Last updated: 17-Aug-18
In winter or on cold mornings in spring and summer, long running tights are a must-own. Here, we review two pairs of technical running tights.
SKINS A400 Starlight long tights
Part of the technical SKINS A400 compression tights range, the Starlights have extra reflective details for nighttime and dull-day running.
The SKINs tights include the brand’s “Dynamic Gradient Compression technology”, which it is claimed “increases circulation to deliver more oxygen to your working muscles”.
- Asymmetric reflective graphic panels providing 360-degree reflectivity for low light activity
- 70D Memory MX fabric around the knee for maximum natural movement without restriction.
- Four-way stretch properties for minimal force with optimal support over the delicate Achilles tendon
- 210D Memory MX fabric over the ITB & TFL muscle groups, to reduce pressure while ensuring natural function to reduce the risk of injury
- Comfortable A-Seams, which are “up to 30% stronger than standard stitching”
- ADAPTIVE Technology to keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot
- Bonded hems for comfort
- Easily accessible waistband pocket
- UV 50+ protection
- RRP £100
The men’s and women’s A400 long tights are designed to fit the different physiques. The women’s have a wider waistband but one that is “lower rise for comfort”, while the men’s have a shaped crotch for comfort.
Photo credit: www.skins.net
Pros: What’s good about the SKINS A400 Starlight long tights
It’s the fit that I rate most highly about SKINS. By checking their sizing guide you can buy a pair that almost certainly will be a good fit. There are lots of sizes to choose from, including a range of 10 sizes for men and five for women.
The support that the fabric offers is the best in any pair of running tights I have ever owned. In fact, I own several pairs of SKINS and always choose them for a run if they are clean, over all others.
Although the fit is tight you never feel as though your movement is restricted. Reading all the technical details about the fabric and design shows that SKINS appear to know what they are doing.
With other tights I find they are constrictive around the backs of the knees but this never happens with SKINS so, their “70D Memory MX fabric” must be working.
SKINS use a compression technology that is meant to aid muscles during exercise and help with recovery. I do find that I recover well when wearing SKINS. It’s difficult to know if this is because I have had “more oxygen delivered to my muscles” but I do like wearing these tights a great deal.
Another great thing about the fabric is that if you feel hot it keeps you cool and if you feel cold it warms you up. I know this sounds odd but it really does work. SKINS state: “When it’s cool, the unique polymer binds moisture in to keep you feeling warm. When you heat up, it releases stored moisture to the surface where it can evaporate, helping your body cool down.”
I really like the slim fit of SKINS. They do not rise too far up the waist yet they stay put. They do not need a drawcord to keep them up. My SKINS very rarely fall down while running, which is excellent.
The reflective detailing is very good on these tights. It’s super bright and can be seen from every angle so runners are highly visible to other people after dark. The reflective details are a generous size, too, which is a bonus.
There is an open pocket at the back of the waistband. This is useful for various items. I have even managed to fit in an iPhone 6 although it’s a tight squeeze. Once in, it didn’t fall out, though.
Photo credit: www.skins.net
Cons: What’s not so good about the SKINS A400 Starlight long tights
I am struggling to find anything to criticize. I guess that SKINS tights are expensive. The A400 Starlight cost £100 (RRP) but having worn various SKINS tights for many years I know they are very long-lasting. They do not lose their shape or support and they do not wear thin too quickly. They do tear but only if you really punish them.
A male friend has found that after a few years of wear the crotch area becomes very thin but that is after a lot of running use.
The tights are a slim-fit and have a low-rise waist so this won’t suit all shapes but if you are a keen runner I expect they will be good for you.
It would be really good to have a more secure pocket in running tights.
SKINS are costly but they are long-lasting and offer the best fit and support of any tights I have worn. It is personal preference but I choose SKINS over all other running tights. The level of technical detail is very good and the addition of 360-degree visibility is a great bonus.
Falke Ergonomic Sport System tights
The Falke tights are made from “knitted” stretch jersey with the addition of compression technology to “accelerate regeneration”. There are men’s and women’s versions.
- Stretch jersey fabric for warmth
- Graduated compression “to oxygenate and support the muscles”
- Steamlined yet flexible fit
- Perforated panels to help regulate body temperature
- Wide waistband for comfort
- Internal drawstring waist
- Reflective trims add visibility at night
- Key pocket
- £90 for spring products (last season tights can be found for £45 to £50)
- See Falke for new season tights.
- See Net-a-porter Falke Ergonomic Sport System tights for last season buys.
Photo credit: www.falke.com
Pros: What’s good about Falke Ergonomic Sport System tights
The fabric is quite different from other tights I have worn. It is a jersey style fabric, which offers great support and extra warmth for winter running. These would also be a good choice if you are running early or late on cold mornings or evenings in spring and summer.
Although they do offer a good level of warmth I did not find them excessively sweaty. The knitted style fabric allows sweat to evaporate and the perforated panels at the knees help with this, too.
I think Falke have come up with a clever and creative design.
The leg length is generous. Usually I find that running tights only just reach my socks but these fit over my socks.
The colours are really lovely. If you are fed up with blacks and greys and do not have the guts to go for a pair of the new jazzy geometric designs, the Falke tights are a good choice. The autumn season colour was a purple shade (they call it Nightberry) with red hem trimmings. I have had lots of admiring comments from fellow female runners about the style and colours of these tights. This spring, the tights will be mid blue with a navy cuff for women.
The fit is neat and the tights stay up despite being low-rise. There is a useful drawcord, too.
The reflective details are dark grey, for a change. They shine brightly in lights when it’s dark outside.
Photo credit: Fiona Russell.
Cons: What’s not so good about Falke Ergonomic Sport System tights
The longer leg length might be an issue if you are not so tall.
The compression technology is not as sophisticated as with SKINS and I found the tights tended to wrinkle a bit at the back of the knee. This can be annoyingly constrictive if you do not stop to straighten them out.
Once straightened, however, they feel really comfortable.
Some people said the tights look a bit like pyjama bottoms but I like the look. It’s a bit different and more people said they thought the tights looked really nice.
The small internal pocket is too small. Please, can we have larger pockets that are more useful, or just don’t bother.
For something the looks different but is still high on technical details, the Falke tights are a good choice. They are great value for money, too, with the discounted price just now. These are a good choice for winter or higher altitude running.
Other tights you may want to consider:
Helly Hansen Aspire Norviz tights
OMM Flash Tight 1.0
inov-8 Race Elite Tights
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.
Have you used the SKINS A400 Starlight long tights or the Falke Ergonomic Sport System tights? Don’t agree with this review? What’s your opinion? Add your own comment to this review and share your experience and passion for running with others.
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