So I mentioned that I got calf compression sleeves after a little upset calf action on a 12 mile run. First, let me just say Roadrunner Sports ships fast. 10 minutes after I ordered them, they were on their way to the FedEx shipping center. Love that. I ordered, as I said, Zensah compression sleeves even though the value of compression wear was somewhat mixed. I paid $30 for them including shipping, etc.
I got them on Friday but didn’t check my mailbox til Sunday so I didn’t wear them on my 18 mile run and believe me, my calf was killing me afterward. It was very unpleasant and stretching was not improving the situation. So when I saw them in my mailbox I was overjoyed.
I’ve been wearing them pretty consistently throughout the week–underneath my work pants and when I go to bed. My calf has felt better… Last night’s fastest ever 5 miler took its toll and I didn’t wear my calf sleeves because by the time I remembered them I already had my sneakers on so, you know, that just required too much effort.
Do they work? I mean, do I feel better? Run better? Look more stylish? While the fashion police are still out on that last one, I’d say they provided moderate improvement over not wearing anything at all. I will temper this assessment by saying that I was also much more religious and regular in my use of ice post run and gentle stretching. In fact, come to think of it, the compression sleeve was great for holding my ice pack in place….
I am looking forward to finishing the 20 miler and giving my calf 3 weeks to get its act together before the marathon. The discomfort hasn’t disappeared, but it hasn’t gotten worse or matched what it was on that 12 miler.
So should you buy them? I’d say if money’s tight, spend it at CVS getting a good ice pack that isn’t a Ziploc filled with ice that will just leak all over your couch and your pajamas and make you look like you wet your pants instead of getting compression sleeves. And above all, don’t pay retail. Ever. For anything.