Wednesday, May 6, 2015

At Last, True Compression Sleeves That Work (Here's a Coupon Code to Get Yours Today!)

Note to reader: I'm not an elite runner or by any stretch "famous." I'm a regular guy who likes running and racing distances up to and beyond 100 miles. Here's a review of an outstanding product I recently discovered. I have been offered nothing by SLS3 but this one free product to test and review. This review is 100% how I feel about these calf sleeves. Now, read on!

I like compression gear because it works for me. In races and long training runs, I often wear compression shorts under my running shorts because they help keep my quads stable and chafing at bay. They also provide extra warmth up in the mountains and when the seasons are changing.

I've also on occasion found calf compression sleeves to be quite helpful and beneficial in the way of preventing soreness, promoting stability, helping with recovery, and keeping warm. But not until recently did I find the truly perfect pair of calf sleeves.

Source: SLS3
A few months ago, SLS3 asked if I'd wear-test some of their calf sleeves and then post a review about my experience. Who is SLS3? They've been around since 2004 (you can read about their story here) and have evolved over the years to offer top-quality triathlon apparel and compression gear. Although I'm not a triathlete (just an ultrarunner who also likes my bike), I am most certainly interested in good compression gear. So, when SLS3 reached out to me, a quick search of their website and a few e-mails with the very friendly rep (her name is Vanessa) revealed that this was a great opportunity. I turn down about 95% of these types of wear-testing opportunities, but this one was impossible to pass up because I believe truly good compression works.

Within a few days, my SLS3 FXC Compression Sleeves (shown to the right, but those aren't my legs, and I got black sleeves!) arrived in the mail. I immediately noticed how durable they appeared. In the past, durability has been an issue with calf compression sleeves, especially when you get on rocky trails. They like to rip. Not the case with my SLS3 sleeves (more on that below).

SLS3 says its calf compression sleeves "boost blood flow by around 34%." I believe it. I've put in a few hundred miles in my calf sleeves and I've definitely noticed a difference. Not only am I not sore in the calves after a hard run, but I'm also recovering better. Maybe that's why I was able to hit the track for quality intervals a few days after running 31 miles at the Cheyenne Mountain 50K?

The one downside to them--and this is only because they offer top-quality compression--is that they can be difficult to take off. Again, that's what you're going to get with good compression; it's part of the deal. Fortunately, they're super durable. I've washed them a few times and they're as good as new. No rips. No fraying. Still as tight as when they came out of the tiny box.

If my calf sleeves are any indication, SLS3 makes really quality stuff. I hope they enter the ultrarunning arena and start making stuff for those of us who enjoy running all day.

The good news is that my calf sleeves are perfect for not only runners but also cyclists, walkers, triathletes and even skiers (hadn't thought about their benefit to skiing but it's true!).

If you're into compression or just want to try it, check out SLS3! You can't go wrong. Use coupon code Wyatt40 to get a 40% discount. Check 'em out!


  1. Do you use them after big runs to recover? I have never used them, but heard some good anecdotal reviews.

    1. Stu: I haven't used them AFTER big runs but I use them during big runs for sure and I plan to use them at Bighorn. They are true compression and provide a ton of stability to the calf muscles. I highly recommend them and believe 100% that they work. With the 40% off discount, you have little to lose. They are heads and shoulders better than the other compression stuff I've tried.

  2. Compression sleeves, especially during 100's are a must for me. They don't make me go faster or provide some other great gain in performance, but for me, it is the different between my feet being normal sized vs. 3x the normal size once all is said and done.

    1. Good point, Andy. I can definitely see how good compression sleeves might help prevent foot swelling. Give these a shot--with the 40% off discount, you have little to lose. They are incredible!