7 Best Calf & Leg Compression Sleeves

Calf and leg compression sleeves have become very popular with runners for several reasons. By holding your muscles and tendons in place as you run, a good sleeve lessens the amount of impact your legs experience so you don't get as sore.

They also improve your circulation which helps your body to heal faster by delivering more fresh, oxygenated blood to affected areas. They've also been shown to be highly effective at healing shin splints, one of the most common running injuries.

Compression gear is available for all different parts of your body, but in this buying guide, we're focusing on products designed for your legs and calves because as runners we know this is one part of the body that frequently needs the most attention.

Standout Picks

Rockay Blaze
In the field of compression sleeves, there is nothing quite like the Rockay Blaze. This is a brand-new product that is already making a significant impact on the running community. In efforts to stand aside from the competition, this brand took the time to carefully construct this product and provide the benefits that others were lacking. Let’s dive a bit deeper!
Physix Gear Sport
This model got great reviews for its high level of compression which users found extremely effective at helping them run and stay on their feet longer, as well as recover more quickly between running sessions. The durability is good, but there seem to be some sizing issues, so consult the sizing chart carefully, especially if you have large calves.
Amazon Link
SKINS MX Calf Tight
Soft fabric and a snug fit, these sleeves go a long way toward babying your legs. There is also a lot of science built into the Skins, with gradient compression designed to deliver more oxygen to your working muscles. Overall these are a solid pick.
Amazon Link
BLITZU
This highly reviewed product is designed to heal and prevent shin splints, so if that's a problem for you these are perfect. They got really good responses from customers based on a good amount of compression, not too much, not too little, as well as being made with high-quality and consistency. They are also durable and the company has great customer service.
NEWZILL Compression Sleeves red
When you want a reliable pair of compression sleeves that are as cool and stylish as you are then you need to check out these sleeves from NEWZILL! They are made to last and will serve you well wherever you go.
Amazon Link
Rymora Calf Compression Sleeves yellow
Rymora calf compression sleeves offer the support and stability boost you would expect from a graduated compression sleeve.
Camden Gear Calf Sleeve
The calf compression sleeves by Camden Gear are made for runners to enhance their performance and comfort levels. They help runners make use of graduated compression to increase blood flow, aid in muscle recovery, and improve performance. These compression sleeves may be used as both active and recovery sleeves. Simply put, these are great sleeves that the body perform at optimum levels.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Compression

The leg compression sleeves provide graduated compression, from really high at your foot (not all the sleeves cover for feet) and ankle to lower compression at your calf and leg. The effect of that graduated compression is helpful in fighting the effects of gravity by making it easier for your body to return the deoxygenated blood and lactic acid back to your heart to get refueled with oxygen.

That increases the quantity of oxygen and nutrients flowing through for body. That helps the muscles to function and recover faster.

How does it happen?

The graduated compression increases the speed at which blood flows through your legs by slightly constricting the walls of your arteries and veins. Your blood is pressurized and thus flows faster to and from your heart.

How about the vibration factor?

The graduated compression technology helps to stabilize the muscle and reduces the vibration your muscles absorb while running. That is an extra important factor to increase your performance and recovery when you exercise.

Effectiveness

Your heart pumps blood, which contains oxygen and nutrients, which your body then uses as energy and thus, makes your muscle function. When the oxygen from the blood gets used, a chemical reaction occurs and one of the products of this reaction is lactic acid.

Keeping the blood oxygenated is very important for your performance, as you may already know. When you exercise, your heart runs faster and providing not just enough oxygen for your organs and muscles to function, but also generating lactic acid in the process.

If lactic acid is not removed from your muscles, it can contribute to soreness and decrease on the ability to perform, and if you add the amount of vibration that goes through your legs while you are running, it makes sense why you experience muscular fatigue after a long run.

Fit

These sleeves work the best when used the right way, which includes having the right pair of sleeves in the right kind of legs. As the compression goes from high to low from your ankle upwards, you need to know your leg size for the sleeves to give you their better performance.

There are different types of compression sleeves that match up with your specific runs; whether you do long runs or short runs, there is a perfect shape of a sleeve for you. Some brands specialize in compressing specific muscles rather than the whole leg, some others give you extra breathability, some more give you extra muscle support. It's only up to you to decide which one is your match.

Support

Support is an important aspect that must be carefully considered in order to find the best compression sleeves for your running needs. Depending on the material and the specifications you need for your kind of run, all the brands offer a wide range of colors and styles.

If you like running on dirt roads and trail, we recommend you get a darker color of sleeves, as well as a thicker pair, so you can protect yourself from scratches and even from bugs you can encounter during your off-road run.

Use

The function is roughly the same between socks and sleeves but there are some critical differences as well. Sleeves give you all the benefits of targeted compression but they allow you to wear a different pair, perhaps a water-resistant pair or your lucky ones.

Compression sleeves have been around for quite a while out there, you can see people wearing them in a wide variety of sports, from football to marathon running. If you are into sports, you may have heard people discussing if compression sleeves actually work on enhancing the performance or if they do not actually make a difference.

What we can tell you, is that there must be a reason for marathon runners to keep using them.

Best Compression Sleeves for Runners

1. Rockay Blaze

Where to buy

In the field of compression sleeves, there is nothing quite like the Rockay Blaze. This is a brand-new product that is already making a significant impact on the running community. In efforts to stand aside from the competition, this brand took the time to carefully construct this product and provide the benefits that others were lacking. Let’s dive a bit deeper!

Read more

Stays Fresh Technology

What makes this product such a valuable choice for runners is its Polygiene Stays Fresh Technology. If you did not know, this is an anti-odor innovation that works to remove or eliminate any odors while, at the same time, prevent the production of any bacterias. Due to this technology, runners can simply hang dry the product after use, rather than having to wash it time after time.

Moisture Wicking

As runners, we all know how important it is to have gear that is moisture-wicking. This product was designed from a mix of lightweight mesh that also has added ventilation. What does this mean for you? Well, you can run, bike, or do whatever activity you would like without the fear of any sweat building up.

Cost and Value

In comparison to the competition, this product is priced quite fairly, especially when you consider the amount of value it offers. In our opinion, after spending the amount of time we have studied different brands and products, this might just be the best we have seen, as far as value.

2. Physix Gear Sport

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Physix Gear Sport
Amazon Link

This model got great reviews for its high level of compression which users found extremely effective at helping them run and stay on their feet longer, as well as recover more quickly between running sessions. The durability is good, but there seem to be some sizing issues, so consult the sizing chart carefully, especially if you have large calves.

Read more

Compression and Effectiveness

These have a very high level of compression, something a lot of reviewers noted. For most people it was great, and they found it very effective at helping them to heal things like shin splints, stay on their feet longer, and recover from exercise more quickly. There were several comments about sizing issues, but if you read the sizing chart carefully and take the time to measure your calves you should get the right fit.

Fit and Support

These fit your calf very tightly. Some users with larger calves experienced difficulty getting them on and feeling comfortable in them, and only a few reviewers felt that they had too tight of a fit.

Because of its high level of compression, this one gives your calves a lot of support while you run which is why they're so effective at helping to prevent muscle soreness and speed up healing.

Use

These are best for people who know they like a high level of compression. If this is your first time using tsleeves, you might want to go with something with a little bit less compression to see how you like it.

Amazon Link

3. SKINS MX

Where to buy
Amazon Link
SKINS MX Calf Tight
Amazon Link

Soft fabric and a snug fit, these sleeves go a long way toward babying your legs. There is also a lot of science built into the Skins, with gradient compression designed to deliver more oxygen to your working muscles. Overall these are a solid pick.

Read more

Size

There are 5 different size options to choose from and it's important to select the appropriate size because it will directly affect the amount of compression you get. Luckily, the more sizes they offer the more options you have and the more accurate compression you'll get as long as you get your size right.

Support

Gradient compression helps offer support where you need it. Many users appreciated how firm the compression was and that it held up over time and with multiple uses.

Style

There are over 10 colors and some patterns to choose from with these sleeves so you can customize your look. Each pair has a large, dominating logo that may easily wear away with washing. Some labels recommend hand washing and air drying to avoid this kind of problem and to preserve the look and feel over the long-term.

Price
These have the largest price range on our list, so be aware of the cost of different sizes and color choices because these could easily become very costly. However, at their lowest possible price, they are very affordable.

Amazon Link

4. BLITZU

Where to buy
BLITZU
Amazon Link

This highly reviewed product is designed to heal and prevent shin splints, so if that's a problem for you these are perfect. They got really good responses from customers based on a good amount of compression, not too much, not too little, as well as being made with high-quality and consistency. They are also durable and the company has great customer service.

Read more

Compression and Effectiveness

This option has a medium level of compression. It also has a unique design with specialized compression zones that mimick the effects of kinesiology tape to help heal and protect your calves. They're very effective at their intended purpose of healing shin splints.

Fit and Support

These fit well, with very few reports of sizing issues, which we've found is fairly rare with this product category. Even though these have just a medium level of compression, the special design gives added support in targeted areas where kinesiology tape would normally go.

Use

These were designed for helping to heal shin splints as well as prevent them in people who are prone to this type of injury. Obviously, they can be worn by other runners as well, and are great for people looking for a well-rounded product.

5. NEWZILL

Where to buy
Amazon Link
NEWZILL Compression Sleeves red
NEWZILL Compression Sleeves green
Amazon Link

When you want a reliable pair of compression sleeves that are as cool and stylish as you are then you need to check out these sleeves from NEWZILL! They are made to last and will serve you well wherever you go.

Read more

Compression

When you are in need of a quality pair of compression sleeves that do what they are supposed to then you need to check out the NEWZILL compression sleeves. They deliver full-range compression and are designed to improve workout performance!

Effectiveness

These are some of the best compression sleeves on the market today which is why they are ranked in the top half of our list. They are effective and are easy to us. They are also made to last which makes them a great option for runners of all types.

Fit

You can get the NEWZILL compression sleeves in several sizes and styles so finding the right fit for your unique wants and needs should not be a problem. They are designed to provide full compression coverage for maximum benefit and support.

Support

Compression sleeves are designed to support and improve muscle strength and stamina. These sleeves accomplish this goal with amazing support that leaves your legs feeling lighter and your muscles more energized and ready for the workout ahead!

Use

For a reliable pair of compression sleeves that are easy to use and that are suited for a wide range of activities, you will want to give serious thought to the NEWZILL sleeves. They are designed for easy use and will serve you well.

Amazon Link

6. Rymora

Where to buy
Rymora Calf Compression Sleeves yellow
Rymora Calf Compression Sleeves pink
Amazon Link

Rymora calf compression sleeves offer the support and stability boost you would expect from a graduated compression sleeve.

Read more

Compression

When it comes to quality compression and support, the Rymora sleeves are a smart choice for any runner or athlete to make! The benefits of compression are well known and you can enjoy them all with this easy-to-wear sleeve.

Effectiveness

There is little point in wearing a compression sleeve if it is not going to do what it is supposed to do. After testing it ourselves and seeing what others have to say about it, the Rymora calf compression sleeves are indeed effective and worth the investment.

Fit

Getting the right fit is important when it comes to compression sleeves. Thankfully these sleeves are designed to be flexible and will stretch easily for a snug yet comfortable fit. Even if these are your first compression sleeves, you will love them!

Use

One of the biggest selling points is that they are easy to use and are designed to be versatile and responsive to your wants and needs. You can use them for a wide range of workout activities day in and day out!

7. Camden Gear

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Camden Gear Calf Sleeve
Amazon Link

The calf compression sleeves by Camden Gear are made for runners to enhance their performance and comfort levels. They help runners make use of graduated compression to increase blood flow, aid in muscle recovery, and improve performance. These compression sleeves may be used as both active and recovery sleeves. Simply put, these are great sleeves that the body perform at optimum levels.

Read more

Size

Currently, there are three sizes offered so you have a little bit of control over the fit and the compression. However, the sizing jumps from medium to XL so there is a little bit of a sizing gap. Due to the stretchy nature of these sleeves, smaller size may fit but this can b an issue for some runners.

Support

These sleeves have plenty of stretch and consistent graduated compression so even if these seem small they fit well and offer firm support. This is important during a run as it will keep your muscles from tiring as quickly and will also help to protect your legs against injuries and muscle strains.

Price

Available in pairs, these are incredibly affordable. Great for those new to compression sleeves and those looking for something with a little more support, they are more than worth the cost. If you are looking for a good investment for your running gear, this is a good choice!

Amazon Link

Sources

  1. US National Library of Medicine, Is There Evidence that Runners can Benefit from Wearing Compression Clothing?, National Library of Medicine informational website
  2. Fitness Magazine.com, What Does Compression Clothing Really Do to Your Body?, Online fitness publication

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Inside RunnerClick Pro, runners of all strengths come together to meet and support one another, get answers to burning questions, learn from experts, participate in personal challenges, and more.