I am not going to espouse on the benefits of compression, you can read all about it here, the one thing from Sugoi’s website that I will quote is…“targeted muscle groups are isolated and fully encapsulated, resulting in muscle vibration reduction. The muscle group is stabilized by the garments, resulting in less immediate fatigue and reduced chance of injury”...so this review will be basically focus on form, fit, function, and that’s enough of the alliteration!
In terms of form, these are a well constructed pair of tights. The construction has flat seams to avoid creating those ever so welcome chaffed bits with contrasting white stitching and comprise 8 panels which are designed to sculpt to your body. I should point out that I am only talking about the men’s versions here and assume this is the same for the female version. There is a discreet logo on the thigh and some reflective bits on the back on the thighs (illuminated in the photo). Sugoi’s compression fabric has, according to the website the lowest weight per square inch.
Fitwise, I opted for Medium in size and they are certainly a snug fit; kinda the point of compression clothing! While I don’t have huge feet (size 11) getting them through the foot opening takes a bit of a wiggle, something to consider if you’re feet are larger than this or than usual. I have discovered through trial and error that rolling them on seems to give you the best fit rather than pulling them up, which simply stretches them and then they ride down as you run…can you say saggy crotch!
Additionally, and again this may be body specific to me, that the depth from crotch to waist is not huge, I prefer things to go around my waist and not my hips. Rolling them on overcomes this to a degree as does using the tie cord in the waist band. Also tucked in the waist band is a teeny tiny key pocket, very old school but effective enough. From personal choice I prefer not to go commando and to that end I use a pair of Transitives from Asics without issue.
Function; as mentioned they are certainly supportive enough, the compression is very effective, so much so that I opt out of wrapping my knee in KTTape when I wear them. The fabric is not the thickest and while they add some warmth and are warmer than shorts alone they may not be thick enough to be used in full out winter mode, remember SoCal doesn’t really have winter and the coldest I have worn them down to is probably mid 30F’s Sugoi actually offer specific thermal tights for this purpose for those of you in the colder climates.
So in summary these are a great all round pair of compression tights, my only real criticism is the shortness of the crotch to waist issue. But don’t take my word for it, they were recently (Dec 2009) awarded by 220 Triathlon, a triathlon magazine from the UK, the "Editor's Choice Award". Available through Sugoi’s own website or through multiple distributors on the web these retail for $90.00 although I did find them on sale for $61.99 here, get ‘em quick.
Sugoi are pretty social media savvy, here is their You Tube video on their compression clothing lineup;
These tights were purchased at a discounted rate available though Sugoi to their Brand Champions, applications are still being taken here. See previous gear reviews in the sidebar on the right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.