselayer, so we compiled a list of the Best Compression Tights to Wear Under Shorts.
What Type of Compression Tights Work Best Under Shorts?
If you’re looking for a pair of compression tights that will fit great under athletic shorts, there are a few key characteristics that you’ll want those tights to have. It may be helpful to think about how basketball players utilize compression tights under their uniforms (as it’s a popular choice among players).
The compression tights have a smooth fit that lie nicely under uniform shorts. There is no abrasion or bunching from the tights that could snag or tangle the shorts. Additionally, the tights stay put without any need for adjustment. They have a snug fit but do not limit the athlete’s mobility in any way. Finally, the compression tights utilize performance fabric and design that boost comfort, support, and endurance.
If you’re having trouble determining whether a certain pair of compression tights would fit well under shorts, a good rule of thumb is to look at its product page. Are there images of the tights being worn under shorts?
If yes, then this style of wear (tights under shorts) is likely suitable to the product’s design. If no, then you may want to look a bit further. It’s possible that the tights are better suited to be an outerwear option (without shorts on top).
Here are the criteria we used for putting together our list of the best compression tights to wear under shorts:
Provides Mobility Most important is finding compression tights that won’t restrict your movement in any way. You need tights that support and boost your movement, rather than constrict it.
Compression tights serve as your baselayer, so you need tights that will stay in place without causing any irritation or distraction. A secure fit keeps you focused on the task at hand.
We’re looking for leading activewear brands with the best fabric, design, and technology specifically aimed at increasing performance and endurance.
Note: Featured products are independently selected and reviewed by Compression Athlete. If you purchase through our links, we may earn commission.
1. Under Armour HeatGear Leggings
The Under Armour HeatGear Leggings are the latest version of their original performance baselayer and are constructed with an ergonomic design for extra comfort, durability, and superior coverage.
Shop at Under Armour: Under Armour HeatGear Leggings
Under Armour’s HeatGear fabric is lightweight and features mesh paneling for extra ventilation. These tights have a wider waistband for added support, a drop-in pocket for storage, and are a UA best seller.
Also available in ¾ length: Under Armour HeatGear ¾ Leggings
2. Under Armour Iso-Chill Leggings
The Under Armour Iso-Chill Leggings feature science infused Iso-Chill fabric that helps to disperse body heat and pull it away from your skin for a cool feel. These 100% polyester leggings wick sweat, dry quickly, and have mesh panels for extra ventilation.
Shop at Under Armour: Under Armour Iso-Chill Leggings
Under Armour’s Iso-Chill Leggings utilize a durable ergonomic design that places seams away from high-abrasion areas. These leggings also have an exposed elastic waistband and a drop-in pocket on the right side.
Also available in ¾ length: Under Armour Iso-Chill ¾ Leggings
3. Nike Pro Compression Tights
The Nike Pro Compression Tights have a tight and secure fit that remains very stretchy and comfortable as you move. The waistband on these tights is slightly thicker in length for support and vented for breathability, making them great to wear under shorts.
Shop at Nike: Nike Pro Compression Tights
The Nike Pro Tights utilize sweat-wicking Dri-FIT technology to keep you dry, cool, and comfortable. These tights have earned a “Highly Rated” tag on the Nike site and are a very versatile option.
Also available in ¾ length: Nike Pro ¾ Compression Tights
4. Nike Pro Dri-FIT Tights
The Nike Pro Dri-FIT Tights utilize supportive and lightweight fabric in a stretchy design that offers a full range of motion. The Nike Dri-FIT technology moves sweat away from your body to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable.
Shop at Nike: Nike Pro Dri-FIT Tights
The Nike Pro Dri-FIT Tights have a snug elastic waistband and flat seams throughout for a smooth feel on your skin. These tights also feature mesh fabric in the front pouch and upper back for improved airflow.
Also available in ¾ length: Nike Pro Dri-FIT ¾ Tights
5. Adidas TechFit Tights
The Adidas TechFit Tights feature a versatile multisport design with a locked-in compression fit and distraction-free muscle support. These tights feature Adidas AEROREADY sweat-wicking technology to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable
Shop at Adidas: Adidas TechFit Tights
Adidas’ TechFit Tights consistently receive high marks for comfort thanks to their fit and fabric, which is soft, lightweight, and breathable. The Primeknit design provides a full range of motion and is a great option to wear both under shorts or solo.
Also available in ¾ length: Adidas TechFit ¾ Tights
6. Reebok United By Fitness Compression Tights
The Reebok United By Fitness Compression Tights utilize laser-cut perforations on the back knees for increased breathability and moisture-absorbing fabric to keep you dry and comfortable.
Shop at Reebok: Reebok United By Fitness Compression Tights
Reebok’s United By Fitness Compression Tights feature a speedwick polyester and elastane compression fit with stretch-woven fabric. These tights have a bonded waistband that stays put through your every motion.
7. Lululemon Vital Drive Train Tights
The Lululemon Vital Drive Train Tights are designed to promote joint and muscle support as you train. These tights have 4-way stretch and interior gripping to stabilize major muscle groups
Shop at Lululemon: Lululemon Vital Drive Train Tights
Lululemon’s Vital Drive Train Tights utilize abrasion-resistant fabric that wicks sweat and is quick-drying. These tights have drop-in pockets, a hidden phone sleeve, and reflective details.
8. Puma EXO-ADAPT ¾ Training Tights
The Puma EXO-ADAPT ¾ Training Tights feature ergonomic compression zones that target key muscle groups for improved support and stabilization. These tights also have moisture-wicking dryCELL technology to keep you dry and comfortable.
Shop at Puma: Puma EXO-ADAPT ¾ Training Tights
Puma’s EXO-ADAPT ¾ Training Tights use strategic ventilation for improved body temperature regulation. They also feature 4-way stretch material and a drawcord waistband for adjustable fits.
Why Do Men Wear Shorts Over Their Compression Tights?
You’ve no doubt seen the shorts over compression tights style by now. But if you’ve never worn the style yourself, you may wonder what purpose the shorts serve and if they add any additional benefit to what the compression tights already provide.
The simple answer is that there aren’t any athletic benefits to wearing shorts over compression tights. While adding a pair of shorts on top of your tights can offer a little extra warmth during cooler months, that’s about as far as the benefits extend.
So, if there aren’t really any benefits offered by wearing shorts over compression tights when working out, why add the extra layer?
Generally speaking, the choice to wear shorts over tights has to do with modesty. Due to the skin-tight nature of the compression tights, some men prefer the extra layer of fabric to serve as a sort of buffer. In other words, they just feel more comfortable adding the shorts than to wear the compression tights on their own.
That being said, certain compression tight designs are specifically geared toward being worn as outerwear, i.e. without the layer of shorts on top. These styles tend to use a thicker, high-grade fabric that does a good job of concealing and compressing.
But if you prefer wearing shorts over your compression tights and feel more comfortable doing so, by all means rock those shorts over your tights.
Even though wearing shorts over your compression tights wont add anything to your workout, they won’t take anything away either. Remember, comfort is always an important factor in performing your best, whether in competition or just training on your own.