Not all compression/running tights are created equal

One of the silver linings of winter for me is that it means that running tights and cycling winter bibs getting dusted off and worn.

As I wrote in last weeks post I have been spending a lot of time in mine around the house and also doing laps of the local park in them as well. There has also been a varied range on show in the local park depending on the time of day and how many minus points there are on the thermometer. I’ve seen a lot of interesting sights out there and lets just say not all compression/running tights are not the same.

Within my friends groups Max is the only guy that I know of or at least have seen that has running tights although they look like a pretty vintage pair and he always wears them over a pair of boxer shorts and under sports shorts. The rest of the cycling guys have long winter cycling bibs which with the exception of Mike they wear with nothing underneath which creates a great uninterrupted silhouette of their legs right up to their waist and especially when on the bike the riding position definitely accentuates the lines as the Lycra stretches across their bodies.

I personally generally tights under my snowboard pants on ski trips and then also during winter instead of shorts so I have some tights in my collection that are only worn under my snow board pants and then there are the ones that get worn on the ski trips but then also just by themself. The reason for this different use is the way that they constructed across the butt and groin area.

Some of the compression and normal tights either have a Y-Front or boxer style pouch or they change to a lighter mesh type Lycra for the pouch and through the legs over the butt to the back waist band. The reason why I will only wear these under something is that while my legs look great and supported, it looks like I’m just working out in a pair of long pants (underwear) and would create unsightly sag in certain places as I move in them.

The tights that I will wear out on their own are tights that have the same fabric in legs and it continues into the pouch and beyond. Even when we are talking compression tights the good brands might change to material (that doesn’t have the same compression properties) around the pouch so that it doesn’t feel like your crown jewels are being suffocated, but you also can’t tell the difference in the quality or look of the material to that used everywhere else.

The other thing I also look at is the design and cut of the tights. For the tights that will only be worn under ski/snowboard gear they are cut like long johns or thermal underwear. The tights that I will wear just by themself are multi paneled and cut so that whether I’m running or stretching I know I’m no going to have any unsightly sagging and the Lycra is going to be dynamic and form that second skin look and feel in every part of my body that is in contact with the material.

Unfortunately we can’t talk tights without talking about Visible Penis Line (VPL) and Visible Undie Line (VUL). Personally for me whether we are taking about cycling bibs or tights I don’t wear any underwear under them and that is for two reasons. Firstly, they bunch up and it’s and extra barrier that stops the tights from doing their job and forming that second skin against your body. Secondly it is the look, it depends on the tightness of the underwear, but you either get the look of having elastic (rubber) bands around your legs / butt or in the worst situation with looser underwear it looks like you have a man diaper on. It’s not a good look when you have a VUL and it reminds me of when you see a lady return from the powder room and she looks pretty fine as she approaches but as she turns and walks away you see a few sheets of toilet paper trailing out of the waist band of her skirt.

VPL is an issue that is talked about a lot and whilst it’s an issue that is always talked about with tights, guys can have VPL in suit trousers, Speedos, Jeans, running shorts, track pants and really anything that covers your groin, it all depends on the cut and tightness of the fit. Unfortunately however, it is the go to argument for men not wearing tights.

I personally don’t worry about that any more because at the end of the day it’s just another part of my body and if someone really takes offense at seeing the outline of that part of me then it says a lot more about their own body issues than my body parts.

So with that all said I have been seeing an advert for Matador Meggings come up on my Instagram and Facebook feed for the last couple of months and one of their selling points is that their tights have a Soft crotch cup which conceals your VPL and if you’re a brave soul you can take it out to bare it all.

This brought me back to the question that I always ask myself when I see a guy wearing tights with gym shorts over the top or track pants, is the fear of people being able to see the outline of their crown jewels the main reason why a guy would never wear just a pair of tights.

For the last couple of months when ever I have seen the ad I’ve just thought good on you guys for addressing the issue and this is going to be for the cause of getting more men in tights and able to leave their gym shorts in the draw until the weather warms up.

The other week the ad came up again and this time it had a big discount across the store so I thought I don’t have an issue with VPL so I’m not sure I’m their target market but, at this price it would be great to try a pair and I can always use another good pair of tights. I therefore proceeded to get out of bed grab my credit card and a pair of the Black tights and one of the Skank Tanks.


So whilst I decided on the Black/Black tights if they weren’t sold out I probably would have also purchased the Ocean and the Red/Black tights as well. and beyond these two I would love to have tried the Marble tights.

The parcel arrived this week and it was quite a busy week so it wasn’t until yesterday that I was able to open the parcel (video of that is saved in highlights section in my Instagram Profile page)

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One comment

  1. I don’t tend to worry about a VPL, and definitely enjoy wearing running tights and bib tights. When cycling I definitely don’t wear any underwear in my bibshorts/bib tights. However in my running tights I usually wear a jock as I love the lines you can see of the jock and also I know that my junk will be taken care of, and love pulling my tights off in the gym changing room to reveal me wearing a jock!


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