Couch to 5K

NO! - to calf sleeves

I had been noticing some reasonable runners at Parkrun wearing long compression socks or calf sleeves. I asked one particular runner (in the 60-64 Year age group who does 5K in 25 minutes) what he thought of them and he said he was very happy with them - calf pain had gone away since using them. I don't really have many problems in this regard - but if I am ever going to hurt anywhere, it is always in my Achilles/calves -- so I thought I would do some internet research. A bit of discussion on the internet -- it seemed that most who used them liked them while those who didn't much like the idea didn't actually use them. I did find one person who said that they made their feet swell up.

So I thought - WTF , I've got $60 burning a hole in my pocket so I went up to Amart to get a pair of socks -- woops , no socks but do have the calf sleeves.-- expensive 2XU brand.

Put them on and proceeded to do a 12K run -- first few Ks they felt kind of OK, quite comfortable -- I was starting to have positive thoughts about them -- BUT got to 5ks and started thinking, my toes feel funny. 1K further, yes my toes are swelling up big time, a little further and this is not good - So I stopped the run, took shoes and calf sleeves off, instant relief of swollen toes and proceeded with the run without the sleeves.

As far as I can ascertain, I have the correct size - and although there are no instructions at all on how they are supposed to be worn, I think I put them on in the right way. I may have worn them a bit too high - trying to keep them clear from my ankle.

I think this may be just another example of -- if it's not broken, don't try to fix it!!!!

2 Replies

I'm not completely convinced by the current craze for compression gear. Is it just a marketing gimmick to get us to spend even more? Or does it really work? The answer is that I don't know, but if it is just markering, then they have hit on a winner with it.


I have calf sleeves......BUT....I can't run with them on as my legs and feet swell (which they always will on the run) they just get too tight and I have taken them off, but I do wear them as soon as I get out the shower after a long or tough run and keep them on for a few hours and have found that I do have far fewer aches the next day, I have even worn them the next day when my shins have been bad when I first started running in sandals


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