For Tuesdays on the Run, Patty from My No-Guilt Life, Erika from MCM Mama Runs and I are sharing our thoughts on compression gear. You know, that running gear that you have to shimmy into like those high school jeans. There’s a huge variety available, from socks to pants to shirts and just about everything in between.
I’ve only ever tried compression socks and compression sleeves (contrary to what you may think, sleeves are not for your arms but are just compression socks without the feet) but I am a big fan of both. The two things that they seem to help with for me are providing a little extra support, especially to my calves, during a long run and helping reduce the fatigue and soreness when I wear them for recovery after a long run.
I prefer the socks to sleeves for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s generally advised not to wear the sleeves for recovery because the blood can pool in your feet if the compression just goes from ankle to knee. The sleeves seem a bit too tight to me as well. Finally, I just hate having to locate a matching pair of sleeves AND socks for a run. It’s just more convenient for them to be all in one for me. Some people prefer sleeves because they have a favorite brand of running socks and being able to separate them is helpful.
There are tons of brands out there. I’ve worn Zensah, ProCompression and BondiCompression (by BondiBand). I actually like them all, but the pair of Zensah’s I have are a bit too thick for this Florida girl (they feel a lot hotter during the run). I really love both the ProCompression and the BondiCompression because they are thin but still provide good compression. And all three brands have some cute styles. I’m particularly partial to argyle!
Another area of debate is when to wear compression. Typically you’ll see them much more often in a half marathon or longer. They’re not very prevalent in the 5k distance. I tend to wear them if I’m running more than 6 miles. I do wear them for shorter distances if I’m dealing with any kind of lower leg injury. Lately, my right calf has been cramping up and has a sore spot (I kind of think I have a small tear but I’m just ignoring it for now) and wearing the compression socks for all my runs helps immensely. It just provides a little extra support for those muscles and tendons.
If you’re interested in trying ProCompression, their Facebook page has lots of discount codes, so definitely don’t pay full price. And if you’d like to try BondiCompression, my ambassador code “SPARKLE” will get you 10% off (no expiration date) even on sale items!