Not long after conducting the SKINS RY400 review, SKINS sent me a few of pairs of their new to the market unisex calf tights MX to review.
There is an absolute abundance of compression products on the market these days so how do you know which ones to choose? For me, SKINS is a trusted name in compression technology and I am glad to see they are starting to bring some new and colourful products to their range.
The unisex calf tights MX are an ACTIVE compression garment, meaning you should wear them DURING your chosen activity. On the package SKINS have classified these as part of the Essentials compression range.
I’m certainly not new to calf compression, having suffered badly from shin splints due to tight calves in the past….they’re always ready to come back and bite me if I don’t manage them properly. That’s why I am a compression devotee, forevermore. Calf compression is definitely an essential for this runner!
I love the SKINS A200 and A400 tights range and I have multiple pairs but these are the first SKINS calf specific compression that I have owned.
As with any SKINS product, the quality is apparent. The material is not quite the same as the other SKINS tights I have owned. It’s a bit thicker and firmer and has less give. There’s not a huge degree of difference and it’s still lightweight and breathable with a few seams and a specific Achilles section to allow for freedom of movement in this area. If you know SKINS products, then the calf tights MX will feel familiar to you but with a real hit of colour!
Here’s a bit of tech info…..
Memory MX fabric contains a unique high stretch elastomeric yarn – which returns to its original shape no matter how much stress you put it under
Perfect fit – The anatomic left and right cut ensures a comfortable fit and focused support
76% Nylon – 24% Elastane
Going by the size chart on the website, I selected a small. However, similar to what happened with the RY400 recovery tights, I actually needed an XS. I don’t know…maybe I just like some items to fit a little more snugly than they are designed to. In the A200 and A400 tights range I am spot on with sizing. So it may pay to try them on if you have the chance before you purchase. For me though, it’s important to have calf compression tight for it to be effective and even when I went a size down, the calf tights MX are snug but not too tight, just right in fact. If I had gone the recommended size from the chart, they probably wouldn’t have given me the compression I was after.
I trialled the calf tights MX on a few different runs. Short, long, fast, slow and wore them for recovery. I have to say that these are definitely an active specific tight. I felt they were firm enough (but not too much) to wear during my runs and really allowed for the freedom of movement while offering adequate compression. Due to the seams which dug in a little if worn for too long, I didn’t enjoy them for recovery. That’s not what they are designed for but I thought I would mention it because for me personally, I like to leave my calf tights on all day. With these I couldn’t and it could also have something to do with the fact that I chose a size smaller than recommended on the size chart. So don’t let this put you off, I just wanted to note it. SKINS did advise me that they are designed to be removed after your activity as they are classified as a performance garment.
The great thing I have found about the SKINS A200, A400 and RY400 range is that they are effective without you really knowing it. Compression doesn’t need to be restrictive or too tight to have a positive effect on performance or recovery from what I have found. The same thing applies for the calf tights MX.
For the most part while running, I didn’t notice they were on. They are really easy to put on and remove without sacrificing compression performance.
The main impact I noticed during my runs when wearing the calf tights MX was a lessening of my tell-tale shin splint pressure around the front of my shins and a quicker recovery time. It’s not often that I run without some kind of calf compression and when I tested the calf tights MX I made sure to do a few ‘compression free’ runs to offer me some sort of comparison. I most definitely noticed a difference when I wore the calf tights MX.
SKINS advised me that the calf tight improves circulation to your calf which is furthest from your heart (delivering more oxygen rich blood to this small muscle group) and also holds the muscle in place to reduce excess vibration that can cause muscle fatigue or soft tissue damage. I’ve found this to be the result whenever wearing my SKINS calf tights MX.
On my SKINS calf tights MX box the price is listed at $69.99. This is at the higher end of the calf compression price range from the products I have seen and purchased in the past. Are they worth the price tag? I guess that’s up to the individual. The fit and feel of the calf tights MX is great and the colours sure are funky. SKINS always have great quality from what I have tried in the past and so if that ticks all your boxes then what’s a few extra bucks compared to some other products out there.
As I mentioned, there’s such a huge range of compression garments on the market these days. It pays to do your research as none of them are cheap. If you’re after a brand with a great reputation in compression technology, cool colours and adequate performance then SKINS calf tights are a product you should check out. I will continue to use them as part of my regular compression rotation and if you’re in the market for some calf compression from a trusted name which comes in a great range of colours, then be sure to give them a go.
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A big thank you to the SKINS Australia team for offering me the opportunity to conduct the SKINS Calf Tights MX review. Aside from this offering I am not paid, endorsed, sponsored or in any other way compensated by SKINS for my review and all opinions contained within are my own.