Review of Decathlon Running Apparel or Why Running Tights Should Not Cost $158

I first stumbled upon the sporting goods store Decathlon when I was reading something online and they referred to it. Honestly, I don’t even remember what the article was about, but it mentioned something about a sporting goods store founded in France called Decathlon. Naturally, I looked it up, only to find there were no brick-and-mortar stores in the US anywhere near me but I could still buy online. Decathlon sells apparel and equipment for a wide range of athletes and outdoor-enthusiasts, for a huge list of activities like running, walking, hiking, swimming, fishing, hunting, combat sports, archery, yoga, racket sports, and on and on. Here’s their website:

Even though there are currently only a couple of stores in the San Francisco area in the US, Decathlon is apparently the largest sporting goods retailer in the world. They are able to keep costs low by offering 20 of its own brands and cutting out the middleman. Their running-specific brand is Kalenji, though of course there are other brands of running apparel than this one. Still, you won’t find brands like Nike, Adidas, or any other “big-name” companies at Decathlon.

I took a chance and placed my first online order in January of 2019. In that first order, I bought a pair of capri running tights for $10.90, a long-sleeve running pullover for $11.90, a fleece jacket technically for sailing according to Decathlon for $17.90, and a pair of ankle-length running tights for $14.90, with free shipping, coming to a grand total of $55.60. I’ve run in, gone to yoga class, and lifted weights in this athletic apparel many times since then and everything still looks brand new.

One of the hats and tights on the left, pullover on the right

When I first received the tights and capris, I’ll admit I was a little concerned because the material seemed a bit thin. However, I’ve run in both pair of bottoms through a total downpour and/or more manageable rain, extremely windy conditions, and just your average chilly day and have never been cold (or overheated) in them, meaning they “breath” extremely well, perhaps surprisingly well given the price. Everything from my original order has been worn through many conditions, washed, and dried many times and as I said earlier, still looks like new.

Since that initial order, I’ve ordered a pair of running shorts for $7.00, a “mountain backpacking” cap that I wear to run in for $7.99, another “mountain backpacking” cap that I also run in for $3.00, and a “hiking” fleece jacket for $10. This all came to a grand total of $27.99 with no shipping fees. Currently for orders over $30, Decathlon offers free shipping (that minimum amount for free shipping has ranged from $25-$50 since I first ordered with them). Just like with my previous order, I’ve absolutely loved everything I’ve ordered. Everything has fit well and doesn’t feel “cheap.” The tights, capris, and shorts all came with a zippered pocket in the back. Both fleece jackets came with zippered pockets. The caps are fully adjustable.



When I found out there was an actual Decathlon store in Spain near where I had a vacation planned for the end of June, I was very excited and of course was looking forward to visiting the store in person. Then COVID-19 hit and American citizens were prohibited from flying to the EU so I had to cancel that trip.

Still, online sales work for me, especially now that I know what sizes fit me best. I should note too that I’ve never had to send anything back because of poor quality or it didn’t fit. Just about the only complaint I have is they’re sometimes out of stock in my size. If you’re looking for multiple items and/or can be flexible, that definitely helps, otherwise you’ll likely be disappointed. I have no doubt that their inventory is depleted even more so now because of COVID-19.

Finally, I’d like to argue against anyone who might say their gear is cheap and bad for the environment because it doesn’t last long and has to be thrown out every couple of seasons. I still have every single item I’ve purchased from Decathlon and every thing is still in great shape. Besides, running clothes typically don’t last for anything like a decade anyway whether they’re $158 running tights from Lululemon or $14.90 running tights from Decathlon.

Have you ever bought anything from Decathlon? Are you the type of person that’s brand-loyal and will pay more money just because you’re comfortable with the brand or are you more willing to try new brands and new companies?

Happy running!



Author: runningtotravel

I'm a long distance runner with a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states in the US. I also love to travel so I travel to other places when I'm not running races. Half the fun is planning where I'm going to go next!

21 thoughts on “Review of Decathlon Running Apparel or Why Running Tights Should Not Cost $158”

  1. thanks for this, i’d never heard of Decathlon till now. We’re not brand specific, we pay for what is best product for us. I’ll certainly have to check this place out. As far as brand names, mist of them are made in the same places by the same people lol. Nike, Hurley, and of course 30 other brands who are actually part of Nike tend to be one of the top cheap products for higher costs. have an epic day and ty for your review

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have a good point about many brand name products and their off-shoots being made by the same people. I just find it outrageous what some brand name companies charge for athletic gear and clothing and was really happy to find this company. I hope you like their products as much as I do!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never heard of them! Those prices are really good. I must say, though, that my Skirt Sports (which of course are much pricier) do last a really, really long time. I’ve been in some of them for about 6 years. I’ve only had one pair of leggings tear — which made me very sad because they were one of my favorites.

    Always great to hear a real person’s review! Too bad you didn’t get the chance to go to a store. Some day, maybe.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve never heard of them but certainly will check them out! The only item I’ve been brand loyal to so far is UnderArmour’s coldgear leggings. Granted I’ve never paid for them (all Christmas gifts from mom) and I only have one other brand of leggings, C9 from Target to compare them to. The C9 ones are ok for shorter runs but I find start to slide a bit as they don’t fit me as snug around the waist as the UA ones. They’re also better for cool weather but not warm enough for truly cold weather and they don’t have as thick of an inner lining that the UA ones do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Have shopped in Decathlon for the past 15 years or so, always trying to hunt one down when I’m on holiday. You can only imagine my joy when a store opened this year in my home city. Absolutely love Decathlon for all sorts of sports wear and equipment. My most recent purchases have been skis and associated ski equipment (poles, ski bag, thermal base layers, gloves etc etc) which I most certainly can’t fault.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m an American living in Poland and I was a bit skeptical when I first checked out Decathlon but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised! They have some great products and the prices are in a super affordable range. All my winter running gear comes from them and I have no complaints whatsoever! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My local Decathlon store is fantastic. The quality of their gear far exceeds the price point, its because you’re not also paying for inflated marketing and sponsorship budgets.
    Their btwin bikes are also really impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re lucky to have a local store to shop in person rather than online, as I have to do. I completely agree that their quality is exceptional because of not paying for marketing and other name-brand companies.


  6. My daughter does show jumping and I have over the years bought all her rider wear from Decathlon. The house brand is Fouganza. I have never had a problem with quality or sizes. I also purchase online because we don’t have a Decathlon in Durban, South Africa.

    I have also bought the saddle pads, grooming kit for the horse.

    Decathlon is always my 1st stop when I need something.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally agree with your article. I am in France and am lucky enough to have several stores on my doorstep. Their running and hiking gear is always excellent and lasts well. Just this week bought a longer sleeve running top for 10 euros and am really pleased with it. The staff In store are really helpful and knowledgeable. The store in Berlin Alexanderplatz is huge and would recommend if you are ever in Germany.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks so much. I’m happy to hear stories like yours about people in Europe who can shop at the stores in person and have good experiences. I hope to be able to shop at one in Spain when travel restrictions are lifted and I can travel there.


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