2xu compression leg sleeves

Once I got my first pair of knee sleeves, I was hooked for life. Why? I realized that a simple compression garment can alleviate nearly all my knee pain from some old overuse injuries that don’t want to go away completely. Problem was, ordinary knee sleeves would slide down too easily when worn during a bike ride.

What was the solution? 2XU Compression Leggings.

These are full leg sleeves that extend from your ankle the whole way up to your crotch. They cover your calf, knee, and your quad, so it’s like three sleeves in one!

For me, what mattered was that they provided compression for my knee without sliding down. I frankly didn’t care about anything else!

Of course, after wearing them for a year, I learned quite a bit about these, so I felt compelled to write a full review!

If you’re looking for compression sleeves, or something to help your legs recover faster, read on to see how these helped me…

Pricing – these are cheap!

I start with this simply because it’s the main reason I bought them!

At $60/pair retail price, they are much, much cheaper than full compression tights. They’re barely more expensive than calf sleeves, actually. (Most calf sleeves cost $40-50 per pair. They trick you by listing the $20 or $25 price, which is for one single sleeve.)

These have to be the best value in compression leg sleeves.

Sizing – make sure you measure!

2xu compression leg warmers

According to their sizing chart, I was on the line between size Small and Medium. So… I got one of each!

They both fit well and felt very tight once on… when they were brand new.

The only real difference I noticed at first is that it’s much easier to get the size medium on. The size small takes a while to squeeze into. But once they’re on, both felt about the same as far as the amount of compression.

However, it only took a month of use, and the medium started to slide down way too much. At that point, the medium provided a slight feeling of compression, but not as much as I’d like.

The small, on the other hand, is still excellent. Once they’re on, wait about 10 seconds, and you’ll start to feel the effects of the compression around your lower calf. It’s enough to feel it “working,” but not uncomfortably tight. I could sleep the night in them no problem (and I did, quite a few times.)

The lesson is:

If you’re on the line between sizes, and you plan to wear these only for extended recovery purposes, like sleeping in them, maybe go up to the larger size. If you’ll be wearing them during workouts and/or for shorter time periods, definitely get the smaller size.

I wish I bought extras in size small!!

Did they stay in place?

As expected, these sleeves stayed in place during my rides. It’s not surprising – not only are they compression leggings, but I had spandex cycling shorts over top of them. It would be pretty pathetic if they slipped down!

With the knee sleeves, if they slid down an inch or so, they’d be out from under my shorts, and then they would slip down further. If these leggings were to slide down an inch or two, it wouldn’t even matter, since they’d still cover my knee easily.

Even with size medium, they’d stay up a while. But size small was the one that reliably stayed in place properly.

That’s riding, though…

What about wearing these for running?

Running was a terrible match for my old knee sleeves. They’d slide down after just a few strides. So the full leg sleeves seem like the way to go, because I don’t want to be pulling up knee sleeves all the time.

These leg sleeves are excellent by comparison, but since I don’t have the spandex cycling shorts to help hold them up, the sleeves do slide down a bit. 🙁

How long did I wear them?

What I liked about my Tommie Copper sleeves was that they could be worn for extended periods of time without becoming uncomfortable. Well, the same can be said for these!

They’re tight enough to offer support, but not too tight. I was able to sleep in them without any trouble.

What’s great about these, compared to full tights, is that they’re not compressing my junk! Tights… I wouldn’t wear all night. (Wouldn’t want to risk cutting off circulation!)

Match these up with your regular underwear… or nothing at all!

wearing 2xu leg sleeves

These were great for post-workout recovery.

After cycling, hockey, or gym workouts, I enjoyed wearing these. My entire legs needed the compression. I’m not positive if they made a huge difference, but hey, every little bit helps. They feel good and it’s sort of fun.

They could also provide a psychological boost. Or at least, a reminder that you’re an athlete and you’re in training. So when you reach for that carton of ice cream because you’re so exhausted, you feel the tightness surrounding your legs, like they’re saying, “hey, don’t sabotage all that hard training with junk food!”

It’s hard to test this because typically, when I hurt enough to put these on, I’m hurting more than usual, so it’s hard to notice if they work or not. (Realistically, I’m still going to hurt the next day!)

I have also been thinking, for post-run recovery, compression socks might be the better option. At least, my feet and calves are more likely to be my sore spots. My quads and hamstrings usually feel pretty good unless I overdo it, so perhaps I should show my feet some love?

Bottom line, graduated compression garments have been studied and shown to have beneficial effects in certain applications, so I’m going to go ahead and use them and hope for the best.

Are there any competing products?

I’m really not sure if any other companies have full leg sleeves like this. I have seen some others which come up to mid-thigh; they’re similar but not quite the same. (These are basically from my ankle up to my butt!)

How is that comfortable?

Well, with the size medium, they are long enough that I can pull them up until they touch my butt. Yes, it is a bit odd having the tops of these right where my hams meet my glutes. I can feel it on each pedal stroke, but I would always get used to it soon enough and forget about it.

When wearing the size small, they cover my entire thigh, and come up almost to my butt. That’s a perfect fit which provides a very comfortable, enjoyable experience.

Is there a cool weather version?

If you’re looking to replace your standard leg warmers with something that offers compression, you’re in luck.

Take a look at…

2XU Compression Leg Warmers

2xu compression leg warmers

A very similar offering, the 2XU Compression Leg Warmers use a brushed fabric for a softer and warmer feel.

You can feel the difference in your hands – these are more of a soft, waffle-knit material. (The recovery sleeves have more of a traditional Lycra or spandex feel.) But once you put them on your legs, there’s not a whole lot of difference. Both materials are thin, tight, and stretchy.

Take a look at this picture. You can see the two different textures:

2xu leg sleeve textures

The real difference is in the price – these ones are $80/pair instead of $60. I don’t think it’s worth it.

However, I found them on Amazon for $25/pair, so I bought a few!!

Summer Workout Test: “Leg Sleeves” vs “Leg Warmers”

Though it’s clear that the fabric isn’t quite the same on these two types of sleeves, I’m wondering, is there really any difference?

So I did some test rides and paddles under the hot summer sun where I wore a different sleeve on each leg.

The first day I did this, I thought I found a difference on the drive down to the meeting spot! One leg was very, very warm, while the other was somewhat cool. Well, turns out the sun was shining in my windows onto my right leg, while my left leg had some shade from the car door! Ha!

Once both legs were getting equal sun, I didn’t notice a darn bit of difference!

With both offering UPF 50 sun protection and an antibacterial treatment, you can get hot and sweaty in either variety, and you’ll be just fine.

What if it’s cool? Well, I decided to repeat the test on a cool, cloudy day. It was probably in the 60’s, which wasn’t chilly or anything, but it was a significant drop from the mid-80’s I had been riding in!

In this case I did notice a difference! The leg warmer was indeed keeping my leg warm! It felt like there was a little pocket of warm air around my one leg that protected me from the chill of the wind, especially on the downhills. It was super cool to actually feel a difference.

So if you just need leg sleeves for the summer, get the regular leg sleeves. But if you want compression as well as warmth for cooler conditions, it’s worth paying the extra money for the leg warmers.

My final verdict is…

These are pretty awesome, at least for cycling and post-ride recovery. I ended up ordering 5 pairs! They’re worth the retail price, which is a good value for a pair, and if you can find them cheaper like I did, stock up and keep spares on hand!

Official website: www.2XU.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com


Product Review Details
Company: 2XU
Product: 2XU Compression Leggings
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2014-06-11
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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1 Comment
  1. I had to get on the company website to figure out the sizing but it was worth the time. Made sure to size down to the Small. They fit great and work awesome for me (wearing them for recovery after running.)

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