Once you’ve started researching compression wear, it can feel like you’ve opened the floodgates to a world of new - and confusing - information. Compression wear experts have been singing the method’s praises for years, citing the improved athletic performance, faster recovery time, and reduction in injury risk.
So if you’re a compression newbie looking for that extra kick in your training and recovery protocol, how do you know where to start? Our experts at CRX have put together this guide of 3 things you need to think about, when it comes to choosing your compression wear brand.
Quality of Material
The first thing you need to look out for in your compression wear is, of course, quality. The quality of your compression shirts, compression socks and compression tights comes from two things: the materials used and the science behind it. If your compression wear is from a high-street fashion brand or online fashion retailer, it’s going to be low-cost, look pretty, and do absolutely nothing. This is what we might call ‘fashion compression wear’, and it’s not worth your time if you’re serious about sport.
Compression clothing like tops, socks and calf sleeves need to be durable and created based on scientific and medical facts - which means using materials and compression levels that really do boost recovery and performance. A good place to start in detecting quality is in checking the science behind the compression is solid.
Here at CRX, our experts have backgrounds in multiple areas of elite sports science: as world-class national players, as physiotherapists;, and medical experts all coming together to bring you the very best of the best. Our compression science reflects the latest in pro-sport technology, and we never make anything we wouldn’t use ourselves when the stakes are high. Learn more about us here.
A Comfortable and Correct Fit
For most of us, how comfortable we feel in our clothes is pretty high on the priority list. So, why should it be any different for compression wear? For clothing that should be worn for as long as possible, it isn’t hard to see why the feel of your compression wear is one of the most important things to consider when you’re choosing your compression wear.
This aspect of your compression can be more subjective - what is comfortable for one person may not be for another! Our experts recommend wearing compression garments for at least several hours if possible, post-exercise - so you need to ensure that you can wear the item in question for this long. What this means in practice is checking whether there are any little niggles in the fit, fabric or feel of the item when you try it on - as these will only amplify over time.
It’s also important to remember that a poor fit often equals poor compression. If a pair of compression tights are loose or sag around the waist or ankles, they’re not compressing your glutes or quads properly.
The same applies to compression socks: if you’re finding yourself constantly pulling them up around your calves, your calves and feet are not being properly compressed - meaning you’ll gain none of the benefits.
At CRX, our garments are made from 80% nylon and 20% Lycra, to allow them to offer the support and structure you need but with the flex fit you deserve. From socks to calf sleeves and compression tights to compression tops, our garments fit like a second skin, for a soft yet still supportive layer. Our premiership partners in cricket, football and rugby opt for CRX as an adjunct to their training and recovery regimen - learn more about them here.
Finally, we’re onto the big one - the final thing you need to consider when choosing your compression is all to do with the compression itself!
This can be one of the hardest things for those new to compression to spot. That new pair of compression shorts might look and feel incredible - comfortable, easy to slip on and off, and great quality. But what sort of compression are you actually gaining? The benefits of compression are only possible if your garments are of the right quality, so it’s key to know how much pressure you should be getting. Here at CRX, we operate in accordance with the UK’s classes of compression - so our customers know what they’re getting, every time.
Class 1: Low Compression
Low compression typically refers to pressure of less than 20 mmHg (otherwise known as Class 1), although these figures can vary. Sometimes classed between 12-15 mmHg, this might include the compression socks that can be purchased from a chemist.
Class 2: Medium Compression
This class of compression typically refers to compression garments with a pressure of 20–30 mmHg, which are known as Class 2. This class of compression works well to provide more intense compression, whether it is needed for medical or sporting purposes.
Class 3: High Compression
Though the classes can vary, high compression is commonly thought of as products or garments which supply a pressure of greater than 30 mmHg. This is the highest grade of compression commonly available, and offers a strong degree of compression for the limb or part of your body in the garment.
CRX offers a competitive degree of compression when compared to alternative compression garments on the market. With our range beginning at 15-30mmHg for compression socks alone, our customers can rest assured that their garments are providing optimum levels of pressure for sport. Check out our range here to see more about individual products.
Compressing Your Way to Victory
We hope this guide has been helpful in your quest to find your perfect compression clothing. Just remember: quality, comfort, and compression are the three most important things to bear in mind when choosing compression wear! For compression clothing which is comfortable, high-quality and provides the optimum compression - choose CRX, every time.