It’s been almost a month since we first received the box from 2XU. Inside we found both their Compression Calf Guards (for use during a workout) and Compression Calf Sleeves (for post-workout recovery). Right out of the box we were very impressed that 2XU did not follow the standard “one-size-fits-all” approach. Instead they separated their product line into “Active” and “Refresh.” And if you take nothing else from this review, definitely consider the value of having two sets of calf compression—we feel like it’s absolutely the way to go.
2XU Compression Calf Guards (Active)
In our first-take article (here) we detailed the extremely lightweight nature of 2XU’s offering. Wearing the 2XU sleeves is quite a different experience compared with many other sleeves on the market. The 2XU guard’s material is very light and does not retain sweat or water like its competitors. In fact, the material was so light that we almost forget we were wearing them. An additional benefit of the 2XU guards is the reflective material found on the front (reminder: please run against traffic). While this is just a small feature, it’s something we appreciated.
The one complaint we had about the guards had to do with the compression consistency throughout the length of the sleeve. The guards are extremely tight at the top and bottom but more relaxed throughout the mid-section. While this did contribute to the lightweight feeling of the guards, we would have preferred feeling a bit more compression throughout. Taking the guards on and off was also sometimes problematic. This was because we couldn’t get the top of the guard, which was especially snug-fitting, over the heel of the foot.
2XU Compression Calf Sleeves (Refresh)
As noted above, having two sets of compression sleeves is key. All of us at AG have had those moments—we want to wear compression after a workout but our only pair is still in the wash. It’s obvious that someone felt the same way over at 2XU when they developed their “Refresh” line.
The 2XU sleeves are both lightweight and have consistent compression throughout. They wear almost like a set of dress socks—just a bit tighter. You know they’re there, but not in an uncomfortable way. We were able to wear these for an entire day at the office with no feelings of discomfort. And unlike their Active counterparts, there were no issues getting the sleeves on and off (we feel this was due to the more uniform compression of the Refresh sleeves). For the past month, these sleeves were the go-to option following any hard workout—a sure sign of confidence in their results.
After only a month, we’re huge fans of the 2XU lineup. The calf guards did have some fit issues, but we would be surprised if that wasn’t more attributable to our own physiology rather than the sleeves themselves. These are going to be our go-to compression choice for any workout at night or where water (or sweat) may come into play. And after the workout we can guarantee we’ll be reaching for the 2XU Refresh sleeves.