Riixo are making waves in running compression and recovery with their innovative and science-backed calf cuffs.
Designed for athletes who have high training load, or often find themselves with sore muscles after a particularly hard workout, the Riixo Calf Cuffs speed up recovery and reduce muscle soreness. They work a charm. In fact, we've seen it fit to give Riixo a Trail Running Gear of the Year award. These sleeves could become an invaluable tool in your recovery arsenal, especially if you rack up a high weekly mileage or favour a Sunday long-run.
In a nutshell, the cuffs combined compression with hot/cold therapy to reduce lactic acid build-up and the resulting muscle soreness. Riixo say that their cuffs do the following: reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), treat shin splints, ease tight calves, reduce Achilles pain, and speed-up recovery. That’s some promise!
The proof is in the pudding though. We got our hands on a pair of the much acclaimed (by both national champions and Olympians) cuffs for an unbiased review to see what the fuss was about...
Design and features
Alongside heat and ice therapy, the Riixo Calf Cuffs use ‘360-degree' compression. Firstly, you’ve got to choose your cuff based on the circumference of your calf. We used Riixo’s size calculator, which gave an accurate fit.
Acting like your normal calf compression sleeve, the cuffs should feel tight and flush to the skin, without being uncomfortable. We found the grade 2 compression to feel supportive, and the seamless design meant no uncomfy chafing or digging-in.
The cuffs are designed with GelTech inserts built into the interior of the cuff (see above image). Throw them into the freezer for a couple of hours, then pull them on after a workout to make the most of the cold therapy. Similarly, enjoy the benefits of heat therapy by nuking the cuffs in the microwave for a few seconds.
The gel inserts are positioned at just the right spot to mould to the muscles, and the sleeves feel secure in place thanks to the compressive material. We were able to simply throw them on, and continue going about our everyday lives.
Before Riixo came into our lives, we were tying a dripping pack of peas to our sore calves with a tea towel post long-run. Constantly readjusting, never quite feeling comfortable. These cuffs take all that hassle away!
The cuffs also come with a ThermaCase which keeps them either hot/cold for longer. Ideal for bringing them to track practice or a race – stick them straight on after your run!
The science behind
The technology behind the Riixo calf cuffs has been tested by an independent study, which found that using compression and ice after intense exercise resulted in faster recovery than using compression alone.
The study compared a compression-only group, with a group wearing Riixo cuffs, along with a control group. Post-exercise, the Riixo-wearing group were found to be better recovered at 24 hours than the other groups were at 48. The Riixo group also recuperated their muscular power quicker and were able to perform better in endurance efforts over the next 72h.
Building on the success of their OG cuffs, Riixo have taken the same technology and applied it to quad, knee and back braces and sleeves, to cover a broader array of recovery needs for athletes.
Full disclosure, we’ve been using the Riixo calf cuffs for years ever since their inception back in 2021. They quickly became a staple part of our running routine, especially after a long run, and they remain so today.
There’s no denying that £145 sounds like big bucks for a pair of compression sleeves, and it is. But they’re not your run of the mill cuffs.
These cuffs seamlessly merge a high-quality pair of compression sleeves with an ice pack or a deep heat. They transform these independent tools into one highly comfortable and practical design.
In the box
Included with the calf cuffs are a few extra bits for ease of use, here's everything you get for your money:
Two Riixo Calf Cuffs - two cuffs included
Riixo ThermaCase - keeps the cuffs hot/cold for longer so you can use after a session
Riixo Cuff Application sleeve - to make putting them on easier
Riixo Cuff Wash Bag - to keep them clean