Hi! Charlotte here! Again!
I have been very lucky that the wonderful people at Run Mummy Run sent me a pair of their compression socks and the lovely people at CEP sent me a pair of their compression sleeves to test out and give you lovely people my honest feedback.
The only way I know to do this is to actually wear them for training and races and tell you my honest opinion.
Now as a relatively new runner, ie the most I can do is a half marathon (and even then there is some walking involved) I am always skeptical when certain items become a fad. My first instinct is to go “really?!” these are just so that people can say that they have the newest thing on the market. I then started, to have a closer look at what people were saying about them.
After a little research I realised that as with many things it depends on the person. For some people they are a miracle item and for others they have no impact on their run at all. For me it is all about how you use them. There is a great Q&A here about compression socks and here as well.
I started to try these after I suffered a bad strain on my ankle and I swear, no word of a lie, without them I would not have been up and running in half the time that I was. Run Mummy Run actually have some great advice on the use of compression socks and sleeves here. Now I am not a doctor and nor do I have any kind of medical training short of a first aid course I took for work many years ago but I will tell you that these sock have amazing support, they are great in your trainers, they didn’t rub; or cause and kind of discomfort from any other socks that I have; nor did they feel to tight as if they were restricting my leg, but they did make me feel like I had a helping hand to get me up and running quicker. I also discovered that if you have little blisters that are giving you jip these socks make you feel like there is nothing there at all. Now this might just be me but I cannot recommend them enough.
The other thing that is magic about these socks is that they are also great for recovery. Please don’t fall asleep in them but I have been known to prance about the house in them all day after a run. Not just because they come in some seriously fabulous colours! But also because they help with making your legs feel like they are recovering quicker. I can honestly say that my legs feel less stressed after wearing them than if I were to not put anything on at all.
I have worn them for a number of races and runs and they are definitely always going to be in my race kit.
Once I had tried and tested the socks from Run Mummy Run I then decided that it might be an idea to try sleeves. The lovely ladies over at CEP were able to help. They have a whole wonderland of compression items tailored to your every need. Short running socks, long ones that go up your calves, ones for running and ones from recovering. Their technology is known internationally and recommended all over the internet. They were able to send me a pair of their bright coloured compression sleeves for me to try (because if I am going to get a pair they need to be very bright). Having got over my injury and in a new pair of running trainers I decided to take them out for a test run. They were great for the run, giving my calves a little support and they are so comfortable that you barely feel them once they are on. As with the socks they do take a little bit of persuading to get on your foot though, once they are on they fit great!
Having tested them on a few runs I then decided to wear them in my half marathon in Swansea to really give them a run for their money. Now they aren’t as supportive as the socks and if you are going to try and rely on them as an element of support for a small injury then I would say they are unlikely to be able to help you, that being said they are great for taking the impact of a race out of your legs. I felt like I could run and that, along with my trainers, the sleeves were helping to take the vibrations of running on tarmac for a long time.
Overall I would say that compression socks and sleeves really come into their element on long runs and that they are a great tool for helping you feel like you have a support with you taking that extra bit of vibration away from your legs. Like I say. I am no expert or doctor but now that they are part of my kit I am unlikely to be without them.