The Best Compression Tights for BJJ and MMA
Anthem Athletics Spats
You’ve seen these pants before.
Arguably, they were the first real pair of compression tights worn in competition. They were definitely amongst the first to show that not only is it ok to wear tights, but that it’s the stylish and trendy thing to do.
These are the same style of pants adorned by guard wizard and submission master, Shinya Aoki. These tights allowed him to work his guard with terrifying effectiveness in full contact MMA bouts when everyone else was abandoning the position.
The zany design really stands out, so if you like to be a bit out-there and garish and you want to make a big statement with more than just your abilities on the mat, then these are the pants to go for.
Elite Sports Base Layer Compression Tights
If the rainbow pants are a bit too out there for you and you want something more modest, then these compression tights might be right up your alley. Especially if you’re a bit anxious to wear a pair of tights for the first time in class.
The multi-panel construction high-density flat-lock stitching dramatically increases the durability of the product, allowing you to roll and grapple without tearing or fraying.
This same construction can also be a god-send to your knees when drilling double leg takedowns.
Sub Sports Dual Compression Tights
A lot of MMA gear can look quite boring. As a new sport, most products tend to focus on substance and relegate style and appearance to the back bench.
But not with compression tights.
Seeing as they arguably rose in popularity from the colourful pants worn by Shinya Aoki, companies have put a lot of focus in to the colours, styles and aesthetics of the tights. Though without sacrificing quality or durability of course.
You can buy these Sub Sports Dual spats in ten different colours. So you’ll easily be able to colour code and match them with your other pieces of gear and clothing.
These are also what is referred to as mid-weight compression tights. They’re thick enough to withstand heavy use and washes but without being so thick as to slow you down or tighten your movement. They really are the best of both worlds.
Sanabul Compression Pants
These are arguably the most stylish and stunning pants on our list. They’re black and white with red accents and are made to resemble traditional Japanese sleeve tattoos.
An issue that people face when buying gear with intricate designs and styles is that the design either fades or peels off in the wash or when training hard.
This is also why a lot of companies stick to making simpler and more basic gear; to avoid the aggravation of the designs coming off after one wash.
Raven Fightwear assures us that the sublimated graphics will not peel off or fade away. So you can be confident that the pants you buy will stay that way for a long time, no matter how many hours you put in on the mat.
Venum Gladiator Compression Pants
Newer companies aren’t the only ones who see the increasing demand for top quality compression tights.
Big, established companies like Venum are ready to meet your needs with a variety of compression pants for sale. All of them make great purchases, but we feel that the Revenge pants are some of the best on the entire market.
It features a four-way stretch fabric which can stretch dramatically but will always return to it’s original size.
You’ll have the perfect fit forever with these and never have to worry about tearing big, gaping holes in them or suffer the fabric fraying over time due to attrition.
The ultra-comfortable wide elastic gives you a tight secure fit without digging in. Some cheaper pairs will leave deep, uncomfortable ridges along your waist and ankles but not these. These pants stay fitted to your body but without ever intruding or pressing in uncomfortably.
The Japanese style of the pants is also very fashionable and stylish, so you will look great in competition and/or training.
BJJ & MMA Spats Buyers Guide
When you’re looking to buy your own pair of MMA compression tights, there are a few things that you need to consider. Let’s go through them.
Being made of lycra, spats are designed to be figure-hugging, that means you should have very little excess once you’ve put these on. The rule of thumb is to go by your normal sizings however it is recommended to size-up sometimes because they can become see through if they are too tight, which is something we will go through later. A well-fitting pair of spats shouldn’t ride down and should hug the legs and hips tightly.
Throughout the development of spats, there have been various materials used, mess fabric for ventilation, cotton lycra mixes for comfort, different panels for design. However, after trying countless pairs of spats over the years we would recommend going for 100% lycra. Not only does the lycra stretch the best, but it also offers the best moisture wicking. We would also recommend looking for spats which have an elastic waistband for extra comfort.
Stitching and construction are some of the most important aspects of any combat clothing. These are the first things to break normally, so it’s good to have this covered. When it comes to BJJ spats, we would always look at seams which are finished with double overlocking stitch. This gives you the strength of multiple fibres and also gives you flexibility due to their crossing pattern.
A few years ago, it was only female trainees and Shinya Aoki who would wear these compression tights.
They were clearly ahead of the curve, as compression tights are now being worn by a large amount of BJJ competitors and MMA fighters.
Conor McGregor, for example, is never seen without a pair of these tights when he’s training for a high-profile fight.
Think of these compression tights as a rash guard for the legs. Why do you wear a rash guard instead of just a baggy t-shirt when training? Because they keep your muscles, ligaments and tendons warm to prevent injury. To act as a barrier against harmful bacteria and disgusting infections like staph and ringworm.
Because they cling to your body like a glove and allow you full range of motion, which a baggy t-shirt would not.
So it only makes sense that you would want to extend this protection and enhancement on your legs too, doesn’t it?
In fact, it’s even more important. Your knees and the surrounding ligaments are some of the most delicate parts of your body so it’s even more beneficial to wear clothing that protects them and keeps them warm and supple.
To supply the increasing demand, most top MMA and BJJ have added cool, stylish spats to their product lines and we’ve scoured online to find the top 5 compression tights currently available.
You’ll see more and more people wearing the compression pants in training and for good reason. They look good, they protect you from both injury and infection and they allow your body to move and function in ways that shorts and other sports equipment just doesn’t give you.