Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My knees love CW-X: A running tights review

Have you ever woken up, and been like, dang! how did my body get all twisted up like that while I was asleep? You wake up like some sort of yogi contortionist with your right arm bent backwards and around your back? Well I woke up like that this morning and BOY OH BOY is my right elbow/trapezius in a lot of pain!!! How on earth did I manage to sleep comfortably in such a non-human position???? Craziness.

Thanks everyone, for your kind comments about my new header! And thanks James, for taking the photo!

As you can see in the header, I am wearing a pair of CW-X compression tights. I mentioned before that it's one of my most favoritest running gear, and that I will do a more detailed review, but somehow life got in the way of that. So I would like to finally get around to writing a review, which will also be my first review! How exciting.

The tights I am wearing are called CW-X Stabilyx Tights. CW-X is made by Wacoal Sports Science Corp. Wacoal, as you know, is a Japanese company and also the world's largest manufacturer of intimate apparel. (I remember in Japan, Wacoal is like, Victoria's Secret and Hanes and Fruit of the Loom combined.) According to thier website, CW-X brand is the "world's first truly anatomically-engineered high performance sports apparel," and a study showed that, compared to regular tights, participants wearing CW-X tights showed a lower oxygen usage, indicating a lower energy expenditure, which all translates in to less fatigue.

Less fatigue=I can work out more intensly for a longer period of time= a faster/stronger Julia= PR!

CW-X tights uses a patented CW-X Support Web(TM) technology, which mimics kinesio taping techniques that a PT would use. This means it's basically a built-in support system for your muscles and joints. This support decreases muscle fatigue and focuses power, and the variable compression minimalizes lactic acid build up. The fabric is UBER sweat-whicking and will keep you nice and cool during your runs. CW-X products include tights, bras, and shirts.

As I mentioned, I own the Stabilyx full length tights. When I pinched a nerve in my lower back (completely un-related to running) I was in quite a good bit of discomfort for a while. But I still wanted to run! I asked my dad what he thought of CW-X pants, because he is really into marathons, triathlons, biking, Ironmans, and all that jazz himself. When he said that CW-X sponsored teams win all the races, I was sold. I contacted the company, and they told me that for my symptoms (Lower back, knee and ankle pain), I should go with the Stabilyx tights.
image source
They are VERY TIGHT and quite hard to put on; I have to sing that Chingy song in my head "I bet you had to jump up and down just to put em on, bet you had to wiggle it around just to put em on, bet you had to lay back on the bed just to zip em up..." haha you get the idea. Once the dance is over, they don't actually feel that tight. And I think they make me look Hard-Core, and yet, they look pretty streamlined, and I think they make me look fast! And as far as running tights go, this is pretty flattering, because the subtle grey/black ontrast and the stitching are all strategically placed to minimize the appearance of bulge. It even sucks your tummy in for a sleeker look.
But obviously, I didn't buy them for how sleek they make me look; I bought it for its function.
You probably want to know.... So, does it work?
My answer is an astounding YES! :)

The first time I wore them on a run, I was able to run faster and longer than before. Even when my knees are feeling a little tired/sore/wobbly, these pants keep them snugly locked in place, and I have no problems running. The tightness in the calves keep me fresh even when running uphill. I have been wearing these pants on all runs over 7 miles long so far, and my legs really don't get too fatigued. I mean, yes, of course, they feel tired and tight, that is to be expected. But I think these tights really help my muscles recover faster, and my knees from becoming too wobbly. And even though the material feels thick, it does a superb job of whicking away my sweat and keeping my dry. In fact, they do a much superior job than all my other dri-fit clothes. Once, I had a nasty fall while running. I landed on my knees and elbows and totally tore up the skin on my arms. But the thick CW-X fabric didn't even rip, and I did not lose any skin on my knees. I got pretty bruised up, but they could've been so much worse. I was so thankful for my CW-X!

Honestly, I wish I had more $$ to buy their shirts and more pants so I can rotate them around. Their shirts apparently come with back/shoulder support, which I imagine will feel really good on those 20 mile runs I've got coming up. Their bras look awesomely supportive too, but alas, I have no need for them, as my girlies could even potentially go bra-less. (tear rolls down my cheek....haha) They are kind of expensive, not gonna lie, but if you have any sort of knee pain, or just want to recover faster, I would definitely look into getting a pair of CW-X pants. They've got ones to keep you ventilated in the summer, insulated in the winter, shorts, capris, you name it. Go check it out!

Wow this review is getting long, and probably quite boring. Thanks for being good sports and for reading it anyways! :)

Today I have my 4X1200 at a sub 8 minute mile pace. I am going to stick to the tready for now till I get a better "feel" for what my pace is supposed be like. I want my body to kind of "learn" the pace. Wish me luck!

Happy Tuesday, and have a great one!


  1. I bought a pair of CSX tights at a running expo a couple of years ago. I met the sales rep and he sold me. I usually only wear them for COLD weather runs (something, from the looks of it that you don't have to deal with!), and like the support and warmth they provide. I also have one of their shirts, and it fits TIGHT. Not like a compression shirt -- tighter.Again, I wear it as a base layer in cold weather under another shirt.
    I had no idea they were so huge in Japan....

  2. I am going to have check them out. You should ask them to be a sales rep! Great review.

  3. great review!

    I'm definitely checking those nifty pants out!

  4. This review was def not boring! Thank you so much for it! I am going to check these out because they might be just the answer to my knee issues I have going on! You're the best! And you def look faster! ;)

  5. I've seen people where those but didn't know what they were! Great review! :)

  6. Hm. I am intrigued. I may have to check those bad boys out. You totally look hard core in them! LOL! (And excellent use of the word Dang. I am big fan of Dang.)

  7. Those definitely sound like a good investment. They look awesome, too!

  8. Those pants sound amazing. I think I need to invest in some... thanks for the review. :)

  9. Thanks for the comment on my blog! :) Those pants sound pretty sweet. They definitely make you look faaaaaaaast. :D

  10. I ALMOST bought a pair of these at the end of the winter season when they were on sale. The guy explained the concept behind them, but I was a little freaked out by the tightness and figured he was just trying to sell them ;). I might just look into these for the fall/winter :)

  11. that Chingy song?! haha, that cracked me up. Do you get hot in these?? that's the only thing I can think - those look HOTTT! but hey, if they work? awesome!!!

    good luck with the 1200s!

  12. Great review! You should get a discount or something from them. :D
    I didn't know Wacoal is a Japanese brand! I'm afraid of the tightness but will check them out.

  13. Hi! Just found your blog and thought it was a fascinating read. Your enthusiasm is contagious. Keep up the strong blogging and running!

  14. Love your blog!! I will have to tell my mom about those running pants. She is a big time runner but due to lower back and knee pain she has cut back on her running.

  15. I totally agree with you those tights are the bomb! Great for dicey IT and hamstrings too!
    And thanx for stopping by TMland!:)

  16. I have always noticed that I seem to run more efficiently and feel better in tights. I can't wait for the cooler weather so I can put them back on. I'm definitely checking the CW-X ones out! Thanks for the tip!

  17. I want those!!!! I need to check those out! SUPER cool!!!!!

  18. Lovely running tights! Will surely buy them along with Carbon38 mesh cut out leggings for my dance classes starting next month. Looked for various comfortable clothing online and found these at quite reasonable prices. Seeing some pants too and will order all the stuff in a day or so.



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