CEP Run Shorts 3.0 review

Last updated: 17-Aug-18

By Fiona Outdoors

CEP sell running socks, knee sleeves, shorts, tights and tops. I confess I was not familiar with this European brand until I tried the new Run Shorts 3.0. (There are also long tights and three-quarter tights in this range.)

CEP say their tights and shorts are “designed to promote optimum comfort and performance, with flat seams and an enhanced profile of targeted medi-compression, which offers superior joint and muscle stabilisation”.

The background of CEP is that they make garments with “medical compression”. They have taken the “medi-compression” technology and utilised it in sports items, such as socks, knee sleeves and also tops and tights.

They report that top sports people, including Olympic athletes and triathletes, wear their products.

Before being sent a pair of CEP Run Shorts 3.0 to test I was asked to measure the widest part of my quad. I was told that a size small would fit well.

The Run Shorts 3.0 are an update on the Run Shorts 2.0.


  • Medi-Compression panels that wrap around the thigh to offer compression and support for the quads and hamstrings
  • Nylon/spandex brief to give softness against the skin (the fabric is softer than the Run Shorts 2.0)
  • Stay-put fit
  • High-tech fabric fits your body like a glove
  • Integrated Coldblack technology that allows black fabric to reflect the sun’s heat making sure you feel cooler, even on the hottest days.
  • Effective heat and moisture management
  • Male and female specific design
  • Men’s version has a drawstring waist; women’s has an easy-fit no elastic waistband for extra comfort
  • Flat seam construction
  • Reflective details
  • Small hip pocket
  • Zipped back pocket
  • Price €99.90


Pros: What’s good about CEP Run Shorts 3.0

The fit is very neat and supportive. To start with I thought the shorts were too tight but they feel fine when running. As with most compression type products, it is always a bit of a struggle to get the tight-fitting item on, but then they hug the body.

There are two types of fabric used to create the shorts and the more supportive – thicker weave – areas of fabric are in the lower, outer and back areas of the thighs. This gives support to the larger main muscle areas of the thighs including the quads and hamstrings.

The other fabric is softer and still supportive but not so densely woven. It is softer against the skin. 

The shorts give good coverage from high up on the waist to the knee. These are what I would call the “big pants” of the running shorts world because they offer a longer length and height.

If how you look in Lycra is something that bothers you, these shorts compress and support to give you a nice outline, especially from the back and side (see below for another opinion).

I was surprised by how much support the shorts gave when running. There was very little movement at the outer areas of the thighs and this felt good. At the same time, the thinner Lycra fabric on the inner part of the shorts and around the butt allowed for good freedom of movement.

There was no chafing, thank goodness, and I found the shorts felt cool even when I was working hard and hot. They also dry very quickly when wet with sweat or rain.

I think that if the entire pair of shorts was made from medi-compression fabric you might feel your movement was rather restricted.

Instead, thanks to the two-fabric design you get good support and compression, as well as ease of movement for running.

It’s difficult to say if the shorts offered benefits in terms of compression technology. During each run I assessed whether my muscles felt fresher and capable of running further. I also thought about how fatigued the muscles were after a run.

In all of these situations my legs felt good although not Olympic standard! I guess that compression technology is still up for discussion. I personally like to feel well supported by compression fabrics when running, and I do think they work to keep muscles in good shape.

I did feel able to run again the following day, even after a harder or longer distance outing. However, that maybe due to my fitness rather than the fabric of the shorts. It is difficult to tell, to be honest.

There is a small side pocket with an open top that is the right size for a gel and a zipped back pocket for keeping a key safe.

The large areas of reflective detailing on the shorts are excellent for visibility.


Pros: What’s not so good about CEP Run Shorts 3.0

Although I am quite tall with long legs, the shorts felt slightly too long at the knee. When I bent my legs to sit down the fabric dug into the back of the knee. This doesn’t bother me while running, but it is annoying when I bend my knee to a right angle or more. For example, when tying my shoe laces.

The shorts are also too high at the waist for me. Some people like a higher waisted pair of shorts, but I prefer lower waists. This is down to personal preference.

The two fabric types create a rather unattractive bulge in the inner thigh where they meet. This doesn’t feel uncomfortable because the seams are flat but it does look a bit yuk. So, while the profile created by the hugging fabric is good from the side and back, it is less so from the front.

This could be caused by my flabby inner thighs, but I would prefer to have one piece of fabric all the way down the shorts, or at least graduated rather than divided by a seamline.

I would prefer a larger pocket with a zip so I could keep a phone safe. Many Lycra shorts and tights now have this feature. 

The price, £79 in British money, seems a lot for a pair of shorts. However, they do make big claims for their compression qualities – and based on scientific research – so if compression is for you, this price is competitive with other brands.


I am not so impressed by the looks of the shorts because of the “flab bulge” and they are a bit long and high fitting for me, but overall they offer very good support – especially for the quads.

There is no bounce when running, and I think they may well offer good compression qualities although I have not tested this scientifically.

The fabric feels robust and good quality and combined with the claimed compression technology I would say the price of the shorts is just about fair.

Design 7.5/10
Features 8.5/10
Performance 9/10
Value 8/10
Total 8.3/10

Others shorts you may want to consider:

SKIN A400 compression shorts
2XU Compression shorts
Under Armour HeatGear Armour Mid Compression Shorts

About the writer: Fiona is a keen runner, preferring off-road and hilly to flat and road. She lives in Scotland where the weather is fickle so needs to be prepared for all conditions. See more of what she writes at Fiona Outdoors.

All images Fiona Outdoors except when stated.

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"I was surprised by how much support the shorts gave when running"

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