Calf-ocalypse Now: Compression Sleeves and Socks Posted by Steve on August 6, 2012 Add comments Aug 062012 For those of you who have only recently begun to read our posts, you may be asking yourself “what the heck is a calf-ocalypse?” Calf-ocalypse is a term Meagan and I coined after our first foray into minimalist running. I won’t go into vivid detail (check out Chapter 2 of our Vibram Transition series if you are interested) but the pain, stiffness, and discomfort in your calves after running barefoot/minimalist for the first time (and overdoing it) can be so unbearable that you’d almost prefer not to have legs at all. With that said, Meagan and I have continued to try to find solutions in order to relieve, recover from, or even eliminate calf distress by using foam rollers, heat pads, The Stick, and just good old fashion massage. More recently, our friends at Berkeley Running Company in Madison, WI introduced us to compression sleeves, compression socks, and recovery socks. Pictured to the right is a Sigvaris Compression Sock (in black), and a Sigvaris Compression Sleeve (in orange), both of which have proven well in the battle against the calf-ocalpyse (review to come). Compression leg wear was designed as a way to increase oxygen delivery to muscle tissue and to improve blood circulation while we run. As we learned during the lesson on breathing, more oxygen equals more endurance, less cramping, and longer, more efficient runs. Compression leg wear also eliminates some of the vibration during your run which increases speed of muscle regeneration. These bad boys are comfy! Recovery socks are slightly different in that they are designed to be worn after a run, whether it is directly after you complete a race or if you just enjoy lounging around your home in knee-high socks (picture to the left is me at the computer enjoying my recovery socks while playing Diablo III). Recovery socks focus solely on delaying onset muscle soreness by improving blood circulation around damaged muscles after a run. All in all I believe the investment is definitely worth it and their claims to increase endurance and delay onset muscle soreness seem to be accurate. You can find sleeves priced between $20 and $70, compression socks between $20 and $100, and recovery socks around $30 to $50 at most local running specialty shops or you can order them online. Finally, for anyone reading that has just slipped on their new minimalist shoe and is thinking about going for a quick run, STOP! Take off the shoes, get in your car, and pick up some compression/recovery leg wear before the calf-ocalypse gets you. You know I had to…. Similar Posts: Sigvaris Recovery & Compression Socks Stick It! Don’t Run Yourself Out Of Breath! Tights Are Right Your Brain on Running Technorati Tags: barefoot, barefoot running, compression, compression sleeves, compression socks, health, minimalist running, recovery socks, running, running tips, Vibram transition Pin It Written By: Steve Steve is a Division Director at Robert Half Technology in Madison, WI with a business degree in Information Systems and E-Commerce from the University of Toledo. Steve loves spending his time away from work; running, gaming, watching movies, checking out new social networking tools/sites/start-ups and blogging. barefootwendy nice post. i’m a barefoot runner and did not have any calf soreness when i first transitioned from footwear (asics) to barefoot. this is likely because i have worked barefoot and have jumped rope barefoot regularly for a number of years. however, i now wear compression sleeves for longer runs as i have a lower leg phlebitis which is irritated by running. the compression sleeves provide enough support to prevent the irritation and thus prevent inflammation. http://www.technicallyrunning.com/ Steve Ankney Wow, that is some great information. I didn’t even think of some of the other potential uses for these. Do you use recovery socks along with your sleeves? http://twitter.com/79Stell Lee Tell Great post! I wish I had read it on 8/6 the day this was posted as this is the same day the Calf-ocalypse started for me. I am new to running and was too lazy to go back upstairs to get my shoes, so I ran on the treadmill barefoot! Had I only known the PAIN that would come from this! Every step I take is sharp shooting pain in my calf. I cannot type enough exclamation points to show how much pain I am in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! http://www.technicallyrunning.com/ Steve Ankney !!!!!!!!!!!!!