SKINS Dynamic Compression wear for the win!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Skins Compression Capris to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRavePro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

It’s no secret, I have more than my share of running skirts, carpis and tights, I pretty much live in them!  But when I had the opportunity to test out a pair of compression tights from SKINS, I jumped at it!  Of all of the workout bottoms that I have, none of them have even been true compression gear!  I have my share of compression shorts, socks and calf sleeves but that’s where it ended.

Until now.

A few weeks ago, I received my pair of compression capri’s and a matching sports bra!  I will say that I do like the bra, but the focus of this review is on the capri’s.  (If you want details on the bra, shoot me a message!)

Within 5 minutes of opening the package, I had to try on the goodies!

SKINS has several options for their compression tights.  Long (full length), 7/8 (which hit about mid calf) and then 3/4 (which land just below the knee.  I received the 3/4 length which come in 5 different color options,  of which I have the Exotica.

The first thing I noticed when I put them on what how they felt. Yes, they were a little snug but I expected that for a few reasons.  First, according to their sizing chart, I could have either needed a Large, or the XL.  They recommended that if you are between sizes, to go down… so I did.  Second,  these were compression – they are meant to feel snug!  SKINS are designed with a unique Dynamic Gradient Compression which helps to support and stabilize the glutes, quads and hamstrings, though your workout.

How does it work?  Glad you asked!  the various SKINS products are the only high-performance apparel to take into account compression levels needed to increase oxygen delivery to active muscles while in motion. They call this dynamic gradient compression.  After extensive research, they now know what compression levels are required for specific muscle groups while static, during activity and in post-exercise recovery.  This also has helped to target  where you need movement for comfort and injury prevention, and how to get the best circulatory benefits for more oxygen delivery and reduced lactic acid build-up.Improved circulation also helps to eliminate other metabolic wastes during an intense workout.

Did I mention how soft these were?  Yes, the technology behind these is cool, but if my workout or running gear is not comfortable, it’s going to get left sitting in the closet!  At first I was skeptical that something so soft and comfortable could give me the compression that I needed for a long run or a tough workout but I was ready to give them a try!

Since I was still limited on how much running I could do thanks to a bout with Achilles tendinitis, I grabbed these and headed to the cycling studio!  What better way to test out how the compression was going to work the glutes, quads and hamstrings than on the bike!

Test 1 – winner!  They stayed where they belonged, no chafing, no pinching and when I finished, my legs left great!  I felt like I could have kept going!

Now, you may be saying that just by teaching 1 cycling class in my SKINS isn’t going to make a difference.  Yes, you are probably correct.  I teach several classes a week, so my body is accustomed to the workout.  I needed to push the bar up a little!  I had that opportunity a few weeks later.  I picked up subbing a few extra cycling classes one week.  5 cycling classes in 6 days, plus a few short run thrown in the mix!

I wore my SKINS for 4 of the 5 classes, and the 2 short runs (which I completed after teaching my morning classes).  Normally, that many classes in a week is enough to leave my legs screaming for a break.  Yes, after I finished that last class of the week, I planned on taking a rest the next day to let myself recover.  I will have to say that my legs felt great!  My rest day actually turned into a short run instead!

I can honestly say that I credit so much of how I was feeling to my SKINS!  Having the compression made all the difference!

My final test of these capri’s was over this weekend.  I was running the Rock n Roll Washington DC Half Marathon.  13.1 miles in and around our nations capitol…  and then flying back home the same day!  Yes, I was told that this was crazy!  I was told that my body was going to hate me for running and then spending half the day in the airports and on planes!  Since I didn’t want to have to spend the money on an extra night in D.C. (and also wanted to get home early enough to gets some rest and recovery before teaching cycling class on Monday morning), the flight home the same day was inevitable.

After the race and a long 7 mile cab ride (through post race downtown D.C. traffic) and then a half mile walk back to the hotel (the cab driver could only get so close to the hotel since streets were still blocked!), I grabbed a shower and put on my SKINS.  Lunch was a short walk across the street from the hotel and then it was off to the airport for about 7 hours of airports, airplanes and getting back to Wisconsin.

Since these were the Capri’s, I opted to add a pair of compression socks to help with my foot on the trip on (still dealing with the Achilles issues so extra care needed to be taken to assist in recovery).   The initial 2 hours was spent sitting at the airport waiting for the flight to leave since I had to be checked out of the hotel… with no car and no where else to easily go, the airport was the easiest option.  The rest of the trip “home” involved 3 airports/cities, 2 planes, and a total of 5 hours of travel time, plus a 20 minute care ride once I got back to Milwaukee.

Since my foot was giving me some issues post race, I was trying to limit how much time I spend walking.  Normally, I would have spent my time in the airport walking around, just to keep moving.  But with and angry foot, that wasn’t an option.  So there was A LOT of sitting.

Walking was slow, but it was because of the foot, not because of sore/tired muscles!  By the time I finished the last leg of the journey (the 20 minute ride to a friends house), I was tired, but the legs still had life in them!

Once I finally got to sleep, the body was exhausted from running all morning and then traveling all afternoon/evening.  I crashed… and I crashed hard.

This morning I felt great (again aside from the angry foot)!  I an a firm believer that my SKINS played a huge roll in my post race recovery!  If it was not for the foot, I was ready to go for a run again this morning!

I know now that these capri’s will be part of my post race/long run recovery moving forward!  I never really thought that a pair of pants could make such a difference!  But these made me a believer… now maybe I will have to look at investing in a pair of the tights too (so I can ditch the compression socks too!)

Are you already a SKINS lover?  Share why you love them below!

Want to check out SKINS for yourself? You can use the code “20BIBRAVE” for a 20% discount on all non-reduced items at www.skins.net

Now that RnR DC is done, time to get  some laundry done and get training for the next race!

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