Gear Army: CW-X Running Tights

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It was about four years ago when I first became curious about the CW-X Pro Tights ($97). I had been training for the Philadelphia Marathon, my IT band was enflamed, and I couldn’t shuffle through a 2-mile warm-up without first swallowing a handful of ibuprofen. Four weeks before race day, I had to bail on my 20-miler. Toeing the start line was out of the question, and that realization made for an abject walk home.

As I’ve since learned, there were multiple reasons for the tendonitis I felt along my IT band. Long distance running isn’t completely ache free for me nowadays, but it’s a good soreness, and treating the pain is more manageable.

That’s where the Pro Tights come in. I wouldn’t expect them to cure tendonitis, but the patented Conditioning Web is designed to improve overall performance by targeting specific parts of your lower limbs. And that’s a good start.

How do they work?

The Pro Tights feature an exoskeleton web that aligns the hips, knees and ankles while supporting the quads and hamstrings. The Lycra-Coolmax compression blend increases circulation and reduces fatigue, so your legs will be fresher longer and recover faster.

And I have to say I’m impressed. You know that feeling when you first start jogging and your legs feel abnormally heavy? I didn’t have that when I used the tights. They are comfortable and supportive, and I never had any aches or discomfort associated with warming up. I also wore them for recovery, and something about all that compression just feels good after a taxing run. Now, when I don’t use them, I feel it.

The CW-X Pro Tights won’t take the place of a good physical therapist, but chances are they’ll postpone the need to make the appointment.

–Ken Derry can be see at left on the Dingle Peninsula in southwestern Ireland’s County Kerry in 2009. Most of the time, though, he’s jogging the track at Yankee Stadium thanks to his job: He’s the managing editor of the baseball team’s in-house publication.

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