2XU Women’s Elite Compression Socks and Women’s Compression Socks for Recovery

The manufacturer provided these socks for the purpose of this review.

By Jenn K.

2XU Elite Compression Socks The socks I am reviewing are manufactured by 2XU (Human Performance Multiplied). I will be reviewing both the 2XU Elite Compression Socks and the Women’s Compression Socks for Recovery.

2XU uses a collection of 3 different types of compression fabrics each geared towards different performance benefits. All these fabrics have high gauge elastomeric yarns, superior medical grade circular knit structure to allow 360 degree stretch, greater flexibility, unsurpassed power and durability.

PWX Flex: Has a high denier that delivers high power. This is the most flexible and breathable fabric.

PWX Weight: Higher denier for greater power and support. High flexibility and breathability.

PWX Power: Highest denier for unparalleled power.


Elite Compression Women’s Race Socks:

The fabric content is 72% nylon and 28% elastane (Invista Lycra)

2XU Elite Compression Socks These socks are in the manufacturer’s line-up of XFORM products. These are active+recovery socks; meaning the recommended wear is during and after activity. This product line-up was designed to help with muscle containment for reduced muscle damage, moisture management and comfort, breathable and flexible, offer graduated compression for extra support, enhanced circulation benefits, and to help promote the removal of blood lactate from exercising muscles for faster repair.

These socks are designed with PWX Power Fabric to help promote enhanced compression and longevity. They have increased elastane yarn placement which is zoned to provide greater power and support to the calf, shin, and arch of the foot. There is a linked toe cage for extra comfort. The fit is graduated with increased pressure for enhanced recovery. And they are designed to offer DVT protection and have UPF 50+ sun protection.

These socks are available in the following colors: Pink/Grey, White/Grey, Blue/Grey, Black/Grey

They are available in women’s specific sizes extra-small through extra-large: (US Sizing) 5.5-8, 7.5-10, 9.5-12, 11-14, 13-15.5+ (European Sizing)35-38.5, 38-42, 41-44, 43-46.5, 46-48.5

Retail price is $59.95 per pair.


Women’s Compression Socks for Recovery:

The fabric content is 80% nylon and 20% elastane (Invista Lycra)

2XU Compression Recovery Socks These socks are in the Refresh line-up of 2XU products. They are designed to be used for performance recovery. They are manufactured with durable fabrication, have moisture management, graduated compression for extra support and enhanced circulation, and are designed to promote the removal of blood lactate from exercising muscles for faster repair. They are also designed to protect against DVTs, can be worn every day, UPF 50+ sun protection, and have antibacterial properties.

The Compression Sock is designed with the PWX Weight Fabric which offers high flexibility and breathability and the manufacturers middle weight denier.

These socks are available in the following color: Black with red accent

They are available in women’s specific sizes extra-small through extra-large: (US Sizing) 5.5-8, 7.5-10, 9.5-12, 11-14, 13-15.5+ (European Sizing)35-38.5, 38-42, 41-44, 43-46.5, 46-48.5

Retail price is $44.95


For the sizing of both pairs of socks the circumference of my calf was measured. Both pairs of socks are a size larger than my standard shoe size which is an 8 to 8.5. But, the socks fit perfectly from what I can tell. If I were to select the socks based solely on my shoe size I most likely would have ended up with socks that are too small.

On the packaging there are no instructions on how to put the socks on. So I put them on like standard socks. They seemed to be up too high on my calves as they ended just below my knee joint. This was uncomfortable. So I rolled them down and pulled them up again this time backing off slightly on the amount of pull that I used.  This worked out great and they have a comfortable fit on my legs.

I noticed that the Compression Socks for Recovery have more of a straight ribbed compression design. The Race Compression Socks have mostly a straight ribbed compression design with some areas of angular compression design on the foot area and a spiral design on the calf.

The Race Compression Socks are definitely thicker than the Compression Socks for Recovery. They also offer what feels like a heavier compression. The Compression Socks for Recovery have a lighter feeling, but the compression is still very tight. I want to point out that the compression for both socks is not so tight that I feel as though my circulation is impaired.

I washed both pairs of socks in a front loading washer with a cool water temperature setting. I then hung them to dry overnight. They have not stretched or became fuzzy from the washing.

I am interested in knowing what the actual compression grades of these socks are. For instance do they offer more or less compression than some of the compression socks found at medical pharmacies. The compression socks at the local CVS store have a compression rating. It would be nice to have this information available on the product packaging.

So far I have worn the Race Compression Socks on one 20 mile road ride. This was my local club ride and the pace is on the fast side. My legs were fatigued prior to the ride from the intensity of my riding over the past few weeks. But, I was still able to hammer with the group with no cramping. When I got home I put on the Compression Recovery Socks for a few hours and the next day my calves were not fatigued.


Update 10/18/12 – 2XU Elite Compression Socks

Over the past month the 2XU Compression Socks for Recovery have been used after training for consecutive days, when my calves felt tender, or after my longer training rides. I also wore them on a ride as my legs were chilled as I forgot my leg warmers and I was away from home. The Race Compression Socks have been worn during some training rides, on a metric century, and on two mountain bike night rides. They have also been worn after my rides for continued compression.

I found a few tricks to put on both the recovery and race socks. First of all I found bunching them up works best. I then put my foot inside the socks and I was careful not to pull them tight over the heel while the sock is bunched up. Then to pull the sock up my leg I pulled the sock away from my leg and gently pulled it up; still being careful not to pull tight. If the socks are pulled on my legs too tight then they are constrictive at the bend in my knee (felt mostly behind my knee), plus they sit too high on my legs. I noticed that I have to be more careful when applying and removing the Compression Socks for Recovery as the material tends to snag easily from my nails.

Both pairs of socks give compression that is comfortable and there is no swelling above where the socks sit. I notice that the Compression Socks for Recovery have a tighter and more compressive feeling against my legs; also the recovery socks are thinner and silkier than the Race Compression Socks.

The Race Compression Socks are definitely thicker than the recovery socks. They are warm and it is difficult for me to tolerate wearing them in temperatures above 80 degrees. In temperatures in the upper 70’s is almost pushing my limit for tolerance. When I wore them on hot days I felt like my feet were overheating and my legs felt uncomfortable. However, in cooler temperatures I was comfortable and had no feeling of overheating.

I found that with the Compression Socks for Recovery the compression is comfortable enough for me to sleep in. Sleeping in the socks can be challenging when it is warm; as a preference I do not care to have my feet covered when it is on the warm side. However, the Race Compression Socks were too heavy and thick for me to sleep in.

The Compression Socks for Recovery have been put on immediately after my longer rides and I believe they gave me some relief to my tired muscles. They also generally made my legs feel fresher overall. There were times I wore them at work after a long ride the day before. They provided support and my legs had no feeling of tightness. I work indoors in air conditioning so even on hot days wearing the compression socks with pants was tolerable.

Both pairs of socks have been laundered inside out in a laundry bag with similar colors and placed on a drying rack to dry. They dry quickly overnight and have not appeared to show any signs of stretching. I noticed that there is some fuzzing of the Compression Socks for Recovery in the heel area.

I actually enjoy wearing the Compression Socks for Recovery after a hard or long ride. Sometimes I actually look forward to putting on the compression socks. Now that the temperatures are dropping I will be able to enjoy the Race Compression Socks more.


Final Update 11/19/12 – 2XU Elite Compression Socks

The 2XU Elite Compression Socks and the Compression Socks for Recovery have been worn over the past month while on and off the bike.

The Compression Race Socks were worn on the bike for my faster shop training rides averaging 40 miles, night mountain biking, and on a century ride. The temperatures ranged from the upper 40’s to the low 80’s when wearing these socks. They kept my legs toasty warm in the cooler temperatures below 70 degrees, but I was cooking when the temperatures hit 80. During my century ride people would remember me on the course from my socks; they even called me “pink socks”.

I noticed that after the century ride I had some swelling at the top of the sock just below my knee. I have not noticed this on my shorter rides. I am thinking that there is not enough graduated compression at the top of the sock and there is too much compression at the top band.

The Compression Socks for Recovery have been worn after my long or training rides. There are times I actually look forward to wearing them. I will even wear them at work the day after a hard ride. They provide support after my rides and throughout the day to help my legs feel less fatigued and fresher.

It was cold the one evening on a mountain bike ride and I had to wear the 2XU Elite Compression Socks for Recovery since I forgot my wool socks and I only had my thermal knickers with me. The temperatures during the ride dipped down to the upper 40’s and my legs were warm. I had already worn the Compression Socks for Recovery all day at work to help with recovery. After the ride I had swelling behind my knees and some pain. I do not understand why I had this swelling or pain and it resided within a few hours of taking the socks off.

Both pairs of socks have been washed inside out in a mesh laundry bag in a front loading washer and hung up to dry. The Compression Socks for Recovery have some pilling mostly on the heel area. There is an area in the stitching of the heel that seems to be wearing; there appears to be a small hole.  I also noticed that after wearing the socks frequently the foot area has more room in it and less of a compressive feel. Apparently this area has stretched out some.

I plan on wearing both pairs of socks on my rides and for my recovery especially during and after my faster training rides and my centuries and double centuries.

For more information please visit www.2xu.com.

 

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