Review: CW-X Pro Tights

By CHELSEY GRIBBON

When I am training or competing in a race, I don’t know if it’s the idea of having muscles tight and contained or my secret obsession with Cat Woman. But when I am running and really trying to go fast, I like to be black, sleek and (maybe even) sexy. In last month’s Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race, where I raced on Team GearJunkie.com, I tested the CW-X Pro Tights, a product of Wacoal Sports Science sold at www.cw-x.com.

On the race’s initial 40-mile trek, I wore normal tights. After that effort, my knees, IT bands and hip flexors were toasted. On the second big trek — a three-day push through Chile’s Darwin Mountain Range — I pulled on the Pro Tights from CW-X before heading uphill and into the woods.

CW-X Pro Tights (Womens).jpg

CW-X Pro Tights

The tights, which cost about $97, have a unique design, including straps and elasticized fabric swaths that support muscles and joints. They are touted to fight muscle fatigue and aid in supporting knees and tendons. The company says the tights have a “suspension system for the hamstrings and quadriceps.”

Although they didn’t pick my legs up for me, I could feel a difference between wearing them and being without. At first, the compression was a bit much. I felt like it was more work to hike up the hills than before. But after a few hours on the trek, the CW-X tights started to feel like a second protective layer of skin. My knees, IT bands and hips felt secure and safe in the supported compression web.

By the 30th hour of the trek — it was a long way! — the tights were having issues. The sizing was off, and the tights felt a bit too large. I had to repeatedly stop and pull the tights back up and over my hips. They kept slipping down, and this got a little annoying. (I wore the size XS tights; CW-X doesn’t make ‘em any smaller.)

Other than having to stop every once and a while to readjust, the tights did indeed seem to provide some muscular support. The bands on the tights wrapped with my anatomy, naturally beefing up the support system my body already has in place. On the long trek, the tights reduced impact and load to the legs, which in turn reduced fatigue and helped me to keep going, mile after mile, in the Patagonian outback.

A final point: Across a range of temps, I never felt too hot or too cold in the tights. They did a good job wicking away my sweat, which kept me dry. I am excited to add these to my race and training wardrobe — especially if the company can fix my sizing concern.

Overall, I loved the tights’ performance and would recommend them to novice and serious athletes alike. When it comes down to it, your legs — as well as your inner Cat Woman — might thank you for the extra support.

—Chelsey Gribbon is a member of the YogaSlackers.

Posted by Gary - 03/22/2010 08:28 AM

Chelsey how do you think they will hold up to some serious bushwhacking?

Posted by alex - 03/23/2010 06:29 AM

I have these tights, and i can honestly say: “I fell for their marketing Jargon and appeal” These tights look nice, and are quality built, but seriously… Suspension system for your hamstrings??? Get real. I dont notice any difference and in fact, i think they can actually make things worse. Like the article above says, the sizing is crucial. Mine are actually a bit too small, even though i followed their sizing guide to the “T”. I have the bands that wrap around the patella (kneecap) and even though the pants are too small for me, the hole where your patella should be always droops down. So by that logic, instead of keeping it in place, they should actually be influencing it to be out of place. Overall, i would say if you like the looks of them, go for it. They are hot! But dont fall for their marketing jargon.

Posted by jake - 04/20/2010 01:40 PM

i love mine, and have a couple of pairs, 1 for colder weather and a regular pair. i’ve had bad knee issues (meniscus tears, arthroscopic surgery) and these help a great deal with the extar support taping around my knees. the fit is great, they feel great and are very durable. i really notice a difference in support and less tiredness, and i leave them on after my long runs for a bit which helps minimize the soreness after a tough workout. i’ve reccomended them to all my marathon club team mates.

Posted by lisa b - 06/09/2010 12:50 PM

the cw-x stabylyx tights saved my knees. i can’t run comfortably without them now. thx cw-x!!

Posted by susanna - 07/06/2010 03:10 PM

Gary – unless they’ve changed the fabric, I’m afraid these are not good for bushwhacking. I managed to put 3 holes in my tights pretty easily – 1) caught on doorknob – half-dollar sized hole 2)tugged on fabric on upper leg to hike them back up (had same prob. w/their slipping down) and that produced a large hole which tore further 3) snagged on branch – lg hole by bum. (bummer!)
I liked the feel of the tights when they were in place but will stick to well-traveled trails if I managed to get them repaired.

Posted by jake - 12/14/2010 01:03 PM

susana, i have the heavier fabric model (insulator pro?) which i use on trails/through the scrub, and the thicker fabric is very durable. i think they make different weight fabrics, so perhaps you have the thinner version.

Posted by rachel - 01/05/2013 05:13 AM

I absolutely love mine, i have full and 3/4, both professional and I swear by them…

Posted by Dorothy - 03/26/2013 12:58 PM

I liked the idea of these supporting my hamstring as it has been causing me some issues. I run 10 miles every morning day no matter what the weather with my two Weimaraner, and I could not wait to wear them, I was very disappointed because within 800 meters I had to stop and pull them up, and this continued throughout my run. The temperature was minus 5 degrees not good for stopping and taking off gloves to pull up tights. I do have the right size of medium. I do have heavy thighs and with my height of 5,5 weight 60 kg medium is my size, when the tights were up and they felt great but sadly it didn’t last long. These tights are not cheap £100 and the sizing needs to be sorted out by the makers as i have no intension of throwing money away, my Nike or other running tights which cost much less than these do not come down, otherwise I would have given up running years ago out of frustration

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