Monday, February 28, 2011

RecoFit Compression Components: Calf Sleeve Product Review

Susan Eastman Walton is the president of Move Sport, Inc. and the aging athlete behind RecoFit. She is prone to shin splints, among other things. After just 35 minutes, the aches and pains begin. After complaining to her husband (a sportswear manufacturer, he is a performance-fabric expert) that she wished there was something preventative rather than reactive I could do to address these issues. He suggested we further explore the compression concept, which was already on the market but no option that worked. Versatility was key and the product couldn’t look geriatric - they needed to look cool!

They came up with a high-tech-looking “sleeve.” A 2008 race on pavement put them to the test – at the end, Susan was thrilled to find her legs feeling as good at the finish line as they did at the start. The next day, there was no pain, as if she hadn’t even run the race. Named  RecoFit for RECOvery and FITness = new business born!

* RecoFit’s calf compression components superior design and materials include GreatFiT ™ -- Gradient Recovery Exercise & Activity Technology -- delivering gradient compression where it’s needed most to reduce negative exercise and travel effects and maximize recovery. Careful pattern-making and construction provide gradient compression from the ankle up towards the knee, helping to return the blood to the heart.
* Resistex Negative-ion circulation assistance through Resistex™ carbon yarns increases blood oxygenation and supports the immune system as well as offering ribbed massage, compression, moisture-management and breathability.
* Superior materials featuring the finest breathable and most comfortable Italian fabrics and flat-seam construction that do not bind or irritate. The contour and cross-grain-cut of the fabric provides maximum compression benefits.
* Versatility and performance: Recofit components are more versatile and specific than shorts, tights or socks.
* Left- and right-specific for optimum fit and performance, as well as a wide range of sizes to best suit individual needs.

As mentioned, they are right and left specific and, while I didn't try reversing them to feel if there was a difference, it's kind of a nice ritual before lacing them up to peer into the sleev to find the tag, These sleeves seem to run a bit large, not in a major way, but definitely opt for the smaller size if you are close. RecoFit sent us a medium and a large (one black one white, both very cool looking), and I feel like the smaller is better for me for running, while the larger is more comfortable for recovery. What really sets these apart is how different they feel compared to other compression garments. They have none of the stretchy fibrous feel so common, but rather a silkier effect on the legs.

I wore these sleeves for both running and biking. A kind of unusual feature is that they don't feel constrictive like some compression sleeves, yet the support is noticeably there. Running was on treadmill, street, and trail, while cycling was on an indoor trainer. In each case, the sleeves performed as advertised.

Definitely recommended, both for activity and for the subsequent recovery. Especially suited to those who don't care for the typical feel of compression gear.

Visit the RecoFit website and follow RecoFiT on Facebook and Twitter.

Head over to Women's Endurance Gear to read what Laima wrote about these.

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of RecoFiT. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give it a positive review, and all opinions are my own. Some information in this review was taken from the company website.

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  1. Thanks Kovas. After you and your wife have written about these, I need to back and get some for my husband. I had bought a pair awhile pack but returned them until I knew more about them. After our 13 miler yesterday my husband's calf muscles are killing him...this would be good to have.

  2. Very cool - thanks for sharing! I'm in the market for a pair of calf sleeves so I will have to keep these in mind.

    Question: Did they say anything about the lifetime of this product? I bought CEP compression socks at an Expo last year, and the rep told me they start to lose the compression after ~7 months.

  3. Sounds like something I need as my left achilles is a little angry. Again.

  4. Susan's response to Anne-Marie's question:

    "Glad your review has prompted a response, and she’s asked a good question. The answer is that, like any article of clothing, fabric will eventually break down. RecoFit calf compression sleeves have the added advantage, however, of featuring carbon filaments within the woven, Italian-made Resistex fabric. The carbon allows this technical fabric to be thin, yet strong, and will help hold the compression benefits for a longer time than simply knitted fabric. Then one must consider how often and where it is worn -- a trail runner running through scratchy brush will certainly beat them up faster than someone who prefers running on pavement. At any rate, the typical runner can expect his or her RecoFit calf sleeves to easily hold compression for a year and probably longer."

  5. Love those calf sleeves. Now that my training is getting so much more intense my calves are always feeling very tight. I like my compression socks but they seem to hurt my toes after a while.

  6. Thanks, Kovas.
    Because of the uniqueness of the material and feel, I'll be looking into trying them out :).

    And, hey, I've got a new nickname for you:
    "Mannequin Runner."
    [at least it should get Chris K's attention! ;)]

    Run (and dress) well, Ann

  7. i sure could use those calf sleeves right about now...

    nice post as always, friend.

  8. Wait a minute, carbon and Italian made fabrics? That's like my dream. You know I love me my compression so it's always good to learn about new options. They don't look geriatric at all, and in fact if they actually had that outer glow when you wore them, they'd be that much better...

    And I agree with Barbie, it's all about the sleeves. Have not really found a compression sock that got the calf compression right and the foot part right...

  9. just by looking at how the seams are, makes me think they would give great support. I love compression.

  10. Love compression. Really good review. And I need to get some new compression wear, what I have now is pretty worn.

  11. Kovas- thanks to you and Susan for the quick reply! I am definitely going to look into these.

  12. My shins are often sore. I think they are drooling over these; they certainly look comfy!


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