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Compression Socks – Best In Test

Georgie Canicross

Georgie Lambert, our co-area manager is a keen runner who recently found her love for Canicross running with our office dog Benson. Below is her recent product blog on Long Compression Socks where Thorlos Experia Energy Socks came out on top.

I was super-excited when I was told to test compression socks for Alton Sports product blog this January! I have always loved running (not fast) but all the time, I was more competitive in my younger days.

I have been saturated in the sporting industry for around 9 years in different job roles, continuously learning and have most recently learnt and taken up the sport of Canicrossing with our furbaby, Benson.

Compression is a huge mine field for every runner but the benefits are beyond your wildest dreams, I’m not lying. I find any compression but in particular long compression socks my secret weapon and the only reason I can still run 30-40miles a week without any strict stretching or strength & conditioning programme. I just can’t find time for it, too busy washing the dog off or making tea!

During the making of this blog I was able to test wear three different brands of long compression sock:

• CEP Run Sock 2.0
• 2XU
• Thorlo Experia Energy

I tested all three brands over two months averaging 30 miles a week of off road running, rotating which sock I wore every time I hit the trails.

CEP RUN SOCK 2.0 PURPLE PINK

Thorlo Experia Energy

2XU UNISEX ELITE MCS COMPRESSION CALF GUARDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While all brands had a huge benefit to both my recovery and performance one really shone for me, the Thorlo Experia Energy compression sock. Thorlo Experia, as a brand is one of Alton Sports bestselling performance socks and I can see why. The sock part of the product was amazing, highly cushioned and breathable in both dry and wet conditions, a totally premium experience. The compression part of the Thorlo Experia Energy was a cut above the rest, with a beautiful hugging feeling before, during and after every run. The comfort lasted all the way to the shower room. I have previously felt restricted and uncomfortable in compression socks, especially when I wear long tights over the top, but this is far less the case in the Experia Energy.

For me, this made the Thorlo Experia Energy sock the best in test. Below are three points that made this sock a permanent go to running accessory for me,

  • Fast-wicking sock component with no movement on the run & premium high cushioned pads.
  • Comfortable level of compression (I even wore these overnight).
  • Many colour options to match your outfit (Highly important to lighten anyone’s mood!).

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I hope this has helped anyone who is looking into trying compression products for the first time or anyone who’s looking for something different to what they currently use.

Feel free to pop in stores to ask more about compression products and how they can help with your training & race programme this year! Good luck everyone for 2017.

Take a look at each of the tested socks below.

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Mizuno Wave Hayate 2 – Review

Ill be honest, I am a big fan of Mizuno running shoes, and I do most of my running off road, so I had big expectations of the wave Hayate when it was first released in 2014, and it didn’t disappoint! The Hayate is the replacement for the now discontinued Wave Harrier, and is basically a racing flat for the trails that can cope with pretty much anything you throw at it. The version I’m reviewing is the 2015 version 2, which has a couple of important updates which I will get into later.

GRIP

When it comes to trail running there’s a few key things that you are going to want from a shoe, first and foremost in my mind is grip. The outsole is surprisingly grippy and provides good traction in all but the muddiest of conditions. Mizuno have done this by using X shaped lugs on the bottom that really bite into the ground, and give you confidence and a feeling of stability. They still aren’t going to provide as much grip in muddy wintery conditions as say a Salomon speedcross 3 (with its huge outsole lugs!), and one of the main drawbacks to the speedcross 3 is that in drier conditions or when the trail is hard packed or rocky those large lugs will wear down quickly and give a bumpy ride. In short, the outsole strikes a really good balance between versatility and grip! Another note on the outsole, it must be made from magic and unicorn tears as its easily the most durable rubber I’ve ever seen, normally after about a hundred miles you will always see at least some degree of wear on the lugs but I can honestly say it looks pretty much brand new.

Mizuno Wave Hayate 2 J1GJ157210
Mizuno Wave Hayate 2 J1GJ157210

CUSHIONING

Being a racing oriented trail shoe, the cushioning in the Hayate is a little stripped back. This gives you a good feel for the ground which makes you less likely to trip on uneven surfaces. I like to run in fairly minimally cushioned shoes, so I was perfectly happy to do my long runs, fast runs and everything in between in these , but as said, it is a performance oriented shoe and if you prefer lots of cushioning it might be one to save for those fast paced training sessions or for race day.

The version one Hayate used Mizuno’s U4IC cushioning foam, which is now widely used across the road shoe range since its roll out in 2013. The current version of the Hayate uses Mizuno’s Older cushioning foam compound called AP Plus. The main advantage U4IC foam has over AP plus is that it is thirty percent lighter while still giving the same level of cushioning. So I was a bit confused as to why Mizuno went back to the older compound in the current version. After speaking with one of the reps from Mizuno, he said it was because AP plus is a little more stable than U4IC, which is a benefit when your running on uneven trail surfaces as it decreases the likelihood of you turning an ankle, which is always good! Having run in both the old and new versions I honestly couldn’t tell the difference so it doesn’t take anything away from the shoe.

Mizuno Wave Hayate 2 J1GK157203
Mizuno Wave Hayate 2 J1GK157203

THE UPPER

Another area that s been updated from last year is the material and design of the upper. The old upper was all mesh with heat bonded see-through overlays to add strength, however it wasn’t the most protective, and I know some runners who experienced rips due to thorns and the like. The new upper is a big improvement, with much thicker overlays and a new thicker rand to protect your toes, and it seems to hug the midfoot and heel a lot better than before, whilst still giving your toes plenty of wiggle room, which is ace.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

Overall the wave Hayate 2 is a speedy, versatile trail running shoe that is superb for race day but is also a really nice everyday mileage trainer if you’re a fan of lighter more minimal running shoes. It looks pretty snazzy also, so you’re going to look good whilst you’re destroying your personal bests!