Nikki: I’ve been a bit late to the compression apparel game, but training for the long races ahead makes me painfully aware of the fact that it’s technology I need to embrace. I bought my first pair of compression socks at the race expo for the Eugene marathon last year, and they seemed to help following the race, especially on the long car ride home after a hasty departure from the hotel after a miscommunication on the checkout time. Still, I had to chuckle when I opened my mailbox to find the Ruhn Women’s 3/4 pants, because they looked a lot like something that one of the kids in my son’s preschool could fit into. I liked the style of them right away and the material looked high quality, but I couldn’t get over how small them were and how big my thighs were going to be in them.
So I got them on, thankfully. It was a bit like trying on tights, and once I got them on, my first worry was that they would stay put on my hips. But the drawstring inside (one of my favorite features of any running pants) helped ease this fear. There were even a couple of pockets, and the one on the thigh fit my phone comfortably. After the pants were on, they felt secure. The material wasn’t as soft as a lot of my running pants, but they felt good on my legs.
My first run in them was a 15 miler around Hagg Lake on a hot day. I’m not a rookie runner and I don’t usually try new things on double digit milage days, but I thought a day out on the trails would be a good opportunity since the compression in these pants was meant to help with circulation. Turns out, I was right, because the Ruhn pants felt great for the hours I was out there, though a little hot at times since it was about 90 degrees in the shade. This was my fault though, as Ruhn also makes shorts that maybe would have been good for this day in particular. The 3/4 pants weren’t any hotter than any other pair of capris I own and they never got wet with sweat either.
I was worried about the pants being uncomfortable around the backs of my knees since compression = tight and this area tends to chafe and itch a bit in the wrong cut of capris, but I didn’t have any issues with this at all. The seamless design was completely awesome, as running, sweat, and hours on the trails can be a nightmare in the wrong clothes. I also don’t usually employ the use of side pockets for my phone because I’m constantly aware of it’s weight in most clothes, but I completely forgot I even had it on me in these pants, so that was a major perk. The worry about them staying up was all for naught, as the pants stayed right where they were supposed to. This is my biggest pet peeve in many running pants, as I feel a lot of them start to need to be hiked up the further along I go. Not the case at all here.
And as far as the compression in the pants and whether it worked? I’m not super techy and I’m just starting to ramp up my miles on the trails, but I didn’t feel sore after my run. I felt back to normal right away, though a little zapped from the heat. My legs felt great! I don’t know if it was due to my training or the pants, but I’ll take it. I don’t really want to leave that up to chance, so I will be wearing these pants a lot for my training on the trails.
Joe: Having rarely worn compression apparel, I was interested in trying a pair of compression shorts from Ruhn, curious about the fit and feel of something other than my usual loose, light running shorts. My 6″ Base Compression Shorts 2.0 were easy to put on, and didn’t seem especially tight, just comfortably snug (bringing to mind the Pink Floyd song with a similar title). The soft, breathable material (95% polymide, 5% spandex) and seamless contoured design provides a pleasant well-tailored feel.
There is very little bunching or movement, and as I set off on my first run in the Ruhn shorts I noticed a subtle boost in energy in my thighs, which I guess is supposed to be one of the benefits of compression apparel. I detected no restrictive sensations during the run, just form-fitting comfort. The tightest area was at the bottom cuff, which left a slight mark on my thighs after I removed the shorts. But this was not a problem at all, and just an indication that the shorts stayed put and didn’t ride up or budge an inch.
Subtle variations in texture are strategically placed around the shorts, and two relatively large pockets with accessible yet secure and easy to locate openings (at the left hip and right rear) provide room for keys, cards, or gels. My shorts are black and “neon” (bright green), with black and “fog” (silver) and all black also available. There is also a 9” version (see Matt’s review, below), which comes in the same colors plus “graphite” (gray). Version 1.0 comes without pockets and is available in black.
While I am still not a full convert to compression shorts, my 6″ Ruhn Base Compression Short 2.0 is a welcome addition to my running wardrobe.
Matt: Much like Nikki, I have been late to the compression game as a whole. However, I do wear tight athletic boxer-briefs under my non-lined running shorts. The Ruhn Base Compression Short 2.0 were a great crossover option for me – leaving me comfortable and supportive, while not abandoning what I most enjoy wearing. These may be more designed for cycling, considering their long inseam, but they are quite nice for running as well.
When I pulled these out of the package, I think I did a triple check to make sure these were the right size. I am no small person and the large they sent looked like they wouldn’t fit my 8 year old daughter. However, with some minor maneuvering, they actually fit quite well and – while tight – they weren’t uncomfortable or overly restrictive. The lack of seams was really nice, allowing me to stay chafe free through all my runs and workouts. They are also pretty soft and feel a lot better than most spandex options out there. The technology behind their construction is quite nice. There are two pockets as well, one on the back right upper hip and one on the left leg. Both fit my iPhone completely and allowed me to run without a running belt as a result.
Overall, I ended up liking these a lot more than I expected to. My legs seem to be holding up well with the compression qualities, and these shorts are holding up to me as well.
Products & Price:
- Ruhn Women’s 3/4 Pants ($68)
- 6″ Ruhn Base Compression Short 2.0 ($48)
- 9″ Ruhn Base Compression Short 2.0 ($58)
Specs (from website):
- Zero seams for a 100% chafe-free experience.
- Enhance your game allowing you to focus on your performance instead of uncomfortable base-layers
- Two laser-cut, heat-bonded gear pockets with reinforced openings allowing for plenty of storage options.
- Interior drawstring at waistband for a custom fit
- High compression
- Breathable fabric that wicks away sweat and moisture making these perfect in all temperatures
- Made of antibacterial fibers that keep odors at bay
- 95% polyamide, 5% spandex
More about Ruhn:
[Ruhn] was created with an idea that athletic apparel shouldn’t limit you, but instead boost your performance. The founder who is a passionate runner and ultra-marathon athlete had always struggled to find apparel that fit well and addressed a need that most long-distance runners are searching for. As a result, he shared his frustrations regarding the lack of chafe-free products that leading athletic apparel companies had to offer with his sister who has worked as a designer of active apparel for over 15 years. The pair decided to combine a runner’s passion with the technical and creative knowledge of an apparel designer to provide a product that raises the bar of quality and performance.
Thank you to Ruhn for providing us with a sample pack. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.