Athleta’s bottoms have been rock solid for me lately, and their new SwiftLite fabric caught my eye. Enter the velocity tights. I wanted a pair of lightweight, summer-friendly run tights and these fit the bill. Plus, the coastal teal color option really pushed me over the edge. Sure enough, these are another winner for me. Read on for more details on what makes them great to wear.
I’m wearing a size XXS, my usual size in Athleta. If you are between sizes, I recommend going with the smaller size. They fit me perfectly and do not budge at all. The reviews are mixed, with some reviewers complaining that they slide down. Personally, I ran 6+ miles in these with no issues and no adjustments. I’m not sure what explains the discrepancy in experience here, but I think they’re perfect. Note that they do feature an internal drawcord for those who like to adjust the waistband fit. I do not need to use the drawcord on mine.
As you can see in the photos, these have a shine finish, not matte at all. The material feels very slippery and smooth to the touch. It’s cool against the skin and highly breathable. These are basically the closest thing to wearing shorts without actually wearing shorts. The fabric is very flexible and supple, but still offers a little bit of compression. The fabric is rated UPF 50+, so your legs are still fully protected from the sun.
Because it’s so lightweight, it can be clingy and a bit revealing. If you want something more substantial, I recommend the contender tights instead. (Note: I prefer the thicker material used in the stripe contenders specifically.)
That said, despite the light fabric, I’m happy to report that they’re still fully opaque. The clingy fabric means you’ll want to wear seamless undergarments if you want to avoid visible lines.
The two side pockets are very roomy. I have my iPhone XS in the pocket in the photos, and you can see it fits easily inside. The pocket extends to the seam in front and behind it, so you can see there’s some extra room there for larger devices or other goods. The rear zip pocket isn’t large enough for a phone, but will fit cards, keys, gels, etc.
The side pockets are placed higher than most leggings, but it makes the slash of the pocket much less noticeable. I didn’t mind the higher placement at all, it’s still totally functional, easy to reach, and doesn’t get in the way of your range of motion while running/working out.
Like most 7/8 tights, these skim the top of my ankle. The hem is free-cut with no seam and swoops lower in the front. At the top of the tights, they feature a pretty typical high rise with comfortable coverage, landing just a little below my belly button. The rise is similar to Athleta’s contender tights.
These tights are marketed similarly to lululemon’s fast and free tights: ultra-lightweight, ultra-breathable tights for running and high intensity workouts. I’ve never been able to bring myself to buy a pair fast and frees because every pair I’ve tried has been a bit see-through when I squat or bend. I even tried a size up and still had sheerness issues. Athleta’s velocities are also $30 cheaper, at $98 versus lulu’s $128. Not only that, the velocities pass the squat test. Between those factors, the velocities are a very clear winner in my book.
Overall, I really love these tights. Since I bought and tried out my coastal teal pair, I went back and bought a second pair in beach plum. I recommend them for high intensity workouts in warmer conditions or where ventilation is critical.