03-10-2015

Compression Socks vs. Sleeves + Tiux Compression Socks Review

Disclaimer: I received compression socks from Tiux in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

In my search for running gear, I was searching for the perfect compression sock…and I might have found it, but more on that in a bit.

Through my searches, I couldn’t decide which is better: compression socks or sleeves? An issue I had with socks were that they would end up being too thin and I like to run in thicker socks. I didn’t think sleeves provided the same “squeeze” as full socks did. I had a pair of calf sleeves and after a few wears they were sliding off my calf mid-run. So I went to good ol’ trusty Google for the answer.

Tiux Compression Sock Review

Compression Socks

Do they even really work? Well, the jury’s out on that but everything I read says that while studies might not be conclusive, many runners believe compression socks help with recovery…so if you feel that it helps, why not wear them? I definitely feel like after long runs they help with blood flow and recovery, and I like to wear them for long runs sometimes too because of my shin issues. How can socks help during a run? Here’s a quote from Science of Running:

When we run, and strike the ground, those impact forces cause the muscle/tendon/lower leg to vibrate. It’s thought that this vibration could be one cause of the delayed muscle soreness that we’ve all experienced.

Again, this is still theory. But the article goes on to say this:

First, the idea that compression socks improve venous blood flow at rest has been substantiated (Byrne et al., 2001)…During exercise, the research is mixed. Ali et al. (2007) found that no performance or changes in physiological parameters occurred during or after a 10k run. However, they did find a reduction in muscle soreness, pointing to the muscle vibration and recovery aspects of socks. Contrasting these results, Kremmier et al. (2009) found improved performance and an improved lactate threshold when wearing compression socks while running. Similarly, two separate studies found improved 5k performance and improved running economy (Chatard et al., 1998 & Bringard et al., 2006). The study by Bringard et al. (2006) is particularly interesting. They found improved economy at 3 different speeds, but it was most substantial at the middle speed (12km/hr).

So, who knows, but hey, if Shalane Flanagan and Meb are wearing it then it must make you super fast right? ;)

Shalane Flanagan
Compression socks (obviously) cover your feet too as opposed to just your calves. The benefit is that you’re getting full leg + foot compression which keeps blood from pooling in your lower extremities and helps blood flow throughout. Compression technology has been proven to limit swelling.

Here’s a tip from Fleet Feet:

If you are going to be using the product exclusively for recovery, we recommend going with a sock. The sock will apply graduated pressure to the foot and ankle to pump blood back towards the heart.

Compression Sleeves

What about the benefits of sleeves? Well here are a few:

  • You can wear your own socks for a race.
  • If you have shin splints and want to wear compression during warm weather you can wear sleeves and sandals.
  • Easier to put on and take off.

One thing that kind of made me nervous about sleeves is this article I found by someone who owns a running store. He discusses why he won’t sell sleeves in his store, because of the dangers of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). He basically says that since the sleeve cuts off at the ankle, your ankles and feet will end up swelling, which could lead to a DVT, especially if you’re at risk for clot issues to begin with. Here’s what he says:

For a period of time, maybe up to a day after a long, hard workout, runners are at greater risk of DVT than the general population – maybe as high as the elderly population.  When combined with other DVT risk factors such flying in a plane, dehydration, using birth control pills, or an injury that causes swelling or internal bleeding, the risk for DVT multiplies.

I don’t mean to scare anyone but just putting out all the information I found. After I read that I decided to stick to full socks…plus, like I mentioned above, sleeves just didn’t feel as tight to me.

Whether or not compression socks are effective for some because of the placebo effect…who knows…but I love my compression socks! Here’s one last tip from Competitor: 

For athletes to get the full benefit, the compression needs to be graduated (tighter at the ankle and decreasing to the hip), fit the individual, and have 22 – 32 mmHg of pressure.”

So with that, let’s jump into my review!

Tiux Compression Socks

Tiux was kind enough to send me their socks to try out. Once I opened the package I knew I’d love them. A bit thicker than others and so soft!

Here are some features of these socks:

tiux socks
So how are they different than other companies? They’re a start-up that will focus on selling their product solely online, as opposed to brick and mortar stores. They “break away from the traditional retail model by eliminating wholesalers and distributors” which allows them to sell their socks at a fair price. Here’s how they explain it (better than I can):

tiux socks2
Pretty awesome right? Although they’re not available yet, you can pre-order them now and I believe they will be up and running in April. I really want their hot pink socks!

Verdict

So let’s get into my thoughts. As I mentioned, I liked that these were thicker socks. I also felt like they were a bit easier to put on and take off. They’re also labeled LEFT and RIGHT, which I like because it means each sock is specifically tailored to each foot/leg as opposed to a generic sock, if that makes sense.

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Here’s how they stack up against other compression socks:

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I have never tried any of those, but I will say this – I have a couple pairs of PRO Compression I have not been a fan. I know this might go against the popular belief and I WANTED to like them because I love their patterns and colors, but they were just too thin for me. Also, for all your short peeps like me, Tiux’s socks are the perfect length. With other socks I’ve had to roll them down because they’d go over my knee. #shortpeopleproblems

I believe Tiux will be a big competitor in the compression sock industry for runners. They might be a start-up but their socks are high quality and comfortable. 

IMG_1078

Their Tiux rep told me they are working on an ambassador program, which I’m very interested in. I’m not lying when I say I love these socks and I’m glad I stumbled across them through a fellow Fitfluential member.

tiux compression socks

Oh and they also match my shoes so that’s pretty cool ;)

One last thing – who doesn’t love a company that gives back? Tiux has partnered with Mines Advisory Group and makes this promise:

We will donate 1% of our revenue to help save lives and protect communities from landmines, unexploded ordnance (UXO) and other weapons remaining after conflict. This means that 1% of every purchase will go towards providing a safe and secure future for men, women and children affected by violence and conflict.

Please head over to their website and learn more about them! If you wear compression socks, I highly suggest you try these out. If you don’t wear compression socks, try a pair and see how you like them during a run or after. 

Do you wear compression socks? During or after a run?

Do you have a favorite brand?

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05-09-2013

Half-Marathon Training Update

So yesterday I had a long-ish run as I have begun my taper this week before the Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 18.

It was…ok. My mom and I got it done but it was a struggle. First of all, it was super humid. Second of all, my shins were both really hurting with each step. She didn’t feel great either and just wasn’t the best day for either of us.

We knew as soon as we started it would be hard. Our breathing as heavier because of the humidity, and after 1 mile I knew I’d have to stop and stretch my calves/Achilles a few times because of my shins. I just keep thinking to myself, “It’s only 7 miles. I can hang on for 5…then I just need to add on 2 more miles.”

We did a hilly route to prepare for the Prospect Park hills of Brooklyn…although most of our runs are hilly anyway because I live in a hilly area. Random question but does anyone feel like running on rolling hills is actually easier than running on flat ground? No? Just me? I love hills!

Anyway, we did stop a few times to walk and catch our break…and sure it was slower than usual but we felt great once we were done. It was good to finish and know you didn’t quit even though you wanted to at various points. We even ran the last mile faster than the rest.

Shins are definitely sore today so I need to ice them once I am home. I even wore my compression sleeves to work.

Pleeeeaaaassseeeee let my shin pain go away before the half marathon.

Is anyone else running the Brooklyn Half Marathon? Have you done it before?

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