Enerskin Calf Compression Sleeves Review
By Will Lind
Images © Will Lind / Functional Running
I love a good innovation in running tech and Enerskin has done a great job at bringing something new to the compression market with their silicon taping compression range. They’ve taking the concept of taping, meshed it with compression, and delivered a rad looking new compression system. Fit, function and feel, the Enerskin calf sleeves I’ve been playing with have been awesome and I’m not going to go backwards in coming forwards to say it.
Admittedly, I think I get over excited about new ideas or twists on existing ideas. Okay, I don’t think I do, I know I do. Still, there’s some cool stuff floating around here. The concept Enerskin has created is a silicone taping system integrated into compression gear. When you squeeze into this compression you also get the benefit of the support that ‘elastic and therapeutic’ taping would normally deliver, such as extra stability and support for joints.
In fact, Enerskin recommend their products for both athletes and patients undergoing pre and post-surgery rehabilitation.
A couple of other cool pointers:
- You can wear Enerskin sleeves inside out with the silicon sitting on the outside. This is expected to reduce it’s effectiveness by up to 30%-40%.
- You can’t quite see the silicon taping system until you put the sleeves on and the fabric stretches.
Fit and Feel
First impression; tight. I seem to remember way back when compression gear first started coming out that it fit super tight. I feel like a trend has watered down the industry and much of your compression is really just about giving you a snug layer of clothing that holds you in. If I’m right, Enerskin is bucking the trend and in this runner’s experience, it was actually a pain in the butt to get on the first time. Firm. Tight. Snug. Really snug. Any of those terms suit. The calf sleeves weren’t cutting off circulation, but I wasn’t forgetting they were on any time soon.
The Enerskin sleeves did stretch after that first use and the fit eased to something more akin to my experiences with other compression gear, but still more towards the tighter end of the spectrum.
Putting on the sleeves was also inhibited a touch by the silicon taping that did stick to a cheeky leg hair or 50. Shaving my pins would solve this problem. In this case applying a couple of spoonfuls of cement also fixed the issue.
Wearing the sleeves was aces. I don’t know what else to say really as it’s such a subjective topic. I liked how they felt running, walking around, not running and down at the gym. Two thumbs up all round.
Recovery and Performance?
I’m not going here. Did I run faster and recovery quicker? Who knows. The jury is out on the validity of compression with studies supporting both for and against. The only firm stand I take is to say that if you like compression, can afford it and believe there is benefit, go for it.
Plenty of wears later and I’m happy with how Enerskin is holding up. I’ve had them on while skipping rope, swinging kettlebells and rowing at the gym and I’ve worn them running in all sorts of places for all sorts of distance While, I’ve had them on far less as the weather has cooled in winter (I wear full length compression or long compression socks), I fully expect to slip them back on as the weather warms up again.
Nothing negative to report here. The stitching is fine. The silicone tape hasn’t drawn thin or worn. The only change is they simply aren’t as tight as that first memorable wear.
I feel Enerskin has a product that differentiates the company from the fast flooding, if not already flooded, compression market. It’s got a solid twist and my recent experiences have been of a quality product that goes the distance. I am mostly a compression skeptic and wear compression as form fitting running gear and a light cold weather barrier, as opposed to recovery gear or performance gear. That being said, I won’t speak for the Enerskin claims on performance or otherwise. Would you believe me even if I did? What I will confirm is that Enerskin have a quality product, you can definitely feel the silicon tape, I enjoy wearing the calf sleeves (and will continue to do so), overall I’m pleased with them and I’m expecting bigger things to come from the brand.
At the time I got hold of the Enerskin calf sleeves you couldn’t order direct from Australia. The unit price for the sleeves is $99USD plus $30USD postage, which, as an side note, even without the conversion puts the Enerskin line onto a whole new level of cost compared to what’s available in Australia right now.
Disclaimer: Enerskin provided their Calf Sleeves to Functional Running free of charge for review purposes. Functional Running was not paid, has not been endorsed and has not received any favour in return for this review.