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  1. #1
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    May 2008
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    Compression for recovery - question

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    I just ordered a pair of CEP compression calf sleeves. I actually decided to buy them because I want something to wear during long car trips, and I figured they might also help after long bike rides. I don't want compression socks because I cannot stand to wear tight socks. Socks with extra tight elastic around the foot drive me crazy. Also in the summer I wear sandals and I don't wear socks with them. So I figured the calf sleeves would be good.

    However I now see on CEP's website that they recommend against wearing calf sleeves for recovery or while on an airplane because they can cause fluid to pool in your feet.

    I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with this -- are they just being overly cautious in their warning, or do I have to return them (in which case I guess I won't be wearing anything compressive and will continue to have fluid retention in my legs)?

    Thanks!!

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Uncanny Valley
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    I've read the same thing on an exercise physiologist's blog. IIRC he actually did a comparo, with a sleeve on one leg and nothing on the other, and showed how much the un-compressed foot swelled. It makes sense to me, but I don't know anything more about it. Lost the link, sorry ....

    I'm in the same place with my feet being wide out of all proportion to the size of my legs. I have one pair of hose that's 30-40 mm Hg that I can only wear for a short time until my feet hurt so badly I have to take them off, but I do wear them as long as I can after an event. Then I have a pair of drugstore brand thigh-highs that I think are 15-20 mm Hg, that I'll sleep in and wear for travel, and I do feel I get some circulation benefits from them without killing my feet.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
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    Here's a short write-up: http://postinjuryrunning.com/Blog/?p=670

  4. #4
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    Sep 2007
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    Heh! Same blog, different post, and yeah, I couldn't quite remember whether he was a PT or an exercise physiologist.

    Here's the link to the post I was referring to. http://postinjuryrunning.com/Blog/?p=619
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
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    I hate the compression socks for the same reason ny_biker but I do use them on long haul flights (6 hours or more, longest ~16 hours). I am always drinking water, though, and usually take an aspirin before such flights, sometimes also the day before, too. And I get up and walk any chance I get. The calf sleeves I have used in car drives (up to 6 hours), as well as compression tights.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    5,897
    You guys are awesome. BTW those red marks on his skin from the calf sleeve -- I get them from regular socks. And lots of other clothes. It's related to the chronic hives that I get.

    So I'll return the calf sleeves. I might try a pair of the compression socks if I can find a pair that don't have that band around the mid foot. I think the Zoot and DeSoto socks might work.

    Thanks!!
    Last edited by ny biker; 08-05-2014 at 07:24 PM.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    NY, I have the Zoot calf sleeves and tights. I have worn the sleeves on trans-Atlantic flights, with no issues, but who knows? I didn't notice any swelling in my feet, but I also drink lots of water and because I'm so short, I can easily stand up, even in my seat, on a plane. The tights drive me nuts, the foot stirrup part, that is. I've thought about cutting the stirrup off, but I'm pretty sure the whole bottom would unravel, and those things were expensive.
    Every time I wear the tights, I think of when DH and I went to buy them. We went to the City Sports store that was damaged in the Marathon bombing (this was in 2010). It was a busy Sunday, and we were definitely the only cyclists in there! Anyway, we wanted the tights/sleeves for our cycling tour to Spain. We both went into the dressing room together and then kind of got stuck putting the tights on. We didn't realize how tight they were going to be. A great deal of laughing and other noises ensued, and I am sure they thought something funny was going on. We were in there a long time!
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Uncanny Valley
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    The foot stirrup thing must be unique to "sports" brand compression garments, because I've never seen anything like that in the medical grade hose I wear, or in the ones I've helped my parents with after surgery.

    Drugstore and medical supply store brands are usually cheaper anyway, especially if you can find them on sale. They still squeeze my feet, but the only reinforcement they have in the feet is at heel and toe same as regular hosiery.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
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    The Zoot tights drove me crazy! I bought them on sale, could not stand them (they might be the best, but only if you wear them!). I gave them to a friend, a pro cyclist who loves them. Instead, I bought 2XU recovery tights. I can use those.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    I would think that recovery tights like these from 2XU would cause the same foot-swelling problems that are possible with calf sleeves.

    http://www.2xu.com/recovery-compress...s-wa1960b.html

    It looks like the 2XU recovery socks are in stock at the giant sporting goods stores that is across the street from my office. I will stop in after work to see if they have my size.

    I will probably also end up getting some drugstore compression socks which I can wear under long pants. But during the summer when I'm wearing shorts, I think socks that are clearly designed for athletic pursuits will look less dorky, or will at least be a version of dorky that will match my helmet hair.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
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    6,984
    Not sure I would want to wear something that tight unless I had no other choice. I hate very tight stuff.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    Well I bought the 2XU recovery socks and have been wearing them for an hour and 15 minutes. The mid-foot elastic is driving me nuts as expected. And my feet are freezing, because my socks are too tight!! I'm wearing shearling-lined slippers and I still feel like I have ice blocks at the ends of my legs.

    Otherwise they're comfortable enough. I will try wearing them a few times. If I can stand them and they help with the fluid retention I will keep them.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
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    Oak, do you know the mmHG of the socks you have?

    I wore the 2XU recovery socks after my bike ride on Saturday. It was a 49 mile ride and I pushed myself the whole time so my legs were tired. Afterwards was the annual club picnic, then the ~1hour drive home. I put the socks on as soon as I finished the ride. They felt okay until I was about 1/2 hour into the drive home. At that point I developed a cramp on the top of my right foot running up my shin. To make things really interesting, I was on a highway at the time. I pulled over, took the sock off, waited a minute, put my sneaker on my bare foot and drove home without any additional problems. I've only had a cramp like that once before, when I was driving while wearing sneakers that were laced too tightly.

    After I got home I put the sock back on and was able to wear it a couple more hours. Then the tops of my toes started to hurt so I took them off.

    Here endeth the 2XU experiment.

    Now I'm looking to try something with less compression. One huge problem -- less than what?? 2XU does not seem to want us to know the pressure measurements for their products. A couple of their videos mention pressure ratings, but I couldn't find anything for the recovery socks.

    Here's what I have managed to learn.

    Medical grade socks start at 30-20 mmHG. OTC socks are 20-15.
    CEP running socks: 25-18.
    CEP recovery tights or open-toe knee-highs: 30-25.
    2XU running socks: 25-17.
    Zoot running socks: 20-8.
    Zoot recovery or ultra socks: 30-18.
    DeSoto socks: 25 (don't know if that's 25 top to bottom or if their product description is incomplete)
    2XU recovery tights: 25/27-16/18
    2XU recovery socks: ????????

    I am leaning toward the Zoot socks (20-8). I suspect they'd be more effective if the pressure at the top was higher, but I'd rather have not enough at the top than too much at the bottom. My other choice would be OTC socks at 20-15. I have no idea what brands to consider for the OTC socks.
    Last edited by ny biker; 08-11-2014 at 08:38 PM.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    I don't have socks. I have one pair of pantyhose that are 30-40 mm (those are the ones that really kill my feet, don't remember the brand), one pair of the ugly white Futuro thigh-highs that are 15-20 mm, and one pair of thigh-highs that I remember as being 20-30 mm but I'm not exactly sure the brand, they might be this Sigvaris pair.

    I do feel I get a benefit even from the lower compression of the Futuros, especially since I can wear them longer. I'll definitely wear wool socks over any of them, not only to keep my feet warm but to protect the nylon.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Thanks!!

    I'll post again after I've had a chance to try the Zoot socks, in case anyone is finding this useful.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

 

 

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