Thursday, June 23, 2011

Zensah Compression Sleeves Review

I've told you before how much I love Zensah and their great compression socks for recovery, but I wanted to do a quick review of their compressions leg sleeves.

A pic of the sleeves from their website
I've run basically every race in these, including all three of my half marathons. I. LOVE. THEM. I get terrible shin splints (thank you heel striking and flat feet) and these babies make me go from hobbling in pain to running without a worry. I own two pairs! Honestly compression is one amazing thing and Zensah really knows how to do it right. So what's different about these and the compression socks?
  • They have no foot covering - obviously, but you may not realize how beneficial that can be. First it's much cooler than wearing socks, so you're feet dont get so hot. Second, if you need a specific sock thickness or type, you can still get your compressions. AND I'm learning they are the only compression option for fans of Vibrams. Also if you're the type that likes to let your feet "breathe" after a race, like me, they work with flip flops.
  • The compression is a little lighter - The compression in the socks is really tight. Thats nice when I'm recovering, but when I'm running I'd rather not feel so constricted. The sleeves have just the right compression for movement and exercise. It feels more like a hug than a squeeze . 
  • They are slightly shorter - The socks are a little too long for me and end inside my knee. The sleeves are a little shorter, so that I can bend my legs easier and they don't rub while running. 
When do I wear which product? I tend to wear my sleeves to races and after when I'm walking around. For example at Disney World, I ran my half marathon in one pair, then changed into clean clothes and clean sleeves and wore them all day with comfy sandals at the park. (For a total of 26 miles in compression sleeve bliss according to my Garmin). I wear the socks when I've had a little down time after the race, like the night after or the day after. At Disney I wore them once we got home from the parks and on the plane ride home the next day. 

Do they really make a difference? HECK YES! Ok I know I've never run a half without them, but I did forget them once for a 14 mile training run and I was kicking myself. Recovery is so much faster, I'm faster (I realize I'm still in the turtle category at my fastest but hey!), I hurt less during the running, and life is simply easier with the compression. Literally I started running four months before my first half at disney and ended up leaving having logged at least 40 miles in that weekend (13.1 of them running) and never really felt sore and I feel like I totally owe that to my sleeves/socks. So thanks Zensah for making such amazing product!
Rocking red sleeves at the castle

PS: Zensah in no way influenced this post. I purchased my sleeves and socks with my own money and chose to share my opinions on my own. 

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