In early August, I reviewed a pair of CEP Compression triathlon shorts. Generally speaking, I liked them a lot. My biggest "complaint" was actually less of a complaint and more of a disclosure of personal preference - I am a one piece/bib guy when it comes to triathlon and cycling kit, so stand alone shorts on the bike just aren't my bag.
In the last month I've worn them running a dozen times. And every time, the compression and extra support was great during exercise and also helped me recover faster. But running (especially longer runs) with a chamois pad when there was no reason to have one became a bit annoying.
So I went compression shorts shopping yesterday. As you know, this stuff is expensive. The CEP shorts I reviewed will set you back $150, and the prices for the Zoot and 2XU compression stuff isn't too far behind. I was hoping to find something cheaper, so when I walked into at a local running store called A Snails Pace Running , the floor sales person sent me over to a rack full of compression garments from CW-X.
I had never heard of CW-X, but the price was (comparatively) "decent" at $70.00. These shorts are constructed more simply and use a more conventional fabric than the CEP shorts. But when I tried them on, they felt good. And though it's hard to part with $70 for a pair of shorts, I sucked it up and bought them.
When I got home, I put them on and ran 10 miles. The initial verdict is CW-X makes a good compression garment. I enjoyed the same benefits in terms of support and reduced muscle fatigue I was getting from the CEP shorts. And I think they fit slightly better. It's definitely a subtle difference, but the shorts where a little looser in certain places while a little tighter in others that overall delivered more comfort.
I checked out the CW-X website earlier this evening. It turns out that CW-X is owned by Wacoal Corporation in Japan. Wacoal is apparently the biggest manufacturer or intimate apparel in the world. And because of this, Wacoal argues legitimacy for CW-X by pointing out that "(Wacoal) has spent half a century creating clothing born of a deep understanding of the body", and thus they know what they are talking about when it comes to compression garments. Though that's not quite the brand introduction I was expecting, you have to admit it's a fresh approach. And based on my initial experience with their product, zebra striped thongs and performance athletic apparel may have more in common than I realized.
Buy if: You are a value conscious compression junkie that wants results.
Don't buy if: You insist that the marketing campaigns from the companies you support focus on being impossibly tough, sweaty and ripped.
(Disclaimer: I bought this product. I did not receive any encouragement or compensation from CW-X for this review. Aside from some research I did on the CW-X website, the opinions stated here are my own.)