Compression gear, especially compression calf sleeves, are all the rage. As I write this, I’m wearing compression shorts, and I’ve got to say, I’m becoming quite fond of them, but I’ll save that for another article. I’ll need to test them out in more situations before I’ll be ready to offer an opinion. No, this podcast episode is focused on the ones worn on the calf. You know those thick, stretchy, usually brightly colored calf sleeves?
A glance at any starting line is a testiment to their populaity as half the runners will be wearing them. You’ll see all the major brands, and every color of the rainbow will be represented. They’ve been around for a few years, and it appears they’re still gaining in popularity.
The question is Do they work? Will they help you run faster? Will you recover faster with compression sleeves? Will you feel better if you wear them during the race? Will they help prevent injuries?
Are calf sleeves better or the full length compression socks that go all the way up to just below the knee? Is one brand better than the others? And what about fit?
There are plenty of questions; that’s for sure. In the episode, I explain what we know and what we still don’t know. Then I offer my own impressions, having given them considerable testing during and after various races. Then, I’ll provide my recommendations of who I think has the potential to benefit most from wearing compression sleeves and or socks.
“Athletic Recovery Socks 401,” Sigvaris website
“How Compression Apparel Works,” Competitor.com, by Aaron Hersh, February, 2014