Nike launched their new Zonal Strength Tights two weeks ago, and a few of us from the media were given the opportunity to test them out during the weekly Nike+ Run Club Home Run event held at Bonifacio High Street.
Last year around this time Nike launched their Power Speed running tights, so I couldn’t wait to experience the difference between that innovation and this new one.
Different athletic activities use different muscle groups, and the Zonal Strength tights are designed with compression zones that support specific muscle groups for certain activities.The Zonal Strength tights are available in two forms: for running, and for gym training. The running-specific kind that we got to try had compression for the quads, hamstrings, and calves.
Unlike the predecessor Power Speed tights, the compression is built right into the fabric instead of overlaid. Many people found that the compression overlay of the Power Speed tights peeled off over time, so having the compression woven in ensures better durability. I also like how the color difference between the compression zones and the surrounding material is subtle, as this minimizes the width of the silhouette and flatters my muscular legs.
Notice the difference in the top photos between the compression zones for the running tights versus the training tights. The running tights have a lower waistband and the webbing is over the quads and calves. The training tights have a higher waistband to encourage core activation, and the webbing runs along the side of the leg to support lateral motion.
It was nice to get back out on the road with my fellow runners after a few weeks of being trapped on the treadmill. As always, the popular Nike Run Club session was packed.
After a short jog warm-up and drills to activate the proper running muscles and get blood flowing, we were on our way. The Zonal Strength running tights were a joy to run in: no seams to chafe, support in the right places, and of course they have that trademark Nike breathability.
At the end of our run I attempted some sprints and jumps to test range of motion. I found the Zonal Strength running tights easier to move around in than the Power Speed tights. The four-way stretch fabric used in the tights allowed better mobility through the hips and knees. I also didn’t have to worry about whether the compression webbing would come off if I scraped my thigh against the floor during our post-run stretches.
I would say the Zonal Strength running tights are a big improvement over the previous iteration and I am glad that Nike keeps innovating their tights. The Zonal Strength tights for both men and women are available in a majority of Nike retail stores and nike.com. Do check them out and let me know what you think about them!