This is a sponsored post that was mostly written about a week ago, considering how much more important exercising outside and staying healthy is right now, I figured it’s as relevant as ever.
But first, I’ll start with a bit of my back story!
Amongst the many, many injuries that I never let heal properly that I acquired in 6 years playing the full-contact sport of Roller Derby was a knee injury.
One day at practice I went in for a hit, overshot, and fell heavily from a height onto my left knee. It hurt a lot. My knee felt very unstable. I never bothered going to see a Doctor or Physio because I didn’t want to be told not to train. So I took a couple of weeks off, taped it up and bought a pretty bulky velcro knee brace to wear under my knee pads or when it played up.
For a while whenever I fell on my knee it would be like it would turn to water for about a minute, then it would be fine.
So I ignored it, and eventually it “sort of” went away. But not completely.
Fast forward 2 years and I signed up for the Half Marathon I completed in February. Meaning that I had to go from my previous “2 short runs a week” regimen to upping my mileage over a few months.
One of the first of my old injuries to rear its ugly head was my knee. It improved significantly over the training period, but there were 2 particular times that I found I continued to have pain. First, during any speed work; it may be my form, but when I run fast I feel a slight instability in my knee.; secondly, on long runs; I’ve obviously done a lot of rehab work for and have strong quads to support any old injuries in there, but as those muscles tire I get some instability and knee pain.
I tape it up, but I’ve had limited success with knee taping as I find it peels under leggings. I also tried using the knee brace I bought to skate in, but it was far too bulky for running and the velcro wouldn’t stay stuck meaning it ended up flapping around. Then, in one of those marvellous coincidences that seem to occasionally happen in blogging, I got an email from a company called ÖSSUR asking if I’d have any use for something from their Formfit Pro range.
Why yes. I replied. A knee support would be pretty handy right now, and thus my long run and speed work knee issues were solved.
The Formfit Pro range includes knee, ankle, wrist, back and elbow supports, so pretty much covering everything you’re likely to injure.
From the technical side the website tells me that the knee support features the following:
From a couple of weeks use, this is how I found the Formfit Pro Knee Support
From the personal side I can tell you that I was firstly impressed with how lightweight it feels. It’s made from a stretchy knit fabric, and even the inclusion of steel stays and a gel pad around the patella doesn’t add a lot of weight. This is not a standard neoprene knee support, like my bulky velcro off the shelf number. These supports are designed for athletes that may need some additional support while maintaining mobility.
The knit fabric means it doesn’t leave you with sweaty knees if worn when working out like some supports can, this is very important! I often find my knees puffy and sweaty wearing a knee supports, which is not the idea.
With it being so lightweight I wasn’t expecting to feel a lot of support when I put it on, but they don’t lie about the medical grade compression. You can definitely feel the support, even though it is lightweight.
As it’s slimline it’s also nice and unobtrusive. You can get a blue version if you want to show off your support, but the black version worn over black leggings would be nigh on invisible
Before I received the support, the first thing that struck me was the price. There’s no avoiding it, these are pricy. Around double the price of a standard brace you might pick up on the High Street. Once it arrived, the reason for the price difference became more obvious. If you want a brace to wear while active this is totally worth it. You could spend £100 on a decent pair of running shoes and there’s plenty of pairs of leggings out there that cost more, so this is an investment if you’re in need of a decent support.
This might be a personal one to me, as I have short legs! Although I ordered the right size I found that the length of it meant that it sat quite high up on my thigh. I have chunky (muscular!) thighs, and it meant that the brace was a bit tight at the top and started to roll down slightly over time. It took a bit of adjusting and getting used to the feeling of it being tight, but it was fine once I was actually running.
Advantage, it doesn’t have velcro to ping undone and it is very high compression.
This translates into a slight disadvantage in wearing it over the top of you leggings, that putting it on is an exciting challenge. The best way I found was to put it on and get it in place, then to fold it up from the bottom so it sits around your knee cap and then yank your leggings back down to cover your legs again before rearranging the support.
For the full range of supports available take a look at the Össur Formit® Pro page.