Couch to 5K
59,978 members92,603 posts

Anyone dared to wear Skins compression stuff?

Hi All.

So far I have been running in an old pair of swimming shorts and crappy old decorating T-Shirt, so thought I may try to improve my running wardrobe with a few new items, particularly with winter fast approaching.

While in the local Sweatshop yesterday, the very helpful lady was massively singing the praises of the Skins range of clothing.

Now, for those who don't know, this stuff is tight and I mean SERIOUSLY TIGHT, so all of you bits and bobs/lumps and bumps are going to be on show whether you like it or not. Despite my strongly expressed reservations and initial thoughts that this stuff must be aimed at the uber-fit 20 something gym-bunnies, the lady assured me that it was brilliant stuff and those who are more self conscious may just chose to wear a baggy pair of shorts to cover the parts that you may not want the neighbours (et al) seeing.

Now I am a 40 something YO bloke, not hugely overweight but not 'skinny' either, so if this stuff is what it says it is then I would seriously think about splashing some cash and scaring the neighbours/public by giving it a try.

Does anyone have any of their gear and if so, is it all it is cracked up to be?

Or is it all just expensive marketing BS?

I am not sure if it makes any difference, but I am principally looking for something to wear over the colder months while out running approx 5k's outside.

I am assured this stuff is great for both warm and cold weather(?!?) so it may cover all seasons?


30 Replies

If I thought it would make the run easier I would smear myself in beef dripping and call myself slippy. Can't offer advice on Skins though.

We get so many cyclists hereabouts in varying states of fitness and lycra I don't think anyone notices any more (unless it's Cav or Wiggins or that other bloke).

Runners around here seem to favour the understated baggy-ish shorts and yours truly dredged some ancient Ron Hills (affectionately known as Brunhildas) from the back of the drawer but they don't go very fast ;)


"If I thought it would make the run easier I would smear myself in beef dripping and call myself slippy. "

That has made me smile. I'd have to run faster to get away from all the hungry dogs on the route I take :-)


Hi Maysie, cant say Ive heard of these myself , but our forum favourite " Sports Direct " has got some brilliant stuff in for Autumn/ Winter. I got a long sleeved Karrimor wicking top with finger holes in and hi vis stripes on it, plus holes for phone leads etc. Cant remember how much it was but it wasn't very expensive at all. Might be worth a look ? xxx


I'm with Poppypug on this one. Might be something to do with living in Yorkshire, but the pragmatic part of me asks exactly how much nicer/drier/faster premium priced MMFs will actually make me feel and go. My only exceptions to this are that I buy good running shoes and "proper" socks. I'm otherwise just a blur of sales rack bargains!

I've also got the same Karrimor top she mentions - I got it for £14 on said racks and it is a good bit of kit. Aren't they all made in the same far eastern factories anyway, with a "Labels Department" right at the end of the manufacturing process? ;-)


Haven't used them myself but the compression gear is supposed to be very good. Some of the more serious folk on here use it. Think it helps with recovery. However, like Poppy, I 've just been on Sweatshop/sports Direct sites (I know, same company but there are some different deals to be had). Just bought Autumn/winter stuff and saved a fortune - but didn't get any compression gear. I'll stick with 'normal' I.e. cheaper gear while I can get it.

Have a look round Amazon, eBay, Aldi, Lidl; all do the gear (although the last two can be a bit hit and miss as to what they have) and prices vary - a lot!

1 like

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Skins A400's. These tights are THE most worn item in my running closet. In fact, I rarely (really rarely and very short runs only) wear anything else. Oops, I mean as in running tights. My Nikes, Karimor, Addidas just don't get a look in.

I checked on the Skins' Website to see what size to order, then ordered them on Amazon. When they first arrived, I considered sending them back as they were so tight, but I got them on and checked myself out in the mirror and was really surprised at how great they looked. I am not skinny, nor overweight. I am probably at the higher end of my ideal weight for height ratio, but I think I look perhaps a size smaller. Having said that, once on, they hold everything together without feeling restrictive or tight. They are incredibly light too.

The other thing I love about them is when I am running in them (errrr, which is every time I run), I don't think about adjusting them at all. In fact, I don't think about them. They sit really comfortably. They don't move around. They fit perfectly.

I wash them on a 800 spin for 30 mins after every run, which I know probably isn't necessary, but I love the smell of freshly washed clothes, and they have held their shape as new. I have had them since March of this year and wear them about 3 x a week, every week bar a few weeks out for injury.

It is true they are for the "serious" runners and although I may only be in training for my HM next year, having done a 10k this year, I am still a serious runner. I intend to progress and to do so, I feel I need to invest in decent trainers to help me meet my goals and improve my gait and compression wear which helps my recovery (I think so) and I definitely can run longer, easier wearing them.

They aren't cheap, it has to be said, but for me, these are one of the best investments I have made in the running closet department. Would I buy them again? Without a shadow of a doubt.

1 like

Thank you all for the tips and opinions.

I wouldn't yet class myself as a 'serious' runner, by any means, but some of the standard shorts and shirts I have been looking at seem to be nearly as expensive as the Skins gear if it is on sale and there is a load of the Skins stuff on sale at the moment at Sweatshop online, so I have decided to try a pair of their shorts and a shirt and see what I think.

If it isn't too scary and there are no complaints from the neighbours, then I may invest is some other stuff too.

Will see how it goes....


I just checked Sweatshop's website to see their prices on Skins and I definitely got mine cheaper than they are in the sale on Sweatshop. I do suggest you shop around. Mine were about £15 cheaper!


Thank you. I have just checked on Amazon and you are spot on.

I will shop around!!


I managed to get some compression capris and long sleeved top in Aldi last year and they were great as an additional layer under normal technical running gear on the coldest days. They keep your muscles warm and supported and sort of hold everything together somehow.


Yes I have the skins A400 capris (am female tho) so not sure if this one is for men. Cost £65.00 - they are so comfortable and particularly support the hip and IT band - the outside of my legs from the waist down basically.

I never (touch wood) get any more aches in my hips area since wearing these - and haven't worn any of my other run shorts since buying them

You can swim in these too by the way so if you ever consider a swim / run etc ....

Wash fantastically dry in minutes etc

I love them - regulate heat / wick away sweat - easy on and off . Just be uber careful to use the height / weight / body shape guide either on the back of the pack or online size guide; if you do that you should have the perfect fit no matter what shape you are !

If you feel a little self conscious you could wear a light pair of running short shorts over the top,. I do. :)


I put these on my birthday list as recommended by sports physio for managing an IT band injury. Physio cost £40 per session & so in my case, like a good pair of trainers the've prevented further problems in that muscle region.

Hopefully the personal reviews of Skins help you decide - happy shopping & running:)


If it helps to put it in perspective, I am a cheapskate and recently bought myself a new running outfit from Decathlon - £12 for top and tights, job done. I hadn't heard of these compression things, but £65 is far more than I'd spent on running clothes at my level of running. If I was training for a marathon or something maybe but just moseying around at 5-8km I don't feel like I need something overly expensive.

1 like

Hallo Maysie1,

I'm female and bought a pair of A200 capri Skins in a sale at Sweatshop. They were 50% off. I ran in them for my week 9 runs and was amazed at the difference. I haven't returned to normal capris since. They are easy to wash and they dry quickly. I run in a gym and they keep me cool. but are warm enough for cycling too.

The sizing is based on BMI. I would definitely recommend them, as they simply hold everything in place firmly so you can focus on the running. I get no aches and pains after running as I keep them on for the cycle home.


There seems a pretty strong view from those that own them all think they are great and well worth the money.

Others that don't have them, don't seem to want them particularly either as there are other alternatives available that work for them.

Thanks again for all of the opinions. I am still not 100% sure if Suffolk is ready for 'Maysie - Man In Tights'.....


Two things: balloon art and MAMILs! My husband took up cycling for a challenge a couple of years ago, and I found the silhouette a little disturbing! Comfy clothes good, balloon art bad. Unless you've got a bod like Roger Federer I'd leave them in the shop! But that's just me!


Why have a six-pack, when a full gallon must be better!

I had to Google MAMIL - and I found some rather disturbing images....!!

I now HAVE to have some!


Rather than go the whole hog in one fell swoop (from baggy old clothes to skin tight,) why not try slightly less form-fitting running shirt and tights. They still wick sweat away and wash and dry in very little time. I like Ron Hill capris and New Balance tops, as they fit me well and last for ages. I have one compression item - a vest that I bought from Lidl (or was it Aldi?) that came with compression shorts that I rarely use as they are too hot for me, for £10.

I've just recently persuaded hubby to try cycling tights and he (rather grudgingly) admits they are more comfortable than his walking trousers (cargo pants). But he's still self-conscious in them and likes to change as soon as he returns to the car, if we've driven anywhere to cycle!


Good point. I was trying to not buy stuff twice, so was leaning towards the 'Real McCoy' as one big jump, but I think my hesitation is probably very similar to your husbands.

I try to work to the 'buy right and buy once' mantra, although with clothes I dont suppose it matters in teh same way as it will eventually wear out anyway.

Q. Are they comfy and good for running/wicking etc?

A: Yes, they seem to be brilliant according to those who have them

Q. Will you feel a bit of a nob wearing them

A: Probably

Q: Does that matter??

A: Who knows?? Probably not, as I don't really see anyone anyway (at the moment) and probably wont know until I try, but I have to buy something!


> "I try to work to the 'buy right and buy once' mantra"

Yes, I go along with this, but I question whether compression clothing is actually needed for us recreational runners (even folks training for marathons, triathlons, etc). I can see the benefit for elite athletes who are doing two or more hard sessions each day, but otherwise maybe not so beneficial. Some articles suggest that the studies can not rule out the placebo effect (it's not as if you can hide the fact they are compression clothes from the subjects/runners!)

Read about the science behind compression clothing and decide for yourself.


Good point (again!).

I am not too bothered by the compression side of things at this stage as I don't think my level of running warrants even worrying about that too much (besides the jury seems to still be out on that one anyway according to the articles I have just read).

The perspective I was coming from was more that I want some decent quality gear that will be comfy to wear, keep me warm in the winter (firstly) and (if possible) cool in the summer, oh and wick away sweat. I also don't want to have to replace it when I want 'better' stuff.

The shorts are just £22, so they seem to be worthy of a trial as they are no more expensive that a normal pair of running shorts!


For us chaps I think it's less an issue of 'will you feel a bit of a nob wearing them' as much as 'will you be displaying a lot of knob wearing them'?

I would say though that it's more of a perceived thing. In my experience nobody gives runners a second glance, except other runners, and they are checking out their gait, not their goodies.


Go on Rignold!

Tell it how it is!

Love that reply....


Hahahaha! This really made me laugh out loud.... :)


Oh, and as for theory that compression *may* help with recovery, I have one pair of compression socks that I sometimes wear AFTER my run on the odd occasions my calves feel tight, I use these as part of the RICE regime, and put them on after using a ice pack.


Can I just say my partner runs in running tights after I bought him some so he could start c25k, running in shorts at 6am was a bit cool. After he was like I am not wearing those he got over it and now he just doesn't think about it. The way I look at it is you need to be comfortable and don't worry about the neighbours. Also regarding cost they are only really expensive if they are sat in a draw doing nothing, if you get use out of them then why not.

I think I might have a look at these skins who knew they were so good. Maybe when I return to uk as I have so much running gear I can't justify any more until I have worn what I have got to threads.


Thank you, that is really helpful to hear.


I wear compression shorts now on every run (the SUB brand), although I do wear running shorts over the top of them... it's to avoid the MAMIL moniker you understand... :)

I find them really, really good... comfortable, keep everything in place, proper wicking fabric and I have found they seem to help with muscle tiredness on my longer runs... now, admittedly this could be just because I'm getting better at them, but I like the shorts... and I bought a pair of thermal ones for the winter to go under the Ronhill tracksters...

Not sure you'd catch me outside in "just the tights and shorts" but they are a great addition to the kit..

Like swanscot I also have compression socks which I wear AFTER runs (wearing them now actually) and they seem to help with calves and shins (putting off some of the recovery aches at least)...

I think there's some science in the gear but I'm not sure it's worth the money they charge.

There is always lively debate on whether or not to wear shorts over the top of them but my view is "whatever you're comfortable with"... everyone else probably couldn't care less... :)


I think all this compression gear is a bit of an acquired taste. I bought some compression tops principally to play golf in and found that far from keeping me cosy & warm they actually make me feel very much colder. They seem to wick away all my body heat. So I have given up with them.


I know this post was ages ago but just for the record I am still wearing my Skin A400's for most runs. They still are the most worn item in my running wardrobe. I haven't had to replace them yet so on that basis they were an excellent purchase.


You may also like...