NIKE has a new line of running tights for men and women with a “screen-printed pattern that provides support to key muscles.” According to their product description, “an innovative screen print is strategically placed on the IT band and across key muscles for added support where you need it and enhanced mobility.” Ummm… I read this description, tapped all 4 corners of my science brain to validate the authenticity of these claims and decided this was a fake thing that was purely a marketing strategy. I then immediately added to cart and repeatedly refreshed my browser for 2-4 days. How else would I PROVE this was a fake thing if I didn’t actually wear test this fake thing? amiright?
Let’s back up a bit and make sure we are all caught up on the science. Compression tights are new-ish on the market. You’ve seen them on the blog here worn by my crew of ladies who enjoy the sensation of a very tight pair of tights while working out.
Compression tights are designed to provide support to your working muscles and improve blood flow. All sorts of claims are made by these companies that you can improve performance, recovery and even help regulate your body temperature. Super high-tech science in your pants! Some tights (like the Lululemon Tight Stuff tights above) are made with an even distribution of compression fabric from waistband to ankle. Others, vary the intensity of compression trying to mimic compression taping or kinesiology tape. Have I lost you? Remember the Olympics:
This flexible tape appeared all over the bodies of Olympians in super weird patterns. It’s designed to support an injured joint or muscle. I’ve had it done a few times. It makes me feel bad-ass, especially in heels, but does it really help? I mean, really really help? um, no. but then again, I don’t spend any part of my day where my success is measured in inches or seconds. I may feel like it is, but it’s not.
So Nike has taken their compression pants and added a screen print on top that is supposed to mimic this kinesio tape. Allegedly. So of course, like a dummy that couldn’t leave well enough alone, I bought them. I’ve worn these pants a few times to my high-intensity interval classes, indoor spinning and even to a surf yoga class and I will say they are a pretty decent compression pant. My crusty inner skeptic never fails me and in this case, the screen printing adds no additional support or compression in those lines. I even jump-tested them! Every inch of this vert is due to my own God-given talents.
Verdict: Even though the compression printing is 100% fakesies, they do feel great, if you like to rock a tight pant at the gym. Which I do. While going commando. They are less hot than the Lululemon ones but they also feel a bit thinner. MOST importantly, they take a BALLER photograph, so much so that I’ve been featured on an interior design blog. Makes no sense but who am I to deny my fans?