It’s been a while since I’ve done a product or book review, so I have a lot of things to share and catch up on – I guess it’s just a matter of finding the time to do it all! Rather than bore you with a long and boring preamble, I will get right to the review – Champion CSX compression socks.

Champion CSX compression was kind enough to sponsor a @RunAtCan Twitter chat a few weeks back and donated a couple of pairs of their socks for a couple of random chatters. I was also lucky enough to be given a pair to try out and review to share my honest opinion on and post on my blog. So here we are!

In recent months, I’ve slowly been building a small supply of compression gear and I’m also getting pretty particular over what works for me and how I use it as part of my overall training regimen. I have some shorts, a pair of calf sleeves, a shirt and a couple of different types of socks in my collection. I am also considering investing in some arm sleeves down the road, but I’m undecided.

For me personally, I’ve tried running in compression socks (even doing a full marathon in a pair) and I haven’t noticed a big difference or improvement in performance or recovery time from wearing the compression socks for a workout or race. I’ve actually found the feel of the sock is almost a distraction, particularly in warmer temps (warmer being a relative term in Atlantic Canada, of course).

My personal preference and where I have actually noticed where compression has helped me is with recovery. I have found that if I wear compression socks after a race or hard workout that it really seems to make a difference. I seem to be less sore the next day and I have not had any noticeable issues with calf cramping or shin splints. Some of this is likely due to me consistently rolling, stretching and generally listening to my body, but I also feel strongly that compression has helped.

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Champion CSX is a Canadian (yay!!) company and I have really been impressed with these socks. There are a couple of things in particular that I really like;

1) Comfort – Out of all of the compression socks I have tried, the Champion CSX socks are the ones that seem to fit my feet best and feel the most comfortable. I really like the softer toe box and heel – to me it almost feels as comfortable as a really nice pair of dress socks.

2) Compression – As far as compression socks go, this brand has been the best for overall fit. The compression is noticeable from the get go and they have a really need band that wraps around part of the calf and I have found it has made a difference in reducing soreness and improving recovery.

In terms of things I wasn’t as big a fan of or that I feel need improvement, there are only a couple of picky things;

1) Runnability – I don’t think this is brand specific, but the more I have tinkered with compression (socks in particular) the more I have come to discover that I simply cannot run/race in them. Particularly on longer runs, I actually find longer socks almost….distracting? I can’t come up with a better way of describing it other than to say I really don’t like thinking about my calves and how warm/compressed/etc they are while running. So, I am going to stick with compression for post workout and for travel.

2) Options – I have long accepted that I am a bit of a diva and like having a variety of colours, etc for all parts of my wardrobe. This doesn’t mean that I’m a trendsetter (in fact, partial colour blindness often makes my choices questionable at best) but it means I like having more choice. I’m sure there will be more colours and styles down the road, but for now it’s a little limited.

Overall, I really, really liked these socks and they are my “go to” recovery sock for sure. They feel comfortable, go on and off with relative ease and seem to have really made a difference to me in being able to recover more quickly from longer or harder runs. Their online availability and customer service are both very good and they are becoming more available in various locations as well – you can always contact them directly to find out the nearest store carrying these socks. Big thumbs up for sure!

Happy running!!

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