Review: adidas Recovery Sleeves

If you’re reading this, you know that I’m someone who’s always interested in the latest athletic gear. When adidas produced the various TechFit gear in advance of the 2008 Olympics, I was intrigued, if not mildly skeptical. After all, compression gear already existed, right? But the science was there and I have to admit that I’m a convert. I wear TechFit PowerWeb shorts during every workout I do. (This is not an exaggeration.)

But as the workouts intensify, sometimes it’s what happens afterward that’s just as important. So now adidas is pushing Recovery gear. Again, I found myself intrigued but skeptical.

I am, after all, someone who already wears compression gear during a workout, so am I supposed to peel out of that and then put this on right away? (The answer: yes.)

The big thing with these sleeves, I found in my various trial runs, was to wear them for a long period of time — even sleeping in them. Your mileage may vary on this type of use. Maybe it will bother you when you sleep. For me, a short-term use did little to help alleviate pain in most cases. But wearing the calf sleeves after a long two-hour hoops run or back-to-back conditioning classes at my Y netted results that at least felt like more than a placebo effect.

I tend to have issues in my right calf after a particularly long week of workouts, so these felt great on my push leg after an evening of sprints at the gym. I felt less of an impact from the arm sleeves, but I also tend to experience less soreness there.

This recovery product absolutely has its advantages, but I’ll say that it takes the niche market of compression apparel and really goes to the next level. This is something really geared at the serious athlete, and probably not someone who just goes for a few 30-minute jogs every week.

The adidas recovery collection is on Eastbay, ranging from $24.99 for the calf/arm sleeves reviewed here to $59.99 for larger pieces. Check it out here. I’d also love to hear in the comments what, if any, recovery routine you have after a particularly tough game/workout. Have you ever used anything like this apparel, or something along the lines of “The Stick” to relieve muscle soreness?

Full disclosure: adidas supplied me with the leg and arm sleeves that were reviewed in this space.

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