Sunday, December 27, 2009

Men in Tights: My CW-X Review

I was a skeptic. I never liked the idea of men wearing tights. Two years of running convinced me that skimpy shorts are part of basic running apparel. I was wrong. 

I joined the Ateneo Fund Run to mark my last race for 2009 last December 27. I chose to run 10 miles (16K) at race pace to help determine my marathon pace for the Condura Run on Feb 7, 2010. This was also my first race using compression tights from CW-X bought at RUNNR Ayala. I was hesitant but otherwise excited to use my new tights on race day since I was told never to race with any new gear. I wore my marathon shoes (Adidas Supernova Sequence) and used my Suunto T3 for pacing. When I put them on, I immediately noticed the tight feeling around my entire leg. I picked CW-X Pro Tights since it provides support to all lower extremity joints and muscles except the core area. CW-X made it easy for runners to choose which pair of tights they should wear based on areas of support. Expert, Pro,  PerformX, StabilyX and Ventilator tights(for warm weather) all with different target areas of support. 

Despite the underestimation of the route distance(13K), poor marshall coordination, poor water supply, disorganized checking system and lack of route markers, I was happy with the race. I was dehydrated after running almost 8 kilometers without water and had to stop for directions since a small pack of runners were instructed to "GO STRAIGHT" when we were supposed to "TURN LEFT". This was ALMOST a disaster. We (MISDIRECTED RUNNERS) ran an exact 16K instead of the 13K originally directed and finished a 10 Mile race. I completed the course in 1 hour 17 mins 39 secs (Average Pace - 4:45) and was almost 3 minutes better than my goal. I broke my previous 10 Mile record of 1 hour 50 mins by more than half an hour. I was stunned. My speed training worked. 

During the run, I could not help but notice that I did not feel the usual sting in my inner knee after a certain speed and distance. It felt like my joints were in proper running alignment and I was not feeling any tired at all. I was supposed to run at 5:00 pace but instead comfortably ran a 4:45 and finished earlier than expected. Despite the obvious lack of support from the organizers of the race, I was elated. I attributed this victory to my speed training and newly found race gear, CW-X Pro tights.

These tights are expensive. Priced at P3,750 -  P4,850 depending on the model, runners think twice before buying running tights. They cost more than most running shoes in the market and are not included in the list of essentials for running. But what do they really have to offer. 

Studies show that tights help reduce fatigue and post exercise soreness due to improved lactic acid distribution during exercise. They also improve recovery by providing support and compression to target areas and improve circulation. Apart from ordinary athletic tights, CW-X pushed further and added features like the Conditioning Web which acts a suspension system for joints and helps reduce load and stress. This acts as an exoskeleton for uniting the hip, knee and ankle joints. On the downside, they are noted to feel too warm for our climate and are not very easy to don and doff. 

Thanks to RUNNR Cebu, CW-X tights are now within our grasp. Although also available from Nike and Adidas, models and sizes are difficult to come by. I have already made reservations for the CW-X StabilyX model from RUNNR since I am planning to race with them during the Condura Run. I will never run another race in shorts. From now on, Reel Runner is a member of the Men in Tights. 


  1. welcome to the club cuz. i used to swear by shorts until my trainer told me to run in tights. better compression gyud plus less to zero chafing. although im thinking twice about buying 3,750-4,850 running tights, mizuno and adidas cost a bit less and are just as effective. but more than that, its sexy too! ^=^

  2. thanks for the comment cuz... Yes I think they are a bit pricey but i think its worth every penny. The support i felt using CW-X was almost like running with knee supports/ sleeves and kinesio tapes...

    See you on 1-10-10 cuz.. by the way, if you need any help at KM30 (gels, fluids) just text so you can arrange to leave it with me at my station... thanks

  3. yes! a familiar face at the graveyard km! that would be nice! see you around.

  4. HI...
    I've few of running tights and will be bringing one back to pinas... been using it in the colder time of the year. after reading your blog, I'm kind of tempted to use it on 01-10-10 cebu 42k... not sure how it will stand with our humid kinda hot weather though. I'll probably use my running shorts afterall... as I will have nil time on trying them on longer runs sa pinas. but thanks for the info... I will certainly try it for a run before coming back. Cheers!

  5. I also have few running tights and yoga pants and I like them all. My running tights are very nice and comfortable as well. I also like your cw-x and I am sure that it is specially made for running purpose.
    running tights




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