Disclaimer: I received a pair of Skins’ Compression A400 shorts to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.
There has been a debate about whether compression wear works and for some, it does. Luckily I fall into that category. 🙂
For those of you unfamiliar with it, compression wear is designed to boost a person’s natural performance by providing more oxygen to their active muscles. The most common type of compression wear is probably socks. People who spend hours on their feet (like nurses) will often wear medical compression socks to prevent blood from pooling in the lower leg. This reduces the swelling in their legs and some even say it prevents varicose veins. Athletes will wear compression gear to improve their athletic performance and recovery. Compression socks, arm sleeves, calf sleeves, shorts, tops…if you can wear it, there’s probably compression gear for it.
As I previously mentioned, I received a pair of Skins’ A400 compression shorts to try out. And before I get into some of my thoughts on them, here’s a little bit more information about them from their website.
“The SKINS’ gradient compression has been engineered to provide the correct level of surface pressure to specific parts of the body. This enhances circulation and gets more vital oxygen to your active muscles – boosting your power, speed and stamina.”
Their “memory MX fabric contains a unique high stretch elastomeric yarn – which returns to its original shape no matter how much stress you put it under.” This means that regardless of whether it’s your first time or 50th time wearing them, you’ll get the same level of muscle support and controlled compression.
At low temperatures, “the unique polymer binds moisture in its structure keeping you feeling warm and dry. As your temperature increases it changes its surface properties, releasing the stored moisture to the surface where it evaporates and cools your skin.”
So for the past 4 or so weeks, I’ve been wearing these shorts on my short and long runs. SPOILER ALERT AHEAD!?!?………………..
I like them. 🙂
Fabric – There are so many things I like about the fabric. They’re really smooth, like baby smooth. If it wasn’t weird to feel my thighs all the time while wearing them, I probably would. LOL. There’s nothing bulky about these shorts. Even the seams are really flat. That’s so nice because sometimes, even the slightest bump on a pair of shorts will cause terrible chafing. I know. I’ve experienced it first hand. With these shorts, I never had a problem with chafing. Hooray!
Fit – Since these are compression shorts, it’s probably a good idea that they fit just right. When I first put these on, I felt like they were TOO tight, but after one run, they were just perfect. Due to their Elastane blend, the fabric is able to stretch according to your movements and return to its normal state when you’re not wearing them. I’ve worn these A TON OF TIMES and it doesn’t seem like they’re losing their compression.
Their website states that their shorts have a wider waistband for comfort and are lower rise allowing them to sit comfortably on hips. That was definitely not the case for me. The fit was right, but I had to pull the shorts up to maybe my belly button. That was perfect for me though. By doing so, the shorts smoothed out my muffin top. LOL.
Note: If you order your own, try to stick to the sizing chart. If you choose too loose of a fit, you’re defeating the purpose of compression wear.
Recovery – I can’t say too much about their effect on my recovery because I haven’t had a chance to run anything super long (17+ miles). I did run a 16 miler in these and they felt fantastic to run with. My quads and hamstrings didn’t feel sore afterwards, but my calves did. Boo. LOL. Note that my calves are prone to soreness. I blame not foam rolling enough.
Anyway, you can read my fellow BibRavePros’ reviews on the Skins’ compression wear. I tried out their shorts, but there were other options and you can read about their reviews below. If you have other questions, you can always ask me and/or join BibRave on Twitter on Tuesday, Oct 10th at 6 pm PT for #bibchat. Our sponsor Skins will be giving away a free pair of compression tights and if you participate in our chat, you’re eligible to win. 🙂
If you want to buy your own, you can use the code “BIBRAVE20” on your order through the end of October. This is only valid on full price items.