Product Reviews

Recovering in style with Skins


I’ve heard people say that you can “fall with style”, however, I’m up for none of that. Rather I’m choosing to “recover in style” instead!

When Skins contacted me and asked me if I’d like to try a pair of their new compression leggings, I was thrilled. I’m a big fan of compression leggings, however most are just well, boring and black. Skins have not only made black compression leggings with a little bit of extra zip (read photo reflective panels) , they are now making compression wear in all sorts of groovy patterns and colours, so now there is little excuse not to look good apres workout as well as during the main event.

Compression garments can be worn during training, but as I usually wear a cycling kit, it’s not always practical. However I did take them for a test run and was very pleased by the fit and support. Usually though, I will wear them as a recovery aid after a long ride – there is something about the feeling of having your muscles and joints supported after a long effort that seems rather soothing. I have done quite a few road tests of compression wear over the years and these were a standout. They aren’t the cheapest product on the market, the women’s long tights retailing for $179.99, but as with most things, you get what you pay for and personally, I’d rather pay a little bit more for a product that will stand up to the rigours of the type of exercise I will dish out to it – that said, my leggings have stood the washing machine test with aplomb, so overall, they are a high five for me.

You can buy them from most good retail sporting stores e.g. Rebel Sports and there is a wide variety of styles and colours dependent on your sport and purpose of use.

Thanks to Skins for the opportunity to try the leggings out. Being able to product test things is something I love to do as a blogger and it’s great when companies get on board and offer these opportunities.

Now it’s time to go and put my feet up and recover!

5 thoughts on “Recovering in style with Skins

  1. Back in my 12WBT (and after) days I knew a lot of people who exercised and swore by their Skins (and similar). Of course given my lack of exercise now I can’t remember what recovery was like, but do recall that anything which made it better was much appreciated!

  2. I wear a medical compression garments on my left leg owing to an injury. Lets call it a sock for the sake of simplicity. I’m stuck with using these socks forever sadly. As I have transitioned back to cycling, I find wearing a medical sock is not practical for a range of reasons and so I’ve tried a few different brands of sports compression socks with varying degrees of success.

    The first thing I’ve noted is there are no claims of the compression strength of the garment in most cases. Turns out this makes a difference in the potential effectiveness of the garment and on medical garments they are graded by compression strength so the right one can be applied.

    The next thing I’ve noted is there is no hard evidence that sports compression garments work as claimed, although statements like the one below are common.

    “By squeezing the leg tissues and walls of the veins, compression stockings can help blood in the veins return to the heart. They can also improve the flow of the fluid(called lymph) that bathes the cells in the legs. Improving the flow of lymph can help reduce tissue swelling.”

    This is what medical garments do actually, but no one is yet bold enough to back up this generic message with evidence they do actually work for sports garments. I suspect this would open a can of legal worms.

    I’ve tried a few brands, some bought randomly from the internet, others sized and fitted in the vendor’s store and I can say from experience that none are as effective as a medical device. One well marketed brand is stupidly uncomfortable and therefore unusable. Lucky I never paid full price for that one although I did buy two pairs – given it was a name brand and on sale. Sucked in.

    Only one brand has proven to be worth buying a second time. It actually minimises the discomfort from my medical condition while exercising despite not offering overt compression. I’ve had school socks that were tighter – long ago obviously… I revert to the medical sock post exercise so claims of magical restorative powers have never been tested – but I wouldn’t expect much personally. Nonetheless, they work well enough for me to continue to use them on the bike and really do contribute to my being able to ride and not suffer horribly as I did before I started using them.

    Where sports compression garments are concerned, for most people I suspect the placebo effect to be at work more so than any significant physiological benefit. However if that works for you, go for it. And if anyone can point me to any studies on the subject, I’d be happy to know more since as I mentioned, I’m stuck with using compression garments for life. I can find something that works even better, that would be unbelievably awesome.

    1. Hi Keith, as far as I’m aware there have been limited studies done on the effect of compression garments. Certainly there wasn’t a great deal around when this post was published in 2015. However,some of the literature has been promising enough for the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) to be using compression wear in their programs. IT should be noted that these garments have the general population in mind and do not consider underlying medical conditions.

      For an underlying medical condition, graduated garments such as TED stockings are often prescribed. If you do have a medical condition, it would be advisable to check with your doctor about the suitability of such items when you’re riding or for after you finish your ride.

      I personally find compression garments soothing on tired legs, however make no statement as to demonstrated efficacy via properly constructed research studies. It is up to the consumer to decide whether they want to try such items.

      Ride on!
      Liz N

  3. Agree Liz. This has all be done in consultation with the treating doctors and occupational therapist. All but one doctor said “don’t ride” the OT said (of consumer compression socks), “well if it helps, go for it”. I’m going for it and its definitely helping in my case. With the proviso that I had to find a suitable product because some are definitely better than others.

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