Zensah High Compression Tights Product Review
Reviewer: Shyam Sriram
A year ago, I was blissfully unaware of compression garments. I say blissfully because after becoming an OCR initiate in March 2013 and getting hooked, I was then inundated with competing and conflicting information about the “best” gear for obstacle course racing. I heard a lot of positive and negative theories about compression gear (shorts, tights, calf sleeves, arm sleeves, etc.), but knew after scraping the hell out of my elbows and knees at the 2013 Georgia Spartan Sprint that I needed something to cover my knees. I bought my first pair of compression leggings shortly thereafter when I picked up the 2XU Compression Tights. These tights were very thin, but worked as a great base-layer for cold weather races and events where my clothes needed to dry quickly and where my legs needed protection.
However the 2XU tights, while good, didn’t really help with the issue that has crippled me – delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMES, which affects a lot of athletes, but really did me in as a guy trying to get into shape in his early 30s. After some of my longer races – 11-mile Tough Mudder; 6.2-mile Peachtree Road Race; and the 21-mile Out of the Darkness overnight walk – I was barely able to walk. Plus, after using the tights during the 2013 Barbarian Challenge in Gadsden, Alabama, I tore several holes in them from gravel, rocks and barbed wire.
So when I heard that Zensah, a Miami-based company, had a line of custom engineered compression gear that actually decreased DOMES and post-workout muscle soreness, I had to try them out. Corey at Zensah hooked me up so I could try a pair of their Men’s High Compression Tights (L/XL size) and I put them through the paces.
This is an excellent product – no two ways about it. These are thicker tights than the usual, thin compression that many may expect, but it’s thicker and slightly ribbed texture provided a high-level of compression that significantly reduced my soreness. With the unusually cold weather we have experienced in Georgia, I used these tights to stay warm, improve circulation and reduce lactic acid buildup during hikes. They worked like a charm.
Perhaps the greatest compliment I can give Zensah is that they drastically reduced DOMES after a race. I wore them after finishing the recently concluded Mud Mingle 4-mile race in Sorrento, Florida and for the first time in a year of racing, I was not in intense pain after a race. In fact, even a day or two days after the race when the real muscle fatigue usually sets in, especially in my legs, I felt great.
An added benefit of Zensah’s tights is their moisture-wicking and anti-microbial features. I put in over 30 miles of sweaty, intense hikes and rucks at the Chattahoochee River Trails and Stone Mountain Park and these tights still don’t smell and they don’t hold on to moisture. The company’s claims are dead on. The only issue I had with the tights was an issue with fit. They had a tendency to slip down if I wore them without underwear or compression shorts. Otherwise, I loved the texture and feel.
All in all, this is a great product and I am excited to try the full range of Zensah compression gear.
Product Rating: 9/10 stars