Compression wear moves beyond just muscle recovery

The compression wear category is growing fast — and becoming increasingly specialized — at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. In addition to aiding muscle recovery, the new garments are designed to ease muscle strain, prevent muscles from vibrating during workouts and alleviate swelling on regular days.
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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2013 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Jan. 23-26. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

The compression wear category is growing fast — and becoming increasingly specialized — at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. In addition to aiding muscle recovery, the new garments are designed to ease muscle strain, prevent muscles from vibrating during workouts and alleviate swelling on regular days.

“In terms of the compression story, you’re seeing a lot of brands pushing the postural control, circulation control and muscular support story with running-type products,” said Patrick Crotty, apparel product merchandising manager for Salomon. He added that many companies are doing so with brightly colored, sport-specific products.

Case in point: Salomon introduces its EXO Jersey W S-Lab (MSRP $160, photo right), which aims to maximize skiing performance by providing postural and muscle support in key areas with a tailored grid pattern.

Though CW-X has added a variety of running apparel and sports bras, it continues to focus on compression with products such as the Endurance Generator Tight (MSRP $170). The tight borrows elements of the popular Stablix and Pro collections, providing joint and muscle support for athletes.

More for muscle stabilization rather than specialized performance is Salomon’s Endurance Tight for men (MSRP $85) and the Endurance Three-Quarter Tight for women (MSRP $75). Both pieces have light compression that provides warmth and is less tight than other compression pieces, while being stylish enough for everyday wearability.

Gore Running Wear’s Magnitude Line offers several compression pieces, including the Magnitude SO Comp Tight (MSRP $140), which has support to reduce muscle vibration, body-shaping aspects and strategically placed Windstopper. The tights contain Coldblack, which reflects light and wards off UV rays. The Magnitude Compression SO Shirt (MSRP $170) has panels around the “lovehandle” area for shape, thumbholes and a waterproof media pocket.

Saucony’s
Kinvara Calf Tight (MSRP $95) is a running tight and compression calf sleeve rolled into one. The company reengineered Flex Foam (a material it uses in running shoes) and built it into the calf area of the tights, controlling vibration therefore reducing muscle fatigue and stress.

Even companies you might not expect to be in the compression category are having a go. Stonewear Designs updated its Liberty Family line with the Liberty Skort (MSRP $70), which has a breathable Dryflex compression short underneath the skirt made from 88 percent polyester and 12 percent spandex.

And athletes are people, too, many with regular 9 to 5s that put them behind a desk for hours and leave them susceptible to inflammation in the feet and legs. Newcomer Vim and Vigr looks to solve the problem with its Everyday Compression Socks (MSRP $28).

--Ana Trujillo

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