Reviewed: 110% Double-Life Shin/Calf Sleeves

A few years ago a trip to my family doctor yielded an understanding that I had a genetically high pre-disposition to develop Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). I did a little fact checking amongst the family, and as it turns-out, the doc was right....a few of the men across the family had been diagnosed with DVT.

As most would do, I put the Google machine to work finding anything I could about this condition. Tips and tricks were everywhere. But, the one notion that seemed to prevail above everything else was the use of compression socks. The idea being that you can minimize the risk of blood clotting in your lower extremities by compressing the tissue--keeping the blood from clotting or pooling near your ankles. As a cyclist, I was starting to hear more about the use of compression technology as a way to minimize muscle soreness and aid in tissue recovery when used immediately following an intense workout. It seemed like a fantastic excuse to endear myself closer to the riders using compression clothing in the pro peloton.

Within a week I was able to find a pair of compression calf sleeves from the folks at 2XU. The company from Australia does know their compression, so I had high hopes for their product helping me to avoid the problems a few family members had struggled with. Besides, I could try out this whole compression recovery notion that the cycling community was beginning to adopt.

Fast forward to the summer of 2010, a solid 10 months after I abandoned the compression hype due to the uncomfortable fit I experienced while wearing the 2XU product. That Summer, a friend and I were talking about compression as an aid in his recovery after long runs. I shared with him my experience with the compression sleeves I purchased and he suggested I try the 110% Calf Sleeves.

After determining the appropriate size, I ordered the sleeves from the company's website My new sleeves arrived a few days later and I knew right away, this stuff was the real deal. The thickness of the material was so far above the 2XU sleeves that I started to think that this whole idea was truly worth while. 100%'s website describes the material as, "Advanced EC3D garment technology and a 360-degree stretch knit with 50% more spandex than competitors and higher levels of compression for optimal support, circulation and mobility." Not only is the material high quality, it contains two layers--one compression layer next to the skin and the other (outer) layer acts as a pocket of sorts for their frozen ice sheets.

Ice sheets? Now, I was really intrigued...I had to try these out. As the website states, the sleeves can be worn both during and after your workout. I decided to hit the road for a 40 mile ride and give them a shot.

Returning from my ride solidified one thing, compression science is an athletes fairy godmother. It is hard to explain, my legs during the ride felt more fresh and overall less fatigued than they normally do on long rides.
And yes, I tried the ice sheets, slipping them into the 110% sleeves pockets was easy as stated. How did it feel? I was blown away. It took a while to get accustomed to the sensation of having something that cold, that close to your skin, but after 30 minutes I felt like I could ride for another two hours...seriously.

To sum it all up, I would say that if you are an athlete and you aren't using compression technology for post exercise recovery, then your competition most likely is. Furthermore, the 110% Double-Life Calf Sleeves should be the first thing on your list. At $75, they are well worth the price knowing that the fabric is as good as it gets.

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