The Team here at @UKRunChat have been busy since Christmas testing compression gear to suit every pocket. So here is the roudup of tests from the team.
We have tested Kalenji, Red Venom, Pearl Izumi, SKINS and Compressport. We have had a mixture of male and female testers trying each brand also and below is the teams comments and reviews:
Kalenji Compression Gear from Decathlon Review by @_jen_mo
The Kalenji Kanergy Tights from Decathlon are great. I have run short & long distances in them (20 miles) & they are very comfortable.
I’ve never worn compression leggings before and I am not sure if the compression makes a difference but I do love them and would recommend them. They’re a great price too! Plus they make your bum look good lol!
I also have the Kalenji Perf Trail Top. It fits well & is also very comfortable. I haven’t run in it yet as it’s been too cold for short sleeves but I look forward to wearing it out on a run when it warms up a bit.
The price point of the kalenji kit is far lower than the quality! You defiantly get more than you pay for and will find that the kit is a good fit and wears well. Well worth looking at!
Compressport review by @JenningsNicola @Mattupston
Find out about Compres Sport products here.
Items received included the trail running shirt short sleeve in black and trail running shorts.
First impressions: Without any prior knowledge of the items’ performance specifications or appearance, when I received the items, the first that that made an impact on me was the appearance. The main body of the shirt features a black mesh-like material with a half zip complete with red banding around the arms and bottom. A similar design was seen with the shorts. Both look professional and very aesthetically pleasing. In addition both items have a rubberised inner slip band which should help to keep the items in place. The top also includes rear pockets in which there is ample room for nutrition and even a small water bottle.
Fit: The fit of the shirt was prefect. The shirt was flexible enough to fit all curves but close enough for a comfortable compression fit. The length came just below the top of my hips, a feature I was particularly happy with as We both like a longer line running shirt. The shorts were not as good a fit as the shirt. The waist fit was excellent and I really liked the high waistband. However, I feel that the thigh fit is designed to fit the more stereotypical ultra runner – long lean legs. I have a smaller waist but with fairly muscular thighs and the shorts did not reflect a fit to suit this shape. I (Matt) have also got short legs so found them quite long, i thought this would annoy me but I soon forgot about this.
The test: We tried the kit in a variety of training scenarios. Nicola use hers during a speed session in temperatures of about 3 degrees, wind and rain, approximately 45 minute session. During warm up/cool down and the speed session, both the shirt and shorts remained in place and no noticeable movement was observed. This was particularly welcome as in other compression shirts I have experienced shirt movement that meant the midriff became partially exposed. The shirt seemed to remain in contact with the short’s waistband quite effectively. However, I noticed the shirt did move slightly upwards when worn over my usual running shorts. This was pronounced on longer runs of over 15 miles but it did not present any irritation or discomfort. In terms of wicking, both items appeared to wick to a high standard, core temperature appeared to be maintained quite well. Both items are extremely lightweight and appear to move with your body to provide a smooth and comfortable run. Matt used his on a 10 mile trail race in wet conditions and found the same. More noticeably was the lack of DOMs the day after even though it was a tough race!
Verdict: Overall I am extremely impressed with the shirt. I can see me choosing this item for my upcoming ultra marathons due to the comfortable fit, breathability and temperature stabilising features that I experienced. However, I am undecided on the shorts. The waistband was a great fit and I would love to have shorts with that fit for my longer events, but I am not comfortable with the fit on the thighs. I feel that more test runs in the shorts are required before I make up my mind. Compressport items are extremely pleasing to the eye, high quality appearance and performance, but for a personalised fit I would prefer a wider thigh fit and a shorter option.
Pearl Izumi Review by @shellmoby
The women’s W Fly jacket fits beautifully! I’ve had many running buddies comment, while I’ve been wearing it, that I’ve lost weight, because it has a lovely fit. I especially like the thumb holes in the sleeves, which are a really soft material. The only thing I’m not keen on is the positioning of the pocket at the back. It’s a large pocket, but it’s awkward to access while moving because the jacket is so lightweight it’s difficult to get the zip undone while running. I often run with my dog so put the lead in and out of my pocket regularly. The jacket does keep the wind out, and does seem to expel moisture from sweat to keep me dry and warm. It’s lightweight and I also love this colour as it really stands out.
The women’s W Fly thermal tights are my new favourite tights! They are fleece lined and, oh my goodness, they are so cosy and comfortable. The waist band is super comfortable and does have an elastic band you can pull to tighten if necessary. I do a lot of coaching so standing around observing can get cold in the winter, but these tights have kept me really warm. They’re so comfortable to run in too, and have no nasty zips on the legs which can catch on the skin. They feel like a second skin and are great quality.
SKINS Wear review by @ukruncat
I’ve been an avid user of compression gear for the majority of the time I’ve been running, I’m aware that there remains some debate as to the actual benefits of compression but if nothing else I find it more comfortable to wear & being close to the skin should assist any wicking properties. Well the legwear anyway, I’ve generally found compression tops too constrictive which has made it more difficult for me to breathe whilst running.
So when SKINS provided their new DNAmic Superpose half tights to test I couldn’t wait to get out & give them a try, unfortunately the first opportunity to run after I received them was Day 1 of the Pilgrims Challenge – 33 miles along the North Downs Way. Now I know you shouldn’t try new stuff on race day but I just couldn’t resist so it was these I pulled on in the morning.
SKINS DNAmic Superpose half tights are actually 4 way stretch lightweight outer shorts with SKINS Dynamic Gradient Compression Half Tights built in, I have used several pairs of 2 in 1 or Twin Skin shorts and the SKINS Superpose have more noticeable compression than the others, combined with a nice soft feel to the material of the inner short and with no invasive seams they are very comfortable but to be safe I wore my Chaffree Boxers underneath.
I finished the first day slowly but without difficulty and most importantly with no major aches, pains or chaffing. It is impossible to say that it is down to the shorts and I certainly don’t feel the increase in oxygen delivery, decrease in lactic acid build up or reduction in muscle vibrations but I was surprisingly comfortable and I was amazed how good my legs felt the next morning.
I was so impressed that I pulled them on again for the 33 mile run back on Day 2 making the possibly rash decision to wear the DNAmic short sleeve top too. I took it easy to start but felt more comfortable again as the day wore on having no issues breathing in the top, it didn’t ride up at all thanks to the silicon grip around the waist and I felt warm and dry all day. I can’t be certain the compression did what it was designed for but I had less lower back pain than usual & little shoulder ache so I’m not certainly complaining.
So does SKINS DNAmic Compression kit help you go faster for further? I don’t know, but what I can say for certain is I did the 33 miles back on the second day just 3 minutes slower than the first and still had the legs to run strongly to the finish line. Something I am very happy with.
Would I recommend this gear? Well, it’s laying out ready for tomorrow’s race so I suppose so.
Red Venom review by @katieboo79k and @MattUpston
Over the last few weeks we have been wearing Red Venom compression clothing for two runs a week, my long run and a shorter, usually faster run including a 10k race as well as Gym sessions.
I’ve (Katie) used compression tops in the past but never shorts and as I have been suffering from hamstring issues, I was interested to see if they would make a difference. The science behind compression is that it helps improve blood flow which in turn helps reduce injury and it prevents muscle oscillation therefore preventing muscle fatigue and soreness.
I have the shorts and short sleeved top, both size S. I’m usually a size 10, and my measurements where near the top end of the size guide, but they fit perfectly. Compression gear is, by design, tight fitting, so not the most flattering of gear! These didn’t feel tight or constricting, just nice and snug, like a second skin.
I wore them as a base layer so allowed me to still be in shorts and vest in winter! They are great at wicking away sweat and keeping the skin dry, so I’m looking forward to trying them in the warmer months. I have been prone to getting stitches, which usually take a mile or so to go. I have found that if I get one whilst wearing the Red Venom top, it has been less intense and goes a lot quicker. I’m not sure if that’s a benefit of compression gear but it’s definitely one for me. With the shorts, I have noticed an improvement in the speed which my muscles warm up, my long runs so far have felt a lot easier and my legs felt less tired than they previously have, and while I have yet to wear these post run for recovery, I have noticed there is less stiffness in my quads and hamstring. I am currently working on these areas with a physio, so I can’t attribute all the improvement and success to the shorts but they have, in my opinion, definitely helped with reducing niggles and the reoccurring injury I was suffering from. I think I need to invest on some tights to help my knee and lower legs too!
I (Matt) always wear compression gear on runs and in the gym for it’s compression properties but also to aid against rubbing. I have found the Red venom tights great on colder runs and they feel great and fit very well. The fit is just right and don’t feel overly tight. I opted for a short sleeve top to use as the weather warms up and in the gym. As with the tights the fit and feel is great. I would definitely recommend looking at the red venom products as an option if you are looking for compression gear. As the weather improves i have started to use the top as a baselayer to prevent rubbing and soreness and have to say I’m really impressed!