“Disclaimer: I received entry the Zensah Thigh Compression Sleeve to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”
I use compression gear all the time to aid in my running recovery. Pants, socks, sleeves…I really think it helps. During a long run or after a long run, I am ready to go the next day.
If you are unfamiliar with the idea behind compression, here is what Zensah has to say “Graduated compression features the greatest amount of compression in the part of the garment farthest away from the heart and the least amount compression in the part closest to the heart (for socks, this would be the greatest amount in the ankle and the least in the calf). The graduated compression decreases the cross sectional area of the veins and a pressure gradient is created, which leads to improved venous return and many other physiological benefits.” In other words compression increases circulation which helps in a speedier recovery of muscles. Read more about the benefits of compression here.
I was excited when the Zensah Thigh Compression Sleeve arrived in my mailbox. I ripped open the package to find one, black, sleeve. They are sold as one single unit.
I made sure to measure the widest / thickest part of my thigh, and used the measurement chart to find my size. I was confused as my height doesn’t really match the width of my thigh. Ok, so I have large thighs. I am about 5’5″ and my thigh measures in the 22″ range. I ordered the L/XL size
As you know Zensah makes many compression items, remember the awesome Ultra Calf Sleeves? I really like their products, they are stretchy, seamless, moisture wicking, not hot to wear and easy to get on and off; at the same time they provide just the right amount of compression.
Once I had the package open, I investigated more. The top part of the sleeve has a row of rubbery dots to help keep it in place on the top, while the bottom of the band has more of an elastic, fabric covered cuff.
Next came the test to put it on. I pulled it up and had a few problems. I put it in place between my knee and thigh area. The top will not stay put, and wants to roll down, as it’s too small. Remember, I have large thighs, I felt like I was stuffing a sausage. (TMI ?) It also seemed like it was bunched up, or there was too much fabric for the short area between the top of my knee and thigh. I also have been known to wear compression while I sleep, so I managed to get it to kind of stay in place, and went to sleep.
While the sleeve didn’t wake me in the night, I woke up to find it rolled all the way down to the top of my knee. This is not going to work wearing it this way. I think it has to do with the height vs width sizing method.
I didn’t give up though. I took a new approach. I pulled the sleeve as high as I could wear it, and for it to stay in place. which wasn’t too far above the knee. I pulled it as far as it would stretch and it hit below the knee. It actually fits in this position, and stays in place.
I wore it this way while lounging in my recliner, it felt good. I also took to my sleeping in the sleeve method, and it stayed in place!! I know Zensah makes a knee sleeve, but this could be used like that too.
It is a bit strange to only wear one, It would be nice to recover each leg equally. I guess you might only have one quad or hamstring injury, not likely they would be injured at the same time.
I really like the idea of a compression sleeve specifically designed for your thigh, and I really like other Zensah products. I just don’t see this working for me in the manner in which it was designed.
Other pros also had the chance to test these out, check out what they had to say: