Few if any gear manufacturers have the singular focus of Opedix, a company that makes compression garments designed to help athletes’ joints. Opedix is part engineering firm and part clothing maker, and they pride themselves in doing one thing and doing it well. Their line of compression tights are a case in point. While most makers have several different offerings, Opedix has two: A running version and a skiing version. There is no low/mid/high model – all Opedix tights are high-end, in a class with the CW-X Revolution and other high quality tights.
The Opedix R1 Compression Tight at $190 is designed for runners who require or seek skeletal support from their running tights, and some warmth is an added bonus if needed (although the tights can be comfortably worn in milder climates). Opedix touts the R1 as the most advanced running tight to provide musco skeletal support for runners, and field tests indicate that the R1 does a lot to live up to this billing. The manufacturer suggests that the tights can absorb 16% of the impact on a runner’s knees, something we have no way of validating, but if true could help many who run with knee or ligament ailments. What we do know is that runners who test these tights report much better lateral support around the knee joint, and firmness on the patella that creates a positive chain reaction in the leg.
Design and Functionality
The Opedix R1 Compression Tight is built with 4-way stabilization panels, creating pulls and pressures that help stabilize the all-important knee joint. From our market research, this specific design is truly unique to the Opedix R1. Like other high-end tights, the R1 also feature moisture wicking technology, odor elimination, and breathability in its fabric. Runners report that they appreciate the level of compression on the top of the knee joint (good for those with patellar tendinitis) and on the quad (good for those with IT Band issues). The level of support is consistent and tends to hold up well over time.
As for functionality, Opedix makes a comfortable product, with breathability and dryness being some of the key design priorities. While the R1 can be worn in many different temperatures, we especially like it as a cool weather option. The “un-loading” technology that reduces the load on a runner’s knees could be great during the cold weather runs when everything is just a little tighter and more sensitive. Opedix points out that runners can expect more support and the unloading of weight on their knee joints by using the tight, something that, when coupled with the warmth a compression tight provides to the runner’s joints in cold weather, may extend the lifespan of many runners’ knees.
As with the couple of the other high-end tights on the market, the R1 is not only meant for active times. Being a good recovery tight, many runners or cyclists wear the tight while sleeping as well. The effect is essentially a leg massage while you sleep, akin to having done a gentle foam roller all night long. For many runners, sleeping in compression wear becomes standard practice after (and sometimes before) key runs. In fact, some testers report that wearing the R1 after a workout is actually more valuable than using it during a run.
Like most compression tights, the Opedix R1 running tight is designed to have a very slim fit. The un-loading technology will work best if the tight has a snug but not restrictive fit for the runner. Logic would suggest that buying an R1 running tight in too large a size would defeat the benefit of the knee stabilization and un-loading engineering. Opedix has a great sizing chart on their website, one that will make sure you don’t have to guess as to which fit to get for you.
At $190 per pair, the Opedix R1 is not a trivial investment, and resides at the high-end of the compression tight price range. But as we preach on this site over and over, your knees and associated running gear are not something to be penny-wise and pound-foolish about. A well-constructed garment that can actually support your knees could prove to be worth far more than the price you pay when you purchase. As a result, we think shelling out the $190 for this tight probably is a better investment than paying $49 for a tight with no musco-skeletal benefits. Just take good care of the tights.
The Opedix R1 is an intriguing piece of equipment for the cold-weather runner, and those who have used the tight both for running and recovery swear by it. Its build and quality place it squarely in the high-end category for compression tights. For those with knee issues or people simply wanted to avoid developing them, the Opedix R1 could prove to be a good long-term investment if the knee technology works as suggested by the manufacturer.
Mens Opedix R1 Running Tights – $190
Womens Opedix R1 Running Tights – $190