Long story short, I have nothing bad to say about the new range of sports compression line from Bauerfeind. The compression sleeves for both my upper leg and lower leg worked great, and the compression socks run and walk served its purpose.
I guess that is what you expect when a historied and reputable German healthcare equipment company decides to develop a new line of products to support sporting activity.
The fitting process
I was quite intrigued when Eunice from Bauerfeind Singapore insisted that I turned up personally at the shop to have my calf and thigh measured up before she sized me up for the products.
Good start, I thought – they are sincere on providing the right amount of compression for the intended benefits as much as possible.
Bauerfeind provides measuring zones for each product to ensure the perfect fit for the ideal protection and performance effect.
The instruction manual makes it easy for you to measure yourself up and find the perfect size. Thankfully I ran a small on all products as expected!
That being said, I do not possess the smallest of calves and thighs thanks to many years of doing basketball and cycling so I may foresee fitting issues with girls of slighter stature.
It was also great for me to talk through my initial impressions of the products with Eunice. I had used compression garments since my competitive basketball days more than a decade ago and definitely knew what worked for me and what did not.
I had chosen a brand I stuck to for the past few years and as a creature of habit, was somewhat reticent of change. But hey! I was up to be proven wrong.
As I scrutinised the compression sleeves, my first remark was that the material could be too thick for our tropical climate.
Eunice explained that the highly elastic knitted fabric was crafted with high-tech microfibres that are breathable and would feel good on skin, even during workouts. So they say. She also assured me that the material was hard-wearing, durable and that they are washing machine, laundry bag friendly.
Now now, that sounds pretty good to the lazy me – you probably will not ever catch me hand-washing my clothes except in races when I do not have much of a choice.
I next questioned about the compression technology. How much is too much? What did Bauerfeind settle on? What do they mean by carefully regulated level of compression? How can you use the same sleeves for both recovery and performance?
For this, I will leave you with their marketing blurb: All of their products feature MEDICAL COMPRESSION TECHNOLOGY that exerts a carefully regulated level of pressure. This compressive action boosts your circulation with lasting effect, transporting that all-important oxygen around your body such that you can train more regularly, recover more quickly, get tired less easily, experience fewer muscle vibrations and draw on greater energy reserves.
Eunice also provided me with the Venotrain of the medical line to compare with the compression socks run and walk when I aired my concerns about using the same amount of compression for both recovery and performance.
Apparently the former, the Venotrain Class 2, runs tighter as it was designed mainly for medical use such as patients with varicose veins and/or been bed-bound. Sounded like what I needed for long-haul flights to Europe and/or long drives to races!
I was ready to leave the shop for my next appointment, happy with my new loot to try out when Eunice asked me somewhat innocently, “Do you need me to show you how to put on the socks?” I could not resist a chuckle and commented that I am probably rather proficient in wearing socks now that I was three decades old!
She insisted on showing me the proper way though.. and I sure was thankful she did. The socks were really fitting and had specific technology invisibly integrated into the anatomical fit of the foot. The comfort zone provides special pressure relief zones at the heel and the ball of the foot.
The foot is stabilized with the help of elastic expansion zones in the middle of the sole. Putting it on as per her instructions ensured an ideal fit from the toes to the knees allowing the compression technology to do its work.
Compression sleeves lower leg
Great! I have found the perfect use for each product having tested them extensively. I wear it all the time at home now. I spend a lot of time sat in front of the computer doing my PhD research and clinic work and typically experience a lot of calf bloating at the end of the day.
The sleeve, which feels tighter at the ankle, has alleviated the blood pooling significantly. It makes my training more efficient as I do not have to spend as much time warming up to get rid of the heavy legs feeling anymore.
It has also held up really well in the heatwave of European summer. Even with temperatures hitting 40degC on some days, I never felt the need to take them off from excessive perspiration. That speaks volume of the product as everyone knows how much I perspire!
Compression sleeves upper leg
I wear them travelling to races. Again, no problem whatsoever with “too much cloth” even if I wear them under my shorts/pants in the car. They work, my legs function perfect by the time the race comes round even after 3 to 8 hours in the car.
I also appreciate their silicon dotted band (which they use to provide grip) on their wide edging as they did not give me any heat rashes, unlike other brand’s products. Not even in the heat. The band also served its purpose and held the sleeves up for the perfect fit all day without exerting excessive pressure.
Compression socks run and walk
Sports Compression Socks Run & Walk improve the legs’ stamina during endurance sports and speed up the regeneration process. Their palpable compression improves circulation and reduces muscle vibrations.
I wear these for races now. They are perfect in shoes when walking around as the soft cushioning in the sole and instep area of the foot allows for greater comfort during movement. There is also a protection zone for reducing pressure and friction on the Achilles tendon.
They exert perceptible compression yet do not limit movement. I can imagine they will be perfect for runners! The additional technology in the socks also prevents slippage in shoes, something I experienced with the Venotrain socks.
My travelling socks of choice. I have been pleasantly amazed by how good I feel post 20h flight travel and/or 8h of sitting in the car. They are tight – the good sort – and have almost completely alleviated the poor blood circulation I routinely suffer from.
As mentioned previously though, I wish the soles of the socks were more like those in the sports line as they were slippery in my shoes.
Then again, Venotrain was designed primarily for patients with venous conditions and not for a very active individual like me…
They also have skin coloured socks that you can use as stockings with office wear!!
Bauerfeind – gaining a foothold in the sports industry
Bauerfeind is one of the largest manufacturers of orthopaedic stockings and inserts in the world. It is widely used in the healthcare industry of Singapore, which for itself speaks volume of the brand.
I can see them gaining a foothold in the sports industry now having personally given some of their products a go. It does them no harm that many of these sleeves/socks come in a wide range of colours – I am sure there would be something for everyone.
Personally, I am a big fan of their signature colourway – Rivera – as it suits my team colours and is eye-catching without being too in-your-face loud. People who know me can vouch that I only endorse brands that I truly believe in and safe to say, I am a convert now.
Author: Serene Lee
National cyclist on a Europe racing adventure with Maaslandster International Women’s Team. Doubling up as an exercise physiologist at Sports & Cardiology Centre. Alter ego: PhD geek at Murdoch University studying stress responses in female athletes. National road race champion 2018!