The 2XU MCS Run Compression Tights use the latest in compression wear tech to reduce fatigue and increase performance.

2XU’s vast experience of technical fabrics and compression expertise come together in the Australian brand’s MCS Run Compression Tights W/ Back Storage. But does the combination of comfort, endurance-enhancing compression and the addition of space for running essentials mean they should hit the top of your wishlist?

If you’re looking to maximise performance when running in cooler temperatures, 2XU’s compression technology could help you run stronger for longer by reducing the effect of foot impacts rippling up through your body. Every time your foot hits the ground, it does so with a force that’s around three times your body weight – even more for heel strikers. This sends a shockwave up the legs that radiates through the muscles.

When you consider that we’re usually battering each leg like this about 90 times per minute while running, it’s easy to see how mitigating this could reduce fatigue and soreness to have a positive impact on performance.

2XU MCS Run Compression Tights - Quads
The Muscle Containment Stamping hugs the legs to reduce oscillation and fatigue from impact forces. (Photo: Triathlon Vibe)

2XU’s secret weapon here is a combination of the brand’s PWX compression fabric and its MCS tech. The tried-and-tested PWX fabric provides graduated compression that’s designed to promote good circulation. 2XU says this helps increase the efficiency of warm-ups – a factor we’ll gladly take during frosty winter runs. The fabric also has the faster-recovery properties associated with compression wear, making the tights a dual-purpose option.

Where these tights differ from the competition is in 2XU’s exclusive Muscle Containment Stamping. This is a web-like system of silicone on the inside of the fabric that wraps over key muscle, tendon and fascia groups including the quads and the calves. This grippy muscle mapping is designed to further reduce muscle oscillation, fatigue and damage compared to compression material alone.

As with all 2XU’s gear, there are plenty thoughtful design touches – from the simple delights of a waistband that doesn’t dig-in to the reflective logos and the three rear pockets. Of these, one is a handy zipped valuables stash, then there’s also a small open-topped gel pocket and finally, a larger, central compartment with a headphone port that’s big enough to hold a more compact smartphone.

Running in the MCS Run Compression Tights

You can feel the quality of 2XU’s PWX fabric from the moment you pull the tights on. It’s light and smooth but feels strong rather than thin and delicate. Once they’re on, the snug compressive fabric cossets the muscles in a reassuring hug.

The Muscle Containment Stamping feels a little strange at first as it wraps quite securely around the quads and calves. Once running, however, we completely forgot the extra structure was there. That just leaves a sense of exceptional support that translates into a feeling of solid, stable power.

It’s a really positive sensation from the first few steps, with the biggest difference being felt across the thighs. Without the quads juddering on every foot strike, we found ourselves better able to make small tweaks to form – from foot placement to stride length – and could also engage the glutes more easily.

All this support becomes even more confidence-inspiring as the kilometres tick by. For any runs longer than an hour, our legs felt fresher compared to wearing regular shorts but going beyond 90 minutes and the reduction in fatigue became even more noticeable.

Unlike some compression gear, the tights also breathe really well – adding to the overall comfort when you’re running for long periods and in changeable conditions.

There was also a marked difference in performance for shorter, high-intensity sessions where running hard puts more strain on the body. This was felt most after the workouts, with less muscle soreness than we would usually expect.

By extension, the tights are also really useful for recovery purposes. We’ve worn them around the house, under jeans, even doing yoga and they remained totally comfy. Meanwhile, sleeping in them really seems to speed up recovery ready for the next session.

All this means that the MCS Run Compression Tights really do live up to their billing by making a difference in both the performance and recovery stakes. After months of running, they still look and feel like new and the practical pockets have made them our go-to choice, especially on those runs that need just a bit of nutrition and some great triathlon podcasts to keep you going.

The fatigue reduction provided by the 2XU MCS Run Compression Tights alone is impressive enough to recommend them but adding in the comfort, recovery and exercise use, plus the practicality of the pockets makes them an ideal choice if you want performance-enhancing, do-it-all compression wear.

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Triathlon Vibe is the home of triathlon training advice for beginner to expert triathletes. From sprint to Ironman, we share how to swim, bike and run stronger and faster.

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