Ever have those days where you feel like you could run, and run, and run? Me too. And I’m a firm believer that those days are created in part through the right type of training and hard work, but also through your gear. Wearing these new running tights from Nike made it feel like I might have those days all the time.
These lightweight running tights wrapped my legs like a comfortable hug and kept me dry from start to finish, day after day. Plus, like just about everything Nike makes, these are definitely chic enough to wear all day—whether styled with your favorite sports bra or a denim jacket for an outdoor hangout. Here’s why they’re a winner in our 2020 SELF Certified Sports Bras, Leggings, and Shorts Awards.
How I Tested the Nike Epic Luxe Running Tights
I wore these leggings for several outdoor runs throughout the late summer and into the early fall. I ran with a jogging stroller (that SELF has previously reviewed right here) for several of those runs, so they were a bit slower paced than usual. When I was running alone—I really tried to sprint to put these leggings to the test.
I considered all of the expert-informed criteria that we use for buying the best workout leggings, including elements like fit, fabric quality, and any special features. At every step of the way, these leggings stood out.
As I’ve written about in my other reviews, I’m a new mom, which means my sizing has been a bit all over the place. I typically wear a size small in Nike, but as I continue to get back into the groove postpartum, I opted for these in a size medium.
The waistband on these is mid-rise—which was honestly a little lower than I typically like. The interior of the waistband has drawstrings for a more custom fit, and they definitely proved helpful for me (more on that below). Overall, these tights had just the right amount of compression on my thighs and calves, while sitting comfortably just above my hips—though definitely not high-waist.
The fabric on these leggings is a definite highlight. It’s lightweight and thin—but feels buttery and soft to the touch. These leggings are made with Nike Dri-FIT, which is a polyester material that’s designed to wick sweat and disperse moisture evenly on the garment so that it evaporates more quickly. Translation: These don’t stay wet for long.
One thing to note, Nike says that Dri-FIT is best utilized as a base layer, or the only item you wear. Like I mentioned, these leggings are vented at the calves, so they’re not intended as cold-weather tights. I do think they’re cooling enough to be worn as a nice alternative to shorts or if you’re running outside in 60-degree fall temps.
Like I said, I’m a bit between sizes these days as my body readjusts to whatever my new postpartum normal will be. Though these went on smoothly and felt secure when I put them on, once I started running, they slid down. Unfortunately, I was definitely tugging these up, and then using the drawstrings to pull them tighter while I ran. (Post-pregnancy life has its ups and downs, friends.)
All this is to say, take your normal size. I probably should have gone with a small (which is what I typically wear in Nike.)
These are a full-length tight, so they hit me right at my ankle bone. The back of the calves on these tights is perforated, and while that hit perfectly on the back of my calves, I could see how if you were a little shorter or taller, the positioning of those vents might be a little off.
These tights also have an unfinished hem at the ankles, which makes them extra stretchy, and therefore even easier to get on and off.
For a full-length tight—where you always expect to do some tugging and adjusting with—these went on really easily (though, also, that could be because they were slightly big on me). After my workout, they were easy to pull off.
Like I mentioned earlier, these are made of Nike Dri-FIT fabric, so the fabric actually wicks and dries sweat even faster than other polyesters—meaning there’s less sweat all around.
Having said that, I also tested these in black, which is typically a pretty good color at concealing sweat. With that in mind, they stayed the same color even when wet, and are totally opaque—definitely passing the squat test.
Here’s another area where these really shine. Even though they’re “just another pair of running tights,” they’ve got two side pockets at each thigh, plus a zippered pocket at the middle back, and an inside pocket at the front left hip. Whew!
The two side pockets on each thigh are actually wide and deep enough to fit your iPhone, as is the zippered pocket at the back—a total win win for someone like me who loves running with my phone and hates wearing a running belt. The mini pocket at the front is the perfect size to hold keys, rolled up cash, or an ID.
The Bottom Line
The Nike Epic Luxe Running Tights have already become my new go-tos for everyday runs and workouts. They’re perfectly compressive, almost silky to the touch, and have plenty of pockets to hold all my items so I can run with my hands free (or free to push a stroller). The only drawback is that they’re so lightweight, I won’t be able to wear them all year as temperatures drop—so I intend to get plenty of use out of them while I can.