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Base Layer vs. Compression

Base Layer vs. Compression

Introduction to Base Layers

Base layers are an essential part of winter wear. They keep you warm and dry by wicking away moisture from your skin. It is essential to wear a suitable fabric base layer for your activity. You should always wear a base layer that preserves its insulating properties when wet. A lot of people confuse compression layers with base layers. The two are not interchangeable.

You've seen athletes in high-intensity sports like ice hockey or football wear compression garments when they're not playing. The reasoning is that compression garments help increase circulation and reduce soreness after periods of physical exertion, which can be crucial for recovery for these sports. But what about base layers? They are often worn underneath your regular clothes, but what are they exactly?

What is a Base Layer?

A base layer is a garment worn directly against your skin, such as underwear and long johns. Base layers are essential to help regulate body temperature during exercise and cold weather activities. Durable materials such as wool or fleece offer warmth and protection from the elements while still allowing moisture management. The primary difference between a base layer and compression wear is how they fit.

What are Compression Leggings?

Compression leggings are a new athletic apparel trend sweeping the nation. These tight-fitting leggings are designed to help maximize blood flow and circulation in the legs while also providing some muscle support. You can buy compression leggings in a variety of styles, from high-waisted to full length. They're often more expensive than your typical legging because of their efficiency and quality material. They come in different colors to help you accentuate your style.

Are our Base Layers Good for Fitness?

A runner's base layer is the first layer of clothing worn against the skin during a run. Ideally, it should be lightweight and breathable. Compression garments are made with tighter-than-normal fabric that compresses the body in order to increase blood flow back to the heart and prevent muscle soreness. It can also provide moisture-wicking properties to help keep sweat off your skin.

Should You Wear a Base Layer or Compression Gear?

The base layer or long john undergarments are perfect for all but the most extreme cold. The compression garments are ideal for those who need to stay cool at all times, especially people who wear them to work out. Compression clothing is designed to prevent chafing, as do base layers. Compression clothing will release heat from the body. This creates an environment where you stay cooler longer.


The debate is simple: are compression tights better than base layer tights. Compression tights are tight-fitting garments made of elastic materials designed to be worn under clothing. They help increase the body's circulation, lessening the risk of injury and improving blood flow. On the other hand, base layer tights are thin and snug-fitting garments that provide warmth.


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