Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves

Leg Sleeves Let You Wear Your Favorite Socks While Getting Compression Benefit

Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves
Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves. Zensah

Compression socks and leg sleeves are becoming common sights at half marathons and marathons. Endurance runners and walkers are turning to them with the hopes of both improving their performance and having a quicker recovery time. Zensah compression leg sleeves are designed for this purpose, plus they come in many fun colors and designs to complete your race costume.

Pros

  • Fun colors and designs
  • Comfortable fabric to wear both on workouts and during recovery.

Cons

Why Wear Compression Leg Sleeves?

I was interested in compression leg sleeves because I have varicose veins, and even though I've had sclerotherapy treatment, they keep coming back. I'm a good candidate for needing compression hose to help venous blood return uphill to my heart.

I previously bought compression socks at a race expo. But I couldn't wear them comfortably because the tight socks irritated my bunion.

Even without the bunion problem, I was leery of wearing compression socks while doing my long walks or at a half marathon. For those events, I wanted to wear performance socks that would help prevent blisters, and that I can replace at far less cost than for compression socks.

Fashion was also a big factor, as everybody seems to be dressing to a theme with their race gear. My race shorts are basic black and I'd rather not call attention to my derriere with brighter colors. But I don't mind accenting my shapely shins.

Materials: Zensah compression leg sleeves are made of their Zensah fabric, which is nylon and spandex with silver ions added for heat transfer and to prevent bacterial growth (which can lead to odor).

The fabric wicks away moisture. They are seamless to provide less chance of irritation. They are machine washable.

Gradient Compression: You can't just wear any old tight sock and get the same effect as with a compression sock or leg sleeve. These are designed with wide ribbing in the front for shin support and tight ribbing in the back for calf support. There is also more support at the ankle and less as you progress up the leg, which is designed to help the blood flow back uphill to the heart. Blood carries oxygen, carbon dioxide, and the byproducts of metabolism. Compression hose don't claim to help arterial blood reach your muscles, that's what the heart does. Instead, the gradient compression helps the venous blood return to the heart, liver and lungs to get cleaned and restored and ready to bring good oxygen back with it through the arteries. If you need a refresher, here are the basics of the circulatory system.

Fit: Zensah leg sleeves come in XS/S, S/M and L/XL. The right size depends on both your height and your calf circumference, so get out the measuring tape.

I'm a short gal with muscular calves, so I used the calf measurement to determine which to get. I didn't want to end up with two leg tourniquets.

Wearing the Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves

I wore the leg sleeves for many long distance walking workouts (six to 10 miles) in cold winter weather. I usually continued to wear them the rest of the afternoon and evening during recovery time.

They are comfortable to wear, I forgot I had them on. My only minor problem was that I had to get the large size due to my large calves, but the length of the leg sleeve is a little long for my short shins, so it bunched up a little at the ankle or knee.

I had a really great month of long distance walking, often with back-to-back hard workout days on the weekends. I can't say that my performance was better, I had less fatigue, or my recovery was shorter due to the leg sleeves. But it was an unusually good month of training in the dead of winter, and I seemed to be up for a hard workout each day. It resulted in registering for a lot of upcoming half marathons, maybe more than are wise...

Where I think they made a significant difference was in preventing winter chafing. I usually have very itchy or irritated skin on my calves from the effects of cold weather on long walking workouts. Although I spent even more time than usual out in dry, cold conditions, I had none of that. I usually go through a lot of moisturizer to keep my legs from developing winter dry skin and I realized I hadn't used any all winter.

I look forward to wearing these on my half marathons through spring and summer to see how they work with shorts and in warmer weather.

Bottom Line on Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves

They were comfortable to wear and, at the least, they will help complete my fashionable race ensemble. If you think compression hose may help your performance or recovery, these can be a good choice.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.

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