Compression Sleeves vs. Socks


Disclaimer: I received a pair of Legend Compression Wear performance compression calf sleeves to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

If you are looking into trying compression, you have likely looked at a wall of products and wondered whether you should get socks or sleeves. There are pros and cons of both and it is important to do your research and determine what is best for you.

I’ve now tested both the socks and sleeves made by Legend Compression Wear. You can read my previous post for my thoughts on their socks. But basically, I like their products because they are “right not tight,” meaning that the level of compression is comfortable, not painfully restricting like some brands I’ve worn.

Running

The first and obvious difference between the socks and the sleeves, is that the sleeves allow you to still wear your favourite pair of socks with them. For instance, I love to wear Injinji toe socks to prevent rubbing between my toes on my longer runs. They also allow for easier changing of socks, which you might do during a longer race with drop bags or after a run.

Most recently I’ve discovered that compression socks or sleeves (with gaiters to cover the split between your socks and sleeves) are both great for snowy adventures! We’ve received an usual amount of snow lately in Vancouver which quickly hardens to icy snow. I’ve had a few runs where we end up postholing and whacking/scraping our shins as we sink in to knee to full leg depth. Long socks or sleeves are a life saver for your legs plus provide an extra layer of warmth.

Recovery

I brought a couple pairs of calf sleeve with me when I did my epic TransAlpine Run as recovery was key to completing the 7-day, 250 km stage race. After every day of running I’d have a cold shower or bath, rub some icy cold on my legs, elevate my feet for a while, and wear my calf sleeves, in varying order. And I’d sometimes wear my calf sleeves to bed. I like them better than socks for this because I can’t stand to have socks on my feet while I’m sleeping (is that weird?). I also often wear thong flip flops after running so calf sleeves are great for that too!

Warning: I’ve heard that compression sleeves might not be a good idea overnight because you could get ankle and foot swelling. However, I have not personally noticed a problem with this.

Since compression is always a topic of great debate, I’d love to hear from you.

  • Do you wear compression?
  • If so, what do you prefer: sleeves or socks?
  • Do you wear them mostly for running or recovery?

Try Legend Compression Wear for yourself! Use code “rave20” to get 20% off your purchase!

Check out review by my fellow BibRave Pros!

Nora – Jeremy – Jen – Heather


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Brie

Brie

I started running about three years ago. Until this time i had never considered myself a runner and actually hated running. I'm not sure what changed but i'm glad it did! I enjoy sharing my thoughts, training, and experiences through my blog and encouraging and supporting others in their running journeys. Since becoming a runner, I have completed a handful of half marathons, three full marathons, and four ultra marathons. However, my biggest accomplishments have been running the Rim2Rim2Rim in the Grand Canyon and completing a seven-day, 250km stage race in the Alps. These were adventures of a lifetime and something I had never imagined that I would do even in my wildest dreams!

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