The Benefits of Compression Gear + SKINS Compression Review


Compression garments.. they've been around for a long time! They were/are primarily used in the medical field to improve symptoms related to Diabetes and Arthritis and to aid in circulation(I wore a fetching pair for Surgery to help prevent blood clots due to lack of movement).

They're also seen on a lot of Athletes and Runners. I see an abundance of knee-high socks at races and figure hugging nylon tights and tops. I'm one of those runners.. but what is compression gear and whats it used for? Well, I'll fill you in below, with some of my thoughts on compression clothing and a little review on some compression pieces I've been trying out.

What are the benefits of wearing compression gear?
Compression gear is designed to help with the circulation of blood flow through the body to the working muscles and back to the heart and lungs. Increased oxygenation of the blood aids in helping your muscles warm up faster, perform better and recover faster.

During exercise, the body produces lactic acid as a waste product. If this lactic acid isn’t removed from the muscles, it can contribute to decreased ability to perform, fatigue of the muscles and can contribute to muscle soreness. Increased velocity of blood from wearing compression gear means that the deoxygenated blood and lactic acid will get back to the heart quicker.

The little vibrations of your leg muscles whilst running adds up and can lead to muscle fatigue. Compression gear is also used to stabilise and decrease the amount of muscular vibration that occurs during exercise/running. 

My thoughts on compression clothing
There are many different benefits of wearing compression gear, both during and after a workout/run. For a few years, I’ve used compression sleeves both during and after races.. and more recently I’ve been wearing a pair of compression tights during training and races.
I love that compression garments can enhance your training and performance without really hindering you. You can wear them as and when you want, for harder training sessions, long runs, races.. or you can even wear them after races.. and even whilst you sleep(I don’t, but I know many do!)

There’s a lot of different opinions and research on whether or not compression gear does actually benefit you or not. Some say it’s just a placebo effect but there is also a lot of research behind compression gear and it’s benefits too(SKINS have a whole page on research summaries HERE). 

Irregardless of the research/opinions, I love how they feel when I'm wearing them for running, I definitely noticed a difference between my performance and endurance during long runs from before I started wearing compression sleeves to after, I don't feel as fatigued earlier in a run and recovery afterwards is much smoother!

SKINS Compression Review
A while back, I had the privilege of being able to pick out and try two pieces from SKINS, which included new items and prints they brought out back in Feb. I’ve used SKINS compression before, I have a pair of compression socks that I use for my long training runs and races, so I was excited to try out their clothing pieces.

I picked out a pair of 3/4 length Superpose tights in the new Botanica Print(which is amazing! And looks so much better in person than in the photos!) I also got one of their Code Cap Sleeve Tee’s in a gorgeous pink colour(colour isn’t available for some reason!)
As I mentioned, the tights are amazing! When they arrived, I wasn’t quite sure they would fit me as they looked pretty small! The size guide for SKINS was pretty odd, in the fact that you chose your size based on your height and your weight. I was smack bang in the middle of two sizes and it recommended sizing down in that case, so I went with a Medium. Compression is supposed to be pretty snug on the body and the sizing was actually perfect and the tights fit like a dream.

I must say, I'm not the most confident in tighter fitting clothing, so I loved the fact that the superpose tights had a lightweight mesh shorts attached for some extra coverage(they can’t be removed). 

I was a little apprehensive that the tights wouldn’t stay up too, they’re just an elasticated waist and unless they’re a tie waist. I almost always have trouble, but these were no bother, I've not once had to pull them up! Winner!

The tights have 50+ UV protection, are sweat wicking and have biomechanically positioned panels and seams that support and stabilise the muscles to reduce fatigue and risk of injury.
I’ve worn the tights on most of my training runs since receiving them and for the Winter Run back in Feb where I got my PB.. I felt awesome throughout the race and rather than feeling particularly sore the next day(as I expected to after pushing a PB out), I was actually feeling pretty epic, with very minimal soreness for a change!
The top is great too. SKINS have lots of compression tops, but tight tops are not my thing, so I went with the Cap Sleeve, looser tee. The colour is beautiful and the feel of the material is lovely and very well made.  I love the cap sleeves, prefer them over normal sleeves as they’re not restricting and allow better movement of my arms.
The tee is really flattering with a drop tail hem for added coverage and is really light with quick dry fabric(which was a god send for Cambridge Half when it p*ssed it down! ;) ). It also has flat locking seems.. so no chaffing!

Overall, I’m totally impressed by the SKINS clothing line, I bought another pair of compression sleeves in their Junkyard Geo print - so I’m already a fan of their gear!

The tights come in at £70 and the tee at £25. Typically, There would be no chance I would pay that much for a pair of tights, compression wear can be quite expensive. However, I think you’re paying for the quality of the items(and the print is amazing! <3) and I know that I’m gonna get a lot of uses out of both these items(I already have tbh) before having to replace them.. so I think they’re worth the investment!

Question: Do you own any pieces of compression gear? If so, what do you wear?

Disclosure: I received a top and tights from SKINS for free in return for an honest review. I am not being paid to talk about or advertise any of these products. All opinions are as always, my own and are not affected by items gifted to me. See my policy page HERE for more detail.

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