A couple weeks ago I came across a blog post on The Running Jewess about some leg warmer looking things that supposedly help with lower leg pain. I thought it was really interesting since I had stopped walking/running recently because my shin splints and calf pain were so bad, but like most other days I found something else shiny to distract me and moved on.
Then a couple days later, when I really did want to know more about ‘the leg things,’ I couldn’t find her blog or that post again! That’ll teach me not to bookmark awesomeness. So I headed to Twitter:
And who should reply but The Running Jewess herself! ‘Twas meant to be.
I ran (surfed?) right over to Amazon (sorry Zensah, that’s always my first stop!) to check out prices and reviews, because I’m incapable of buying anything without doing hours of research. I’m serious. Of course I also checked out the Zensah website and read all the FAQs, and looked at all the colors (over and over), but I had it in my head that I needed the Zensah Ultra Calf and Shin Sleeve (aff) version in beige, and I could only seem to find that style and color on Amazon. So I purchased one sleeve for each leg, upped my shipping to 2-Day and waited (im)patiently for my chance to be able to
run walk like the wind breeze again. Fast forward to Wednesday when I was finally able to put these bad boys to the test!
I am only 5’6″ which puts me in the S/M size category, but since I have, um, strong calves over 15″ I bought the L/XL size.
Here’s the sizing chart from the Zensah website:
Leg Sleeves Sizing: When choosing a size, calf size should be used as the primary determinant. We list height for those who do not know their calf size.
XS/S: Calf Size: 9.5″ – 12.5″ Height: 5’3″ and below
S/M: Calf Size: 12.5″ – 15″ Height: 5’4″ – 5’10”
L/XL: Calf Size: 15″ and up Height: 5’11” and up
The larger size is a bit long on me (from how I’ve seen them fit other runners with normal size calves) and they are a bit tight where the top band fits right below my knees, but it doesn’t dig and isn’t uncomfortable. I also noticed that after taking them off, the pattern of the compression lines were still on my legs. Ha! Nothing to worry about, I just thought it was funny.
Honestly, I felt a little self-conscious wearing these out in public for the first time. I kind of felt like I was wearing some quirky knee-high socks in the middle of summer, and was just waiting for some real runner to make fun of me. Of course nothing happened (except for an unfortunate encounter with a drunk man) and I would have completely forgotten I was even wearing them, except that they made my legs feel so good that I kept exclaiming to my running buddy, “my legs don’t hurt at all! These things are amazing!”. Something else I was really happy about, was that they didn’t make my legs all hot and sweaty! My legs were perfectly cool the whole time, which is pretty amazing since I’m usually an extra sweaty mess after working out in anything tight-fitting.
I found this on the Zensah website:
The compression leg sleeves are made with Zensah Fabric which has silver helping to regulate skin temperature and fight bacteria.
We walked/jogged about 4 miles, and around mile 3, I did start to get my normal dull ache on the side of my left shin, but it wasn’t “I have to stop right now” painful like it normally is. I also wore these for several hours after I got home, and the difference in my day-after-a-run leg pain was night and day. My legs did not hurt at all the next day! I really didn’t think some ‘sock things’ would make any significant difference, but I am thoroughly impressed with these Zensah Compression Running Leg Sleeves!
Notes to Remember:
- Pick a size based on your calf size
- Please read the websites carefully. Some are sold individually, and some are sold as a pair. I’ve found that each sleeve is about $20. So if the price is only $20, it’s most likely only one sleeve. If the price is around $40, you’re getting a pair. I only say this because this was apparently an issue for some people on Amazon who were mad they only got one sleeve for $20. So now you know.
- I bought these with my own money and Zensah doesn’t know I’m writing this (unless they’re reading it right now, and in that case, HI!)… although if they want to send me another pair in hot pink in XL, I’ll totally take them.
Finally, I suggest getting a cool color like hot pink or orange instead of plain neutral beige, otherwise drunk homeless guys might ask if you’re wearing cardboard socks. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.