Compression the Right Way – LEGEND Compression Wear Ambassador

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“How many things are you an ambassador for!?” That’s my boyfriend asked me when I got my Legend Compression package in the mail last year.

legend_2017ambassador_logoIt’s true, I am an ambassador for a lot of companies. Yes, I get a lot of perks, but every single one of the companies I am very passionate about;  I won’t apply if I’m not. With LEGEND Compression Wear, I got an email asking if I wanted to join their Ambassador program. They were looking for bloggers and avid runners.

Hey, that’s me!

It couldn’t have come at a better time! I was super excited that my blog was starting to get noticed and I definitely need the compression gear to help battle these persistent injuries of mine. (Injuries is such a harsh word, more like troublesome spots.)

LEGEND Compression Wear’s mission is “to improve the performance of every athlete – from the casual jogger to the competitive triathlete.” I love this because it means you can be better, and achieve goals, no matter what level you are. They “promote the notion that LEGENDS are created from great people, great courage, and great accomplishments.” Hence: #BeaLegend

6f1edc61-01d3-4b29-beec-e4cd08de8c41They have compression products for just about every sport as well as everyday wearable compression.  The difference between LEGEND and other compression companies is that they focus on #RightNotTight. The hashtag comes from “Compression is Right not Tight!”. This is focused on their compression performance socks and leg sleeves which feature a 15-20 mmHg level of compression. From their background in the medical field, they’ve  seen that this is a more therapeutic level of compression which is better for you during training/competition. It’s a misconception that compression socks have to FEEL tight to be working.

I love their website because you can shop by sport, ailment, body part or everyday wear. I have the compression socks, sleeves and recovery socks. My favorite product if by far, the recovery socks. They are perfect for lounging in for long periods of time (whereas regular compression socks might be too tight for long wear). All the LEGEND compression products I own are great for running and climbing (yes, seriously, you’re on your toes a lot and thus contracting your calves!).

My recovery socks

My recovery socks


Check them out online and you can get $15 off with this link.

 

Gear Review – SLS3 Compression Foot Sleeve

20160511_110723 (I was given a free pair of the SLS3 Compression/Plantar Fasciitis Foot Sleeves in exchange for my review. All opinions below are my own.)

After trying the SLS3 running belt, I was stoked to try another product by SLS3. I use my running belt all the time and I had bought a pair of SLS3 compression calf sleeves I run in regularly.

I got an email to be part of a blogger group to try the plantar fasciitis foot sleeves and thought, “Well, I do have plant fasciitis and I like SLS3 products, so yes, I’ll try those!”

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I’ve been battling the dreaded plantar fasciitis, a bad word to runners, off and on for a few years now. Although mine is un-diagnosed by a doctor, I’m 99% sure I have it and it sucks. I am lucky that it hasn’t gotten to the point of side lining me completely. When I first discovered the signature bottom of foot pain, I did my research, read every book I could, and came up with a routine. Every time I feel a little twinge, I use my methods and it’s gone.

With my running being off and on as it has been over the last 6+ months and me admitting not taking care of myself due to low energy and lack of time, I haven’t been able to shake this bout of plantar fasciitis as easily. The foot sleeves were calling my name!

What are they? They are compression sleeves that just cover from above your ankles to right before your toes. Claiming to help with the relief of plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon pain and stress fractures by applying  compression, increasing circulation, reducing inflammation, and providing support for weak ankle muscles.

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While, I can’t prove if they reduce inflammation and increase circulation, I can say they did relieve some pain!

SPECIFICS:

  • Come in black or pink
  • Three different sizes to choose from (S, M or L based on shoe size)
  • Moisture wicking fabric
  • Interchangeable (each sleeve is not right or left foot specific)
  • Machine washable

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PROS:

  • Alleviated my foot pain relating to plantar fasciitis and achilles tendon issues for a brief time
  • They fit under socks
  • Cool, in temperature

CONS:

  • Stiff when you run in them
  • Thick. Yes, the fit under socks but I could still feel them
  • Too tight for LONG periods of time

 

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Originally, I was wearing them to treat plantar fascitiis, now I have some weird achilles pain and I have been using them for that. While great for a temporary relief post-run, I don’t like them while running.

Althought the website says, “Helps relieve joint and muscular pain even during sleep,” I once, accidentally, fell asleep in them.  I did order my size based on their sizing guidelines, but they must have been too tight because I woke up to shooting pains in my feet! I quickly took off the sleeves and the pain was gone, leaving me to believe that they were cutting off my circulation.

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Would I recommend them? Sure! If you have achilles pain or plantar fascia issues. However, they aren’t a cure for either issue, just a temporary pain relief. I personally will put them on while I foam roll (my calves because that’s sometimes the root of feet issues) and then keep them on as a barrier while ice.

I would also suggest them for if you need some ankle support while running. I don’t necessarily need a brace or ankle support, and running in them was stiff and uncomfortable for me, but if that’s a need for you, they would work well.

I’ll save mine for recovering on the couch!

Find them:

On Amazon for $18.90

SLS3

Gear Review – Yaktrax

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(Disclaimer: I was given a free pair of Yaktrax Pro in exchange for my honest review of the product. Although, I do feel bad because I was supposed to do this last year but time, and snow, got away from me! Plus, the lady never followed up! Such is life, and without ado, here’s my review!)

Colorado is a strange place…when you want snow, there’s none to be found and just when you think spring should be starting…you get dumped on! This happened last year as well as this year!

Oh well, I do love Colorado! As they say, “if you don’t like the weather in Colorado, just wait five minutes!”

As an avid runner, sometimes it’s needed to run in the snow. If you don’t want to run on the wet, slushy roads dodging cars, you take to the trails. But snowy trails can sometimes be difficult. That’s why you need some sort of traction device. In the past, trail shoes have sufficed, or I just have stuck to the roads. Now, I’d rather be on the trails and trails shoes aren’t always enough to get up the steep slopes.

yaktraxOver a year ago, I was sent an email from a lady over at Yaktrax. She asked if I wanted to try them in exchange for writing a blog post about them. Super excited, and looking for a traction device, of course I said yes. This was the first product demo I got a request for (although not the first one I got around to doing). I had previously heard of Yaktrax from my shoe-selling days (a short-lived career at Dick’s Sporting Goods) and my co-workers all loved and recommend the Pro Version (versus the Run Version). I never bought them at the time, being a road-runner at that phase of my running life, but kept them in the back of my mind.

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When I first posted on my Facebook/Instagram that I had gotten them in the mail to try, I immediately had people responding to me with their different options on Yaktrax. From my friends, it was about half and half: Half LOVED them and used them all the time and the other half didn’t like them, AT ALL.

Obviously I had to try them for myself. I have since taken them on MANY runs over the last year.

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WHAT ARE THEY?!

Yaktrax are a traction device that fits over your shoes for when you run, walk or hike on snow and ice. They make a variety of different versions: XTR, Walk, Walk+, Run, and Pro. I received the Pro version. With this one, it’s just wires/rubber under your shoe. Some of the other versions have a plastic plate under the forefoot. I have not tried those.

You can look at the compare chart, but the Pro vs. other versions just means it has stronger steel on the bottom and a strap for the top of your shoe. This is good for running; they are strong and stay on your feet! Between the Pro version and the actual Run version, it lacks the spikes the run version has on the forefoot plate. From other runners, they like the Pro Version better than the run version.

You can get specific details on the Pro version I have HERE.

Disclaimer: In this picture, I have the toe part on wrong... The black part fits right inline with your shoe (lower than the picture shows) and it much more comfortable that way.

Disclaimer: In this picture, I have the toe part on wrong… The black part fits inline with your shoe (lower than the picture shows) and it much more comfortable that way!

MY PROS:

  • Provides great traction on ice and packed snow
  • When the snow is right, I can easily get up hills
  • Easy to put on and take off; that way if are running to a trail, you can carry them with you and put them on when you get there
  • Fit comfortably on my shoes
  • When conditions are right, you don’t notice they are there
  • Lightweight, by themselves
  • Affordable
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Cool design they make in the snow

MY CONS:

  • You’ll notice that I say, “when the conditions are right” a lot above….because if they are not, Yaktrax aren’t ideal
  •  Not good for slushy or loose snow, mud or rock patches
  • The toe part sometimes slips up and pinches my toes or falls off (this has only happened twice)
  • If the conditions aren’t right, you really feel them under your shoes, and it’s not the most conformable thing.
  • Sometimes they collect a lot of snow and/or mud and become very heavy or make your footsteps uneven; a sprained ankle waiting to happen

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THINGS I HEARD FROM FRIENDS:

  • “They break easily” (In my opinion, the people who have told me this have a very HEAVY running form.)
  • “There’s better [traction devices] out there” (I don’t know, I’ve never tried any other traction devices for running.)
  • “Watch out for solid ice though, they still side on that.” (I have used them on solid ice, and I haven’t slid!)
  • “I’ve had a pair for a few years and like them a lot.” (Me too!)
  • “I LOVE mine!!!!! And they make me feel like a total bad a$$ running in them!!” (I get that feeling too.)

CONCLUSION:

I like Yaktrax, but the thing about them is conditions have to be just right. If they are not, I won’t wear them and just run in my trail shoes. What are the right conditions? Packed snow (or ice). Not slushy, not loose and fluffy, and not sparse snow/ice.

After reading the reviews, the most common thing people complained about is they wear out really quickly. I have used them a dozen plus times and mostly when the snow is in the right conditions and they still are going strong!

When I do use them, they provide adequate traction, haven’t broken on me, and fit comfortably on my shoes. Since I have a pair, I probably wont buy another product and just keep using these! I have not yet used them hiking, just running, but I think they would be perfect for hiking during the winter months.

I definitely recommend these if you are looking for an affordable traction device (Pro version is only $29.99) and if it snows regularly where you run. I also have recommend them to my elderly clients that walk to places around town and they love them!

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Using my Yaktrax on Apex Trail!

Your turn: Do you use Yaktrax? If so, do you like them? If not, what do you use for snowy/icy runs?

Re-Post – Gear Review: SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt (and giveaway!)

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(I was given a free Dual Pocket Running Belt in exchange for a blog post on my opinion and a gear review. All words and opinions are my own. Giveaway at the bottom.)

Lately I have been having a weird issue with low energy while in the middle of a run. I have started carrying peanut butter packs or a Bobo’s Oat Bar while running, just in case. The desire to carry my phone with me while training (so I can Instagram and tweet…oh yeah, and for safety), combined with the need for something to carry it all in (besides putting it all in my sports bra), left me looking for an accessory to fit my needs.

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So when I got an email to try the Dual Pocket Running Belt by SLS3, I jumped at the opportunity!

I’ve taken the belt out on many runs already and have loved it! The SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt will definitely be a part of the majority of my runs and races from here on out.

It is exactly as it sounds: a running belt with two pockets. Bonus: there are also a bunch of other wonderful features such as it’s water proof, adjustable, and “expandable” (it stretches to fit whatever you need to carry with you). It’s very lightweight and weighs as much as whatever I put in it. I tested the SLS3 Dual Pocket Belt by putting as much stuff in it that I might need in the future (maybe for a long run or a race). It was stuffed with two energy bars, a phone, car keys, and credit cards/ID  (fits my android that’s bigger than an iPhone) and probably could have fit more!

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The only other running belt I have, or even have tried, is a water carrier belt; I couldn’t even tell you what brand. When I run with that fully load with my belongings and water, it bounces around on my butt like crazy, and I can never get it adjusted just right to be comfortable. I end up with some sort of chaffing. This is not the case with this SLS3 belt. It didn’t bounce, ride up or down and stayed exactly where I put it on my waist.

20160123_131211The specifics:

  • Two zippered pockets (making it so I’m not worried stuff will fall out).
  • Fully adjustable waist band that’s easy to adjust (fits sizes 24″ to 32″).
  • Small and compact (1.5″ wide without anything in it).
  • Connects with a plastic buckle.
  • Fully washable.
  • Four colors to choose from: lime, purple, blue, and black. (Blue’s my favorite!)

Why I really liked it:

  • Very comfortable!
  • Didn’t bounce around while running.
  • Water resistant – even the zipper! (That means you can wear it in the rain and snow AND your sweat also doesn’t leak through.)
  • Lightweight – I barely noticed it was there and was only as heavy as the stuff I put in it.
  • Fashionable! It looks good, not like some that stick out when you run and look goofy.
  • Expandable (the pockets look small, but they fit a lot of things I want with me for a run).
Testing out the waterproof-ness in the muddy snow!

Testing out the waterproof-ness in the muddy snow!

Cons:

  • I can’t really think of any except the fact that it doesn’t have a place for water. Then again, if I needed a water belt, I would try SLS3’s Hydration Running Belt.

This running belt has been added to my running gear collection as a staple. I haven’t raced with it yet, but I look forward to having a secure, comfortable place to put my car key and phone for the next race I run!

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Right now SLS3 is running a limited time introductory price. The belt retails at $29.90 but their Amazon store has it listed for $16.90 (43% Off). Click HERE to look at it and get one for yourself!

Also, save 40% off the SLS3 Website with coupon code: BLOG40

GIVEAWAY: Enter to win your own! Click HERE to enter the raffle!

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