There are those who swear by compression wear and those who dismiss such things out of hand, the Salomon Exo Calf though might be considered something of a bridge in opinion, appealing to both ‘squeeze fiends’ and the generally sceptical.
The argument goes that compression wear is a benefit in a number of ways: it stabilises muscles on the run, maintains warmth and helps to flush toxins by promoting blood return to the heart. The latter tends to be the thorny issue with opinion divided as to whether lactic acid, which, to be reductive, is a by-product from the breakdown of sugars during strenuous exercise, is either particularly detrimental or requires flushing anyway…
Okay, so if you by into the flush side of compression wear then there’s no denying that the Salomon Exo Calf is going to do a really credible job of delivering. The levels of compression are incredibly well judged through the length of the calf and, unlike similar kit TriGear has used, the Exo Calf remains really comfortable over very extended periods of time. Also – again where other compression apparel has literally fallen down – the Exo Calf retains both its shape and squeeze run-on-run; we’ve been using the same set for almost two years and it still looks and feels box-fresh.
Those who doubt the whole lactic thing though should still appreciate the kit. Muscle stabilisation and in particular the micro-ripples of muscles up the calf, which occur with each foot strike, are substantially reduced through their use. The upshot is longer running in greater comfort, less injury and faster recovery. And who doesn’t want that?
The other great benefit we have found with the Exo Calf is protection from the trail itself. If you’re the kind of off-roader who favours shorts over tights then the knee-down protection these offer from twigs, thorns, nettles and the like is a welcome relief and their solid construction means they’ll barely show the scars, even after months on the run.
The Salomon Exo Calf is available in either black or white and retails at £45. Further details and online purchase at salomon.com