The Tech Team encourages those who need a bike worked on before a big race to get it in asap — we fill up fast prior to big events!
Our experiences and opinions after testing the newest triathlon products out there.
The performance apparel market is saturated with compression wear making it confusing for athletes to decide what items they should buy. In searching the web for information, every manufacturer’s site oozes with research studies showing that their products provide the best compression to decrease fatigue, improve performance and enhance the speed of recovery.
I have been fortunate enough to be able to try out several brands of “compression” tights for myself. Coming from a medical background, I don’t need to be sold on the advantages of compression stockings/socks and tights in performance and recovery. I truly believe that any compression is better than none. However, until I ran in the CW-X Stabilyx tights from Wacoal Sports Science, I have honestly not had a noticeable benefit from one tight to another. The take aways from trying all the brands usually had to do with the ease or difficulty in putting the tights on and their overall comfort. As far as the compression “factor” they all felt good and I liked having compression but were my legs really fresher and was I more efficient on the run? I couldn’t tell.
The CW-X Stabilyx tights are advertised as Stability Conditioning wear. Although the tight itself provides compression it has the added benefit of what they call the “kinesio-exoskeleton support web”. This conditioning web is strategically positioned to help stabilize the muscles and ligaments that support the knees, lower back, hips and quads. These panels of support mimic the placement of kineseo tape that a lot of athletes are using for the same supportive benefits of injury prevention and performance enhancement. Wacoal Sports Science, CW-X, is a company recently formed in the US, branching from the Wacoal Science Research Center in Kyoto, Japan. This research facility boasts of forty years of studying Kinesiology, the science of human movement. CW-X makes five different models of tights, each with a varying focuses of physical benefits. These tights range in price from $65 to $110. The CW-X website has a useful chart that will help guide you to which tight is the best for you. CW-X markets the Stabilyx tight as their best all-round stability tight.
My initial draw to the tight was the cool look. The compression parts of the tights are black but the kinesio webs come in different colors on different models. My second draw to the tight was that it was designed with a more specific purpose that just to provide “compression”. So, with these two things going for them, I was enticed to try the tights. The packaging actually comes with directions so that you can successfully align the support bands across the targeted ligament and muscle zones. Unlike some other brands, I found the tights very easy to put on. The support bands in the fabric crossed both below and above my knees and felt really good. On the upper thigh, the bands crossed around my quads and hamstrings and up to my lower back. The tight felt comfortably “tight”. So now that I knew they not only looked technically advanced but felt technically advanced, it was time to give them the true “road” test. Was I going to experience increased blood flow and decreased fatigue from the “gentle pressure” provided from the tights’ compression? Were my knees going to feel as if I had applied Kinesis tape in all the right places………?