If you’re a runner, you’ve at least seen or heard about compression socks. Compression wear claims to support and stabilize your muscles and joints and promote efficient blood flow before, during and after a race and they’re also pretty stylish to boot! There are many brands of compression wear out there but if CEP Compression is good enough for the amazing Meb Keflezigi, then they were certainly good enough for me for me to try!
CEP sent me some of their products to try sometime ago but it’s taken me longer than expected to share this review due to my injury. Any runner would agree that few things are more depressing than writing about running when you can’t actually run.
Since I’m back on the mend (and there are a few races in my future), now seems like a great time to share my thoughts on CEP compression socks and calf sleeves.
When it comes to running, it doesn’t matter whether you’re fast (I’m not) or run long distances (I can’t), runners (all runners) like accessories. I have a ton of accessories (hats, glasses, fuel belts, my Duran Duran Momentum Foot Notes on my sneakers) but none that are really specifically geared to help the muscles and joint of my legs (other than shoes, of course).
As a petite girl with large calves, it was fabulous to find out that CEP Compression Run Socks and Sleeves products are not one size fits all – they’re based on gender and then calf size.
To measure your calf and choose the correct CEP Compression product:
Take a string – or a shoelace – around the widest circumference of your calf, mark your circumference on the string and then lay the string alongside a ruler to get your calf measurement.
To choose your appropriate size, see Size Chart under Choose Size here on the CEP Website.
I needed CEP Women’s Progressive+ 2.0 Run Socks* Size III
I like black so it was a no-brainer when I chose the color for my socks and sleeves but for those of you that like a little flair, they come in white, black, red, blue and pink. The socks and sleeves feel a little bit like a very thick version of the men’s dress socks my father used to wear. They’re made of 79% polyamide, 21% spandex but are antibacterial, breathable, have odor reducing silver ions within the fabric (my father’s socks definitely had none of these very cool properties).
What I liked best about the socks is that they had an “L” or “R” to designate which foot belonged in what sock/sleeve. This is important because compression socks take a lot of energy to put on correctly – you do not want to put these socks on and take them off to switch feet!
ALERT: Putting on compression socks is almost a workout in itself!
You must scrunch the sock down, place the toes of the correct foot into the sock and then and slowly inch the sock up the calf toward the knee.
If you’re female and remember the dance you might have done to put super tight jeans on back in the day, the experience of putting on compression socks might bring you back to that very special time….but it’s worth it. Remember what it was like when you finally got those jeans on? You felt great, right? From the waist down, you felt and looked fabulous – Well, that’s exactly how your legs will feel when you put on a pair of compression socks.
Compression socks are a lot of sock. It took a little getting used to running in them. Living in California with the mild temperatures, I definitely don’t need something quite so thick. I’ve worn the full compression socks for a race or two during the colder weather but I find that I like them best when I’m flying on a plane or for recovery. I’ve worn my Progressive + Run Sock 2.0 for two cross country round trip flights (one after my Reach The Beach experience) and I do feel it helped my body feel closer to normal after a long time of sitting and promoted some recovery after my run.
For the mild weather running that I’ll often do in Southern California, I will definitely utilize the Calf Sleeves 2.0! You get all of the benefit of compression gear without any sort of sock interference. If you’re someone who is very loyal to your sock brand (many runners are), with calf sleeves you get to keep your feet happy with the socks they know and love protection but give those hard working legs, a gift they’ll thank you for in the future!
Because I’m a recreational runner who doesn’t really run fast, long or often (these days), I never believed that I would be someone who would benefit from compression wear accessories but I was wrong. I think because I am a recreational runner who is still working on strength and stamina building that compression socks and sleeves might be just what I need (in addition to a stronger core, good shoes and safe running gait) to get me back in the game and remain strong. I’m not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination but I’m also loving the idea of having more running gear to buy too!
CEP Compression has socks, sleeves, recovery, apparel and orthopedic products geared for more than just running. To learn more about CEP Compression, see their website or connect with them via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary pair of Run Sock 2.0 socks and a pair of Calf Sleeves 2.0 by CEP Compression but all opinions expressed here are absolutely my own. This post contains Amazon Affiliate links designated by “*”.