To Compress Or Not Compress? Let SKINS Help You Decide

I‘m sure you‘ve heard, but the rage right now is all things compression: head to toe. There just might be a reason, too. How can you say no to something that has been scientifically proven to bring more oxygen to your muscles for faster recovery and less pain, plus reduce your risk of injury?

Compression became popular with the professional athletes and has been so well received, it trickled down to the amateurs, as it’s suitable for the average active person. I consider myself an average active person. I aspire to do many things, and successfully check off ‘˜to-do‘s” every year.  I also know that I‘m just as susceptible to injury and activity related pain as the next gal. Thus, why not take advantage of something the pros can‘t get enough of? I have previously owned compression gear in the form of calf sleeves. I admit they were great, but they didn‘t do anything for the on-and-off pain in my IT bands. When I was offered the chance to review SKINS, I knew it was time to try full leg compression tights. I have been able to test their most advanced compression technology, the A400 Compression Long Tights.

When they arrived, I was sure they had sent the wrong size. They looked quite tiny, and very thin. However, after gently guiding them on I was pleasantly surprised by their apparent durability and they are actually almost too long (Granted, I am not quite average height for an American woman). True to their name they are skin-tight, but comfortably so.  They actually feel like I‘m wearing almost nothing when I run in them. It‘s actually quite liberating! Kudos to the fit masters at SKINS. They have created a unique fitting product based on your body type. The people at SKINS want your clothes to fit just right so they ask you to enter your weight, height, and body type. Specific body types are guidelined as follows: ‘˜H‘ which has little variation from waist, to hip, to thigh, or ‘˜A‘ small waist in relation to hips and thighs. Someone used their brain and realized women‘s bodies are not all the same. Major points to them.

The first thing I noticed while running in them was the incredible support my quads and knees felt. This comes from the SKINS engineered gradient compression technology. Revolutionary in-motion testing has helped this company hone in on specific surface pressures that correspond with highest performance and aid in the most rapid recovery. Previously, only static tests were done on athletes, so this company has really been able to leap its way to the top by providing the most cutting edge compression wear that enhances circulation, reduces lactic acid buildup, and boosts power, speed, and stamina. In addition, the fabric itself is woven using several different fine, high performance yarns. Many types are used to aid in strength and prevent runs in the event of a tear. The fibers are not all knit, which has zero natural stretch. Instead, SKINS has expertly blended knit nylon (76%) and spandex (24%) to create the perfect compression. With the numerous fibers of the wrap knit construction, a float line exists between loops which adds to the moisture wicking ability of the garment. Finally, the 400-series specific Memory MX Fabric plays its part to keep your muscles controlled through their natural movements. This special edition helps to wrap key muscles, which in turn minimizes wobble and chances of soft tissue damage.

Things I love about this product are all the little extras I never knew a pair of running pants could have.  Moisture management and anti microbial technology of the fabrics are a huge bonus. For one, who wants to run in pants that make you feel like you‘re running in a wet diaper? No one! Who has the time to wash their running pants every day? I certainly don‘t. These pants are good for a solid 3-4 wears before a washing is due. Also, the 50+ UV protection is a really big deal. I live a mile closer to the sun than a majority of the country, thus I need all the skin protection I can get.

Things I would change are limited to one, which is more a personal pet peeve than actual issue:  a zipper pocket for keys. This is something I won‘t buy a pair of running pants without. I hate the waistline above my hipbone so I consistently roll my waist fabric down. Unless there is a zipper, the little slide-in pouch gets flipped to the outside of my pants and renders itself useless to keep my keys from falling out.

After a few weeks of testing I can confidently say, you NEED to try SKINS. I felt a noticeable increase in my running stamina as well as a decrease in length and severity of soreness post-run as I build up the miles for a half marathon next month. They are so comfortable I often contemplate keeping them on all day at work. Perhaps I will be investing in their recovery compression gear, so worth it!

– Carley

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