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A review of graduated compression wear

2,505 bytes added, 13:13, 27 February 2013
Calf Sleeves
I've tried a number of different graduated compression bottoms for both recovery and training. I was initially skeptical of the benefits of compression clothing, but I've become a believer over time. My [[Why compression clothes|review of the available research]] indicates that compression clothing is a worthwhile investment. Personally, I found wearing compression clothing while training improves comfort and reduces leg pain. I have also found that wearing compression clothing makes a significant difference to recovery. Recovery compression tights reduce discomfort while they are worn, and they also reduce overall recovery times. I even [[Zeo Sleep Monitor|sleep]] in compression tights on occasion.
Calf sleeves are cheaper and more popular than full tights and offer most of the advantages.
==Summary of calf compression sleeves==
{| class="wikitablesortable"!class="unsortable" |Type!!class="unsortable" | Recommendation!!Overall Rating!!class="unsortable" | Colors!Number of sizes!SizesMin size (inches)!Max size (inches)!Size Increments!!Elasticity!!Taper!!Thickness!!Compression top!!Compression Bottom!!Compression ratio!!Length!(inches)!Comfort!!class="unsortable" | Size Tested
|[ 2XU Calf Guards]|Top Pick|10.0|Black/White/Red/Blue|6, | 13.0" to | 19".0|1.0"-1.5"|48%|36%|1.5|3|4|20%|10.5"|8|SM: 14.0"-15.5"
|Zoot Ultra|A good second|9.5|Black/White|5, | 12.0" to | 20.0"|1.0"-2.0"|36%|21%|5.0|4|4|0%|12"|7|3: 14.5"-16.0
|[ Zensah]|Good if they fit|9.0|Lots, including White|3, | 9.0" to | 15.0+"|2.5"-3.5"|29%|53%|7.0|5|4| -29%|11"|9|MD: 12.5" – 15.5"
|Mizuno[ CEP]|Recommended if you want higher Consider for high compression|57.0|Black with highlights/White/Blue/Red/etc.| 3|4, 1112.5| 20.0" to 18.25"|2.250"-2.5"|3847%|4777%|64.0|58|410| -20%|14"13|5|MD3: 12.5"-15.0"
|[ CW-X Revolution]Mizuno|Recommended if you want low compressionNot recommended|45.50|Black/Whitewith highlights|4, 12| 11.0" to 16| 18.5"25|12.25"-2.5"|4338%|5647%|26.0|25|24| -1020%|1314|85|MD: 1312.5" -15.50"
|[ Zoot Performance2FB005EILGYC CW-X Revolution]|Not recommendedunless you want low compression|24.05|Black/White|4, 13| 12.0| 16.5" to 20"|1.0"-2.05"|2143%|3556%|32.0|82|72| -2010%|11"13|38|MD: 1413.5" – 1615.05"
|[ Skins2FB005LTPWFI Zoot Performance]|Not recommended|12.0|Black/White|4| 13.5, 12.0" to | 20.0"|1.0"-12.50"|5021%|4035%|13.80|28|27|0 -20%|12"11|93|SMMD: 14.5" – 1516.0"
| [ Skins]| Not recommended| 1.0| Black/White| 5| 12.0| 20.0| 1.0"-1.5"| 50%| 40%| 1.8| 2| 2| 0%| 12| 9| SM: 14" – 15"|-|[ Salomon Exo IV]|Not recommended|0.0|Black/White|5, | 11.4" to | 17.3"|0.8"|11%|67%|2.5|5|3| -43%|12"|1|MD: 14.2" – 15.0"
===Explanation of columns===
* '''Size tested'''. This is the size I tested, and my calves measure about 14.5 inches so you can see where I fall in the size range.
==2XU Guard Calf Sleeves==
These [ 2XU sleeves] are my favorites of those I tested. They have plenty of elasticity combined with 6 different sizes, so they are most likely to fit well, and provide a reasonable level of compression. The thin material and the white color are ideal for warmer conditions and they stay in place well. They are also the only sleeves I tested with reflective strips, a useful safety feature when running in the dark. (Note that 2XU also make a 'Calf Sleeve' without 'Guard' in the name which I didn't testis intended for recovery.)
==Zoot Ultra Calf Sleeves==
The Zoot Ultra sleeves are quite similar to the 2XU sleeves. Compared with the 2UX they are not quite as elastic, not quite a thin and not quite as comfortable, but they come a close second. I found they did not stay up quite as well as the 2XU, and I found the length caused me some minor Achilles tendon problems.
==Zensah Calf Sleeves==
The [ Zensah sleeves] were remarkably comfortable and are available in a wide range of colors. However, they fell down with their limited range of sizes and poor elasticity, making it harder to get the right fit. If the Zensah sleeves fit you then they are a good choice for cooler conditions or recovery, but their thickness makes them rather warm. (I regularly wear my Zensah sleeves for recovery.)==CEP Compression Sleeves==The [ CEP sleeves] are much tighter than I would recommend, especially around the lower part of the calf and ankle. Even though they have reasonable elasticity, they only come in three sizes so getting the right fit may be tricky, compounding the tightness issues. The CEP sleeves are quite long and I find they annoyed my Achilles tendon (I don't typically have Achilles issues). On the positive side, the CEP sleeves are reasonably thin, they stay in place well, and there is no band at the top or bottom of the sleeve. I tried the CEP sleeves in the next size up from the recommended size and while this improved the comfort, the compression was still rather high.
==Mizuno Calf Sleeves==
I found that the Mizuno calf sleeves were not as comfortable as those higher on my list. They do have a higher level of compression, and good elasticity, so but if you want something with more pressure, this is a good optionlook at the CEP sleeves.
==CW-X Revolution Calf Sleeves==
The [ CW-X Revolution] sleeves do not have enough compression in my opinion. However, if you're looking for a gentle sleeve, these are worth considering. They have great elasticity and they're nice and thin. These sleeves also make a good choice for sleeping in to improve recovery.
The [ Skins] sleeves are the most comfortable sleeves I tried, mostly because they provide so little compression. Without the compression, these do not seem worth buying.
==Salomon Exo IV==
The best word to summarize the [ Salomon Exo IV] is 'horrible'. They have almost no elasticity, so the chance of getting a good fit is extremely low, and the level of compression they provide is likely to change significantly as your muscles warm up and expand. =Compression Socks=I have not included any compression socks in my reviews because I don't think they are a good idea. The primary problem with compression socks is that they put pressure on the foot in ways the foot was not designed to handle. Pressure that squashes the foot from the side can result in a [[Mortons Neuroma| Morton's Neuroma]] or other problems with the nerves. A secondary problem with compression socks is that they are much harder to size as you have to take into account the size of your foot as well as the size of your calf. In theory the advantage of compression socks is that they help prevent any swelling in the feet, but in practice I've seen few problems with just compression sleeves or tights. =Compression Shorts=While I like form fitting shorts, I'm not a fan of true compression shorts, preferring either full tights or just calf sleeves. The combination of compression shorts and compression calf sleeves seems like a poor choice, as the lower edge of the shorts and the upper edge of the calf sleeves will tend to reduce circulation compared with full tights.
=Training Tights=

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