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Best calf compression sleeves

Speed up your recovery and support your calves during exercise with our pick of the best calf compression sleeves

five different calf compression sleeves

Good quality calf compression sleeves are thought to help support you during your running and to speed up recovery post-session. 

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A staple in some athletes’ kit bags, they’re particularly useful to those who have a high run volume in training or for endurance runners for whom time on feet is considerable.

And let’s not forget those who just need a little extra lower leg support or typically suffer from sore muscles and shin pain – compression sleeves could be a very useful piece of kit for you!

What do compression sleeves do?

Calf compression sleeves should feel tight and supportive when on. They’re essentially designed to squeeze the calf muscles, which in turn squeezes the blood vessels and speeds up blood flow. Boosting the circulation around sore muscles results in a faster oxygen supply to repair the muscles and to get rid of waste products like lactic acid.

Another reason why people wear calf sleeves is to provide an extra layer of support to the calves and shins for those that are prone to shin splints or extra tight calves when running. The calf sleeves listed below can be worn during or after exercise to reap reported recovery and performance benefits.

Best calf compression sleeves for runners and triathletes

Compressport Sport R2 V2 Calf Sleeves 

Credit: Amazon
  • £32 / $35

Our go-to sleeves that we’ve been donning for years, the R2V2s are an upgraded version of the original Compress model. What impressed us about these is not only the level of compressive support, but the durability of the sleeves, which held their shape after years of wear, tear and washing.

These Compressport calf sleeves are designed to feel ultra lightweight (38g per sleeve) and breathable when running, while remaining supportive and durable for long-term use.

Compressport says that the sleeves can be worn before exercise to ensure the legs remain rested, during exercise to reduce any pain and fatigue, and after exercise to minimise any swelling and tired legs. The brand also says that they’ve seen a ‘significant reduction in lactic acid during exercise’ in its testing.

The sleeves are designed with a front tongue with ‘K-Protect’ that aims to absorb vibrations and discomfort around the knee by up to 8%.

Bearhug Calf Compression Support

  • £35.99 / $45

Bearhug is a young eco brand that produces ‘joint supports and muscle sleeves’ made from bamboo. With a keen focus on ‘shin splint pain relief’ and muscle support, what makes these sleeves unique is their composition, with Bearhug citing a 40% increase in blood flow compared to other supports thanks to the bamboo charcoal material used.

Though we can’t verify that claim, the sleeves certainly felt supportive and gentle on the skin, which Bearhug explains is due to the non-irritating round structure of the bamboo fibre. Micro gaps in the weaved yarn aim to boost airflow and avoid sweat build-up, though we still found the sleeves to be on the warmer side.

If you don’t mind the bright orange colourway and are after a comfy pair of reasonably priced, recovery-boosting calf sleeves, then these could be for you.

Sundried Compression Calf Sleeves

Credit: Amazon
  • £15 / $18.74

These calf sleeves from Sundried are made with a seamless design that aims to fit ‘like a second skin’ and provide complete range of movement, with flatlock seams to help avoid chafing.

These simple, unisex sleeves aim to speed up blood flow to the legs to reduce the risk of injury and promote recovery.

CEP The Run Calf Sleeves

Credit: Amazon
  • £29.95 / $39.95

From compression wear giants CEP, these calf compression sleeves aim to increase your run performance and efficiency while encouraging a faster regeneration of muscle tissue.

CEP says that the sleeves aim to warm and compress, the proprioceptive effect of this being to increase ‘sense of movement’, minimise risk of injury and any calf pain.

The brand’s 100% customer satisfaction guarantee also comes with these calf sleeves, which means if you’re not happy with the product in 30 days you can return it for a full refund. And if you feel like they’ve stopped performing as they should within six months, CEP will send you a replacement.

Adidas Unisex Compression Calf Sleeves

Credit: Amazon
  • £13.99 / $17.59

Aiming to combine performance with comfort, these calf sleeves from Adidas are designed to be tight-fitting and supportive during training sessions.

Reebok Running Knitted Compression Sleeves

Credit: Amazon
  • £22 / $33

These knitted calf compression sleeves from Reebok are made from a blend of elastane and nylon which aims to provide both lightweight, breathable and flexible sleeves for running and recovery.

Wide upper and lower cuffs on the socks aims to ensure they remain secure while running. There’s also matching arm and thigh compression sleeves available if you’re after more compression wear at affordable prices.

Riixo Calf Cuff

  • £128.99 / $165
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These innovative Riixo cuffs work to compress your calves while further reducing inflammation and tightness through cold or heat therapy. No need to plug into an energy source, the cuffs function by either heating or freezing before use. Read our full review on the Riixo here.