You must have seen the NBA players in those really cool compression tights. Some people will believe it is just the trend, but did you know that these tights have substantial medical importance for athletes?
Compression pants increase the blood circulation for the intensely working muscles of the back, abdomen, thighs, and calf so that you remain warm and protected against muscle strains. If you are a fan of playing long basketball games, you can see that you definitely need a pair of compression pants.
Among so many athleisure brands selling compression pants for hefty prices, it is difficult to make a decision. This article brings you the 8 best compression pants for basketball to help you out.
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Nike Dry 3/4 Basketball Tights
(4.7 / 5)
Under Armour HeatGear Armour 2.0
(4.6 / 5)
Skins Men's Series-3 Compression Long Tights
Best Premium Choice
(4.9 / 5)
CW-X Men's Stabilyx Joint Support Compression Tights
Best Joint Support
(4.9 / 5)
2XU Men's Light Speed Compression Tights
Best Extra Compression
(4.9 / 5)
CompressionZ Compression Pants
(4.6 / 5)
McDavid 748X Teflx ¾ Length Tight Compression
Best Mid-Range Choice
(4.4 / 5)
TSLA Men's 3/4 Compression Pants
Best Budget Choice
(4.2 / 5)
Nike turned up a little late with basketball tights, but we are glad that it did! Loved and trusted for their durability, Nike Basketball tights feature unique DRI-FIT technology. This technology uses a unique combination of polyester fabric and spandex, specially designed to keep you cool and sweat-free.
The fabric actually uses a lightweight, microfiber construction with microscopic holes throughout. Nike Dry ¾ Basketball tights actually feel like an active air conditioning system on the body. The pants provide enough compression and are stretchy enough at the same time.
These ¾ basketball tights cover the legs down to the middle of the shin and leave the rest. This provides space for the basketball socks, and acts as another source of ventilation for the high-performance basketball legs! The lightweight, breathable fabric is equally durable too.
For extra durability, these Nike pants use different weaving in the friction zones such as the knees. Some people like to use these lightweight compression pants as the base layer, but you can also use them as a single layer. If you are a regular basketball player, Nike ¾ Basketball pants sound like one good investment.
- High-quality, durable fabric
- Great for basketball in summers and hot gyms
- Leave space for socks
- These pants do not provide padding
While Nike was busy making top-of-the-notch sports gear other than compression pants, Under Armour Under Armour was making some trend-changing compression pants for basketball players. These contain nylon and elastane in addition to polyester, which means you can expect easy movability.
The fabric is somewhat more tightly woven than the Nike compression tights. Despite this, these pants are the toughest competitor of the Nike pants right now for wicking away sweat, drying out quickly, and providing perfect UA compression.
The antimicrobial fiber keeps odor away, and the compression effect prevents muscle stiffness while you play for hours. The gussets in the high-friction areas and the inseam panels reduce stress and sweat buildup and provide ventilation and durability.
What we loved about these Under Armour Compression Pants is that they provide value for your money. They are not expensive, yet are high-quality, stretchable, breathable, and feature an awesome anti-odor technology.
- Keep you cool and dry
- UA compression provides sufficient blood circulation
- Strategic ventilation and durability
- Lacks the microscopic holes found in the Nike pants
Skins Compression Tights are the premium pair of compression pants that feel great on your body and make you go out for a never-ending game of basketball. These pants are known for providing fast recovery after a workout as if you had never moved a muscle.
The compression effect is so uniform and steady that the muscles stay in place, and this results in considerably reduced fatigue. Whether it is too hot or too cold, you will feel the same way thanks to the temperature regulation that keeps you temperate in all climates.
The premium compression effects come from gradient compression which provides more circulation to the active muscle groups and increases performance. The fabric is a high-quality one that dries out the sweat within seconds and thus prevents the buildup of odor and germs.
The drawstring fitting and the 50+ UV protection are just some additional pros!
- Premium compression tights perfect for long, intense basketball
- Drawstring fitting feels like a second skin on the body
- Temperature regulation in all kinds of weather
- A bit pricey for low-intensity workouts
CW-X Men’s Compression Tights have been designed to provide major support to the knee and hip areas. These tights also have a panel for abdominal support. Together these keep the intensely working muscle groups in place and reduce their vibrations.
These tights can be easily washed in a washing machine, which is a relief. The support areas feature various color schemes so that you look cool enough when you wear them outdoors. The reflective stampings provide visibility in low light and also add to the aesthetics.
UPF 50+ protection allows you to play freely for hours under the sun. Another feature of these CW-X pants which we loved is the graduated compression. The pants offer variable compression to facilitate the muscles that are more involved during exercise. This provides three major benefits: faster warm-up, better endurance, and faster recovery post-workout.
On the whole, this pair of compression pants are a complete package given its support web areas, flashy stampings, sufficient compression, and durability of the fabric.
- Durable, high-quality fabric
- Major support areas for the knees and hips
- Graduated compression accentuates the benefits of compression
- The supporting webs may be a little too much for some people
The best feature of the 2XU Light Speed Compression Tights is that these focus compression on the quadriceps and the calf muscles, called muscle containment stamping (MCS). These stampings provide extra protection because these muscle groups are more prone to developing fatigue and strain after an intensive basketball game.
The fabric uses 72% nylon and 28% Lycra, a highly elastic synthetic fiber. The fabric is strong, powerful, and lightweight, all at the same time to provide a 360-degree stretch and sufficient durability. It also keeps the skin cool and dry no matter how hot it is outside.
These tights also come with pockets for storage in the waistband. You can easily carry your phone, credit card, keys, gels, etc. without any obstruction while running or playing.
They also feature a drawstring for better fitting, which also solves the age-old size ambiguities with compression tights. The gold stamps on the tights are reflective to facilitate vision in dim light, but you can also choose silver and pink stampings.
2XU Light Speed Compression Tights are a fantastic choice for youth basketball players as they are available in X-Small size.
- Muscle Containment Stamping provides extra compression
- Pockets in the waistband for storage
- Lightweight and durable construction
- Available in black color only, for both men and women
CompressionZ Compression Pants are known for the value for money that they provide. These basketball leggings come with an attractive price but offer compression and temperature regulating benefits comparable to the best of the best.
The fabric is 85% nylon and 15% spandex so you can expect a lightweight, thin, and soft fabric with sufficient elasticity. The compression is quite dependable, as it provides sufficient blood circulation to prevent fatigue. The recovery time after an intense basketball is also comparable to that offered by the most premium quality compression pants.
The pants keep your body cool when it is hot, and warm when it is cold. Warm muscles are also protected against injuries such as strains. You may have to make an effort to fit in and out of these pants in the beginning due to the awesome compression effect but after wearing them a few times, the pants will fit just fine with your body.
Almost all colors are fine to wear them as a single layer, however, you may need another layer with the white compression pants as they are a bit more transparent.
- Great value for money
- Suitable for people with vein problems
- Great elasticity and fitting
- The white colored pants are see-through
If you are looking for compression tights that also protect you against abrasions, scuffs, and skids, McDavid Teflx Compression Tights are a great option. These compression tights feature paddings strategically placed on the high-risk parts of the legs such as the knees.
The foam paddings are covered with moisture-wicking, lightweight fabric to protect against sweat and heat buildup and contact injuries. The pants also provide dependable compression benefits by holding and compressing the working muscle groups.
The pants also use a thin anti-microbial liner so that the pants do not stink in your basketball bag. These are also available in two colors: black and white. White compression pants are great for daytime basketball games in the summer to prevent excessive heat buildup.
McDavid Teflx ¾ Compression Pants are usually the priority choice of those looking for knee padding for extra compression and abrasion protection, however, some people find the paddings uncomfortable and obstructive.
The paddings also provide extra durability as they protect the pants against friction tears.
- Paddings provide extra protection, compression, and durability
- Moisture-wicking fabric facilitates games on a hot day
- These pants are protected against the stinking sweat buildup
- The knee paddings may be uncomfortable
If you are looking for budget options, TSLA Men’s ¾ compression pants could be a good choice. These pants have been designed to suit almost every weather, but they perform especially well on hot days. The quick drying and moisture-wicking abilities make them quite appropriate for workouts and basketball games in summers.
The fabric constitutes 87% polyester and spandex and 13% elastane. You can expect a maximum range of motion and a level of comfort that feels like the second skin, given the elasticity. The fabric is lightweight and abrasion-resistant.
These compression pants are durable, but the compression is not ideal, since the fabric is a bit thinner. For a heavy basketball session, you may not fall in love with these pants but for those who are occasional basketball athletes, these compression pants can provide a perfect mix of durability and sufficient cooling effect in the outdoors.
- Suitable for occasional basketball players and athletes
- Comfortable for using as base layer compression pants
- Lightweight fabric that dries quickly
- Compression is not ideal
Choosing The Best Compression Pants for Basketball – Our Buying Guide
Level of Compression
The whole point of compression pants is putting the working muscles of the legs in place. These tights keep the vibrations of the moving muscles in check which reduces fatigue and speeds up recovery post-workout.
Good brands such as Nike and Under Armour use advanced technology to offer sufficient compression for their medical benefits. At the same time, the tights feel comfortable on the skin, which is very important while playing.
Size and Fitting
Your basketball leggings should fit you perfectly well to provide a sufficient compression effect. At the same time, they should be comfortable without interfering with the blood flow.
Compression pants with drawstrings fit better, but you should still consult the size chart before buying. Sizes also differ slightly from brand to brand, so you should keep that in mind too.
3/4 vs Full Length
While NBA players are rocking every look with full-length and 3/4 compression pants, you need to decide for yourself. Full-length ones are preferable for those looking for a premium compression effect for long hours of basketball. 3/4 length compression pants spare the ankles, which provides ventilation, comfort, and space for wearing socks.
3/4 length ones are also preferable for the looks as they just look cooler and more fashionable. These are more popular than the full-length ones as the compression on the ankle is not needed that much anyway.
Material and thickness
Compression pants are mostly made of polyester, spandex, and elastane. Elastane or spandex provides elasticity for comfortable fitting and the polyester and nylon make the fabric thin and breathable. But even with the same combination, the ratio might differ and hence the thickness of the fabric.
Some compression pants are made to make you feel cool in summer, and they fit like a second skin. Others are made to keep you warm in cold climates. You should always check the material of the pants for its thickness and weather suitability.
A pair of compression pants are an investment. You should think well before making this decision. A reputable athleisure clothing brand is the way to go. Also, you should know your priorities, such as whether you need compression tights for hot weather or cold weather, or if you need paddings or not.
Compression tights with paddings are more durable. They do not tear apart on high-friction areas such as the knees.
Best Compression Pants for Basketball – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What kind of compression pants do the NBA players wear?
It is believed that NBA players started wearing compression pants after it became a hot trend. Mostly, the players are wearing ¾ length pants as they look cooler.
Why do the Basketball players wear compression pants?
Compression pants keep the muscles warm and protect against strains and injuries. A strain can cause a player to miss several matches, so this is the main reason why they wear them.
Who started basketball tights?
Compression tights have become a fashion now for NBA players, but the first person who wore these pants and advocated for their health benefits was Jerry Stackhouse.
Are compression tights suitable for basketball?
Compression pants are great for basketball as they prevent muscle strains and injuries by maintaining a steady, warm temperature. Also, by improving blood circulation, compression tights prevent fatigue so that you can comfortably play basketball for long hours.
Investing in a pair of compression pants goes a long way. You can step up your basketball game a great deal with good compression pants, and these are very beneficial for those with vein problems. If you are looking for the best compression pants for basketball to look cool and reduce post-workout fatigue, the above list should definitely help you choose.