Disclaimer: I received a pair of Skins’ Compression A400 ¾ tights to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.
As a physical therapist that specializes in lymphedema I am familiar with compression therapy. I love compression socks for recovery as I am someone who tends to swell, particularly in the heat. I was so excited to be given the opportunity to try the Skins’ Compression A400. Why does compression work? According to the manufacturer The SKINS’ gradient compression has been engineered to provide the correct level of surface pressure to specific parts of the body. This enhances circulation and gets more vital oxygen to your active muscles – boosting your power, speed and stamina. Unlike compression garments like socks or hose which lose their compression over time the material in the Skins’ garments contain memory MX fabric which helps the garment return to its original shape no matter the stress put on it. This product is backed by the Austrialian Physiotherapy Association for its properties (it is the physical therapy association for Austrialia). You can read more on the research behind their products here.
So what did I think when I got them? The material felt like buttery silk. I have tried on many a compression tight before and they felt too tight, almost painful to put on with a firm scratchy material. I love the waistband comes to just below my belly button holding in my lower abdominal region making me appear slimmer (winning)! They gave me thigh gap (which is great) and I had no issues with seams or chafing with the A400 tights. I used them in hot and cooler weather and while I thought the warm weather might be too much in compression they were surprisingly cool. That is due to unique polymer blend in the material.
These compression tights really did help me on my speed workouts. I have hit paces wearing these during my Chicago marathon training that I have not otherwise been able to hit. Mentally I also used the compression to challenge myself to work harder and say how my muscles were being supported (there has been much mental talk in my head with training). I have worn these tights on my 18 and 20 mile runs and had no issues with recovery of my muscles afterwards.
One of the things I love most about Skins is the UPF in their product. UPF is the fancy word for sunscreen protection in clothing. I love not having to take one more step to put on sunscreen where my tights were covering me because I had UPF 50 protection. With how much runners expose their bodies to the sun and elements it is so important to protect ourselves and this product does just that.
These tights also have great reflective properties. I did not have any evening or early morning runs in them to test their properties but they did light up against my camera flash.
The compression I tried was a ¾ tight or Capri but they also come in a full tight and short. I really want to try the shorts next. The only thing missing on my tight was a key pocket (needed for a city girl) which is available on the short and the full tight. I would love if they also had a non compression outer pocket for gels or a phone (a girl can dream right) because then I would never use another pant or short for running (I really am serious Skins USA).
Join BibRave on Twitter on Tuesday, Oct 10th at 8pm Central for #bibchat. You can ask all of the Pros that tried the various styles questions as well as the sponsor Skins. Also the sponsor Skins will be giving away a free pair of compression tights and if you participate in our chat, you’re eligible to win. If you don’t want to wait to try and win you can buy yours now using the code “BIBRAVE20” now through the end of October. This is only valid on full price items.