In essence the Overdrive Sox are a two part-system consisting of a performance compression sock, which can be worn for training or racing and an additional over-sock ‘ice sleeve’ for use during recovery or rehabilitation. The main compression sock is a long, calf-length affair, which incorporates graduated compression (tighter to less constrictive from bottom to top) designed to increase blood-flow during exercise and help ‘flush’ lactic acid. Whilst lactic acid, a by-product of strenuous exercise, was once considered detrimental the jury is now a rather more out on the subject, but helping rid the muscles of the lower legs of it certainly can’t hurt.
The sock is comfortable with a fairly generous toe box, good squeeze and support through the arch and enough elasticity (15% spandex to 85% nylon) to move freely yet still deliver the compression. The sock is relatively thick, adequate for colder – but possibly not mid-winter – runs, and with decent wicking.
The unique selling point for the Overdrive Sox though is the recovery and here things get a bit fiddly…
The whole kit comes in an over-sized padded thermal bag that looks fit to ship transplant organs. Inside, in addition to the compression socks, are a range of pads, which can be trimmed to shape and size, and the ‘ice sleeve’ that houses them. Before use the pads need to sprayed with or soaked in warm water until they expand to around ½ inch, then wiped dry and popped into the freezer to set. Once done the ‘ice sleeves’, which have a higher 30% spandex mix, slip on over the compression socks and the frozen pads can be inserted into various pockets to treat whatever needs the healing touch – plantar fascia, Achilles, calf, etc. ‘This is not rocket science’ say the instructions; granted but a little time-consuming, which means you may more readily grab a bag of frozen peas or the more instantly useful Physicool – see our review here.
Despite the time-drain or degree of pre-planning needed the Overdrive Sox do work incredibly well, yes they feel rather over-engineered but the results are a credible speeding up of recovery and relief from post-run aching muscles.
The compression socks alone are exceptionally good and if you’re looking for a way of transitioning quickly from run to recovery – and assuming you have remembered to pre-freeze everything – then the Overdrive Sox certainly deliver.
Overdrive Sox are available in four sizes – small to XL – retailing at £47.50 from 110shop.co.uk