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Best Compression Pants for Basketball in 2020

By Martin Marinov

July 24, 2020

There is a misconception that people who wear compression pants are doing so because they have been injured. Compression pants can be worn to help heal after an injury. They can also be worn to help prevent an injury from happening.

The best basketball compression pants are typically worn because the player wants to increase the blood flow to their lower extremities. The increased blood flow allows the athlete to perform better with fewer incidences of swelling, muscle pain, or muscle injury.

To help our readers find compression garments that are truly beneficial we asked our expert players if they wore these garments, and which garments they liked the most.

Basketball Cmpression Pants Review

1. 2XU Men's Elite MCS Compression Tights

2XU Men's Elite MCS Compression Tights

Muscle containment stamping is a method of creating targeted compression to body areas such as your quads and calves. This feature of these compression tights provides you with a greater amount of muscle stability. You will also notice a remarkable reduction in muscle fatigue while you wear these.

The drawstring closure allows you to get a precision fit from your compression pants. The combination of 80% nylon and 20% Elastane creates a snug fit that does not have a tendency to pinch, bunch up, or roll.

The enhanced compression of these tights will increase your circulation in your lower extremities and reduce the possibility of edema. You can work longer with less strain and pain.

What We Like

  • Flexible fabric allows you to move freely without constraint
  • Moisture wicking technology
  • Lightweight with enhanced durability

What We Don't Like

  • Hand wash only

2. CW-X Men's Stabilyx Joint Support

CW-X Men's Stabilyx Joint Support

CW-X Stably compression tights are specifically designed to add support to the knees of the wearer. When running, jumping, and performing high intensity workouts your knee4s take a lot of punishment. Wearing these tights will keep the muscles of your knees from being injured as often, will reduce swelling, and will reduce pain.

Stably compression tights have a patented support panel that contours to your joints. This panel increases the amount of stability and support that you receive while it improves blood flow and circulation.

You will experience no restriction to your range of motion. You will have increased performance abilities because of the increased amount of oxygen supplied to your muscles.

What We Like

  • Machine washable
  • Interior key pocket located at the front waistband
  • Lightweight and durable

What We Don't Like

  • Tights do not have a built in fly

3. DRSKIN Men’s Compression Pants

DRSKIN Men’s Compression Pants

DRSKIN compression pants are sewn so that there is no over-lapping of fabric at the seams. That means you are more comfortable and the seams do not leave unsightly marks on your legs no matter how long you wear the pants.

The material used in these compression pants has the ability to block 99% of ultra-violet light rays so your skin is protected. It also is treated with an anti-bacterial agent that helps reduce the growth of bacteria that can cause foul odors on work out clothing.

Uniquely designed fabric helps keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It has a unique bi-directional air circulation that maintains your comfort while you are active.

What We Like

  • Four way stretch fabric allows freedom of movement
  • Maximum muscle support and stability
  • Increases circulation while it decreases the possibility of swelling or injury

What We Don't Like

  • Material is thin so you will want to wear outer shorts or pants with these

4. SKINS Men's DNAmic Compression Long Tights

SKINS Men's DNAmic Compression Long Tights

SKIN’s compression long tights are designed so that they provide gradient compression across the major muscle groupings of your lower body. They specifically target the calf muscles with the greatest amount of compression and decrease the amount of compression in your upper leg area. This increased oxygenation and provides optimum support.

The unique design of these compression pants allows them to enhance your performance by supporting your muscles and increasing the blood flow to your major muscle groups. They are excellent as preventatives to stop possible injuries or as recovery aids to help you recover from an injury.

The material has a 50+ UV protection rating so you can wear them outdoors without fear of sunburn.

What We Like

  • Machine washable
  • 76% Polyamide and 24% Elastane fits tight without pinching or restriction
  • Moisture wicking to keep you dry

What We Don't Like

  • Tights tend to fit small so you may have to adjust the size you wear

5. NIKE Men's Pro Tights

NIKE Men's Pro Tights

On the inner leg gussets of these Nike compression pants mesh inserts have been added. That mesh inserts help to keep you cooler in your higher heat zones because they allow the heat to escape. That means less chafing, less sweating, more comfort and fewer odors.

Dri-fit technology has been designed into the fabric. The Dri-fit technology allows the moisture from sweating to be wicked away so you feel dry and comfortable throughout the day.

These pants are made from 90% polyester and 10% spandex. That combination allows them to stretch a lot and retain their shape when they are removed. They fit snugly but are not too tight or restrictive.

What We Like

  • Machine washable
  • Comfortable 
  • Provides good compression to all major muscles of the legs

What We Don't Like

  • Fit small so you may need a larger size than you normally wear

6. Under Armour Men's Leggings

Under Armour Men's Leggings

Under Armour heat gear leggings take compression tights to a new level of comfort. The materials used in their construction include 56% nylon, 40% polyester, and 4% Elastane. This unique combination creates a four way stretch so the tights are easy to put on, comfortable to wear, and easy to remove. You can also rely on the material to hold its shape even after being worn or laundered.

The design of these tights creates seams that are not positioned in high abrasion areas so you have less chafing, and more comfort. The positioning of the seams also increases the strength of the garment so you get more wear from them.

To increase comfort mesh material panels were placed along the inseam areas. The mesh allows heat to escape and you stay cooler and drier because of that.

What We Like

  • Moisture wicking material dries very quickly
  • Lightweight fabric with optimum compression
  • Machine washable

What We Don't Like

  • Imported

7. TSLA Men's UPF 50+ Compression Pants

TSLA Compression Pants

TSLA compression pants have materials that wick the moisture away from your body. The material also allows heat to quickly escape. You stay cooler and drier and you do not have as much trouble with chafing or wit odor.

The material is actually all weather material that will keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It also has two-way air circulation so there is less chances of heat rashes or chafing.

Since many athletes play and train outside the fabric these compression tights are made from is a UPF 50+. That rating tells you that the fabric is 99% effective at protecting you from harmful UV rays.

What We Like

  • Fabric is non-abrasive
  • High elasticity provides greater compression
  • Machine washable

What We Don't Like

  • These are meant as a base layer and you should wear outer garments over them

Compression Pants Buying Guide 

To buy compression garments you have to consider a few things like the materials they are made from, the size of the garment, and the amount of compression that you need. Consider the following features and compare the different garments to determine which ones will be best for your circumstances.

Size

Your first consideration is going to be the size of the garment. Compression pants are supposed to fit very snug against your body. A lot of people assume that they need to buy their pants one size smaller than what they normally wear so they can get the snug fit. Do not buy your pants smaller than what you normally wear.

The way to determine what size pants to buy is to take a soft sided measuring tape, or a tailors tape, and measure your waist, your hips, and your inseam length from crotch to ankle top. Then compare your measurements to the measurement sizing chart the manufacture has concerning the garments they sell.

Materials

The materials the pants are made from are important. You want something that will be durable and will be machine washable so you can keep the pants clean and sanitary. Most of these garments are made from polyester or polyester combined with a highly elasticized material like Elastane.

Why should you wear compression pants? 

Compression clothing is designed to support your body so you have less swelling and provide stabilization for your muscles. Athletes choose to wear compression gear if they have previously suffered an injury or when they are recovering from an injury. 

This type of gear also helps to improve blood flow and can increase performance abilities. When an athlete has compression apparel on the vibrations their muscles receive when they are jumping, running, and doing physical activity are lessened. The muscles are supported and stabilized and this makes them less prone to twisting or moving in a way that is unnatural for them.

Wearing compression pants helps to protect your hips and knees. They are an insurance policy against sprains, strains, and a possible muscle tear. They allow the athlete to jump higher and do more because they are not worried about injury.

Benefits of Compression Pants: 

Wearing compression pants has several benefits for athletes and non-athletes.

  • The compression pants support the muscles around the knee joint and the hip joint ensuring that you have fewer injuries to these areas
  • The pants reduce the possibility of edema or swelling to the lower extremities
  • The pants help to support muscles that have been injured, sprained or strained. They are also used as recovery devices after surgical procedures.
  • Compression pants reduce the amount of shock vibrations that affect your muscles when you are engaged in activities like running and jumping.
  • Compression pants reduce the possibility of conditions like deep thrombosis of the veins
  • Compression pants increase blood flow and allow the muscles to receive more oxygen
  • Compression pants keep the muscles they cover warm so the muscle is less likely to be strained
  • Compression pants help to wick moisture away and help to prevent chafing for the athlete

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do basketball players wear compression pants?

Basketball players do a lot of jumping and make quick changes in direction when they are running. These activities put them at risk of straining or tearing muscles, especially the muscles that support the knees. Compression pants support the muscles and reduce the possibility of injury, reduce the possibility of edema, and allow the muscles to get more oxygen. The increased oxygen allows the athlete to perform better.

What compression shorts do NBA players wear?

The compression shorts chosen by basketball players should be ones that extend past the knee. The pants should support the muscles that are around the knee and stop them from being moved in a direction that they do not normally move in.

Why do NBA players wear one leg sleeve?

The leg sleeve may be worn to protect the skin of the leg. The players often wear a leg sleeve if their leg has been skinned or scuffed in a fall. The leg sleeve also offers compression to help protect a knee that might be recovering from an injury, or protect a knee that might be weakened and more likely to be injured. Leg sleeves are protective gear that allows the athlete to play harder and worry less.

Last word 

Wearing compression pants makes sense for any athlete that has suffered a knee sprain, a strain, or a muscle tear. These pants fit tight and they hold the muscles in place and reduce the possibility that those muscles could be severely or permanently injured.

When buying compression pants or any compression garment you have to make sure that you purchase the proper size. Get your measurements and compare them with the sizing charts the manufacture has to make sure you get the right size.

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