Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review : Kraftfit Compression Wear

I would say I was among the first few that has "adopted" the use of compression wear when it was "uncool" to wear anything that resembled leotard from Jane Fonda's day. Take a look at the top of my blog here and you will see me in a 2XU compression tights (last 3 photo from the left). It was something new back in 2009 and there was very limited brand around. In fact, it was at it's infancy that the above tights was RM370 when it first surfaced. Now, it cost almost RM500 that price for the same brand!
Compression Wear - Does It Works?
Being one of the early adopter, I've cycled through a few brands of compression wear and apart from 2XU, I've tried CW-X as well. Wifey has also used on more than one occasion these compression wear, most notably during the Sabah Adventure Challenge 2013 where we both used it for both muscle support and for protection against the elements. 

Sabah Adventure Challenge 2013. I am on 2XU and Aileen on CW-X. Thanks Doc Sidhu for the pic
There is real benefit from using Compression wear for LONG DISTANCE endurance races and RECOVERY. I have in my record, shared this in The Edge (business magazine) on the benefit of using compression for Marathon (42km) races. In fact, it has helped me and wifey recovered fast enough to perform 3-marathons within 64 days. Results of each race within that period showed improvement. Recovery using compression wear has allowed me to be back to normal "body-function" almost immediately. I've used it for my long-haul travel as well and it has helped greatly with Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT syndrome. Arriving "fresh" and running after a 24hours travel was a win!
Introducing Kraftfit Compression Wear
2ndSkin had Kraftfit joining in the collaboration as part of Team 2ndSkin recently. Kraftfit is a Malaysian owned company that produces compression wear for sports.
While I am given these to use for my races as part of the collaboration, I am under no obligation to write these or review them. But as this blog were setup very much as an avenue for sharing and as evidence from my review of items I have bought myself. I do want to help others make informed choices of their purchases and Kraftfit collaboration came in at the most appropriate timing when there are many races after the Raya period.

We were allowed one set of compression - a top and bottom to choose and to be used. As I've never had any "short tights" and no "long-sleeves top", naturally these two will become my "must have".

Simple consistent packaging

Long Sleeves Top and Short Bottom
Specific to Kraftfit, the benefit of the Compression wear is illustrated in the screen capture below. Much of it is true and known to be the real benefit. Caveat is on the Kinesio taping technology as it is more than just about compression (as in the taping using these tapes). However, the Powerband does lend more compression where it mattered.

Much of it is true based on my own experience
The Long Sleeve Top
"Get me the "S" size", I told Roy, my teammate as he was heading to Kraftfit HQ to help collect the items. I could not make it there due to work commitment and I wanted to try the compression wear during the Shape/Men's Health Run 2013. My "sizing" were based 100% on the chart provided at Kraftfit website. While I was taking a risk in getting something that may not fit, i decided to see if the chart sizing were accurate for an average Asian male. Click here for the full sizing guide.
I checked and decided that "S" for both tops and bottom would be perfect fit. I am on the "far end" of S for the top and "middle" of S for the bottom. I hope I don't need to hold my breathe when putting them on.
As I take the Long Sleeves top out from the box. I was terrified.
There is NO way I can fit into this smallish top. 
Here is a comparison of the top against a US11 Skechers GoRun2. It is LESS than the length of the shoe.

Talk about thinking small

Even the shoulder is about a US11 length...
Do not let these images bothers you. I just want to show it for comparison. If it did not fit, I would not had written it this long (and lengthy). :)
If some of you are curious, this is how the Powerband looked like. It is a highly stretchable latex strip about 2-inches wide that runs down the shoulder to the lower back. And there were some placed on the shoulder to hold the delts as well.

The interior finish is good and it is flatlock stitching all around to prevent chaffing point. Quality is good and expected for these technical wear.
Putting it on was not a big issue. One just need to remember that wearing a compression requires a few logical steps. To start with, make sure your body is not wet or sweaty. It will make it difficult for the material to slide over. Applying some baby powder does make sense. Then, always wear them part by part. Roll up the sleeves and put in one hand, position it correctly over your arm then you attempt the other side. Else, you may end up trapping yourself while wearing them. Next, slowly put it over your head and pull them down.
Not too hard, isn't it?

(L) is the Back and (R) is the Front
This is how the back looked like with the Powerband.

I got curves
The compression top felt snug and supports the muscle really well. I tried moving and jumping around and no jiggly bits were bouncing. This is despite some friends says me having...errm...man-boobs.

Sorry lads, I have chest, not boobs ;-)
I will use this in the near future for my Kiara trail run as that is when the terrain will shake the body the most. I have a few thoughts:
1. The chaffing point under the armpit - would be interesting to see how it will or will not contribute to any
2. Restrictive feel when wet - as the muscle swell and coupled with sweating, It would be interesting to see if the material will ride up the body with the bounce and all. 
Stay tuned for the write up on how it felt in use.

The Shorts Tight
I used to run only in tights due to my over-grown (read : fat) thigh. Being an avid cyclist doesn't help and able to squat heavy meant my pants are usually tight on the thigh area. With the weight loss experienced over the past 3-years, I've "shrunk" and since used loose shorts instead for run. However, for triathlon and/or multisports races, I still prefer tights as it allow for greater movement and less chances of flesh-flashing (if you know what i meant). 

Like the top, I had my moments of doubt if I will fit into the tights. Here is it compared to the same US11 GoRun2.

Using everyday object make it easier for comparison.

The length compared to the same shoe
Like the top, the shorts comes with Powerband that emulate the Kinesio tape concept. Again, I've not really tried the Kineseo taping in detail, though I do have rolls of them at home. So, my comparison and verification are based mostly on the additional compression these latex Powerband stripes provide to stabilise and aid muscles movements.

The Powerband that will aid in supporting the front of thigh.

The back which concentrate in holding and helping the hamstring while in motion
Finishing and quality of the shorts is the same as the top. Stitching is flatlock type and the material is the same as the top. Unlike some other supportive/compression thighs that are marketed as "inner wear", this allow you to wear them as they are.
The internal stitching of the thigt.
This is Jun Shen wearing it for one of his training run. He reported good experience using it which helps support the muscle.

If only we all smile like this when racing
My experience using this was during the Men's Health run where I clocked a PB for 12km distance. Needless to say I felt little to no fatigue the next day after the run. It could be attributed to a conditioned body or perhaps the tights has helped during the all out 5-star effort at the run. 

Kraftfit short tights in action. Thank you Leong for the photo.
Using this for the first time, here is a few things I've observed and for sharing.
1. The material dries fast. Despite being in the rain after the race, it dried after about an hour staying out of the rain.
2. The tights suffered a bit of damage from the running number that rub on the surface. So, I was a bit sad that I damage it on my first use. If you ever want to use a race belt and the race bib is hard material, do consider to either trim off the sharp edges (of the paper).
3. No chaffing - YAY!
4. Fits really well. No riding up (or down) when in motion.
5. Pricing - I am surprised that they are very affordable for a technical compression wear that works. At RM159.90 for the shorts, it's a steal. A running shorts (with brand) will cost you about RM30 cheaper only! This will be a better choice compared to the loose shorts!

Next : Me and The Long Sleeve Show It All Top

The pair of Kraftfit Compression Wear is courtesy of Kraftfit Malaysia under the collaboration with Team 2ndSkin. It can be viewed at their http://www.kraftfit.com/ online store or soon at 2ndSkin.Asia online store. To view them physically, head over to the Official Retail Store : Running Lab at Tropicana City MallThe Long Sleeve Top retail for RM179.90 and the shorts retail at RM159.90. Thank you Kraftfit and 2ndSkin!

1 comment:

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    E-Mail sales@dbind.us
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    Phone +92-52-6526748
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