Saturday, February 26, 2011

Zensah Compression Socks

Well a sad but wonderful thing has happened recently. I have sold out.

Yes I am taking over the world one free pair of compression socks at a time. If you divide the hours I waste typing this stuff up by one pair of $50 compression socks I would be making a good $0.0002 dollars an hour, maybe less. But nonetheless I was as giddy as a school girl when Zensah compression contacted me and asked me to do a review on their product. Ooo-right.

So, a few weeks later and after some time getting to know my new pair of large Zensah socks I have a review to put forth. Firstly, the short sharp summary

-Very Comfy,
- No skin irritations, rashes, general annoyances
-Mild compression, effective on short flights, feels nice after a hard ride
-Nice and warm ( would be a CON if in a hot climate)

-Rather warm, if in a really hot area you may get a sweat up wearing them
-Mild Compression, if you were after something much more compressive you would have to go custom fit
-Arch support?

The Compression Sock Guru
After injuring my right hand ankle/shin as seen here I needed some good compression to stop blood/fluid/yoounameit from pooling around my ankle. Once I returned to weight bearing activity (and cycling) I wore compression socks round the clock (except in bed). The socks I had that time where a pair of Venosan custome fit ones. Given the circumstances I require a high compression (somewhere in the realms of 30+ mmHG) and having long and skinny legs meant that by the time I got socks that fitted the length of my legs they were no longer tight enough.

Going back to the Zensah socks at hand I found that given the cheap price tag (compared to ~$200 worth of custom surgical grade ones) they provided a nice level of compression but not nearly as much as my previous pair. That was, however, to be expected. Furthermore; if you found yourself with larger calves than my good self then you would be getting a more snug fit.  Even for my skinny legs the socks did stop any swelling on our flights to and from Hobart (1 hour flight time, loads more sitting at airports playing Fruit Ninja on i-phones) for our training camp which is impressive, and I am looking forward to seeing how they go after 8 hours to Malaysia in a weeks time ( I will update the report so do check back to see my thoughts)

I am one of those people who loves to walk around in socks, indoors, outdoors, anywhere. Thus my post ride routine on camp was to clean up, feed up, then get kitted out in a t-shirt, jocks and socks and whittle away the arvo. The socks held up very well with the base stitching being very thick and durable. So on one hand it may be disapointing that the socks can get very warm, the trade off for this warmth is comfort and durability. You may look for socks with thinner stitching around the sole but they may not last particularly long. Also, if it is cold, warm socks are a god send. Given we woke up to snow on Mt Wellington on the second day of our camp you would have to have been lucky to get the socks off me that day! The socks were fantastic in Tasmania, though I can foresee they will be getting pretty sweaty in Malaysia.

The only real qualm I had with the socks was the claimed 'arch support'. I am a bit sceptical of this claim, yes the base of the socks is very thick, it is comfy, it is durable and it does compress nicely. They feel nice when worn for recovery, they help with ankle swelling during flights and on one of my recovery rides they did feel great (but you won't catch me racing in them due to sponsorship issues). I can't really say if the claimed arch support of the sock aided in any of the above. I think you would have to get a pair yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Finally, I have notoriously sensative skin that will always revolt in red rashes and blisters in response to certain products, like band aids, strapping tap, certain types of rubber/latex and some tight fitting materials that involve some sweating (Thankfully not lycra!). So it was one big tick that these socks didn't trigger any problems. That's a pass for the claim of anti-microbial fabric in my books. Also, after two weeks and not one wash they don't stink. Surely that's a miracle!

So, after weighing up the pros and cons of the socks whilst trying to be honest and not a marketing puppet; I would conclude that I would have no issues in recommending these socks to you. If I wanted some compression socks, and had no serious injuries that required very high levels of compression, I would buy these socks happily.

Happy Hunting



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