Nike’s new Zonal Strength Tights are built to take you through the toughest of sessions

By Romeo Moran | Photos courtesy of Nike

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It takes a while to incorporate wearing tights and compression leggings into your workout fashion. Beginners will prefer to wear gym shorts over leggings—and there’s nothing wrong with that because they’re fresh and breezy but the more you get into fitness and challenge yourself, the more you’re going to go look for apparel that’ll help you out. The earlier you get on this bandwagon, the better you’ll perform.

Nike rolled out their new Zonal Strength Tights last month in a campaign led by musician and artist FKA twigs, highlighting what people across a diverse field can do in them. Check it out, it’s pretty cool.

Nike had us try out the new tights in a short but grueling Nike Training Club session at Primal Ape CrossFit in Makati. I’m a guy who prefers to work out in shorts more than anything, but I’ve also actually worked out in tights when I feel like it. Other leggings I’ve worn were really just there, tight for the sake of being tight but they didn’t provide true compression and strength. Maybe it’s because I haven’t really worn true compression gear—the kind that’s actually designed for professional performance—on my lower body, but the Zonal Strength Tights are a revelation.

The tights hug your legs in a way that’s really snug, a snug that could possibly end up being uncomfortable, but the material’s light enough to feel like a comfy second skin. I like to do things in a gym that require what I’m wearing to have enough flexibility for a full range of motion, and usually you get that from—surprise, surprise—gym shorts. You really do feel like you can do anything wearing them.

What compression seems to do for your muscles is to increase its ability to recover from your last set of work, letting you do more in your next. So you do actually perform better, one way or another. Where I experienced this the most was during the NTC workout’s finisher: a continuous set of agility drills, including baseline shuffles with burpees. I did better than I expected to do, considering the battery of exercises we’d just done for the past half-hour. Imagine what you could do in it in a full session.

The Nike Zonal Strength Training and Running Tights are available in all Nike stores for P5,795.