Having reviewed two pairs of compression socks I thought I would turn my attention to compression sleeves, namely socks without feet. The good folks at the Wilderness Running Company sent me a pair of Recofit Sleeves. As per the usual form here’s the info from the website:
RecoFit’s calf compression units’ superior design and materials include:
Gradient Recovery Exercise & Activity Technology delivers gradient compression where it’s needed most to reduce negative exercise and travel effects and maximize recovery. Careful pattern making and construction provide gradient compression from the ankle up towards the knee, helping to return the blood to the heart.
Negative-ion circulation assistance through Resistex™ carbon yarns increases blood oxygenation and supports the immune system as well as offering ribbed massage, compression, moisture-management and breathability.
The finest breathable and most comfortable Italian fabrics and flat-seam construction that do not bind or irritate. The contour and cross-grain-cut of the fabric provides maximum compression benefits.
Versatility and Performance
Recofit components are more versatile and specific than shorts, tights or socks.
Left and Right Specific
Maximum benefits result from left- and right-specific components, as well as a wide range of sizes to best suit individual needs.
Although designed by a cyclist (who suffered from shin-splints) for running I have been wearing them for both sports, with over 100 bike (longest ride 75 miles) and nearly 100 running miles (longest run 20 miles) on them in recent weeks here’s my take.
At first appearances they look too short and too wide or baggy, but this soon disappears once you have them they are snug and supportive. They easily reach from below the knee to below the level of where an ankle high/crew sock would stop. I made the mistake of putting them on the wrong legs to start and thought they were really uncomfortable, closer inspection revealed the instructions (Left Leg/Front etc…pretty obvious really). The fabric is featherweight and you soon forget you are wearing them. They are constructed out of two panels; the first panel wraps the front of your calf and the seam follows the contour of your gastroc muscle (the bulb shaped one at the top), the rear panel envelops your gastroc. The front panel is stretchy and is ribbed inside which I assume is the Resistex, the rear panel is even stretchier but is a thinner material.
There are some discreet logos on the front and side and really that is all there is to them, however do not let this slim description fool these things are effective! I think a combination of their lightness and the support is amazingly effective. After both long sessions mentioned above I had zero aches or pains and after both of them I followed up with a minimum of an 8 mile run with little complaint the next day.
Specially designed for recovery and exercise (Reco – Recovery/Fit – Fitness) the real beauty of these sleeves is that you do not have to give up your favorite sock, you can mix and match them for cycling and running as I did and I am sure you could use them for hiking or even skiing or snowboarding as well. They do not get overly warm even in black; they are available in white also. They do come in multiple sizes and the company stresses the need for accurate fitting; I was using a size large. They also have some other products in the pipeline to address shin-splints and full leg and arm sleeves. One additional side benefit I noticed was that they took the worst of the beating that my shins take on the trails from low hanging branches etc. So if you’re stuck in your own socks these could be the ideal thing for you…and don’t forget you can get 10% off them through Wilderness Running using the ‘Quad10’ code at checkout.