When one thinks of gym accessories, they usually think of the bigger, bulkier, and heavier stuff – and not the smaller, wearable ones which make it easier for you to lift weights. However, in this article, we are going to take a closer and detailed look at one such small accessory that helps you go a long way. We are talking about calf compression sleeves. Over the course of this article, we shall help you understand their importance, as well as take you through a list of the best calf compression sleeves in 2021.
Before anything else, it is very important to know what these sleeves are and how they help you. Why is it that so many people these days are wearing them while they work out in the gym? We shall answer all these questions, as well as take you through a buyer’s guide about these sleeves later in the article. Our key focus here is on reviewing some of the best options that you have on Amazon – and helping you determine which is the best such sleeve for your specific needs.
We have gone through a large number of products and have curated the best of them, to provide you with a comprehensive review of the best options out there. We understand that a calf compression sleeve is a very basic and simple product and you might not give it much of a thought before making the purchase. However, this is a common mistake that many people make and end up with the wrong sleeve. Choosing the right option for your specific needs is very important and this is what our guide aims at helping you determine.
What are Calf Compression Sleeves?
Calf compression sleeves are basically compression stockings that can help you provide some extra pressure to your calf and leg areas. These can sometimes go all the way up to your knees and just below your thighs and sometimes they can start at your ankle and end right below your knees. The former are leg compression sleeves and the latter are calf compression sleeves. However, leg sleeves also provide calf compression.
Compression is a very important element of working out professionally as it ensures that you are able to work out better, as well as in a safer manner. These sleeves are generally made out of nylon or polyester, or some similar stretchable material that provides a comfortably tight grip around your calves and your legs.
Apart from being used in workouts, they can also be a good accessory for long runs or hikes and are also beneficial when dealing with a muscular injury in the legs. You can find them in many different fabrics and patterns. Let us take a closer look at the benefits of using such sleeves now:
Benefits of Calf Compression Sleeves
We know that there are a large number of people who believe that wearing calf compression sleeves is just a fad that will disappear over the next few years. These are some old-school thoughts that are bound to be there every time there’s something as radically new as a calf compression sleeve that’s introduced. These sleeves, also sometimes referred to as the ‘leg compression sleeves’ help you walk and run in a way better manner.
One needs to understand that this is not just a ‘fad’ but there’s actually quite a bit of a scientific explanation backing why one should wear these sleeves while running or going on long walks. Wearing compression sleeves allow for the walls of your arteries to relax as the heat is retained. This ensures that more oxygen-rich blood flows from your heart to your muscles. This increase in the blood flow allows you to work out for longer hours without getting tired.
Furthermore, thanks to the gentle pressure that these leg sleeves provide to your muscles, the blood that flows back from your muscles to your heart can travel easily as the sleeves help counter the effects of gravity. Furthermore, the lesser your muscles vibrate during a workout, the less they will get tired. Compression sleeves hold the muscles together firmly and decrease these vibrations. This is something that can help you improve your overall endurance levels and help you last longer while working out.
In addition to increasing your blood flow and improving your endurance with the help of graduated compression, there’s another major benefit that you get when you use these leg sleeves or calf sleeves – a reduction in injuries. First off, these sleeves are a great way to reduce muscle injuries, thanks to the improved blood flow and your higher endurance levels. Then there’s also the chance of you going for a hike and ending up scraping your legs against shrubs or wild grass. These sleeves help reduce that as well.
Muscle cramps are one of the most common problems faced by athletes and these calf compression sleeves help reduce that as well, thanks to their graduated compression. Even problems such as tendonitis can be eased by using them. These sleeves provide additional support to your calf muscles and get you to perform better. Let us now take a look at some of the best options that we have:
Best Calf Compression Sleeves in 2021
Here are some of the best options that you have if you are looking forward to buying these sleeves in 2021:
- Size: Large
- Material: Copper-infused Nylon
- Pull-On Closure
One of the best options out there when it comes to getting a compression sleeve for your calves, this sleeve straight-up solves one of the big problems that people face with these products: weather control. Some sleeves are extremely well-suited for wearing in summers but don’t feel as good in winters, while there are others that are better off for wearing in winters but not so good for the summers. These are weather-control sleeves that provide you good comfort in both these times.
The weather control comes thanks to the nylon-spandex combination that you get when you wear them. You don’t sweat while you wear them and thanks to the very breathable nature of the fabric, you get a sufficient level of airflow too. Thanks to the copper that is infused in these sleeves, those who wear them get good support. Copper is particularly beneficial for those suffering from arthritis, and other similar ailments.
These are large-sized sleeves, best suited for calves with a circumference of 14 to 16 inches. Wearing these sleeves on your calves ensures that the blood flow is proper and that you are able to work out better. Furthermore, there is a common belief that when nerves are damaged, they store electricity in your body. Using copper heals you in a holistic way as the copper pulls this stored electricity away and makes you feel better.
- Superior-quality fabric
- Easy to wear
- Copper provides holistic healing
- Some users find it very tight till a few washes
- Nylon and spandex material
- 15 different color variants
- Available in Large, Medium, Small, and XL sizes
A common complaint that people have about calf compression sleeves is that they often tend to be very tight, uncomfortable, or just add an extra layer to your feet. However, when you wear these sleeves from Run Forever, you would hardly even notice that they’re on. These sleeves are so comfortable they almost feel a part of your skin! These calf sleeves provide a graduated compression on your feet, which protects you against skin splints, as well as various other physical as well as muscular problems that you might face while running or walking.
Splints, in particular, can be quite annoying if you are a very outdoorsy person. This pair of sleeves takes good care of that. Besides splints, there’s another major problem that is taken care of when you use these sleeves: muscle cramps. While one of the best ways to avoid these cramps is to ensure that your water intake is sufficient, you also need to wear these sleeves to provide yourself the extra edge against cramps.
You get compression of about 20-25 mmHg while wearing these sleeves, which makes it ideal for athletes training for professional athletic events. These also make for a good companion for anyone suffering from problems such as Achilles injuries, varicose veins, or simply something like basic leg soreness or swelling.
- Protects against splints and cramps
- Very comfortable to wear, almost a part of your skin
- Great for people suffering from muscular ailments
- Some people have found them a little larger than the size promised
- Made of spandex and nylon
- 8 color variants
- Versatile sleeves for men and women
If you are looking forward to buying a pair of two calf sleeves in one purchase, this is a good combo where you can get two different colored sleeves or two same-colored sleeves based on your preference. There are eight different color combinations to choose from. The company claims to provide you with ‘professional levels’ of compression which help increase the overall blood flow and help prevent various problems such as shin splints and varicose veins.
The composition of the fabric here is 75% nylon and 25% fabric, which gives it enough breathability and softness while also providing you with the right levels of elasticity. These are great for people who are quite active, but they are also well-suited sleeves for someone who is just recovering from muscular injuries. You get a compression strength of about 20 to 30mmHg while using these sleeves, which makes it perfect for athletes.
These sleeves come in four size variants, Small, Medium, Large, and XL. The fabric used here is also a ‘quick dry’ fabric, which allows the sleeves to dry up faster in case you sweat a lot. This is a product that is often recommended by doctors to people who are suffering from problems such as tendonitis, Achilles-related injuries, muscle pulls, or even swellings. All in all, a really good option if you are looking for a great set of compression sleeves.
- Quick-Dry fabric
- Great elasticity and perfect pressure levels
- Breathable fabric
- Does not provide a good fit for people of shorter heights
- Made of nylon
- Pull-on closure
- Available in four variants
A compression sleeve meant for those people who wish to get something minimal but effective. This product from McDavid offers you a sleeve made out of Nylon, which is one of the best and the most comfortable options you can find here. While it isn’t as stretchy and adjustable as you would want it to be, it is a very smooth product, thanks to the five-stitch design that it offers. One thing that you must know straight-up is that this is a single sleeve and not a pair.
This compression calf sleeve can protect you from problems such as shin splints, muscle pulls, and other leg aches. It is very soft on the inside and offers your legs great comfort as well as support. However, don’t expect it to be something that is really mind-blowing in terms of quality because it is basic Nylon and lacks the spandex.
This sleeve comes with a pull-on closure, which means you don’t have to fasten it. You can simply pull it up or down and that’s it. This makes it much faster to wear. This is a compression sleeve that is well suited for winters as it will keep your calf muscles warm while you walk and ensure a proper blood flow. Furthermore, it offers a gentle level of pressure but the company hasn’t really specified the exact number.
- Really soft on the inside
- Easy to wear and remove
- Keeps your calf muscles warm during winters
- Only a single sleeve, not a pair
- Made out of polyamide and spandex materials
- Uses a non-slip down silicone wave band
- Available in three different sizes and three color variants
Up until now all the sleeves that we have seen on this list are calf sleeves. However, this one is a leg sleeve, which is a much longer product and it goes all the way from your ankle and up above your knees, terminating at the base of your thighs. While measuring the circumference before buying this sleeve, make sure you are measuring it from your thigh and not from your calf. This provides a somewhat lesser level of calf compression but good protection against any scratches and injuries while walking or running.
The sleeve is made out of 85% polyamide and features 15% spandex. This makes it breathable and stretchable, which is just the perfect combination that most walkers/runners desire. These sleeves are also a great companion for anyone who is into Crossfit as they do not hinder your movement but provide an extra level of comfort. This is really handy while gymming as well as it provides you safety from injuries while working out as well as ensures you do not get all sweaty.
Lastly, there’s a very good after-sales service that you get when you purchase these leg sleeves from HuiYee. There’s a 180-day promise where you can replace the product or get a full refund if you are not satisfied with the performance of your compression sleeves. There are also two lines of silicon wavebands in there which ensure that the sleeves remain well-attached to you and do not slip away.
- Comfortable fabric that can breathe well
- Non-slip comfort thanks to the silicon waves
- A great option for gymming and Crossfit exercises
- Too long for people of shorter heights
- 3XL sized sleeves for plus-sized individuals
- Compression ranges between 20 to 30 mmHg
- Made of cotton, spandex and nylon fibers
This is a product specifically meant for people who have large, wide, and muscular calf muscles. Many times, people with such a build don’t find calf compression sleeves that fit them well. For them, even the XL sleeves can end up being too tight, and hence, they require a special plus-sized fit. This Zeta Sleeve is a ‘3XL’ sized product that offers them the perfect fitting. This can support ankles up to 22 to 28 inches, which suits the needs of most plus-sized people.
The graduated compression that is offered here ranges between 20 to 30 mmHg, and those wearing it will find it really comfortable to walk for long distances, or to run, or even work out for longer hours. These sleeves are made out of anti-odor and anti-static fabric, which is a really big advantage as well. These compression sleeves are made of a special combination of 73% cotton, 19% spandex, and 8% nylon. This means they are very comfortable and very stretchable at the same time.
Plus-sized people often find that when they wear regular-sized sleeves they either end up getting too high a level of compression, or they face marks on their ankles and calf muscles because the fabric has dug deep in their skin. When you wear these compression sleeves from Zeta, you won’t face any such problems. Besides all these benefits, these are a great set of sleeves for anyone facing problems such as restless leg, lymphedema, or diabetes.
- Perfect for plus-sized people
- Anti-odor fabric
- Great for people suffering from restless leg syndrome
- Does not stretch too much
- 8 color variants
- Compression of 20 to 30 mmHg
- Pull-on closure mechanism
These are among the best calf compression sleeves which provide you with graduated compression of about 20 to 30 mmHg, and are ideal for walking, running, and sprinting. People who wear these sleeves generally find it really comforting, especially while recovering from leg injuries. This is an All-American brand based in New York and offers you a good amount of sports calf compression too, which is great for people who are into professional sports.
Anyone suffering from shin splints should certainly consider this for calf compression, as it can help with splints, as well as muscle soreness and muscle cramps. If you are looking forward to a quick recovery from stress injuries, these compression sleeves can help you with that as well. Blitzu’s sleeves come in at a very affordable price point and offer a very easy-to-wear set of products. They help prevent daily injuries, and can also guard you against cramps. These sleeves are also a great travel companion.
Using these sleeves is good for your posterior as well as anterior calf muscles, and also helps your Achilles tendon. Furthermore, these sleeves are also a very good option for anyone looking forward to reducing their swelling or getting generic pain relief. This is also a good pair of compression socks for people who might have jobs that involve long hours of standing.
- Helps with calf cramps, shin splints, and muscular pain
- Improves blood flow in the legs and calf muscles
- Great for expecting mothers, air travelers, and for regular day-to-day use
- Can get really hot if you wear them for long hours in summer
- Unisex sleeves: suitable for men and women
- 8 color options and 7 size variants
- Made out of nylon, elastane, and polyester
This is one of the best options for anyone looking forward to buying a decent calf compression sleeve that offers them a good level of compression to help them improve their performance during runs or workouts. This pair of compression sleeves come in seven size variants ranging from extra-small (XS) to extra-large (XL). Make sure that you are measuring your calf at its widest point in order to understand what size will fit you the best.
Raymora’s calf sleeve offers you a unisex product, which both men and women can wear with comfort. The sleeves are well designed and come in eight different color combinations. These are great for people who are into sports or running but are also well suited for the needs of anyone who is suffering from shin splints, Achilles injuries, swelling, or any other ailments that cause pain in your calf including muscle pulls and muscle cramps.
This is the best calf compression sleeve for anyone who is looking forward to buying a long-lasting product. Made out of Nylon, elastane, and polyester, the fabric that you get here is very breathable while also being quite stretchable and providing you with just the right amount of comfort. The moisture-wicking properties of this sleeve are also quite impressive and the fabric ensures that there’s sufficient airflow and you do not sweat. There’s also a non-slip cuff that makes sure that the sleeve remains attached to your calf and does not fall off while you are working out.
- Helps fight muscle fatigue and improves blood circulation in lower leg.
- Non-slip cuff for better grip
- Breathable materials ensure there’s no sweat while you wear it
- Good for the price but don’t expect them to last too long
- Seven size variants and 25+ design variants
- 20 to 30mmHg compression
- Made out of nylon and spandex
One of the best compression calf sleeves for anyone who wants a pair for medical purposes. These are manufactured by Doc Miller, which is a brand otherwise known for its compression products that help fight muscle fatigue, swellings, and various other similar problems. Apart from these calf sleeves, the company also makes products that help compress ankles, feet, thighs and various other parts of your body.
These are also some of the most well-designed compression products that you can wear not only in the gym, but also show it off while you are chilling at your home, or even for flights or while on a hike. With over 25 design variants, this is the largest collection of designs that you have. These calf compression sleeves come in 7 different size variants and provide you with a compression ranging between 20 to 30mmHg.
The fabric used here is high-quality nylon and spandex. Doc Miller has a wide range of experience when it comes to manufacturing these compression sleeves over the years. While the primary purpose here is providing support to those recovering from injuries, these sleeves are also beneficial for those who are into sports and running. These are also very well suited for the needs of pregnant women as well as for those who have jobs that require long hours of standing.
- Interwoven lock pattern offers higher compression
- The largest collection of design variants
- Breathable fabric
- Quite a bit of friction when trying to pull-on and pull-off
- Pair of two compression sleeves
- Made out of nylon and spandex combination
- Provides graduated compression of about 15 to 25mmHg
These compression sleeves by TOFLY are among the best pairs for anyone looking forward to buying them for lighter purposes. Considering that most sleeves here vary between 20 to 30 mmHg of compression, these sleeves offer a slightly lesser compression – a difference that is actually noticeable when you are working out. You get 15 to 25 mmHg here. These work on the basic principle of promoting blood flow into the calf muscles and thereby ensuring that your endurance levels rise.
Wearing these sleeves will help reduce fatigue in the calf muscles, and it also reduces the risk of leg injuries. Even if you are someone who is trying to recover from certain injuries where the lower leg has been hurt, this is a good option for you. Made out of 85% nylon and 15% spandex, these sleeves are an all-weather solution for your needs. They can be worn in summer as well as winters, thanks to the fabric that gives you warmth but also maintains a decent airflow that keeps you comforted.
These compression calf sleeves come in at a very affordable price point, and the company also promises a 100% refund if you are not satisfied with the performance. These are also very effective against calf cramps, pulled muscles, and other such ailments which people who work out frequently often complain about.
- Great for all weathers
- 100% refund if not satisfied with the performance
- 15-25mmHg of compression
- Tend to lose compression in a few months of continuous usage
- 20-30mmHg compression levels
- 3 design variants
- Made out of Nylon fabric
Offering you compression levels ranging between 20 to 30 mmHg, these compression calf sleeves from LxsGo are really attractive, as they feature the colors of the American flag and attractive patterns. You also get it in two simpler design variants. Made out of Nylon, these sleeves aren’t very stretchable, but they provide you with just the perfect amount of compression that is needed to improve your workouts and to reduce the risk of getting a leg injury, particularly around the calf area.
These are also a great way to prevent and treat shin splints or other similar inflammations that occur when the muscles go through intense workouts. These are among the best compression sleeves for multipurpose usage, allowing you to play various sports such as basketball, volleyball, tennis, football, etc, and are also good for activities like walking, running, hiking, and cycling.
Lastly, one more thing that we would like to point out about these pair of sleeves from LxsGo is the fact that they are very comfortable to wear and you face no skin rashes or allergies even after hours of prolonged usage. Buying them is totally an investment on your legs that will pay off in the long term.
- Really comfortable
- Great for sports as well as general physical activity
- All-American design
- Not too stretchable
- Very wide range, 13 different size variants
- Made out of a Nylon and Spandex combination
- 60 day return period
Last on our list but not the least, these are nude compression sleeves, which means that they are made of a color that makes it look like you’re not wearing anything at all. These come in thirteen different size variants, going all the way up to 5XL, which suits the needs of the thinnest to the most muscular of calf muscles. Made out of 77% nylon and 23% spandex, these are very stretchable as well as quite breathable and do not make you feel hot when you wear them.
These sleeves provide a compression ranging between 20 to 30 mmHg and are a really good option for someone who wants to wear them for casual jogging and running, or even for people who are into professional sports. These also help reduce the risks of varicose veins, arthritis, tendon injuries, and shin splints, as well as other ailments where the calf and the lower leg muscles are affected.
There are a “no questions asked” 60-day return period in which you can return the sleeves if you are not satisfied with their performance. These sleeves are designed in a way that they reduce muscle vibration and increase blood circulation, allowing you to get the best possible workout endurance!
- Very stretchable
- Offer a wide range of sizes
- Reduce muscle vibration, increase blood circulation
- Tends to wear out quickly
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Calf Compression Sleeves?
Now that you know which are the best options out there when it comes to buying compression sleeves, you also need to know about how to choose the best-suited products for your needs. Here’s a quick buyer’s guide that helps you determine exactly that:
First off, you need to be aware of your own body and you need to know the circumference of your calf. These compression sleeves come in different lengths, but the length doesn’t really matter too much here. The circumference of your calf matters. You need to measure your calf to the point where it is the thickest to get a better idea of how wide a sleeve would fit you the best. Wearing something too tight might end up being risky for you while wearing something too loose will not add to your workout experience anyway.
Besides the fit, you also need to take care of the amount of compression that you are getting when you are wearing these calf compressors. This varies from about 8mmHg at the lowest and goes all the way to 60mmHg (and sometimes even beyond that). If you are an athlete, something that ranges to about 15 to 20 mmHg of compression should ideally do the job for you. However, in some cases, especially for people suffering from muscular ailments, higher pressure might be required. It is best suited to consult your physician before you buy a calf compression sleeve for yourself.
Another thing that matters a lot while deciding which compression sleeve to buy is the fabric of the sleeve. You need to get a material that is comfortable, as well as good for your skin. Sometimes people get the wrong kind of material that doesn’t suit their skin type and they end up getting rashes or bumps, or other forms of skin allergies that can be a very uncomfortable process. Also, while this is not compulsory, we would strongly recommend getting an odor-resistant pair of sleeves because this can get quite sweaty!
One more thing that needs to be kept into account is that your compression sleeves need to have a good design. If you are someone who wants to wear them for gymming or working out, you’d be ok with a solids or stripes design. However, for those who like to add a little bit of personality to their clothing, there are a number of different designs and patterns that you could go for.
Last but not the least, durability, cost, and delivery speed are also three more factors that come into play while buying practically any product. Since you are paying up for it from money that you have earned over the years, you might as well want to get hold of a pair of sleeves that will last you for a long time. Talking of delivery speed and costs, you can get a good price and a fast delivery speed from Amazon. Thankfully all the products on our list above are listed on the platform, which you can buy in just a few clicks. It is also best advised to make online purchases while the pandemic rages on.
Frequently Asked Questions about Calf Compression Sleeves
Here are the answers to some of the most common and frequently asked questions about calf compression sleeves and leg compression sleeves:
1. How much do calf compression sleeves usually cost?
Most of these calf compression sleeves cost you somewhere between $10 to $20 for a single pair. However, if you choose to go for a more ‘designer’ pattern, or for a set of more than one pair, the cost might be a little higher. In every other situation, these are plain and ordinary products that don’t cost too much.
2. Where can I buy the best calf compression sleeves?
These are available at most stores that sell exercise equipment, as well as at most stores that sell medical products. However, the best place to buy these sleeves is perhaps at the Amazon web store where you can get a large variety along with good discounts. Besides, Amazon has a good return and exchange policy as well. All these products above, which we have reviewed here are listed on Amazon and can be bought off just a few clicks!
3. Are there any health benefits associated with these sleeves?
There are multiple health benefits associated with calf compression. First off, it helps those people with muscular ailments walk better, and even perform basic workouts which are good for their overall strength. Besides that, people suffering from ailments such as varicose veins, or other problems involving the legs, such as tendonitis can also benefit from these sleeves. Lastly, they are also a good way to prevent muscle cramps.
4. Are these sleeves safe to use while running?
Yes, these sleeves are a great option for anyone who loves to run, or even take long walks or hikes because they help you walk and run for longer, as well as protect your legs against smaller physical injuries and scratches too.
5. What fabric are leg compression sleeves usually made out of?
These sleeves are usually made out of nylon or polyester with high elasticity to provide you the right amount of comfort without making it too hot or too tight.
We hope that by this point in the article you have gained quite a bit of understanding about calf compression sleeves and why they are important for people who like to work out, as well as for people who like to hike, walk and run. Calf compression sleeves, despite what the old-school folks tell you, are not a fad. These are a scientifically researched set of products that are going to help you work out better and cause lesser stress to your muscles. We hope that our list above has helped you make the right decision and you have ordered your pair by now! If there are any more questions, feel free to send us a mail or let us know in the comments below and we shall answer them as soon as we can! Till then..
Happy Exercising! 🙂