Compression Shorts & Tights

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Compression Tights

From elite athletes to cancer survivors, compression garments are designed for performance and recovery. But not all compression garments are created equally! We want to talk about compression tights specifically – what they are, how they are made, and what you need to know to purchase the best compression tights for your needs. 

What Are Compression Tights?

A compression tight is a full-length garment from the waist to the ankle. There are several types available, and there are many differences between them. Let’s learn some more! 

All compression garments, including compression tights, are made from 2 or 3 different filaments. One of the yarns must be stretchy. We have a few names in the USA for these stretchy filaments: spandex, LYCRA® fiber, elastane, and others. The content label, which is sewn or heat-transferred to the back of each garment, tells us what kind of fibers were used to make the garment. 

Example 1: Low Compression Range Intended for Leisure Wear – 8-14% stretchy fiber:

These example labels show us a variety of stretchy filament contents from 8-14%:

Just for comparison, a regular dress sock has 3-5% stretchy fiber which is not much, but just enough to keep the socks from sliding down into your shoes. 

Socks Label:

Note: Please be careful not to buy anything that has rubber in the contents, as the wearer can have an allergy to rubber (the socks’ label has “rubber” in the contents).

Example 2: Mid Compression Range – 15-20% stretchy fiber:

This fabric has more stretch and more power than the leisure wear of example 1.

Example 3: High Compression Range Intended for Performance and Recovery

This label shows us that the contents of the compression tights have 30% stretch filament – this makes the fabric stretch with even more (kick) power:

Important: The content label tells you everything you need to know about what you’re wearing or what you are planning to buy. It will tell you the following information: 

  • How much power and support it has by the percentage of stretchy filament 
  • The Country of manufacture/origin 
  • Washing and Drying Instructions 
  • Size Information 
  • Other information the manufacturer would like to add 

Keep reading to understand why this is important! 


With varying content of stretchy filament, these garments fit and function in remarkably diverse ways. Let’s look more closely at the benefits and disadvantages of each type. 

Example 1 – Low Compression with stretchy filament content of 8-14%:

This compression tight was intended for the leisure wear market. In this category, compression garments or compression clothing should be used for low energy activities such as: 

  • Walking 
  • Light exercise 
  • Yoga 
  • Gymnastics 
  • Cycling 

These items are NOT intended to be used to: 

  • Reduce swelling 
  • Aid in recovery 
  • Support muscles 
  • High energy exercises or sports 
  • Long walks 
  • Long distance running of 10 miles or more 
  • Ski long hours or distance 

8-14% stretch fiber is for leisure wear and light exercise, with absolutely no support for sustained physical activity or recovery. The majority of garments on the market would fit into this category, choose wisely! 


Example 2 – Mid Compression with stretchy filament content of 15-20%:

This compression tight was intended for higher compression than in example #1, but still not enough to support your muscles for long-term activity or injury recovery. Remember that from the 1960s to 1990s, most stretchy fabric that had a 20% content on the label was intended for the intimate apparel market, such as for girdles to help hold the stomach in. 

It was definitely NOT intended for an elevated level of exercise or activity. 15-20% stretch fiber is for medium activity with no benefits to performance or recovery. 

 EXAMPLE 3 – High Compression with stretchy filament content 30% or higher 

A 1998 study by Dr. William Kraemer titled, “Influence of a compression garment on repetitive power output production before and after different types of muscle fatigue,” suggested that having contents of at least 25% stretch fiber in compression tights is the point at which they may be called “performance compression tights” as they will be able to help sports performance with an improved blood flow to the muscle tissue meaning MORE OXYGEN.  

30% stretch fiber is for high-intensity sports and offers benefits for performance and recovery due to less muscle vibration which means less muscular fatigue and fewer injuries. Muscles involved in high energy activities need more oxygen flow to help support the body. 

Breaking It Down

Use the following examples as an indication of what you are planning to use compression tights for, and for what level of activity. 

The difference between just compression tights and performance compression tights is: if the content label shows between 8-24% stretch fiber, there will only be enough stretch to have the garment form fit to the body and be held up as clothing, however it will not really offer you any health or performance benefits. 

The benefits of compression tights with 25% or more stretch fiber or more listed in the contents will help your muscles recover faster during a long run, walk or high activity sport such as tennis, squash, football, baseball, hockey, skiing, basketball, soccer, and distance running of all types. 

The higher percentage of stretch fiber in compression tights, the less muscle vibration will occur which leads to less muscle fatigue, offering faster recovery! There will be less wear and breakdown of the muscles. 

Compression garments for blood circulation is a very touchy subject as there are basically two variations – tights or socks. Doctors prescribe compression garments to help in bringing blood circulation up from the feet to the heart. Doctors mostly prescribe compression tights and/or compression socks in either Mid-Thigh or Knee-High lengths. 

These gradient compression socks, in either Mid-Thigh or Knee-High lengths, have various levels of pressure that your doctor will determine based on your body’s needs as follows: 

  • Light Support                      10 – 15mmHg   
  • Mild Support                       15 – 20mmHg   
  • Moderate Support             20 – 30mmHg   
  • Firm Support                      30 – 40mmHg  

The levels determine how much pressure will be applied to the lower leg to stimulate circulation to push blood up towards the heart. Gradient pressure means a controlled amount of pressure that is greatest at the distal end (ankle) of the garment and gradually decreases towards the proximal end (top) of the stocking. 

Good compression tights with 25% or more stretch fiber can help reduce swelling and improve blood circulation although not as efficiently as compression socks. 


 The most critical point we can stress is to be aware of what you are looking for when you are buying compression garments! Understanding the contents of your clothing can have a profound impression on what you choose to wear for a simple walk, high-energy intense sports, or long-distance air travel. If you suffer from circulatory issues, feel free to use the information in this article to start a discussion with your healthcare provider to decide which compression level you may need. And please remember to read the clothing label to understand what type of fabric is in the garment that you are buying, exactly the way you would do with packaged food! When you need the best, high-performance compression garment on the market, look for our SWEAT IT OUT® with COOL COMPRESSION® technology, or contact us today. 

Below is the SWEAT IT OUT ® with COOL COMPRESSION ® technology label:

Buy Compression Shorts and Tights Online

Push yourself to the limit and reach new athletic achievements when you use compression shorts and tights with COOL COMPRESSION® Technology from SWEAT IT OUT®. 

Our line of compression shorts and tights is designed to provide maximum support to the leg muscles and groin region while being comfortable for all-day wear. Professional athletes from all sports fields — soccer, tennis, golf, skiing, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, running, dancing, and more — use compression shorts to boost their performance and help reduce their rehabilitation. Why not experience the incredible difference for yourself? 

Read more

SWEAT IT OUT® offers both men’s and women’s compression shorts and tights at amazing prices. Check out some of our featured products here, then buy compression shorts and tights with COOL COMPRESSION® Technology online today!

COOL COMPRESSION® Technology Shorts

You can’t take your performance to the next level without next-level compression shorts. Luckily, you can find the best compression shorts right here at SWEAT IT OUT®. 

What makes our compression shorts better than the rest? We use COOL COMPRESSION® Technology, the most innovative design in compression gear. COOL COMPRESSION® Technology is carefully engineered and scientifically proven to provide muscular support, help improve movement accuracy, and help reduce swelling. This revolutionary design makes our compression gear perfect for EVERYONE, from professional athletes to people who suffer from muscle aches and pains. 

COOL COMPRESSION® Technology shorts are comfortable to wear all day long. They target major muscle groups in the legs, such as hamstrings and quads, and provide the perfect amount of compression without being too constricting. You can wear these compression shorts anywhere, even while you travel. Our fabric is flexible, rotating a full 360o and stretching up to 200% with the body, and extremely breathable. 

Buy your new compression shorts with COOL COMPRESSION® Technology online today. We promise you’ll love them!

The Best Compression Shorts for Sports and Rehabilitation

Get geared up for the best workout of your life when you buy compression shorts online from SWEAT IT OUT®. Every pair of compression shorts in our collection is manufactured with COOL COMPRESSION® Technology, so you get to enjoy benefits such as: 

  • Help prevent muscle injuries
  • Help rehabilitate from muscle injuries
  • Muscular support
  • Reduced swelling
  • Post-surgical support
  • And more!

SWEAT IT OUT® compression shorts with COOL COMPRESSION® Technology are perfect for athletes who require lower body strength and support for lacrosse, hockey, tennis, running, dancing, soccer, basketball, skiing, golf, and other sports. They can also be used to relieve muscle pain and soreness to the hamstrings, quads, and groin areas.

Get Even More Coverage and Support with Compression Tights

The intricate system of muscles that makes up your legs deserves to be protected from top to bottom. That’s exactly what our compression tights are designed to do!

Built with COOL COMPRESSION® Technology, our compression tights cover 100% of the leg — from the ankle to the thigh and above — to provide you with the best possible support for the major leg muscles such as the knee, shin, thigh, ankle, and more. 

It only takes one use to discover that our compression tights are the best tool for recovery, as they help reduce leg pain. You’ll feel great and ready to take on the world again before you know it!

Buy SWEAT IT OUT® Compression Shorts and Other Gear Online Today!

At SWEAT IT OUT®, we do it all, from compression shorts to loose-fitting, moisture-wicking compression shirts. Take a look at some interesting finds right here: 

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about buying compression shorts and other gear online!

Frequenty Asked Questions

What do compression shorts do?

MAll compression shorts might look alike, but they don’t perform the same. The most important part of a compression short is the type of fabric being used. Most will reduce chafing. Many use wicking fabric and thus, people find them comfortable. Some types of compression shorts, if produced from the correct fabric, are designed to support the large muscle groups, and can help improve performance, increase blood circulation, and reduce muscle fatigue and injuries.

Can wearing compression shorts be harmful?

Yes, most definitely! Depending on the compression fabric used, the amount of compression determines if wearing these shorts could be harmful to the wearer. For example, since 2000, many new companies started to make compression garments who have no textile background. The fabrics being used are cheap with minimal stretch in the vertical direction. This can cause muscle tissue to break down over time doing repetitive motion, thus causing pain and injury.

Are compression shorts the same as boxer briefs?

Boxer briefs are basic underwear with a fly. Some are made from stretchy form-fitting fabric like compression shorts, but boxer briefs are shorts designed with a longer inseam. Fabric is about the only similarity as they are definitely not the same, nor are they the same as athletic shorts. Compression shorts are part of your workout wardrobe with many color options.

Are compression shorts supposed to be tight?

Yes. A pair of compression shorts with an elastic waistband should feel like a tight fit, not too tight, and not loose. They are supposed to fit the wearer just exactly, so they do not ride up or slip down. If they are too tight, this may cause a problem with blood circulation.

When should I wear compression shorts?

Compression shorts should be worn during workout/exercise, running, walking, for sports activities, and post-surgery to help reduce swelling

Why do guys wear compression shorts under shorts?

Some wear compression shorts under loose shorts as a sporty fashion style and to help prevent chafing and skin irritation. They are easy to wear under loose shorts because they have no hidden or side pockets. Some women favor this fashion style as well. If the compression shorts are made from moisture wicking material; they will also dry quickly and feel breathable.

Is it okay to wear compression shorts all day?

If the compression shorts are comfortable for the wearer, we recommend wearing them from morning until evening, however, they are NOT TO BE WORN WHILE SLEEPING.

What happens if you wear compression shorts too long?

They will become uncomfortable. Too long is generally over 12 hours a day.

Do you wear anything under compression shorts?

Our recommendation is NOT to wear anything under compression shorts. Undergarments can cause friction and skin irritation, causing the skin to overheat.

What is the difference between spandex and compression shorts?

Spandex is a stretchy filament which has been in use since 1950 and now is known as rubber. It is woven into the fabric so it can allow the fabric to stretch. This is one type of fabric being used to make compression shorts.

Is it OK to sleep in compression tights?

Our recommendation is NOT to sleep with any compression garments: compression tights, compression shorts, or compression shirts. Only a doctor can prescribe a patient to sleep with compression garments on to prevent swelling.

Is it OK to wear compression pants to bed?

It is not recommended to wear compression pants while sleeping. Compression garments are mostly used while the body is in motion. Only a doctor can prescribe a patient to sleep with compression pants on.

Do compression shorts make you run faster?

Regular use, 8-10 hours a day, of high-quality compression shorts worn during training supports leg and glute muscles to have more energy and less fatigue can aid runners to decrease their time. The correct compression fabric is key. An additional benefit of moisture wicking fabric is that it will help a runner’s sweat evaporate quickly so they feel drier rather than sweat soaked. This keeps them more comfortable and may give them a performance advantage as well.

Do compression shorts make you sweat?

Depending on what type of compression fabric is used to make the compression shorts, the contents of the fibers in the fabric will determine if particular varieties of compression shorts will make you sweat.

How do you wear compression shorts?

Compression shorts should be worn as your base layer garment, direct skin contact. They can be considered more comfortable if the seams are constructed properly. Moisture wicking fabric will offer breathability. Technology and fabric content will help users determine the durability of the product line.

How do you wear sliding shorts?

Sliding shorts are shorts worn under your team athletic uniform and depending on the length for coverage, can offer a bit of stretch to compress the thighs while allowing for freedom of movement.

What body measurements are necessary for compression shorts?

The 3 common measurements needed to fit our compression shorts are:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Waist measurement— NOT pants size! Measure around waist at belly button level. In some cases, a measurement around the width of the hips will be necessary to give the best idea of what size a person needs.
How tight should compression shorts be?

This is an excellent question. People use terms like it fits snug, tight, etc. The right way to choose the correct size is by your height, weight and waist measurement–NOT pants size, measure around waist at belly button level. The level of compression will be determined by the fabric being used.

How long should I wear compression shorts?

If you are a professional athlete, meaning competing in a sport for a living, you should wear compression shorts or compression tights from morning until evening (not to be worn while sleeping) to protect your muscles depending on the level of activity. If you are not a professional, a few hours a day, around 5 hours is excellent.

Why do runners wear shorts over tights?

Most runners take protein bars, keys, ID, money, and/or cell phones with them, so hidden pockets and side pockets in loose outerwear shorts are useful. When you shop for the right pair in store or online, for men or for women, and your preference is to decide on the right material, suitable for the application.

What is the point of compression shorts?

All compression shorts look alike but they do not perform the same. They should feel snug and comfy. The fabric being used to make the compression shorts will let you know where to use it. The point of wearing a compression short for some is fashion and others believe that their performance has been improved by wearing a compression short. The best compression shorts will help in prevention of or rehabilitation from injury.

Are compression shorts better than regular shorts?

It depends on your goal. Regular shorts available in stores and on amazon, are outerwear and don’t have the stretch needed to support muscles. This is called “outerwear” which may be worn regardless of activity level. Correct compression shorts are meant to be worn for sports activities, exercise, all types of workouts and rehabilitation from injuries and post-surgery to reduce swelling.

Why do cyclists wear compression shorts?

Riding a bike, cyclists understand to wear compression clothing to help improve speed due to aerodynamic design—wind and air friction with loose clothing will slow you down.

Are compression pants good for running?

Compression pants are excellent for running. Made with the correct requirements in the fabric contents to hold and support the muscles, they can help with recovery of the muscles of the leg and glutes, aid in increasing circulation and improve performance. The right pair would help prevent chafing and have you feel super light when running. If you access a performance log, you may check and compare the difference throughout the pages.

Are compression shorts the same as biker shorts?

This all depends on the contents of the fabric. Usually, bike shorts have a low percentage of stretch with the reason being the person riding the bike is seated pedaling which is a different motion than running in other sports. Also, a bike short would be filled with a chamois so the cycler would be more comfortable in the seat area. This is an aspect not designed into a regular compression short. A biker short could also have a handy hidden pocket or side pocket as well.