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Zensah Compression Sleeves

October 5, 2009


Okay, I’ve been reading a lot about compression sleeves lately.

The main questions is… do they work, and the most common answer seems to be: no.

For a little background I will explain a few things. First, compression socks and other compression materials were designed for folks with blood flow problems, the main thing they do is keep the blood from pooling at the feet, the compression aids in pushing the blood back out of the leg (and hopefully back to the heart so it can do its job). People have also historically used these for painful varicose veins and to help with DVT or blood clots when flying on airplanes or sitting for extended periods of time. I have recently seen athletes wearing these bad boys and in my quest to be a professional athlete, I decided I should  get some to.

For versatilities sake, I went with the sleeve and not the whole sock. I figured if I got the whole sock I would have to wash it every single time I used it and if I got the sleeve, I would only have to wash it every other time.

I went to my local running store to see their selection and I ended up with the Zensah because it was my cheapest choice. At $35, it is not exactly cheap, but it was the most affordable they had.

The only things I like about these are that they are pink and they feel like someone is hugging my calf. Like a small, friendly koala bear has attached itself to my leg and is just hugging it.

Here is what I don’t like: It cost $35 and doesn’t seem to be tight enough to really make a difference. Zensah’s smallest size is a small/medium. I don’t like this sizing system as I am certainly not a medium and I am usually an extra small, so this really doesn’t work for me. From what I have read about compression sleeves/socks, to get the best results they will be tight at the ankle and will get looser toward the calf. This is not the case with mine, quite the opposite actually.

BUT… I like to wear them after a run because they psychologically make me feel better (and I get the leg hug). I have read lots of people who say the same thing. It is purely psychological.

As a side note. I had an injury that forced me to wear a “Shin Splint Brace.” This looks very similar to these sleeves accept for one thing. It is super tight. I mean really tight. It is designed to keep the muscles from moving, so once you get your leg in the sleeve, it takes about five minutes, lots of pulling, and some pure will power to get it out. For those of you looking to control injuries like shin splints, these compression sleeves aren’t nearly good enough. I will write about it later, but I highly suggest the Cho Pat brand sleeve. It’s good and tight (and will make one of your legs bigger than the other. Real cute.)

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