The Best Compression Tights to Wear Under Shorts 2023
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.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best compression tights to wear under shorts for 2023.
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.
Their compression tights have a smooth fit that lie nicely under their uniform shorts, which is key if you want to avoid any bunching or tangling with the top layer athletic 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 a performance fabric and design that boosts 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 as an outerwear option (without shorts on top).
Criteria for Our Top Compression Tights Under Shorts Picks
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.
Secure Fit: Compression tights serve as your base layer, 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.
Optimized Design: 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 RUSH SmartForm Leggings
The Under Armour RUSH SmartForm Leggings feature a patented infrared technology that reflects your body’s energy to increase muscle endurance. These leggings utilize SmartForm pattern technology that forms to your shape for a custom fit.
Shop at Under Armour: UA RUSH SmartForm Leggings
Under Armour’s RUSH SmartForm Leggings have strategic mesh panels for increased breathability that’s great for wearing under shorts. These leggings wick sweat, dry very quickly, and have a drop-in strength pocket on the right thigh for storage.
2. 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 leggings have a wider waistband for added support, a drop-in pocket for storage, and are a UA best seller.
Available in ¾ Length: Under Armour HeatGear ¾ Leggings
3. 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.
Available in ¾ Length: Nike Pro Dri-FIT ¾ Tights
4. Nike Dri-FIT ADV A.P.S. Recovery Training Tights
The Nike Dri-FIT ADV A.P.S. Recovery Training Tights features a signature Axis Performance System layering design for a smooth and secure fit that’s extra stretchy and made to move.
Shop at Nike: Nike Dri-FIT ADV A.P.S. Recovery Training Tights
Nike’s Dri-FIT ADV A.P.S. Recovery Training Tights are lightweight and breathable with mesh in the front and upper back for extra breathability. These compression tights have sweat-wicking Dri-FIT ADV technology, 4-way stretch, and a comfortable elastic waistband.
5. Lululemon License to Train Tights
The Lululemon License to Train Tights feature a locked-in and distraction-free fit with slick low-friction support. These tights are breathable, sweat-wicking, and feel cool to the touch.
Shop at Lululemon: Lululemon License to Train Tights
Lululemon’s License to Train Tights utilize 4-way stretch and a bonded construction for flat and smooth seams. These tights keep in place with silicone grippers on the inner waistband and have an interior pocket.
Available in ¾ Length: Lululemon License to Train ¾ Tights
6. 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.
7. Adidas TechFit 3-Stripes Training Tights
The Adidas TechFit 3-Stripes Training 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 3-Stripes Training Tights
Adidas’ TechFit 3-Stripe Training Tights consistently receive high marks for comfort thanks to their fit and fabric, which is soft, lightweight, and breathable. These tights also sport a 3D sculpted mesh-lined pouch.
8. WOLACO Fulton Compression Tights
The WOLACO Fulton Compression Tights feature a versatile performance design in a comfortable moderate compression fit. These tights have two sweat-proof compression pockets with breathable mesh backing and a secure elastic security band.
Shop at Wolaco: WOLACO Fulton Compression Tights
WOLACO’s Fulton Compression Tights sport a stay-put ergonomic fit with premium moisture-wicking, anti-pilling fabric. These tights have a comfortable elastic waistband, layer great under shorts, and are also available in a ¾ length.
9. Alo Yoga Warrior Compression Tights
The Alo Yoga Warrior Compression Tights feature a performance high-stretch nylon jersey fabric with moisture-wicking and odor-resistant technology. These tights have 4-way stretch for superior mobility and comfort.
Shop at Alo Yoga: Alo Yoga Warrior Compression Tights
Alo Yoga’s Warrior Compression Tights have a full gusset and double inseam panel making them great both on their own or layered under shorts. These tights feature a drawcord elastic waistband for a perfect fit.
10. Reebok Workout Ready Compression Tights
The Reebok Workout Ready Compression Tights feature a performance compression fit with sweat-wicking Speedwick fabric to keep you cool and dry and mesh panels at the back knee for added ventilation.
Shop at Reebok: Reebok Workout Ready Compression Tights
Reebok’s Workout Ready Compression Tights are specifically designed to handle high-intensity training sessions with an inner leg gusset and angled side seams to promote easy lateral movements.
11. Baleaf Flyleaf Quick-Dry ¾ Compression Tights
The Baleaf Flyleaf Quick-Dry ¾ Compression Tights feature a slight compression fit with a signature Diamond Crotch design for increased mobility. These tights are breathable, quick-drying, and moisture-wicking.
Shop at Baleaf: Baleaf Flyleaf Quick-Dry ¾ Compression Tights
Baleaf’s Flyleaf Quick-Dry ¾ Compression Tights feature a high-rise design, drop-in pockets on the thighs for convenient storage, and an inner drawstring for a smooth and adjustable fit.
12. Sleefs Compression Tights
The Sleefs Compression Tights feature a comfortable and durable performance fabric with non-woven stretch fabrication for advanced movement.
Shop at Sleefs: Sleefs Compression Tights
Sleefs’ Compression Tights have a smooth and sleek fit that layers well under shorts and can also be worn on their own. These compression tights utilize a stay-put elastic waistband and are available in many color options.
Available in ¾ Length: Sleefs ¾ Compression Tights
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?
In general, 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, then rock those shorts over your tights.
Even though wearing shorts over your compression tights won’t 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.
Another great option to keep you supported while active is compression boxer briefs. Check out our top picks here.