2012: 2XU Elite Comp Leggings REVIEW

Photo: Chainreaction cycles

2XU – Two Times You. IE You but better. Great name, once you figure it out.

OK, I’ve copied some of the standard blurb about these tights at the end of this review so you can skip to that straight away if you want to read what the manufacturer/distributor says. Or you can read on and hear what I have to say after 2 months of using these babies. I’ll start off a bit flippantly before getting a bit more serious!

Firstly they look quite good. They probably make you look a bit thinner and more muscular. There are 2 materials used so they look different to the standard 2XU leggings. Probably a bit better IMHO and, more to the point, everyone that has 2XU leggings will know that you’ve dished out the extra dirt for the £100+ pair. So they may either be seriously impressed that you are ‘elite’ or laugh at the foolishness of spending £100 plus on a pair of leggings which, let’s face it should be about £20.

Apparently the new leggings have a better silver transfer that fastens the branding to the black stocking and so this should not come off like the previous versions. As I say I’ve had mine for 2 months and used them a lot and I would say that the branding seems pretty much stuck where it should be. All good stuff so far.

Do they feel different to the previous versions? Well yes they do a bit to be fair. They do feel a little more snug. But will that snugness and to my SMUGness and make me go faster. More faster than with the previous ones? Probably not.

There are several stated benefits that these products supposedly offer. If you look at Joe Friel‘s blog he’s pretty sceptical about performance benefits but I think the jury is ‘still out’ on this one.

So why did I spend £100+ and why do I wear them? Does my wife just like Lycra? Well no she doesn’t but I think she pretends to. I’ve even worn them to bed twice, purely for medicinal purposes you understand!

Claimed Benefit: Increase blood flow etc etc. Yeah, I’ll go with that. I do some pretty intense, pretty frequent training and I use these primarily to help recovery. On the occasions when I don’t wear them I WOULD say that recovery is not quite as good. And you know what it’s like doing 3 or more consecutive days of training; if you can recover as much as possible before the next day then it makes the next session that little bit ‘easier’ (I use that word lightly!).

My Extra benefit: My house is a bit chilly. As underleggings they keep you warmer! Maybe that reduces the chances of an accidental muscle pull? hmmm? I’m warmer who cares. (Actually I have Raynaud’s syndrome which exhibits poor circulation so this is an important benefit to some people). Maybe also on a cold winter’s day parkrun they might stave off a mid-race muscle pull. Maybe.

Claimed benefit: Muscle wobble and damage reduction. They stop your big chunky bike-thighs wobbling around when you run. Yeah again. I’d go with that. Redcued wobbling must equal less wasted effort and less wasted damage. It just seems and feels obvious that you are better held in place. Whether that really translates to faster times (because of reduced energy wastage) I don’t know, probably not.

My extra dis-benefit: You need to wear some sort of undergarment with these. Apart from being a bit obscene the perineal are (and related areas in the immediate vicinity!) of your body runs and chaffs against a seam in the leggings. That causes a bit MORE bodily wear and tear in that area so some form of pants a re a MUST for a long run. By long I mean a one hour faster than tempo/faster-than-tempo type run.

Claimed benefit: Make you more aware of your body posture. Again I would say that is true. Although the performance (speed or recovery) benefit from this is dubious or small.

My benefit:  I originally got this type of product because I got EAMC – cramps – and only ever in races. The first race I wore them I didn’t get cramp. The second I did get cramp but very minor. I don’t really get EAMC now. Probably stretching and practising helps reduce EAMC better than anything else. So these may have reduced my cramp occurance in a race. So what? Well that used to cost me up to 2 minutes! and that’s a lot over a 2 hour duathlon and could make the difference between qualifying for an AG comp or not. So a £100 insurance policy or risk reduction policy I think is a good reason to buy these. What if??? they certainly can’t hurt and if they help you avoid throwing away months of wasted training (because you cramp) then they’re worth it I reckon. But a good bit of PROPER brick training and stretching will probably help more in reality.

DVT: They probably stop this as well but you can get much cheaper ones to do this job.

Shin splints: I don’t think they will help shin splits. Buy a decent pair of shoes, moderate your training, get some massage and recover (RICE) for this. But again they can only hurt your pocket and not your shin splints.

So here’s my summary:

1. Make you faster: Probably not.

2. Make you recover quicker: Probably

3. Reduce EAMC risk: Maybe

4. Keep you warmer: Definately.

———-Here’s The Blurb——————

Tights: Through a graduated fit over the entire length of the leg, circulation is increased and muscles contained.

Building on 2XU’s market leading compression tight, 2XU’s elite tights are for the athlete who wants even more. Combining a new generation 70 denier fabric with our existing high power 50 denier fabric, 2XU elite compression tights offer superior compression to enable greater muscle stability and injury prevention. The new generation 70 denier fabric, with 15% more support and 25% more power than the 50 denier fabric, has been designed to support the calves and hamstring muscles – areas which are particularly prone to fatigue, injury and muscle soreness.


• 2XU Circular Knit Construction: 2XU Compression garments are the only multi-purpose compression garments are constructed using a circular high gauge knit structure. This structure delivers an evenly distributed 360 degree stretch compression not achievable in garments with a traditional tricot knit.
• 2XU Anti Bacterial: Embedded with an antibacterial, odour resistant application, 2XU Compression can help minimise odour and prevent bacterial growth.
• 2XU High Denier Compression Fabric: Building on 2XU’s market leading 50 Denier compression fabric comes a new generation 70 denier fabric- engineered for athletes demanding even more. 2XU’s 70 denier fabric boasts 15% more support and 25% more power than the 50 Denier fabric, and is designed to support areas of the body particular prone to fatigue, injury and muscle soreness.
• Durability: 2XU Compression delivers long life performance through the use of invista Lycra. Vitally important to achieve a high level of elasticity and maintain compressive properties over the life of the garment, invista Lycra enhances durability enabling 2XU Compression to outperform its rivals by a massive 40%.
• 2XU DVT: Deep vein Thrombosis is a condition that mainly affects the lower body and is associated with long periods of travel or inactivity. 2XU Compression garments enhance blood flow in these areas through enhanced venous return, reducing the risk of DVT.
• 2XU Sun Protection: Through heightened circulation, 2XU Compression regulates body temperature to ensure optimal comfort in both hot and cold conditions. Drawing on the body’s natural cooling and heating mechanisms, 2XU Compression is engineered to enhance performance regardless of climate.

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