Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Gear Closet: SKINS A400 Men's Running Tights

The calendar may say that it is officially spring, but the weather hasn't warmed up completely yet. Recently I've found myself still reaching for a pair or running tights as I set out on an early morning run, and on those chilly days I've fond myself very thankful that I have the new A400 running tight from SKINS in my gear closet. These tights are the latest product from a company that specializes in compression gear for fitness and running, and while I didn't think it was possible, they have found new ways to improve on their already excellent products.

When designing the new A400 tights the team at SKINS wanted to make a product that was both warmer in cold weather, and yet also managed to help you stay cool when the temperature started to rise. In order to do that, they incorporated high tech fabrics that become more breathable as moisture from the body is pulled through. So on warmer days the fabrics wick sweat away from the body, and pass it to the surface of the tight where it evaporates quickly, helping to keep you cooler and dryer. But when it is cold outside, and you are sweating less, the fabrics are a bit less breathable, helping to keep you warmer.

This method of temperature regulation through breathable fabrics isn't anything new of course. We see similar qualities in a lot of our gear that we use when working out, hiking, backpacking, cycling, and so on. But with the A400 SKINS seems to have found the perfect mix for a running tight, as I never once felt too cold or too warm while wearing them. In fact, I was surprisingly comfortable across a fairly wide range of temperatures, which makes these tights versatile enough to be worn in a variety of weather conditions.


As you would expect, the A400 tights provide a snug, but not confining, fit. When creating this product, the designers at SKINS took a new approach when creating these tights, improving the way they wrap around specific muscles groups in the process. In theory this is meant to provide more support during your workouts, keeping your muscles from becoming fatigued, sore, or injured. I found that the high level of compression provided by these tights did indeed keep my leg muscles held more firmly in place, helping to lessen the movement associated with running, and keeping fatigue to a minimum. In fact, on the days that I ran in these tights, I generally found that my legs were stronger and felt better post-run than days that I did not. That alone should be a good indicator of how well they perform.

Made from high quality fabrics, the A400 tights are very durable and meant to withstand the challenges that come along with running on a daily basis. But they are also incredibly comfortable too. Once you have them on they truly do feel like a second skin in the best way possible. They provide a snug fit that reminds you that they are there, but they are not the least bit constraining or confining either.

Over the weekend I used these tights on a 14 mile (22 km) run that took me approximately two hours to complete. Over that time, the temperature rose steadily, and ran with – and into – a cold breeze. But the A400 tights kept me well protected and comfortable throughout the entire workout, even when conditions changed. They also kept me legs feeling great, both during and after the run.

It is clear that SKINS has a winner with this product, and serious runners will definitely appreciate what they have brought to the table here. These are high quality running tights that will help you perform better and stay healthier on your workouts. With a price tag of $159.99 they are a significant investment that the casual runner probably won't want to shell out the case for, but then again they probably wouldn't see the benefits anyway. But if you take your running seriously, this product is worth every penny. This is a running tight designed for athletes who head outside for a run no matter what the weather is. These are made for the runner who gets up before dawn, or stays out well past dark just to get their miles in for the day. The person who doesn't accept excuses from themselves or the gear that they use. If your one of those people, I think you'll find the SKINS A400 are exactly what you're looking for.

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