CEP Compression Sleeve Review
I acquired a very nice pair of Women's Progressive+ Night Compression Calf Sleeves 2.0 at the Boston Marathon expo when I made friends with a very nice rep who was interested in working with me on an ambassador program. I had gotten CEP sleeves in awhile but I was immediately reminded why I liked them so much in the first place.
The obvious aesthetic pros are the colors and sleek lines that contour your calf quite nicely, accentuating your hard-earned calf muscles. They come in quite a few colors, both bright and subdued, so you have no excuse not to try them if you're worried you have wild race colors.
Features: They have a nice little reflective strip in the fabric which helps any of us running in the morning or evening not get mowed down by vehicles (or trail runners with headlamps that aren't paying attention). They are also sweat-wicking and anti-bacterial, so if you sweat when you run...and if you're not, what are you doing?...then it doesn't feel like pools of sweat are forming on your legs. They ventilate pretty darn well.
Compression: They have a graduated compression from ankle to knee, going from a 20-30mmHg* and maintaining about 18 mmHg over your calf. Huh? Well basically "mmHg" stands for "millimeters of Mercury". This is the same unit of measurement that is used to measure pressure (and your blood pressure). More is not always better. I like the way these are made because they have a little sturdier support just below your larger calf muscles (just above your ankle) where you can feel fatigued during endurance events. It then lets off a little bit over the calf, then fits tighter again towards your knee, keeping everything in place while running or cycling.
Recovery: After a race or long training run, after the ice bath, after the anti-inflammatory greens and recovery foods, I might put a clean pair of these back on and prop my feet up for the night. I swear, after both Ironman Tris that I wore these in, I felt really great and muscle fatigue was hardly and issue. Is some of that training and preparation for the race? Probably. But I have done long workouts with and without these and I will definitely continue wearing them.
Bonus! You can wash them! Although don't put them in a warm/hot dryer. Hang dry.
Final Thoughts: I like these. They keep my muscles from moving around over the course of a marathon or 140.6 miles. I have worn them in a marathon and in two full-distance Ironman Tris, and they have kept sweat away, reduced muscle fatigue when I feel like I look like I'm falling apart near the finish line, and allow my friends and family to easily identify me (do whatever you can to help out your support crews! It's just as hard, if not harder, supporting an endurance athlete!). Compression gear is a very polarizing topic in the endurance world-some claiming it's definitely fashion over function-but who are they to say? Even if the idea of wearing them provides a placebo effect and your perceived effort is reduced, it might be worth it. Not only are the reps and staff very helpful in working with you to make sure you are properly fit, they make a very nice sleeve that will last a long time, take a beating even in all-day races, and make you look hot!
Purchase on my AthleteIQ page.