There's something magical about finding a pair of workout tights that hug your body in all the right places. And I'm not talking about the booty-accentuating, peach-emoji way. I'm talking about that slightly-sucked-in-but-still-stretchy, super-supportive feeling that is ideal—whether you're about to tackle shuttle runs, stretch through a standing split, or crush through a set of burpees (or, okay, lie on the couch). (Related: Why Leggings Are the Best Thing Ever Invented)
So often, I'll find myself a tight that almost accomplishes that Goldilocks sensation. But it'll be too tight at the waist. Or it'll cut off circulation behind my knees. (Is it not the worst when you're trying to get that kind of legging on or off?) So when I heard that Lululemon wanted to create one that makes you feel supported and free to move, I was intrigued. To be honest, I haven't been convinced up to this point that both sensations could co-exist effortlessly in a workout bottom.
Called the "Zoned In" tight, it's an entirely new offering for the brand. And it sticks true to every claim they throw out there. Made with added Lycra for stretch, they're soft at the knee and waist while giving me the support I seriously need for logging lots of marathon-prep miles. (With the help of all this other long-run gear, of course.)
I have to admit, though, I was a little hesitant when I first tried them on. Compared to my other go-to pair of Lululemon tights, this pair was more snug (I decided to size up) and made with a thicker material. Considering I was wear-testing them at the tail-end of summer, I was definitely nervous I'd get too hot, too fast.
Not. At. All. A lighter mesh near the knees allows for increased airflow, keeping me cool both on the treadmill inside the gym or outside for breezier runs. And you know how sometimes tights get a tad looser as you wear them? Not with this pair.
When I asked one of the engineers at Lululemon's research and development lab (called Whitespace) about how this works, he said it has a lot to do with their new SenseKnit technology: "This new silhouette offers the tight sensation through a fully engineered fabric that has specific areas of support, compression, and breathability knitted in," says Tom Waller, senior vice president of Whitespace. "This means you'll feel additional mobility around your joints, specifically the hip and knees, and higher support around muscle groups like the glutes, calves, and thighs." (FYI, Lululemon recently released an innovative everyday bra you'll be obsessed with too.)
Support: check. Feels like a hug for tired legs: double check. Pair this secure, cozy sensation with a smooth, flat waistband and secure back pocket to store all my keys and energy gel—and I'm a happy camper. When I went straight from gym to a morning coffee meeting, I was surprised at how not-so-gross I felt post-workout in the real world.
This could be a pair of tights I have trouble taking off—and not because they're too tight.
Lululemon "Zoned In" Tight, comes in sizes 2 to 12 ($148; lululemon.com)