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.
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.
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?
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”).
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.
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, 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.