Disclaimer: I received a pair of 2XU Elite MCS Compression tights thanks to Bibrave‘s BibRavePro ambassadorship. You can learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro & check out BibRave.com to find, review and write race reviews!
Over the last few years, there has been a huge growth in popularity for compression garments among athletes of all sports and fitness activities, from recreational to elite professionals. Much has been written about the training and recovery advantages such clothing claims to produce. Cool! I’m all for gaining a little edge where I can find it, especially as I get older. And although I own a couple pairs of compression calf sleeves and a pair of compression socks, I had been on the fence about investing in a pair of compression tights for a while. I have lots of different leggings that I love to wear after a long run so I figure that is pretty much the same thing, right? HA! Not even close!
What is 2XU?
2XU (“Two Times You”) was launched in Australia in 2005 and has since become the official compression partner for numerous world class athletes and teams. Their mission is to advance human performance through the development of world-leading athletic garments.
What sets 2XU apart?
What I liked best about 2XU was the variety of products available! Not only do they offer a multitude of sport-specific products, but they also have reflective compression gear and pregnancy compression gear! (I REALLY wish I knew about this stuff when I was having my babies. I struggled with varicose veins through my 2nd pregnancy and was stuck wearing the hospital-type compression socks. Not fun.) But the specific type of compression I tested out for Bibrave was their Elite MCS Compression Tights.
MCS stands for Muscle Containment Stamping, which traces over key muscles, tendons and fascia groups for more targeted and effective compression power. These tights are definitely unlike any of the other running tights I had in my closet! When you turn 2XU Elite MCS Compression Tights inside out, you can clearly see the MCS system at work. They truly are like a second skin!
How do they fit and feel?
I used the size chart provided by 2XU to order mine and felt they fit perfectly. They truly are like a second skin so getting them on definitely took a little more work than slipping on a pair of baggy sweat pants! I gather them down by the ankle, slowly working them up one leg at a time, kind of like putting on a pair of pantyhose that you don’t want to snag! The fact they are so snug is what sets them apart from all my other tights. They hug the muscles in your legs perfectly and feel amazing. The waist band is more narrow when compared to other brands of tights I own, but it did not bother me at all.
Training and Recovery
When I received my tights, I was just a few weeks away from running the Chicago Marathon. It was still really hot here in Oklahoma so I did not wear them for my long training runs. I did, however, wear them immediately after my hard workouts for recovery. After a long run or really challenging tempo, I normally feel sore for at least a day or two from the hard effort. But that did not happen when I wore my 2XU Elite MCS compression tights! My legs felt fresh, loose and ready to go much faster than I would have anticipated.
I brought them with me to Chicago hoping I would get the same result after the marathon. Within 30 minutes of finishing the marathon, I changed into my tights and waited for my friends to finish. I could not believe how well I was moving just hours following the race. It felt great to walk around in them and I could even go up and down stairs without a bother! I wore them on the plane home the next day and felt really good the entire flight. What struck me was my range of motion. Usually, my hamstrings and/or quads are so painfully tight after a marathon that it is difficult to sit properly or bend down without pain. I did not feel that pain after this race.