2XU Compression Calf Sleeves and Socks Review

Disclaimer: I received a sample box of 2XU Performance Run Calf Sleeves and a pair of Racing VECTR socks to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I love compression gear. Like LOVE, love it. I have several pair of compression calf sleeves and full long socks that I wear both during runs and after for recovery. I was so impressed with my 2XU Hyoptik Tights that I jumped at the chance to try and out review a pair of their calf sleeves and socks for BibRave.

20160226_083305.jpg

Out of the box, the first thing I noticed about both the sleeves and the socks was how lightweight they were. I have some compression sleeves and socks that are pretty thick material. But don’t let the lightweight material fool you. These things have a very good compressive feel. For most of my trials I wore both the sleeves and the socks together, overlapping the socks over the sleeves a bit to give me almost a seamless squeeze from my toes to my knees.

20160303_111649.jpg

The Training VECTR Socks feature the 2XU proprietary X:LOCK Support System designed to optimize footstrike and push off while preventing abrasion. I could definitely feel the added support around my arches. I also really liked the dry mesh panels in the socks. In our warmer climate my socks can get soaking wet with sweat after a good, hard run. The thinner material and dry mesh panels will help them dry out quicker. That plus the celliant yarns – a technical textile that thermoregulates body temperature make these a great sock for my warmer spring runs.

I was equally impressed with the Performance Run Calf Sleeves. I really liked the graduated compression around my calves and the integrated zoned breathability panels: again a huge plus for me in our warm, humid weather.

I wore the calf sleeves for my recent marathon where it got really warm and really humid quickly. I had zero issues with the sleeves during the race and was thankful that I wore them the next day when I was able to walk without too much pain or shuffling.

Austin and mommy

 

2XU has a good video describing all of the technical details behind the Performance Run Calf Sleeves.

All in all I can see me using the socks and sleeves both together and separately repeatedly in the future. They provided very good compression, were lightweight enough for me to use them year-round, and did not rub or cause any blisters. Plus the sleeves come in a huge variety of colors. The brighter the better for me. 🙂

You can save 15% off your 2XU purchase right now with the code “TRAIN15” too!

img_20160311_175529.jpg

Valentine’s Day Gifts Full of Runner Love

While I love chocolate just as much as the next gal, I don’t particularly want a huge box of it, especially during marathon training which just so happens to fall during Valentine’s Day for me this year. I personally prefer more practical gifts, and if they are related to health and running then it’s a double WIN for me. I’ve compiled a nice little list of some of my favorite runner things right now that would go great in any runner Valentine’s Day basket or gift box.

Valentine's Day runner gifts

  1. 2XU Mid-rise Compression 7/8 tights – I love, love, LOVE these tights. They are seriously my new favorite pair of tights to run, walk, jump, lift, eat, or binge watch Netflix in. I did a full review of them here, but SERIOUSLY they feel like buttah when they’re on. They hold all your jiggly parts in and provide enough compression to keep you feeling fresh and spry on your long runs. And how SUPER CUTE is that pink X down the leg!?!? (they come in other colors too if you *gasp* don’t like pink). You can get 20% off your 2XU order through February 29th with the code Run20.
  2. Buff UV Headband – I really like this headband in Cail Pink.  Pink and paisley…what’s not to love?! Plus the Coolmax® Extreme fabric is so soft. It’s great for those ehrm…”I didn’t really feel like doing anything to my hair…not even brush it…shut up” days. You put this headband on and you look cool, stylish, and so not like you just rolled out of bed 10 minutes past your alarm clock.
  3. Oiselle Flyte Tank – I have a couple of these tanks and they are sooooo comfy. I really like the seamless construction and the fact that it’s made to fit loose, not sausage-casing-tight like a lot of running tops. It hides that little guilty cheeseburger pooch I have really well. Plus it’s longer than most of my other running tops so I don’t have to worry about it rolling or riding up to expose my underbelly.
  4. Perfect Bars – These bars are soooo yummy! They are perfect for pre-run fuel or just a middle of the day snack. They’re non-GMO, gluten-free, and full of complex carbs, protein and 20 nutrient dense super foods. They don’t mess with my tummy, which can be very sensitive to sugars pre-run. The almond butter ones are really good, or pick up a sample pack to try all the great flavors.
  5. 2Toms Sport Shield – I’ve recently been turned onto this stuff. It’s Ah-May-Zing. Seriously. I love that it rolls on for easy application and it isn’t heavy or overly greasy.  I’ve worn it through several long runs (even a recent 20 miler) with zero chafe or burn in my usual bra areas. It’s a must have for any runner’s bag. You can get 20% off any 2Toms order with the code 2Toms20 through April!
  6. xx2i Optics France1 Sunglasses – These sunglasses come in so many fun colors!! I LOVE them! I posted a full review on them here. Wearing sunglasses while I run is a must. Gotta protect my peeps. The xx2i ones are really lightweight and comfortable and fit my face well. I love their lifetime guarantee and the fact that you have a whole year to try them out and return them, NO QUESTIONS ASKED! Great product. Great company. You can get 50% off your order right now with the code XX2iRocks.
  7. Running Princess Tiara Visor – I’m a sucker for a cute visor. I have this hat in both black and white. It’s one of my favorite running hats. It’s a Headsweats brand which means it’s super comfy and the tiara embroidery and rhinestone bling on the front make it girly fun. Every girl needs a tiara! I’ve washed these hats in the washing machine many, many times and they hold up really well. The rhinestones are still intact and the hat has held it’s shape well. I do air dry it though.
  8. Garmin fenix 3 – This is the QUEEN of all GPS fitness wearables right now. EVERY runner is lusting after this thing (including me). It pretty much does it all plus a bag of chips. It’s some serious runner tech. The runnerd in me squeals every time I see one. I could write love sonnets about this watch. One day you will be mine…one day.

Hope you enjoy this list of some of my favorite runner things any runner would love for Valentine’s Day (or any other day for that matter).

What are some of your runner gear lusts this year?

Running faster & farther with 2XU

Disclaimer: I received a pair of 2XU Hyoptik Mid-rise Thermal Compression Tights to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I’m a big fan of running in tights. I have thick thighs and most shorts tend to ride up on me. I prefer to run in tights in the cold or warmer weather. I’ve seen other runners touting how much they love their compression tights but I hadn’t tried out a pair. Were they any better than normal running tights? When I got the opportunity to try out a pair of the 2XU compression tights I didn’t hesitate to say “Sign me up!”

20151221_124757.jpeg

I was so excited to receive my pair in the mail!

20151221_125619.jpeg

Ahhhh…they fit like a glove.

I opted for the 3/4 tight because we just don’t get that cold here in South Louisiana. I figured I would have much more opportunity to wear these than the full length tight. 2XU tights.png

Here are a few things from the 2XU website about these tights:

GARMENT FEATURES

  • HYOPTIK reflective logos for visibility
  • Compression support for greater protection to abductor, glute, quad, hamstring and calf muscles
  • Graduated compression for improved blood circulation
  • Comfort power wide waistband with powermesh for smooth streamlined fit
  • Flatlock seams to reduce chafe
  • High filament yarns for dryness – moisture wicking
  • Antibacterial and UPF50+ sun protection

From the first moment I tried these on I LOVED them. They are quite a bit tighter than my  normal running tights and take a little, ehrm, maneuvering to get them on. They almost remind me of shimmying into a wetsuit. But once on, Oh Em Gee. They feel amazing. They just nicely compress and hold everything in.

Screenshot_2015-12-22-10-35-18.png

I’m currently training for my fifth marathon and I was anxious to try these out to see how they performed on long runs and during a couple of races I had this month. I’ve logged about 100+ miles in these tights so far and here are some of the things I immediately noticed and fell in love with:

  • The mid-rise is so comfortable. I love that the rise is a little higher than a lot of my other running tights. This means no dreaded muffin top in the back and the power wide waistband really holds in my little tummy pooch (that I’m STILL trying to lose from baby #2). They are not only comfy, but they’re really flattering on all different body types.
  • They never rode down. I never once had to hike them up. Never.
  • The compression is wonderful, especially on longer distance runs. I used them on a half marathon and several long runs 16+ miles. I really think they helped stave off some muscle fatigue by holding everything together = less jiggle = more efficient muscle/energy usage.
  • I never once chaffed in these.
  • The large hyoptik, reflective logo is nice if you’re caught out running at dawn or dusk. It really reflects back car lights to help keep you safe on the road.

These have quickly become my favorite running tights and I feel like I’m washing them several times a week just so I can re-use them on my next run. This tells me I really should invest in another pair.

To be fair, here are a few of the cons I noticed:

  • There is a bit of pilling on the material between the legs right where my thighs rub. It’s not too bad yet but I wonder how they will hold up with continued mileage.
  • While they are a bit thicker than my other tights, I’m not sure how much more thermal capability they add. Again, we don’t get too cold down here so it’s not a huge concern, but I think I might go to my fleece lined tights instead if the weather really dipped.
  • The price point is pretty high. They are definitely an investment.
race_1784_photo_30313534.jpg

Bringing home a PR at the Louisiana Marathon in my 2XU Hyoptik tights!

I truly credit my 2XU compression tights for keeping me going during this marathon training. I’ve had little soreness and joint pain since using these tights on every long run. They are my go-to training pants now. I don’t want to run without them! While wearing these tights yesterday I busted out one of the best 20 milers I’ve ever had. I think they’re a great pair of tights and a good investment into your running equipment.