Friday, February 25, 2011

RecoFiT Compression Calf Sleeve Review


Susan Eastman Walton (president of Move Sport, Inc.) and her husband invented the RecoFiT sleeves to help with shin splints, among other things.  They further explored the compression concept and came up with a product that looked cool and had the versatility of wearing different socks.

Here are the benefit of compression according to their website, Recofitsports.com:
Humans have two circulatory systems.  Our cardiovascular system is comprised of arteries, veins, heart and lungs.  Our lymphatic system is a major part of our immune system and is comprised of nodes, ducts, tissue and vessels.  Each must work well for speedy and effective recovery and optimum health.
Circulation is normally aided by flexing muscles that help squeeze out waste by-products, lymph fluid and de-oxygenated blood.  Inactivity and the everyday effects of gravity can cause fluid pooling in the muscles and surrounding tissue, especially after vigorous exercise or trauma, slowing down recovery.  The right amount of compression can promote better circulation and recovery.
As if that wasn’t enough, vigorous exercise causes muscle damage, including micro-tears.  Inflammation is the body’s response to this damage.  Compression can help reduce excessive inflammation that might interfere with the recovery process and can help reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
Wear Recofit™Compression Components™ during and after exercise, while you’re sleeping, relaxing or while you’re on a plane.  They’ll help your muscles perform and recover faster and more efficiently so you’re better prepared for your next effort and your next day.

IMPORTANT: The RecoFit calf sleeves are right- and left-specific, which is necessary to ensure proper fit an optimal benefits.  Be sure the small RecoFit logo near the bottom hem sits over the outside ankle.
Who Should Wear RecoFit™Compression Components™?
- People who stand at their job for extended periods           
- Pregnant women
- People who travel long distances in cars and planes             
- Diabetics
- Athletes
- Anyone with poor circulation
The compression sleeves are made of 62% Nylon / 35% Spandex / 2% carbon. 



Secondary fabric 86% Nylon / 14% Spandex.
Other characteristics include:
GreatFiT:  (Gradient Recovery Exercise & Activity Technology) delivers gradient compression where it's needed most to reduce negative exercise + travel effects + maximize recovery
resistex:  Carbon-Based Compression Fabric:  Negative-Ion Circulation Assistance (NCIA), 36% Lycra, ribbed massage + compression effect, moisture-management + breathability
Secondary Support Fabric:  Medium-Compression, Self-massaging, technical Nylon/Lycra with raised interior surface for maximum breathability + moisture management
Technical Features:  Hems keep component in place but do not bind or inhibit circulation.  Contour + cross-grain-cut for maximum compression benefits, flat-seam stitching lays flat + does not irritate

Testing Conditions: 
I wore the calf compression sleeves during and after running and also while sleeping. 

Fit:
The calf compression sleeves were comfortable, providing support, but not too tight.  They are light weight and the seems did not scratch or irritate my legs.  The hems and snug fit kept them in place, but did not cut off circulation.   

Overall Impressions:
While running they provided good support and I had no complaints of shin splints or calf pain.  They were comfortable to wear for extended amounts of time after running as well.  Usually I don't like anything binding/constricting while sleeping, but I had no problem sleeping with the sleeves.  I also don't like sleeping with socks, so obviously no problem there either. 

These are comfortable to wear for extended amounts of time.  I really like that they are more than just an athletic product.  They're also great for travel, work (if you're on your feet a lot), pregnancy, or anyone else who needs help with venous blood return.

RecoFiT was kind enough to send us two pairs to try.  I was not paid to test their product, nor did I agree to give a positive review. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

GoLite Micro Lite Review


GoLite Footwear is different from other outdoor shoes due to its proprietary "Soft Against the Ground" technology, which effectively turns traditional shoe construction upside down to provide greater stability and traction, while enhancing overall protection and performance. Even though they are both named GoLite,  along with the gear company from Colorado, they are actually two separate companies. The GoLite brand's footwear license was issued to The Timberland Company some years ago. In 2008, New England Footwear purchased the license from Timberland and is currently manufacturing shoes under the GoLite Footwear brand name. Although they maintain ongoing dialog with the GoLite gear team, the two companies are unrelated and do not represent each other's products.


New England Footwear was kind enough to send a pair of the Micro Lites for me and a pair of Flash Lites in Windchime/Black for Kovas (see his review at Endurance Gear Reviews).   The Micro Lite is their lightest race day trail runner for women of all skill levels.  It is light (a size 7 weighs 9 oz.), has a lightweight mesh and TPE upper and offers a 3mm posting medial to lateral.

The Micro Lites also feature SAT G technology, Precise Fit, Internal Lace System, Grip Stick Rubber, Debris Shield, CrossOver, Class I Outdoors, and GoLite Baretech.
  • SAT G: Soft Against The Ground - the soft part of the sole is close to the ground with the firm platform against the foot - the outsole thus absorbs the shock of the trail instead of your body.
  • Precise Fit - no two feet are alike, so by adding to or removing a pad from the insole, you can modify the forefoot volume to accommodate a narrow, medium, or wide foot.
  • Internal Lace System - adjusts across the arch, securing your foot and heel in place, designed to prevent foot from sliding forward on descents and eliminate heel lift and "toe bang". 
  • Debris Shield - lightweight abrasion resistant toe and heel materials; shoes will take you wherever you need to go, last longer and keep on looking great.
  • Grip Stick Rubber - GoLite's exclusive high-grip compound that provides superior traction on slick surfaces such as wet rocks, snow, and ice.
  • CrossOver - the super lightweight Crossover sole is made with two densities of EVA and can transition from the road to a single track trail with ease.
  • Class 1 Outdoors - state-of-the-art footwear, highest performing, most protective, durable and lightest outdoor products in the industry. 
  • GoLite Baretech - offers all the benefits of barefoot running with the practical protection of traditional shoes.


Testing Conditions
The shoes were worn on the treadmill, cement, asphalt, grass, snow and over slippery ice.

Overall Impressions

Fit
Although the shoes look small, as stated in their FAQ, the shoe fit true-to-size (good if you’re self conscious of having big feet).  In addition the Precise Fit technology allows you to modify the fit of the forefoot area depending on how many pads (or none) one wears. This is a nice feature if your left and right foot are slightly different.  I have a medium to wide foot, and the medium insoles fit great.  I also wore the shoe with my custom orthotics.

Performance
When I first put the Micro Lites on, they were pretty stiff and not as cushioned as the running shoes I am used to wearing.  Once I began running, the stiffness disappeared (or at least was no longer noticeable).  
The shoes had great traction on snow and ice.   I want to say they performed better/felt better outside than on the treadmill, but that could be a general preference of running outside vs treadmill.

Final Thoughts
These are well-made, comfortable shoes.  They performed well outside on snow and ice and on the treadmill.  The ability to customize the fit is a great idea.    

Despite the presence of the Internal Lace System, I would still prefer additional eyelets for a greater heel-lock.  The heel fit was somewhat loose, and in my opinion the option to use heel-lock lacing would improve the shoes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Welcome to Women's Endurance Gear!


I am a mother (of 4 wonderful children - ages 10, 8, 3 and 7 months) and wife of Kovas, who writes the blog Midwest Multisport Life.

My interests include running, hiking, biking, skiing, sailing, yoga, camping, swimming, and other outdoor activities with my family.  Most importantly I try living a healthy lifestyle to feel good and to be a good example for my kids (in hopes they will make healthy choices on their own).

I’ve been running on and off since high school (more off than on since having kids); first race since high school was the Hot Chocolate 5k in 2009, and again in 2010.  We also ran the Bonfield 5k as a family the past 2 years.

My goals this year are to train more consistently, run a 15k, and to do more outdoor activities with the family, all the while testing and reviewing (from a female/motherly perspective) all the great new gear we get.

If you would like a product reviewed or sponsor a giveaway (or both), shoot me an email at womensendurancegear@gmail.com.  Multisport, outdoor, nutrition and kid-friendly products are the mainstays, but all pitches are welcome.


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

(Tave myliu Kovai!)
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