Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Got compression?

So, let's talk compression!

More specifically, let's talk about compression socks.

Have you ever utilized compression for performance or recovery (or  both)?

I have been a die-hard lover of compression sleeves for a few years. I have worn them during running/racing (usually anything over 10+ miles). In all honesty, I cannot tell if they make a difference in my performance or not (but they look pretty badass!). 

I love them for recovery, though. It seems when I do a long run, there will usually be some post-run water retention and muscle aches (and it typically won't show up for a day or so later). Sliding on the compression helps alleviate some of the post-run discomfort because it keeps everything nice and tight so the circulation keeps doing it's thing with minimal swelling.

I was given a pair of SLS3 FXC Butterfly Compression Socks to preview and test. My first thought was, "no compression sleeves?" My second thought was,"try 'em out anyways." I have other full -length compression socks already in my arsenal, but I prefer compression sleeves (because I'm totally in a committed relationship with my SmartWool no-show socks).  But I was willing to give these pretty socks a try.

It was a great day....the socks arrived with a complimentary tech-fabric shirt (#score)

Here's some information from the SLS3 website on the benefits of compression for exercise and/or recovery:
Supports Performance and Recovery
  • May help increase oxygen delivery to working muscles to enhance performance
  • Believed to aid in the elimination of metabolic waste products, such as lactic acid
  • Designed to boost blood flow by 34%
  • Helps delay the onset of fatigue during workouts
  • May aid in muscle stability
High-Tech Design
  • 18–24mmHG of graduated compression
  • Seamless TekWeb technology
  • Web knit for arch support
  • UV protection
  • Cooling fabric
Good to Know
  • 76% micro nylon, 24% spandex
  • Machine wash cold, no bleach; air dry

Aren't they cute?
I wore the SLS3 FXC Butterfly Compression Socks for a race recently. The race itself was almost a train wreck (recap HERE ), but I think the compression socks helped ease some of my discomfort. It was one of those races where the body and mind were NOT in sync; I was experiencing some unexpected glute/hammy/piriformis discomfort and my gait and stride were compromised (big time). 

We've all been there. Unexpected aches and pains often lead to a compromised running form, which (in turn) leads to discomfort elsewhere as your body attempts to "right" the situation. In other words, your body (in its survival-mode mentality) will usually over-compensate in other areas as a means to protect the first-affected pain source. So, yeah, my entire body (from the waist-down, at least) was not feeling too good at that race. The extra support of the socks probably enabled me to stay (somewhat) vertical. 

Foam rolling following my ultra
I also have been wearing the socks as a means of recovery from my recent ultra. I did not wear them for the race, but I wore them several times in the week following, mostly overnight. Let me just say that we had some major hot (and humid) weather last week in Iowa.....and I did not experience the typical post-race swelling like I usually do. Granted, there was a tiny bit of puffiness around my ankles, but it was substantially less than usual, even with the crazy hot weather.

Yes, even in my carpet slippers.....

Overall, I was very impressed with the fit of the SLS3 socks . I wear a size 9.5 shoe (10.5-11 size running shoe), and the size S/M fit great. I'm also tall (5'9), and the length was perfect for my long legs (a lot of knee-length socks come up short on me). I have seen some reviews where others thought the sizing ran a bit large, but it worked well for me. It wasn't quite as fitted in the toe region (as elsewhere), but I liked that feature because I can't stand the way other compression socks seem to crowd out my toes.

Although I prefer compression sleeves over full socks, these were legit. Truth be told, full socks are probably better than sleeves (at least for recovery) because they provide support for the entire length of your leg (below the knee), including your ankle and foot. As much I like my sleeves, they stop at my ankles...leaving my entire ankle and foot "on their own." 

What do you think? Need some for yourself? You can find them HERE .

What do you think about compression socks or sleeves? Yay or nay? Have you worn compression socks/sleeves for exercise or recovery? 

***Disclaimer*** I was given these socks in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own, and I do not receive any compensation for referrals or potential sales.

Also, I'm linking this with the Running Coaches Corner...head over and see what Running on Happy , Suzlyfe , Crazy Running Girl , and Coach Debbie Runs have put together for this week's link-up.


  1. I actually really liked these socks! I tested them a few years ago, in spite of my non-compression using running. But besides being cute, they were comfy. Glad you like them too!

    1. They worked out well for me! And the colors and design are great!

  2. A few years back I was really into compression socks when I used to get shin splints a lot. I have not used them in a while but I could! They do have cute designs don't they?

  3. I've never tried this brand but they look good! I like the full length sock, but I would be willing to try just the sleeve. I find they work well for recovery and when I had some shin pain a while back, compression socks made running so much easier.

  4. I've actually gotten away from wearing compression socks lately. I have a pair of low trainer socks that are compression and I do wear them, not necessarily because they are compression but just because they are running socks!

    1. I especially like them for recovery. I can't "feel" them working, but I definitely have a much quicker recovery with them!

  5. I haven't worn compression in a while. Once my mileage starts getting up there I know I'll need to for recovery.

  6. Nice blog and all the information about the Compression Sock Sleeves are very great well done and keep it up.
    Compression Sock Sleeves