New Balance Impact Tight Review
Active Gear Review is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Whether you like it or not, fall is slowly (or quickly depending on where you live) fading into winter; and a staple in every runner girl’s winter wardrobe is the running tight. I, like most girls, have several pairs for specific conditions – from the chilly predawn autumn run, up to the ankle deep snow and frigid temps run. The New Balance Impact Tight, while not the absolute warmest tight I have ever owned, does offer some versatility making it a useful item for almost any runner.
Impact Tight Technology and Fabric
The tights are made of an 88% polyester and 12% spandex blend, featuring New Balance’s “Lightning Dry” technology. As the name implies, “Lightning Dry” is made to wick moisture away and keep your comfortable. I have actually worn the tights quite a bit – on runs as short as 4 miles, up to 12 miles, in temps ranging from 25 up to 40 degrees. I typically don’t sweat too much on my lower half; however, do occasionally have problems with sweat accumulation around the waistband of tights/shorts, leading to chafing. I did not have this problem with the Impact Tight. The high percentage polyester blend gives the tights a more relaxed and worn feeling, and in my opinion did an excellent job of keeping me dry and comfortable. I also appreciated that the tights felt “broken in” – as if I had been wearing them for months already.
Fit and Sizing
As anticipated, the tights are comfortably fitted, have a mid-rise, and are true to size in every aspect except length. The tights are stated to be a 7/8 length on NB’s website; and for me at 5’10”, that means it’s more of a capri length – hitting about two thirds down my shin. So if you are tall (above 5’8”) expect these tights to not be full, or even the stated 7/8 length. The tights also feature an elastic draw cord waistband, which I found to be necessary to keep the tights from sagging too much in the crotch. This is a common problem in running tights in general for us taller girls – finding a tight that is long enough and yet fits up top – the Impact tight, unfortunately, doesn’t appear to solve this problem. The tights are offered on NB’s website in sizes XS to 2XL.
The tights are offered in black and black/yellow. In either case, the tights are mostly black with the color difference appearing in the printed graphic at the sleeve of the pant. The graphics are all light reflective and are located on the sleeve, back panel, and a small logo on the front. Like most runners, I think I wear the majority of my reflective gear on my top half or head (who doesn’t love headlamp season!), but appreciated the extra glow-factor, although very subtle, on my bottom half. The tight also features a zippered ankle that didn’t rub or cause any chafing – in fact, I didn’t even notice it had a zipper on the sleeve until I looked closer. There is also one back-zip storage pocket – not big enough for a cell phone, but could comfortably fit a car key or a gel.
I did enjoy the Impact Tight and will continue to use them all winter long. Where I have found they work the best is for the runs where you think shorts might work out, but find yourself hemming and hawing for twenty minutes about shorts v. tights. For me, this is around 35-40 degrees. Otherwise, for anything colder where you know you definitely need a more substantial tight, I would use these as a base layer under a thicker tight (for me, anything less than 15 degrees). For the range between 15-35 degrees, I would just use a thicker tight by itself and save the Impact Tight for another run. Overall, I think the ability to use the tights alone or under another pair of tights, does offer some versatility – which is definitive must when the retail price is $64.99!