These days, I am running all. the. time. Running long distances leaves little room for error in terms of fit and performance. The running-ready items in my closet are getting more than their fair share of wear and tear. As my older, well-loved running tights begin to reach the end of their useful life, I’m looking for new styles to replace them. Enter: the fast and free tights. They’ve been one of lululemon’s flagship running tights for a couple years, but this is the first pair I’ve purchased.
I’ll be honest: when fast and frees first hit the market, I wasn’t impressed. I tried them on in stores, only to discover that in both my normal size and a size up, they were sheer in a bend/squat. That was enough to deter me from buying a pair. I tried again recently and had much more success! The camo pair I’m wearing here is completely opaque in my normal size, even in a bend.
Nulux is similar to luxtreme in its use: both are compressive options designed for high-impact activities. Nulux feels silkier than luxtreme, and a bit more lightweight. Luxtreme, particularly full-on luxtreme, is a bit more compressive, but nulux still has enough compression for me, even for high-impact activities.
The print I’m wearing is incognito camo multi grey, which is black mixed with cool-toned greys. It looks great with every color and is a perfect not-so-basic black staple.
I bought a size 2, my usual size in lululemon bottoms. The fit feels perfect; I recommend going with your normal size. Fast and frees are available in 5 inseam lengths, ranging from 19″ all the way to 31″ to suit a variety of heights and length preferences. Right now, there’s even a 10″ shorts length as well. I’m wearing the 25″ length, which is the perfect ankle length for my 5’3″ height. There’s no seam around the hem, so there’s no tightness around the ankle to worry about.
The rise is high, but not super-high. It hits an inch or so below my belly button, which is just slightly lower than my align crops and high-rise wunder unders, which reach all the way to my belly button. Per usual, the waistband has a continuous drawcord inside.
Lulu cleverly designed these tights with several storage options. On days that I’m not running with my hydration vest, built-in storage on my clothing is key. There are two large thigh pockets on either side, which are plenty large for my iPhone 11 Pro to fit fully inside. In addition, there are three waistband pockets on the waistband: one on either hip and one centered at the back. Unlike many tights, there is no zipper on the back pocket.
Since the pocket is created with a layer of fabric sewn on top of the outside of the waistband, this cleverly creates a completely flush, smooth surface on the inside. These pockets are difficult to see in my photos because of the dark color, but you can see an example of the side waist pocket here and the back waist pocket here. I put my house key in a hip pocket so it doesn’t get buried in the depths of the larger thigh pockets. The waistband pockets, while generously sized, are not large enough for most phones.
I’ve done several runs in these tights, typically around 6 miles. I really love running in these tights. They feel completely comfortable to wear, and they perform well too. They absolutely live up to their name. They’re not quite as cool as running in shorts, but they’re about as close as you can get for a pair of tights.
These tights would also be very well-suited to other high-sweat, high-impact workouts like using cardio machines, spin classes, or strength training. While compressive, the fabric is not constricting, and is stretchy enough that you can move freely. Because of the stretchiness and lack of zippers poking at you, you could even wear them to yoga. Since it’s so silky, this fabric may be vulnerable to abrasion from rough surfaces, so proceed with caution around things like barbells. So far, I haven’t personally had any issues with snags.
I would recommend these as 3-season tights. Unless you run very hot, they are not warm enough for outdoor workouts in cold weather. The main negative is the price point. At $128, these are some of the most expensive tights in lululemon’s lineup. That said, these tights have many positives. If the price isn’t a deterrent for you, I definitely recommend giving them a shot. When it comes to running performance, lululemon has always been a leader in the market, and these tights are no exception. Overall, I’m really happy with these and they’re quickly becoming one of my go-to running tights.