I’ve long been a proponent of compression technology and its benefits to player performance and recovery post game. An ice-bath is absolutely the way the go when you need to prep your body for a fast recovery. Next on the list is compression and the ability to reduce muscle fatigue during and after play. A company that currently has a suitable offering of products for soccer players is COMPRESSPORT, and the Swiss company just added some fresh new listings to soccer.com.
We received a package of the gear a few weeks back – the FullSocks V2, Calf R2, ForQuad Sleeve – and have been testing them out in competition as well as post game over the past few weeks. There is a lot you need to know if you are considering picking one of the products up, some positive while others focus on the fact that they might not be the ideal option for soccer players. It is important to note that I’m coming at this review from a regular amateur players perspective, training a few nights a week with a game or two on weekends (sometimes back to back).
With that in mind, check out our take on each product below.
Finding the Right Size
Before you consider picking up some gear, you need to ensure that you are getting the correct size. in order to do that, you will need to take some measurements and compare it to what COMPRESSPORT recommend. This complies for all 3 products, but in general it is pretty self explanatory picking a pair of socks. We do it all the time with soccer socks, so just use common sense to get the right size on that end. For the Calf and Quad sleeves, use the above diagram to help you get the correct size. You will need a measuring tape to be able to run around the largest part of your calf or quad, by measuring the largest part it ensures you get the correct fit through the widest area.
What they are saying: By minimizing vibration, these COMPRESSPORT Fullsocks help protect against fatigue and injuries. 3D.DOTS located around the upper ankle and into the sole ensure maximum stability and limit the movement of the foot inside the shoe. They also provide acupressure massage, which supports the blood circulation in the lower part of the foot, and allow air to easily pass through regulating temperature. The contoured strap instep stimulates venous return and promotes the regeneration process.
Verdict: Seeing as soccer socks are a mandatory part of your game-day gear, the overall usefulness here is slightly reduced (as you can’t wear them in game). That leaves practices and any time you are doing some fitness alone, and I’ve took advantage of them in both situations. They fit great and definitely serve a purpose if you can take the time to change into them when needed. You will feel the 3D.DOTS and they actually do provide a massaging feel through the lower ankle and foot. I was afraid initially that they would cause an irritated feel – like when you have something stuck in your sock – but that wasn’t the case. I’m giving these a thumbs-up for soccer players.
Calf Sleeves R2
What they are saying: The COMPRESSPORT R2 was the number one calf guard worn at the Ironman World Championships in Kona 2010. They boost your venous return, reducing the accumulation of toxins while increasing oxygenation to the muscles. The reduction in lactic acid build-up coupled with its shock absorption properties protects you from muscular fatigue and damage.
Verdict: Of all 3 products these are the winner. In fact, they are a top recommendation that all soccer players should have access to. They can easily sit under your socks during play and are super easy to slip on post game. From personal experience, it is my calves that always feel extra tired post game, so having these sleeves has been a huge bonus. They fit very snug and add what feels like a bonus burst of energy.
What they are saying: The COMPRESSPORT ForQuad thigh guard is the only compression product sized to your upper leg muscles, not your waist, enabling optimal compression levels to your quadriceps and hamstrings while also supporting the ITB.
Verdict: Overall, I didn’t find these to be an ideal option for soccer players. They do serve their intended purpose but I see them being more useful for athletes like long distance runners than soccer players. In game, a pair of tight fitting sliders is a better option and in general, I found myself negating the opportunity to slip these on post game. On top of that, they are pretty expensive and require heavy investment. If you generally suffer quad injuries, they might be worth exploring, but for players that are simply looking for ways to extend their performance I’d say they are a pass.