Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Product review: Lily Trotters Compression socks

About a month ago, I was contacted by Susan of Lily Trotters, a start-up company, asking me if I would be interested in trying a prototype of their new compression socks. Previously, I had read a review of them on Salt's blog, and not only did they sound awesome, they looked super cute. And little did Susan know, but I have a bit of an obsession with running socks. So, of course, I said yes, and a few weeks later, this pair came in the mail.


I couldn't wait to try them out. The timing was perfect. Prior to my most recent half marathon, I had been struggling with tight calf muscles and the dreaded shin splints. I had been stretching and foam rolling like crazy, and decided to throw the Lily Trotters into the mix for my training runs.

I'm no stranger to compression socks, but I have been a bit skeptical at the claims I've heard. As a nurse, I know all about the benefits of compression socks for circulation, but are they any good for tight muscles? The research has been mixed, but most studies show benefits for recovery more than performance. But improved recovery should translate into better performance, right? If you believe they're helping your running, then you should wear them. That's the conclusion of all the studies I could find.

I've worn compression sleeves made for plantar fasciitis with very impressive results. When I feel a flare up of that dreaded condition, on go the sleeves. I also have a pair of compression calf sleeves that I've trialled for recovery. While they seemed to really help with muscle cramping, I read some very scary stuff about DVTs and calf sleeves, and have been a little reluctant to wear those again. The bottom line seems that it is better to wear compression socks, not sleeves.


So with all that background, I headed out the door with my Lily Trotters. Compared to other compression socks I've tried, they were fairly easy to put on. I found that if I started by putting my foot in and rolling the calf portion up slowly, they went on without a problem. The foot portion of the sock is fairly thin and there isn't any compression. I'd love some compression at the arch, having suffered from PF in the past! I have a pair of low compression socks from another manufacturer which has this feature, and I like the support that I feel from that little extra elastic.

On the first run, I still felt a little calf tightness and had to stop to stretch once to loosen up my calves. But I kept them on after my run and did my usual stretching routine. Two days later, I took to the road again, wearing the socks. No tightness. That was pretty exciting for me! I've worn them a couple times since, and my runs have been nice and easy. No calf tightness.



The days I wore them, the weather was pretty cool, and I wore them over my long tights. My feet didn't get cold, even though the foot part is pretty thin. I didn't wear my Lily Trotters in Florida, because I was worried I'd be too warm in them. Still, my legs feel good. I considered bringing them for recovery, but neglected to pack them. Mom brain.

I've washed them with my running gear in the washer and hung them to dry. The socks have maintained their compressive elasticity. They are still as cute as the day they came in the mail.  Lily Trotters is coming out with several really cute designs and I think that is going to be a big selling point for them. The pair that I was sent were black with pink and green dots on the calf portion. My favorite feature is the frilly trim at the top. At my job, I spend all day on my feet, and I'd buy some of the more fashionable designs to wear under pants. Between the Lily Trotters and my Danskos, I'd be all set!

Lily Trotters aren't available yet for purchase, but you can sign up for their mailing list to be notified of the launch!


Disclosure: I was kindly given one pair of Lily Trotters compression socks to trial and review. The opinions and pictures are all my own. 

60 comments :

  1. Great review! I am a huge believer in compression and you did a great job showing the benefits. The design is very cute!
    Love your top also. I have it in blue!❤️

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    1. Thank you! This was really fun to do! I'm looking forward to their other designs.

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  2. I love compression socks! And I love the frilly tops!

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    1. Krysten, check out our other designs at lilytrotters.com. You can also sign up to be notified when we launch soon on Kickstarter. There will be great discounts :-)

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  3. I love mine....super cute! That said, I only wear for recovery. Not running. I wore calf sleeves for MCM because I had a calf strain and they were great.

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  4. I love compression. I wore mine yesterday.

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    1. Stephanie- check out our other designs at lilytrotters.com!
      So nice to see the positive comments!

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  6. Fabulous review! Those socks are super cute. I have CEP compression socks and like them, but they are VERY hard to put on! So it's nice to hear that these don't seem like they would entail the same amount of struggle. =)

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    1. These were definitely the easiest ones I've tried! But you can feel the compression.

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    2. We have women who have worn them for over 30 hours. We have tried to make socks that are easy on and easy off, but also comfortable to keep on for long stretches... lilytrotters.com. Check us out!

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  7. Love the polka dots!! So cute!!

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  8. Compression socks helped me with plantar faciitis as well a few years ago. Great review!

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    1. I keep my PF sleeves at the ready...I hope it never comes back!

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  9. These are adorable! :D I love the polka dots!

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  10. These are really cute. I generally don't train in compression but I like how it feels for recovery. I will keep an eye out for these once they go on the market.

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    1. Thanks again, Wendy- for the review and great feedback!

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  11. The socks are cute!!! +1

    <3 Jamaica
    http://rarax3.com

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  12. Great review and they are SUPER cute!!! I wear sleeves when running, socks for recovery.. but I don't sleep in them and I go by feel... if they start feeling like they need to come off then I immediately take them off. But compression has definitely helped me with cramping while running. Like you, I wear some low trainer compression socks for my feet. It's really helped. But these socks are really cute that you just reviewed :)

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    1. Oh they are! I can't wait to see the other designs!

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  13. Those socks are adorable! Love the polka dots! And it's great that they work well, too. I've tried some "compression" socks that don't really seem to have any compression to them. It's why I try to keep my eye out for compression socks that actually publish how much compression they provide--helps me know I'm getting a quality product. :)

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  14. I like compression socks too and those are really super cute!

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    1. I really liked the design, and they are super comfortable!

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  15. I've never used compression socks before, but I'm thinking I need to give them a try!

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  16. I'm with your conclusion. I like socks better than sleeves. These are adorable

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    1. I completely agree! I can't wait to see the other designs.

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  17. I love compression! Those are the cutest compression socks I've ever seen. Most are plain black or white and if you're lucky a color variety or 2.

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    1. I think they're super cute too! I'm looking forward to the launch of the other designs.

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  18. great review and I love the polka dots! I haven't worn compression socks before and was thinking they would be nice for recovery after a long run day or running a half. I haven't taken the plunge yet but they look like a great idea!

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  19. These are super cute!! I will share this with my sister, she's on her feet all day and compression socks really help her!

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  20. You've gotta give them style points if nothing else! Good to learn of new companies jumping into the market.

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  21. Super cute design! I love when fashion and function collide!

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  22. Those are super cute socks! :)

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  23. These are adorable! I have a few pair of calf sleeves that I love, but after my 19 mile run last week my feet swelled up big time after wearing them for several hours. My feet looked like they did when I was pregnant! I got totally freaked out, but hello...duh, apparently I wasn't thinking like a nurse because it never even occured to me to think DVT! I took them off after noticing the swelling, but wow..that had never happened before.

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    1. The ankle swelling was the big concern I read about; they were worried about diminished venous return. I never had thought about that, but it really is a good thing to consider!

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  24. The socks are very cute!! I own sleeves, but have never purchased a pair of compression socks yet. I have to know, why are sleeves bad?! I am just coming off a stress fracture, which i am starting to realize may have been a shoe issue but I need all the help I can get.
    I wish I could still do a handstand :) That is awesome!

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    1. There's the concern that the sleeves can cause a tourniquet effect by the ankle, causing blood to pool below the sleeve. This could theoretically lead to blood clots.

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  25. Those are super cute! My legs are too big to wear knee high compression socks though. If only companies had bigger sizes!

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  26. I'm TOTALLY digging the polka dots!

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    1. Oh me! They're in the wash now and I'm missing them!

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