Jan 21

Product Review: RecoFit Compression Sleeves

Disclaimer: I received this pair of compression sleeves for free from RecoFit.  After my last set of product reviews in which I was less than satisfied with the Zensah compression sleeves, I was contacted by Susan at RecoFit offering to send me a pair of their alternative.  While I may have received the compression sleeves for free, this review is my own honest opinion of the product.

First, let me say that it is really cool to get free product.  I know there are some bloggers out there with sponsors and what not who get free stuff all the time.  For me, however, this was my first free gear.

Flashback to my Zensah review in December.  My main complaint with the Zensah sleeves was that they didn’t seem provide much, if any, compression at all.  All they did was keep my legs warm in the cooler weather.

Enter the RecoFit sleeves.

About RecoFit

The story behind the creation and development of the RecoFit is pretty interesting.  They were made by an athlete for athletes.  Susan, the developer and president of the company spent over 20 years working on the media side of sports.  Over the years she was plagued by soreness from running.  Unsatisfied with the current products on the market, she worked with her husband to create the RecoFit sleeve.  You can read the full story about RecoFit on their website (https://recofitsports.com/) if you are interested. 

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First Impression

My first impression of the sleeves was they looked more high tech than the Zensah sleeves.  When I first picked up the RecoFit sleeves they had a very fine, thin feeling to them.  The seams and overall structure of the socks made them appear much more high tech than the Zensah sleeves.  But this is all appearances, would they really work better?

The Fit

As soon as I put on the RecoFit sleeves, I knew that they were going to work better than the Zensah sleeves.  Why?  Because they were difficult to pull on.  The Zensah sleeves were very stretchy and slid on like a pair of long socks.  The RecoFit sleeves however are more of what I expect out of compression clothing.  They need to put on a little bit and then slowly worked up the leg by bunching them up, pulling a little bit more, and repeating the process until they are in place.  The first time I put them on, I put them on wrong.  I didn’t realize that the sleeves were left/right specific until I had them on the wrong legs and read the packaging.

One of the reason for the better fit, compared to the Zensah sleeves, is the fact that they come in more sizes.  The Zensah sleeves come in 3 sizes XS/S, S/M, and L/XL.  The RecoFit sleeves, however, come in 5 sizes based on calf size.  My calves measured at 14” at the widest point which put me in the medium size (13”-15”).

The Look

RecoFit’s goal was to create something that “didn’t look geriatric” and was “cool” looking.  They succeeded!  I chose the white color (they come in black or white).  They each have two distinct panels, one for the bulk of the sleeves and a second on the back that covers the calf.

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The Front

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The Back

Actual Usage

Ok, so now you have seen how they look, but do they work?

Now, there are basically two uses for RecoFit sleeves, RECOvery and FITness (hence the RecoFit name).  I have finally used the sleeves for both recovery after a workout and during a race. 

The first workout was a 10 mile run and the second was a 15 mile run.  On the 10 mile run day, I spent a large portion of the afternoon on my feet.  Whereas on the 15 mile run day, I spent most of the afternoon sitting around watching football.  In both cases, my legs felt fresh all day long and I didn’t have any post run soreness.


For the fitness aspect, I ran the Portland Winter Run wearing the sleeves.  I felt great the entire way.  Normally by the third mile of a hard 5k, my calves start to feel like lead.  However, with the sleeves, I felt consistent through the entire race.  And despite the temperature being in the teens, I was comfortable wearing shorts and the sleeves rather than long tights.

Overall Impression

Overall, I have been very impressed by the RecoFit sleeves.  Compared to the Zensah sleeves, they blow them out of the water.  I really can’t speak of the scientific pros/cons of compression technology, but what I can say is that it has seemed to help me perform better and recover faster.  RecoFit also offers compression arm sleeves.  I may end up buying a set of those once it starts to warm up so I have something to strip off on my morning bike rides.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2011/01/21/product-review-recofit-compression-sleeves


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  1. kc

    Been researching the compression socks for a while now. I have a pair of Twin City Oxysox but don’t like the “sock” part of it…too thick and I don’t wear socks that thick when training. The compression part of the sock feels great though. I prefer a sleeve type of product. Thanks for the review. I will need to check em’ out.
    And just a warning…you are going to catch some serious hell when (not naming names) a few bloggers out there see your unshaved legs. Just sayin’. Have a great weekend!

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      HAHAHAHAHA! Thanks for the warning! In my defense, it is the off season and I consider it resistance training and a winter coat. It is currently 9* (-6* with the wind chill) and I need to retain as much warmth as possible. We aren’t all lucky enough to live in warm Florida. 🙂

      I actually did the full body shave for the first time for my A race last season. I’ll definitely be bringing it back next season.

  2. Scott

    I am a believer in compression

    Jon has to come thru Ohio to get to Wisconsin, I have quite the road block of people to stop and kidnap him

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Quit being greedy BDD, don’t you have enough blogger peeps at CP already????

      Jon – Your best bet is to drive through Canada and skip over Ohio completely. Even if it is a longer drive, it will be worth it avoid Ohio 😛 haha

  3. Mandy

    First, I went to comment when you first posted that picture of you running in shorts in the RR and I wanted to say…ARE YOU INSANE RUNNING IN SHORTS IN JAN?? (unless you live in FL, TX, AZ, or CA…and you don’t) Holy crap. I wrote something like that and then the power went out. Not kidding. So anyway.

    Great review. SO cool you got it sent to you to test! That is awesome. Trust me, as a fellow gear slut (I am assuming you are one, as I am), you will not ever getting used to free stuff.

    Jon is a great drinker/cheerer on-er. Is that a word? I would love to come to IMOO to cheer you on BTW!! But holy hanna, Ohio is like 16hrs from my house…Madison, Wisconsin is what, another 10 or so? But IMOO is on my bucket list. Plus I think I might be staying at the pimp shack with Matty O, Scott, and crew… 🙂

  4. Emily

    I also thought the Zensah sleeves were weak sauce. I need something with a bit more compressing action! I would be very curious to try the RecoFit to see how they handle my tight a@@ calves. If they came in hot pink I would be sold.

  5. Scott

    Nice try, but I also have crazy followers in Canada, I speak their langauge, all I have to do is offer free tim hortons to the first one to bring Jon to me, so you need to revise your plan

  6. Scott

    And how are you going to beat “the pimp shack” Thx Mandy

  7. Nitmos

    Man, Playmakers is EVERYWHERE aren’t they?!?

    Compress away…

  8. Aimee (I Tri To Be Me)

    Awesome review! I’m a huge believer in compression and use compression socks and tights regularly in my training!

  9. Alexa

    I have a pair of Zensah compression sleeves that I wear every single day at work (P.S. they are pink). I also have a pair of Zoot compression sleeves that I bought in Lake Placid. The Zoots are much, much tighter.. so much that I don’t think I could wear them for 8 hours but I think they are better for recovery because they are tighter, whereas the Zensahs are great for day to day wear because I am on my feet for 8 hrs in a lab.

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