Compression sportswear has taken center stage in the athletics field in recent years. Many athletes wear compression sportswear during exercise to prevent chafing and rashes, as well as to increase their performance. They also wear them for post exercise as a recovery wear to ease muscle stiffness and quicken recovery time.
The popularity of compression sportswear was boosted by scientific-based research, leading more and more sportswear companies to take a serious approach to the compression niche. With so many compression sportswear products on the market today, testing and finding the most suitable piece for you is no easy feat. Today, we discuss some of the top compression sportswear products that are a safe bet for any serious runner. Please note that the list is presented in no particular order.
1. 2XU Compression Performance Run Sleeve
The 2XU compression performance run sleeve is made from a powerful, breathable and flexible fabric that allows maximum airflow and comfort to the lower part of the leg. This sleeve has enhanced support for the shin, calf and ankle and helps to minimize Shin Splints. Its construction helps increase oxygen and blood flow to your muscles for reduced muscle damage. This sleeve is ideal for all-purpose activities and recovery, and it is one of the most technically advanced performance compression sleeves on the market.
Price: US$44.85 (S$56)
2. Men's UA Recharge Energy Shirt
This cool shirt is made with an anti-odour technology that resists any growth of microbes that cause a foul smell. The UA Recharge Energy Shirt sports a 4-way stretch fabric that keeps your muscles powered and has lightweight mobility. Its compression technology offers a fast recovery time while keeping your muscles warm and ready to work while running. The energy shirt keeps you fresh, cool and dry through its intact moisture transport system. With its super-tight compression fit, your muscles recover faster and you will experience less soreness, less fatigue and more power after a workout.
Price: US$66.99 (S$99.14)
3. X-BIONIC® THE TRICK® Running Shirt
This X-bionic shirt is the best attire for a cool and fresh chest area. Its 3D-Bionic sphere system technology tempers air within the ducts and disperses warm air off, leaving you cool and dry. The Air complex-zone design acts as a body insulator while running. Moreover, its sweat traps sweat away. You are guaranteed utmost mobility on the track because of its expansion flex zone. The X-bionic Trick running shirt grants a graduated compression that allows for better muscle and joint performance. The TRICK® simulates an overheating of the body, which makes your brain kick in with early sweat production so that before your body overheats, it's cooled by sweat quickly and effectively hence relieving the strain on physical systems. This results in more energy for your performance.
Price: €99.00 (S$165)
4. Nike Pro-Combat Core Compression Top
A typical running day would not be complete if you do not have this top in your apparel. Nike Pro-Combat Core Compression Top is made with authentic spandex and polyester to allow mobility and maximum moisture management from your skin when you are running for short and long distances. Its compression fit provides a reliable recovery time that prepares you for your sprinting.
Price: US$28 (S$35)
5. SKINS A400 Men's Compression Half Tights
The SKINS A400 Compression Half Tights are designed for runners looking for optimal performance on the track. They are made with a dynamic gradient compression that allows blood flow throughout the muscles. The tights improve the control of the entire body and do not cause any soreness of your muscles during exercise. They stand out because of their fast wicking technology that assist the skin to regulate body temperature and bio-mechanically places Memory MX fabric around the ITB band and TFL muscle groups to provide constant, controlled compression and unrestricted movement to help you to avoid muscle damage.
Price: US$99.99 (S$125)
6. CEP Compression Dynamic+ Quad Sleeves
All athletes can use the CEP Dynamic+ Quad Sleeves. The dominant polyamide and spandex material has silicone strips that offer optimal comfort while on the track. It has a filament fibre and anatomical fit that allows for fabric durability. The silver ions within the fabric keep odour away, plus an added heat and moisture management system while on the run. These sleeves boost muscle energy and coordination, reduce muscle trauma and repair muscle ability and can be worn individually for muscle groups subject to intense strain.
Price: US$60 (S$75)
7. Zoot Men's Ultra 2.0 CRx Socks
Zoot Ultra 2.0 CRx socks are designed with a specific compression technology for muscle areas. They are made to stabilize the calves to reduce excessive damage while you are running both short and long distances. The compressed arch area gets support, with a good blood flow environment in the legs. These socks provide care for your leg when put through a seamless toe construction section and the Achilles tendon support protects and prevents irritable tendons. The NEW - NanoGLIDE™ yarn knitted into heel and toe reduces blistering and hot spots and keeps feet drier and more comfortable.
Price: US$59.95 (S$75)
8. CompresSport Full-Leg Compression Sleeve
They come in black and white to give you a full leg compression benefit during training and fast recovery while running. The sleeves sport unique-fit design that keeps your knees at a good position for track and trail running. They enhance pressure on the muscles hence allow for effective blood flow and oxygenation of the leg areas. Use Compression Sport Full-Leg Sleeves to prevent muscle soreness and edema. The anti-fatigue fabric absorbs shock and vibration while running.
Price: US$120 (S$149)
9. Zensah Compression Arm Sleeves
The Zensah Compression Arm Sleeves come in pairs and are best used for short distance running. Elite runners choose them because they allow free flow of blood between your muscles keeping them warm and loose so they can perform at their maximum level. The fabric allows for graduated compression that prevents delayed onset muscle soreness while regulating thermal effects from the environment around you.
Price: US$29.99 (S$38)
10. Body Science Athlete CORESHORTS
Body Science CORESHORTS employ a Neoprene wrap fitted to the adductors of the leg to provide a higher level of pressure and tension than usual compression shorts to the groin region. The Neoprene wrap not only increases the muscle temperature in preparation for more intense activity but also helps to ease pain and reduce stiffness symptoms that often occur in running-based athletes with tendon problems, muscle tears and sports hernias. The CORESHORTS are designed to mimic the functional anatomy of an athlete core area while providing optimum levels of graded compression, and with the moisture management, it enables you to stay dry no matter how hard you train and simultaneously reduces serious sporting injury rates.
Price: A$100.00 (S$116)
Which Is Your Favorite Item of Compression Apparel?
Whether you wish to wear compression apparel for performance, or to reduce soreness after a run or to expedite recovery, you should try to understand each product first. Remember, these compression products can only be as good as the wearer themself. So, try them on to see if they meet your individual training needs or preferences.
Elite running comes with making sacrifices. Remember that your body is the best asset you have when running. Don't think about the huge amounts of money you will end up spending to catapult your professional running. The freedom of expression in physical running brings happiness. How else will that fulfillment come if you cannot protect your heart, your two legs and ultimately your entire body with the right compression attire?
*The price of the products may vary. Do find out more about the current prices of the featured products on the official websites or at your local stores.