This year, compression is all the rage, and I was lucky enough to see what all the hoopla is about. I have been using my Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves and Injinji Ex-Celerator Compression toe socks for everything (sleep to work to working out), but my favorite combination is with my VFF Bikilas and KSOs.
First, I should start with the science of compression wear. Suzanne at Zensah gave me a lesson on how it all works and really got me excited to test them out. Zensah's graduated compression increases circulation and oxygen blood flow, which increases muscle efficiency and reduces pain that athletes experience during training and racing. This means you last longer and recover faster. You can delve deeper into the science of compression, but I will keep it light here, so suffice it to say that the benefits of compression do not stop after the workout (think before, during and after exercise, as well as while lounging, sleeping, or traveling).
Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves are amazingly wearable. The soft polyamide is so comfortable that I can easily sleep in them and the silver ion means that I can wear them all the time without getting too hot, cold, or stinky. If you like to wear your Vibram FiveFingers without socks, then this is the way to go. Since they are a sleeve, you don't have to have anything on your feet (including shoes, for you true barefooters). I was concerned how they would work with my Injinji Mini Crew socks, since any overlap could be a potential hotspot, but my fretting proved to be unnecessary. For day-to-day use, these are the most comfortable and fit well under relaxed fit pants, but the top hem shows under skinny jeans, so I did have to take them off from time to time.
I wear socks most of the time with my VFFs, so the Injinji Ex-Celerator Compression Toe Socks are a natural fit. These are very easy to wear under the skinniest of skinny jeans, but, as someone with large calves, they do feel a tad tight. I do not notice this while I am exercising, but the tightness makes them less ideal for before and after working out. I lent them to my mother, whose calves aren't built for cycling the Crit, and she did not want to give them back. The fabric is not as comfortable as the Zensah Compression Sleeves, but I really like the Injinji compression socks because they not only compress your calves and shins, but also your feet, where, as a minimalist runner, I tend to get sore.
As someone who Christmas gifted both to herself, the Zensah Compression Sleeves and Inijinji Ex-Celerator Compression Socks make a great combination. The Zensah Compression Sleeves are more comfortable and I wear them the majority of the time, especially after a hard calf workout, but since they don't provide compression for the foot, I wear the Ex-Celerator Compression Socks during and after a workout that puts my feet to work.