I have just been sent 3 products from the OS1st Compression range to test which cover all bases! OS1st have developed compression gear that cover most major joints that muscles to help performance and recovery but as a runner I was most concerned with my legs! Cost wise they are all around £29.99 which is cheaper than most of the most well known brands.
OS1st sent me some Foot Sleeves, Calf Sleeves and also some Foot and Calf Sleeves. As a wearer of Calf Sleeves I was really interested in how these would compare to my old faithful pair and have used the different combinations in training but also recovery running up to and beyond the Classic Quarter (I did a tough 23 miles of the 44 mile Coastal Trail Race as a relay team).
OS1st boast different compression zones in their product to cater for the different demands which make them similar to other graduated sleeves but they seem to be a little more particular about where and how much compression to use at each point.
My first impression when I took them out of the box was that they looked like normal socks both in shape and material, if you are not keen on the shiny look of many sleeves you will be relieved to see this, for me I am not worried about this but I was quick to see how comfortable they were. I was unsure how I would get on with the foot sleeve as i’m a little funny about my feet being too hot or constricted but I found them comfortable and quickly forgot I was wearing them. I have used the combination sleeves regularly on my long training runs, from about 15 miles I normally find my arches begin to ache and my feet become sore but I have noticed that this doesn’t happen when I have them on!
I choose not to wear them on the Classic Quarter Race itself as I didn’t want to try new kit on such a tough race but I wish I had, however they were the first thing I put on post race to help with my recovery. In hindsight now that I have used them more I wish I had worn the Calf + Foot sleeves on the race and then put on the Calf sleeves for recovery, this will be the plan for my next long race.
The foot section has been well thought out with only a thin layer over the heel which prevents the ‘fit’ of your trainer feel different as this is the main reason I use sleeves over socks is i’m fairly fussy about my socks. I have liked the option of a foot sleeve as a separate option too as being a PE teacher there have been days where I know I will have a busy day and want to support my feet before or after a big run and this was easy with the foot sleeves without having to answer lots of children about why was I wearing long tight socks! (To be fair the children have got used to this now and ask about my races/training rather than the socks!)
Like the feet sleeves the calf sleeves have specific areas of support around your Achilles and Calf to help with injury prevention and recovery. I do not suffer from Plantar Fascia problems but I could see how these would help. I have used the Calf sleeves on both hard sessions as well as for recovery and have noticed that my legs feel less sore post run and also fresher after I have worn them in recovery. So much so my wife is now fully used to seeing me go to bed in a pair and children and colleagues are used to me wearing them to work.
The Calf sleeves feel tight and supportive but unlike my other sleeves they don’t feel restrictive and within a few minutes you forget you are wearing them and even with the current weather you don’t get over hot. I’m a real fan of the material as it doesn’t feel shiny and feels more hard wearing but it is too early to be able to comment on this. It suggests hand washing them however I put mine in the washing machine with the rest of my kit and it doesn’t seem to have had an effect yet.
As I have mentioned before I have several different brands of Sleeves in my running draw but my OS1st sleeves have quickly become my sleeves of choice.