I use Twitter a lot for triathlon training and motivation. I get a lot of news from Twitter. I follow my favourite bloggers on there. And increasingly I am using twitter for consumer reasons – to connect with the products that I buy.
When I joined Twitter in 2008 I thought it was a bit strange to be “followed” by brands. But in 2009 I learned that a lot of bloggers and companies connect using the service, and that some bloggers receive products in exchange for reviews. In 2009 I was lucky and received my first pair of compression socks from this type of arrangement.
Recently I contacted Therafirm via Twitter asking if they would be interested in sending me a pair of their compression socks in exchange for a review. As much as I like my inVigorators socks, I have always wanted to try different alternatives. I was extremely impressed with the responsiveness and availability of Therafirm via Twitter to manage my request as well as to answer my questions. I think they really have this aspect of customer outreach mastered.
Therafirm sent to me three pairs of compression socks:
CoreSpun light support (10 – 15 mmHg)
CoreSpun mild support (15 – 20 mmHg)
AFO socks (for wearing with Ankle Foot Orthotics)
I have used two of the socks – both of the CoreSpun versions. Although I wear AFOs, they are low and designed for mobility / quite mild forms of correction. The AFO socks seem to me to be for use with harder bracing solutions than I use.
Me on Weaver’s Fields sporting my Therafirm CoreSpun socks
I loved the feeling of the socks. Although the socks use Spandex for their compression elasticity, they use moisture wicking CoolMax or X-Static fabrics. The socks are soft. They are not noticeably made from polyester based fabrics. They felt like “real socks” which I liked.
I was a bit concerned that the cotton-like feeling would mean wet socks when running. But the wicking has been good.
I did have one issue on a 40 minute run – in heat and humidity. I am not sure if the socks are to blame, or the fact that I had my bare feet on a track and then in my shoes so had a little track piece lingering in my running shoes. After that particular 40 minute run I had a “hot spot” under my right toe. Again, I am not sure if the socks are to blame, as I have never had that problem in the relatively cooler / less humid climate in London.
As strange as this may sound, I also loved that the socks were white. I think that running with AFOs that are black means that the fact that I run with AFOs can be lost when I wear black socks. The white socks enabled the bracing to be seen. I want this, as it means more awareness around me when I run. And more support on races. And that support and awareness are golden.
I ran in the lower grade compression socks, and have worn the higher grade compression for recovery and when on a plane. This is a good solution for me. I don’t think I would like the higher grade for athletics. But I did like the feeling of the higher grade post exercise, especially as I get muscle twitching. The twitching felt controlled and lessened by using the compression socks. And the socks were very comfortable on a long flight.
I have yet to compare the grades on socks that come from companies involved in medical compression with the grades of compression socks made by athletic companies. That is my next test – I just picked up a pair of Nike compression socks to see the difference.
I would like to thank Therafirm for their support and for the use of their great product. I look forward to ordering more.
If you would like to order Therafirm products, you can do so at:
For UK purchases: www.pelleuk.com
For a US retailer who ships internationally: www.foryourlegs.com
For US retailers (if you live in the US): www.therafirm.com
Note: In adherence with FTC blogging disclosure rules introduced from 1 December 2009, I would like to note that Therafirm sent me their product free of charge, when I offered to do a review of the product in exchange for a sample. If the compression socks were awful, I would tell you so. But they weren’t. In fact I really like them, and although I am continuing to experiment with other brands, I am minded to order more. In any case, please note that I received this product in exchange for a review. And in all cases, the views I express are mine alone – please use your own judgement and common sense before rushing into any product purchase.