I’ve often watched athletics on TV and seen athletes running in what look like long socks, and more recently seen runners in mass races wearing them too. My attitude has always been there is no way I would wear them having quite big calves…until now. I am a convert!!
Realigntech contacted me to see whether I would like to try a pair of the socks. I ummed and ahhed about it and spoke to a few people and decided I probably wouldn’t- but then I met a girl at a Brisbane Trail Running session who was wearing calf sleeves – so these were socks without the sock on the foot – just the calf bit. She raved on about them and said they helped her in training and afterwards too – and one of the guys I work with has some too and loves them – so I thought I would give them a go.
So the first thing I had to do was measure the widest part of my calf and send details to Realigntech. I did and then a pair of 110% Play Harder calf sleeves arrived on my door step.
I was a bit apprehensive about wearing them as I figured my calves were big enough – I really didn’t need to make them stand out anymore, and also what if they started to slide down? That would annoy me!
Anyway I tried them out on a weekend trail run where I knew it was at least 10k and I would really get to put them through their paces. Here is what I thought below. Firstly please note I was not paid for this review and all views are absolutely my own.
When i took the sleeves out of the packet they came with a left and a right indicator on the sleeves as well as some thin ice packs which you put in the freezer and you can slide down the second skin of the sleeve post training for relief post training – handy idea.
I slid the sleeves on. They felt very tight and I wasn’t sure whether they would be uncomfortable to run in but after I got used to them they were literally like a second skin!
The fabric felt good. I had seen some sleeves that were a more lycra glossy type fabric and people I spoke to had complained they rolled down – so this was different. I like the fact that the sleeves are sleeves and not a full sock and when I put my sock on they all fitted nicely underneath.
Sleeves in action
I found as I said before the sleeves were like a second skin. They were actually super comfortable and I never once had to pull them up or felt like they were falling down.
I found during my run that my calves felt supported and really solid, and the added bonus was they shielded me on more than one occasion against my calves being cut after a spectacular stack on the trails.
After wearing them the first time I found I didn’t want to not wear them on my runs and they have become a firm part of my running kit. I’ve worn them on most long runs and I wore them in a race I did a short while ago.
I have tended to wear the sleeves for running in and then taken them off as they need to be washed – but they are also great for recovery and wearing when muscles are tired. As I said before they come with an extra sleeve within the sleeve to slide frozen ice packs down to aid recovery. Great idea but to be honest I haven’t needed them. I have found each time I wore the sleeves my calves haven’t ached.
They are very versatile and I even wore them on the plane on my trip recently over to the UK as compression aids.
Summary and thoughts
I surprised myself on these calf sleeves. I didn’t think I would find them as useful as I have and they are now a firm staple in my running kit. If anything I would consider buying a second pair so I had some for training and then some for recovery.
– very comfortable no issues with slipping down
– great protection when running on the trails. My lower legs survived a couple of stacks thanks to the sleeves.
– no aching during runs and seemed to have less after runs and quicker recovery
– easy to wash. Simply put them in the washing machine. Done.
– if you need extra relief there is a second layer that you can put ice packs down post session.
– no idea what the price is for sleeves but they are a little bit of an investment at just over $100 but I feel with a lot of things you do get what you pay for.
– make sure you measure your calf correctly to ensure you get the right size.