One day, I was sifting through New England Runner hoping for some inspiration, and I saw an ad for Stabilyx running tights. “Support Your Knees,” the ad said. My knees need support, I thought. (tip to advertisers: I am the easiest target ever)

I reached out to CW-X, the company who creates the tights, for some more information. I learned that while the tights are created specifically to improve performance and recovery, they have been known to improve knee and hip problems due to the targeted support. CW-X agreed to let me try a pair, but I first wanted to learn more about how they work.

“The Patented CW-X Support Web™ technology mimics kinesiology-taping techniques that trainers apply to injured muscles. When this technology is applied to muscles and joints it creates an exoskeletal support system that improves biomechanics during motion,” its website states.

The support “web” works to target the key areas, decreasing muscle oscillation and focusing power to make muscles work more efficiently. The compression is also created to increase circulation and minimize lactic acid build-up, reducing soreness, therefore allowing athletes to be active longer.

Another interesting fact I learned about the Stabilyx tights is that CW-X has several patents on the concept, so no other brand is allowed to create a similar product. Pretty cool!

When they came in the mail, I couldn’t wait to try them out. The Support Web is clearly marked in a fun green and pink pattern, which made it easy to see how they work, wrapping closely around both the knees and through the hips. They also are high-waisted, which is purposely included to provide lower back and abdominal support and overall balance.

The thing is, the tights are, TIGHT. I was sort of in between sizes, so I went up a size, and even then, they felt like they were another layer of my skin. Surprisingly, though, they were not uncomfortable, it just took some getting used to and before I knew it I didn’t even notice.

I’ve ran in them twice, and because my training isn’t anything crazy right now, they were both just about four mile runs. Because I don’t have any current injuries, I think it is sort of hard to tell how effective the tights are just from some shorter runs; however, last time I went running, I didn’t wear the tights, and my knees were hurting a lot after. That may be because I need new shoes, but I also think the tights helped keep everything in place that regular tights did not.

I’m really excited to keep wearing these tights as my training gets more vigorous through the season; I’ve looked at reviews, and there’s been nothing but good comments, and for someone who does have knee and hip problems, I know these tights are a good piece of clothing to have.

The tights come in a few different colors in both cropped and long lengths, and are also made for men. While they are pricey at $105, like most running products, you get what you pay for! If you have hip, knee or pelvic problems, I definitely recommend the investment.

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Holly’s running career began in high school; after being bummed about not making the volleyball team her sophomore year, she decided to join some of her middle school friends on the cross country team. She also did track in the fall, where the 1600 m race was her niche. Since then, she has run several shorter distance races and two half marathons. Her goal for 2017 is to try a triathlon, and eventually do the Chicago Marathon. She graduated from Illinois State University in May 2016 with a degree in journalism.

Working at Chicago Athlete, Holly has been able to explore photography a lot more, which is one of her main hobbies. She enjoys taking photos at endurance races, and is also passionate about nature photography and portraiture.

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