We’ve been testing this kit from lesser known manufacturer, SUB, over the last few weeks. The RX is the higher end kit from SUB, who it seems sells kit directly on Amazon but about whom there is little other information available. What was certain is that they were getting rave reviews on Amazon by the users, and so I decided to invest in a few items from SUB initially to test the water.
We tested out a pair of SUB RX Leggings and Graduated Compression Baselayer Under Shorts, and bought the former after we’d been suitably impressed by the latter. The shorts have an rrp of £28 and the leggings £34 which put these firmly as mid range kit. You’ll easily pay twice the price for Skins, and you could get two or three pairs of these when Aldi have a deal on. That said, the SUB kit was discounted when we bought it, and you may be able to get it below the price stated. Both the shorts and leggings are available in women’s designs for the same price.
The SUB RX shorts and leggings are manufactured from a thin Lycra with colourful seams that may or may not appeal. Personally, I think this looks better than a plain short for no good reason, but as they’ll be mostly covered up in use, is probably a moot point anyway. However, this is not just aesthetic, but is due to the targeted compression the RX garments provide. Basically, this means that there’s more compression where you need it and less where you don’t – backed up by some sciency stuff here.
I’m not sure how much improvement the shorts give in performance, considering they cover the upper leg only, but I was able to get a decent run in with the leggings even though I had an iffy knee that day. But I’m not sure how much of that was just me wanting to get out and play with some shiny new kit!
I used these in very cold conditions, under some running shorts or Montane Featherlight Trews, and unless you really pull them up you might be getting a visit from a certain Ms Elisabeth Swollocks, and we all know what her friends call her. I’ve never experienced this, not even in the summer and certainly not during sub zero runs! I found that he only way around this was to pull the waistband up as far as it would go, which has the secondary effect of flattering any gut you may be carrying, and they seemed to behave after that.
I found the fit OK, but having never worn a pair of tights before, had to work out how the hell to actually put them on. I shan’t explain, you’ll either know how to do so, or you can have the same few minutes of fun that I had. If you’re long of leg, then worry not about these leggings. I had to fold the cuffs up, and anyone with short legs might find that this becomes a problem.
The waistband stays up, but I find that the waistband likes to roll up. This is a problem I have had with other similar shorts, and the only way around it I’ve found is to either lose a few kilos or to put them on over a tight top. That keeps them in place. It’s annoying, but I don’t find it interferes with the run.
They’re not the warmest of base-layers and if you’re particularly delicate and prone to, ahem, ‘shrinkage’ then they probably won’t be ideal for winter use. Under a pair of pertex windproof trews they were just right for me for a run in sub zero conditions, but had it been windier and wet then I might have suffered. When I got caught out in an exceptionally heavy December downpour in the shorts, they kept everything warm enough despite being soaked.
Overall, they’re a decent base-layer for the legs, whether you want shorts or leggings. I’m not convinced that the compression helps much with endurance, which seems to be the general consensus online anyway. Maybe if I was running 20-30km sessions back to back, but about 20km is my current limit and I’d certainly not run two in a row! The compression however did seem to help my niggling knee, and does feel good after a run if nothing else.
What the Manufacturer says:
- PERFORMANCE – High quality LYCRA® compression baselayer that keeps your body COOL and DRY
- COMFORT – Provides superb retention of shape and is soft on the skin
- ENDURANCE – Breathable fabric that wicks moisture away to keep your body COOL during intense exercise
- PROTECTION – Reduces muscle oscillation which can lead to injuries
- RECOVERY – Graduated compression aids blood flow back to the heart and can prevent the build-up of lactic acid