CW-X is known in the industry for having some of the best compression clothing on the market. I had always heard great things about their products, but held off on purchasing them due to the high price. There are many styles of CW-X compression clothing to choose from and I would recommend reading the description to make sure the support and compression is in the desired location. CW-X has it’s own patented Support Web that bands muscles and ligaments together to stabilize the knees and surround muscles. CW-X targeted variable compression facilitates circulation during and after activity, minimizing lactic acid build-up so that you can be active longer and recover faster. I finally decided to get the CW-X compression shorts as my first article of clothing to determine if their claims are supported. The shorts definitely do compress, but do so in all the right places. When looking at the shorts, you can clearly see where the extra support is and it follows the anatomy of the body.
Even though I have CW-X shorts, I have never used them in a long race. I see many runners that do, but it is more a superstition thing than anything. During the summer my left hamstring was acting up. I decided to wear the CWX on a longer run and I must say I was impressed. The same run that I had problems with the week before seemed much easier and my hamstring didn’t bother me as much. The following week I tried my normal shorts and back to the same uncomfortable feeling. This made me rely on the compression tights more in order to help overcome my injury.
One thing I am not sure of is if you wear the compression shorts as well as compression socks or sleeves on your lower limbs, does the blood just pool in your knees and cause issues? For me, I didn’t try to figure out the answer. If I was wearing my compression shorts, I didn’t wear the compression socks or sleeves. I think the answer is below in trying Capri or full length compression tights.
The next item of CWX clothing I purchased was a long pair of compression tights: CW-X Expert Tights. I didn’t go with the winter style, but instead opted for the lighter that would be good as a base layer or during early spring / fall runs. With the pants, one thing that is very important is to get the right size. You need to make sure the diamond pattern lines up correctly around your knees so that all the support is in the right places. Once again, the claims of the manufacture are the same for the longer tights as they are for the shorts. The tights claim to keep help stabilize the knee and surrounding muscles, thus not having to worry about compression socks. This is where the product differs from the shorts as the shorts stop just above the knee.
With both products, if you are a male you won’t leave much to the imagination, but the same can be said for all tights. If you are a female, there is nothing to hide and guys will love to admire. If you are the shy type, you may want to put on a pair of shorts overtop. I am not sure this is the best fashion statement, but the choice is yours.
My wife, on the other hand, has a pair of CW-X Pro tights that she uses for recovery only. She claims that she does not like the compression or restriction during her runs. She also complains that although the legs are nice and tight, the waist slips and slides down during running. Ie. The crotch of the pants is far too big. To each his own!
In conclusion, I think the CWX products are great, but they may not be for everyone. They are fairly expensive but worth the money. You can always wait until a sale comes on if you are afraid to spend your hard earned cash yet are unsure if you will like the product. It is a good idea to read reviews or the manufactures write ups prior to making a decision. The Running Free website has a great chart which will tell you how good each CW-X product targets specific muscles. You can usually find this at the bottom of the page on each CW-X product description.