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Reviews > Clothing > Accessories > Zamst LC-1 Calf Compressions Sleeves > Owner Review by Kathleen Waters


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November 10, 2014



NAME: Kathleen Waters
EMAIL: kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
AGE: 64
LOCATION: Canon City, Colorado, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.60 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)

Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado. Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.


Manufacturer: Zamst, a division of Nippon Sigmax Co., LTD
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US $39.95
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 1.5 oz (43 g)
Sizes Available: S-M-L-XL-L LONG-XL LONG (measuring directions and size chart on website)
Size Reviewed: Small
Colors Available: Black
Colors Reviewed: White and Blue

* Uses Zamst's G-Fit technology which is a gradient compression construction and Zamst's V-Tech ventilated flow design
LC-1 Calf Sleeve
Graphic Courtesy of Zamst

Description: The Zamst LC-1 Calf Compress Sleeves are open-toed calf sleeves made with a soft, silky-feeling stretchy fabric. The weave is a two-way stitch with no side seams. There are lower and upper folded cuffs with the upper cuffs being thicker with a looser weave than the lower cuffs. It actually feels like a different fabric than the body of the calf sleeves. There is a small logo in a contrasting color on the front of each sleeve. And while the Zamst website indicates "Black" as the only color available, my two pairs are a bright blue and a white and I bought a bright pink for a gift.


Last summer I was privileged to attend an event honoring elite mountaineer Melissa Arnot. Melissa is a co-founder of The Juniper Fund and paired with Zamst to offer the Zamst LC-1 Calf Compression Sleeves in a fund-raiser. Since The Juniper Fund addresses a cause I support, I purchased several pairs of the LC-1s.
My LC-1 Calf Sleeves
Graphic Courtesy of Zamst
Over the last past four months, I have worn the LC-1s on numerous occasions after backpacking, hiking, biking and running. I estimate I've worn them a total of 18 times, usually overnights while sleeping. I've also worn them on four different airplane flights, from 3 hours to 9 hours of traveling time.

Relevant conditions include temperatures from 90 F (32 C) down to 40 F (4 C), no real humidity (except in Louisiana) and elevations from sea level to over 13,000 ft (4000 m), mostly in south central Colorado, in Utah, New Jersey and Louisiana.

When I first received the LC-1s, I was a bit concerned about trying them out. I've had experiences previously where compression socks were so tight, I darn near suffered a hernia trying to get them up over my calves. Now I realize compression socks need to be snug but if they are so snug as to be unwearable, they aren't going to be of any use to me! I was pleased to find the LC-1s were relatively easy to put on. The sleeves were very snug, but not too restrictive nor uncomfortable. This has continued to be my experience each time I put on the LC-1s.

While wearing the LC-1s, I don't really think much about them. They are very unobtrusive. This is very important to me as I usually am wearing them while sleeping and the last thing I want to do is to be aware of anything while sleeping, no less a boa constrictor sort of feeling on my lower body parts.

For backpacking, the LC-1s take up next-to-no space in my pack and are a nice extra layer when sleeping in a tent. They add a bit of warmth but not overly. As in Goldilocks, they are "just right".

The LC-1s don't stretch out even after being worn for a couple of days and/or nights. They also don't stretch out and sag when worn while being in motion, such as when traveling. I've done the security lines, waiting at the gates, stowing overhead luggage, stuffing underseat gear, running for flight connections and hours of sitting in those danged, cramped, hard, middle plane seats AND the LC-1s never caused me a second thought.

Do the LC-1 Calf Compression Sleeves energize me to run marathons, save me from leg cramps, prevent future leg problems? I, obviously, can't prove they have as I haven't evaluated them in a controlled situation - ah, heck! I just realized, I should have worn one LC-1 on one leg and not the other! Nah, that probably wouldn't have worked, either. Anyway, I DO feel I've benefited from wearing the LC-1 Calf Compression Sleeves with less sore after-backpacking-miles-of-rocks legs. And, I will continue to wear my Zamst LC-1 Calf Compression Sleeves in the future.

One last note; the sleeves do not seem to hold any odor, have not stained, pilled, pulled or snagged in the four months I have been wearing them. I have washed each pair a couple of times in with the rest of my "technical" backpacking gear/clothing in a cold machine wash with regular detergent, no water softener and a low dryer setting. They have not become shrunken nor stretched and as can be seen in the picture to the left, they look like new!


1.) Easy to put on - no hernia or pulled back muscles incurred!
2.) Very comfortable to wear - my circulation is enhanced, not cut off.
3.) Does what they are advertised to do, relax, refresh and soothe my calves.


1.) A bit pricey for me, but comparable to other brands.


After just one use, I was so impressed with the Zamt LC-1 Calf Compression Sleeves that I bought 3 more, one for my daughter-in-law, another for my daughter and of course, one more for me! The LC-1 is easy to put on and just as easy to take off. It doesn't distract me with being too warm, too tight, slipping downward or just "being there". In my experience with the LC-1, my calf muscles seem to recover from strenuous activities more quickly than without. I definitely can recommend these to anyone who works out their calf muscles!

Kathleen (Kathy) Waters

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