Some people credit their running performance to compression socks. Some companies claim wearing their socks will take minutes off your marathon time.
Me? I just hope compression wear does something!
With that mindset, I tested out a pair of Tommie Copper Compression Calf Sleeves. These are a little different than knee-high compression socks because they lack the actual sock part. But for the most part, calf sleeves do the same thing. And they can be worn in conjunction with your favorite running socks, rather than replace them.
(If you’re not familiar with compression sleeves, generally they are used to promote circulation and therefore speed recovery between workouts. Some runners will wear them during training and racing, too.)
Tommie Copper sleeves offer not only compression, but also a copper infused fabric, which gives you the benefits of copper therapy. I’m not sure how that works, but unless you’re allergic to copper, it can’t hurt.
As I write this review, I’ve used the sleeves for about three months, so I have a pretty good feel for them. I only run 1-3 times per week because it’s not my primary sport, but that’s even more reason I need the sleeves – my legs don’t get accustomed to running like they would if I ran 3-6 times per week, so it’s easy for them to get sore.
And when my legs get sore from running, it’s usually my calves. Shin splints are a thing of the past since I switched to minimalist shoes and the Chi Running style, and my upper legs always seem to do fine and dandy. So the calf sleeves are just the ticket.
Testing and Results
My testing protocol for these sleeves was pretty simple and unscientific – every other week, I would wear these sleeves for a day or two after my runs. On the other weeks, I’d recover without help from the sleeves.
The result was that I felt better, faster, when I was wearing my sleeves post-run. These days, anytime I do a run of any significance, I wear my calf sleeves the rest of the day. They seem to work for me, so why not make the most of them?
The sleeves are so comfortable I can wear them all day and all night. (If you don’t want people to see you wearing these funny things, just sleep in them at night and you’ll still get the benefits!)
I also suggest wearing these when you will be sitting for long periods of time. For example, when you’re cramped on a plane for a long flight. They will help your blood circulate back up through your sedentary legs.
The only time they ever bothered me was during the July heat wave. When it’s 90+ degrees outside and humid, any extra layer of clothing means extra heat!
After three months, the sleeves have no significant wear and tear, and they’re still tight, so I’m happy with the durability. (Sleeves are currently $24.50 each, plus shipping and handling, so they’re on par with the high-end name brands.)
In my experience, the sizing guide is spot on.
If you’re unsure about measuring and sizing, Tommie Copper has how-to sizing videos on their Youtube account. They’re short and sweet, but useful.
So if you want to recover faster from your runs, I think the Tommie Copper Cu29 calf compression sleeves will help.
Manufacturer website: www.TommieCopper.com
Full disclosure: I got the calf sleeves for free, for review purposes. I receive no compensation from Tommie Copper for writing about them.