Those of you who are regular readers of this blog will know that I have a real problem with compression. I want to use it because I get calf cramp and I find it helps with that, however, I find compression gear is generally uncomfortable and it sometimes gives me problems with my soleus muscles (see this review here). One set of compression gear that I have not experienced these issues with is the 2XU calf guard.
What is it?
It’s basically compression tights which only cover your calfs, they fit surprisingly comfortably and whilst it may look a bit ridiculous, I firmly believe that I’m never going to look my best when out on a run so I don’t really care. You can get a version with a strap which hooks under your feet, or a version without. I own the version without and I don’t know why you’d ever need the strap – in fact, it appears completely pointless to me.
The idea is that the compression it delivers to your muscles helps reduce cramps and allows your muscles to recover more quickly if worn after a run. Whether or not this is true we’ll look into in another post soon, but until we do, it’s down to the individual to assess what helps them.
I’ve trained with these on a number of times and I do like the feel of them, I seem to experience less cramp when using them and they don’t give me any additional problems. The longest I’ve used these for in one go is a duathlon which consisted of 35km run and 50km cycle offroad with lots of big hills to really challenge those calf muscles. I got through well and was surprised that when I did get cramp I was able to run it off which never normally happens.
I think these are great in general, they seem to help my running and I love the feel of them. There are two negatives though; firstly they look stupid and secondly when taking these off, my thumb went straight through the material leaving a hole. This was after only my second ever use and whilst it doesn’t really affect the product, it is still annoying when you’ve paid a fair bit for a product like this. When I wrote to them about this they asked me to send them back and they would look at it and if they thought the product was faulty then they would replace it. However, it wasn’t faulty, they are all like this, they are just weak. So if you do buy these – be careful. Especially if you have big feet to pull them over!
Getting the right size is key, see the 2XU official size guide before you buy.
Available on Amazon here from £22.