Wednesday, October 22, 2014

zensah ultra compression leg sleeves review

First off, I'd like to thank BibRave and Zensah for being so kind as to provide me with the sleeves to try out.*

A lovely rep from Zensah contacted me about what size and color Ultra Compression Leg Sleeves I would like. I loved the hot pink, but decided to mix it up with a neon green pair. They also came in black, white, yellow, red, heather grey, navy, and electric blue–plenty of great options! When you buy the Ultras, they come as a pair, which means you get two sleeves. I was super excited to try out the Ultras and to see if I noticed a difference (I did!). I'm a huge fan of sleeves over socks, so was really happy these were sleeves.

Size chart.

As far as sizing, they give you a range for each size using height and calf size. My height and calf size give me a different size (my calves are larger than my height would suggest haha). Calf size should be used as the primary determinant. Height is listed for those who do not know their calf size, but I would suggest measuring your calf to determine your size rather than using height.

A package from Zensah arrived at my door about a week after my order. I was so excited! I opened it up and there were my green beauties, along with a handwritten note from the Zensah rep – great touch and very thoughtful!

I was a bit nervous that the ultras would be too tight and bother me, but they fit like a glove. Even though I get a size larger than my height so that they fit my calves, I don't notice them being too long, which I know is a fear for some. Luckily, I'm not too short, so the length isn't an issue.

Zensah regular compression leg sleeves - worn on my 15 & 17 mile run.

If you're a runner, especially longer distances, then you probably know all about compression sleeves. I bought my first pair of compression sleeves (also Zensah) back in March of 2012 I believe. I was still pretty new to the running game, but had heard great things about them and gave them a shot. I have also tried out another brand of compression sleeves, but have to admit that Zensah is my favorite. I love the material and feel of the sleeves, and I can get them on easy enough, but still feel the compression. You can read more about the science of compression here, and go here to read what makes Zensah different.

Recovery mode after 17 miles.

I generally don't wear them when running, but often I sleep in them the night before and after a run, or right after I shower after a long run. However, I've been upping my mileage while training for Dopey, and wear the regular sleeves for the 15+ long runs, coming home and showering, and then putting on the Ultras for recovery. I thought for sure I would be extremely sore after my 15 and 17 mile runs recently (I had never run that far before), but I woke up feeling very little pain in my calves. I attribute that the the magical powers of Zensah.

You may wonder what the difference is between the regular and the ultra: The Ultra Compression Leg Sleeves were designed for those seeking a tighter fitting compression sleeve as compared to our original Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves. Those new to compression may prefer the original Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves, as they provide a snug fit and comfort for hours.

To wash them, I put them in a laundry bag, cold water, delicate spin cycle in the washing machine, and then I hang to dry (they say they can be delicate machine dries). So far, they haven't lost their compression abilities (which I wouldn't expect for a while). They have washing info, replacement time frame, etc in their FAQ section of the website.

Replacement depends on usage – "Just like a pair of running shoes, the life of Zensah leg sleeves and compression socks varies with the amount of miles you put on them. Based on typical usage, you should expect them to last about 6–8 months. It's recommended that if it has been 6 months since your last pair of new leg sleeves or socks, you should order a new pair to ensure you are receiving the optimal amount of compression."

A bit more information from Zensah website: 

"Zensah Ultra Compression Leg Sleeves give athletes a tighter fit in the calves and shins to increase performance and decrease muscle recovery time by stimulating blood flow while stabilizing the muscles to help prevent injury. Sold as a pair - i.e. two sleeve per purchase.

Key Features and Specs:

  • Higher level of compression for maximum blood flow
  • Shin and calf support
  • Muscle stabilization to help prevent injuries
  • Increased muscle response and performance
  • Decreased muscle recovery time
  • Moisture wicking and antimicrobial
  • Made of 82% Polyamide, 18% Elastane
About the Product
Zensah's Ultra Compression Leg Sleeves were created to give athletes a higher level of compression. Whether for runners, cyclists, or basketball players, the Zensah Ultra Compression Leg Sleeves provide athletes with increased performance and decreased recovery time.

Made in Italy of innovative Zensah fabric (a blend of Polyamide and Elastine), the Zensah Ultra Compression Leg Sleeves are designed to last.

Using the Ultra Compression Leg Sleeves for running helps to prevent the micro-tears of the muscle. Athletes are also able to use the Ultra Compression Leg Sleeves for cycling, as the footless design ensures they fit perfect with the today's most popular cycling shoes."

They cost $44.99, which is a reasonable price for recovery! Especially if you wear them as much as I do... I really get my money's worth :) You can go here to purchase online (or put them on your Christmas wish list, I'm adding them to mine haha), or go here to look for a store where they are sold. 

Follow Zensah:
Twitter (currently running a giveaway!)

PS Here's a chart to help you decide between compression socks or sleeves.

Interested in what the other Pros have to say? Check out these reviews:

*Though I was provided with the Zensah Ultra Compression Leg Sleeves through the BibRave Ambassador Program, I was not compensated in any other way and all thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.


  1. I actually like my Zensahs more than Pro Compression. I also have the turquoise ones!

    1. I agree with you there. Something about the Zensah put them in their own class. Yay turquoise - twins :)

  2. Despite all my half marathons (and currently training for Goofy) I (embarrassingly) don't own any compression socks/sleeves/what not. I keep wanting to invest in a pair but with so many options I am so lost!

    1. Go Zensah! They are fantastic - not just how your legs feel after using them, but the material used feels so much nicer than any other brands I've used. Not everyone believes in the science, but I personally think they are a wonder.


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