I’m going to let you in on a little not-so-secret secret: Bloggers get sent a lot of free stuff.
At least that’s the case for those of us who review/promote products. Companies send us free samples of their products with the hope that we’ll love it and tell our readers about it.
I’m not going to lie – it can be a pretty cool perk.*
(*Accepting free products is a controversial topic among bloggers for many reasons, none of which I’m going to discuss here today. The following is MY opinion only. Your mileage may vary.)
But the majority of these free products will never appear here or on my social media accounts. That’s because as I’ve grown as a blogger, I’ve gotten better at saying no. I try hard not to accept products that are far outside my niche (home decor), not useful to anyone in my family (toddler toys), or just bizarre (moonshine – true story).
But every once in a while, I get the opportunity to try out new fitness and/or running gear. Those are the good mail days. And I had a some pretty good mail days this summer. Here are some of my favorites:
Lily Trotter Compression Socks
I’ve always liked wearing compression socks, but after my last 12-hour flight, I think I’m a fan for life.
Before my first international flight, I searched online for traveling tips. One thing that I saw over and over was the suggestion to wear compression socks on long flights – particularly for athletes.
Scientific studies show that athletes are at higher risk of suffering from thrombosis (DVT) while traveling. Around 4.5% of travelers on long-distance flights suffer from thrombosis, and nearly 85% of them are athletes. The reason for this is their slower resting blood flow. source
[Wearing] running compression socks on the plane or during other travel helps to reduce edema and prevent any swelling that may occur in the ankle from reduced circulation. source
I wore compression socks (*note: compression sleeves are not recommended for air travel) on all of my long flights, and I didn’t experience any swelling. I really didn’t know if this was because of my socks – but on my flight from Tel Aviv to New York last month, both of my travel companions experienced extreme swelling in their ankles and feet, while I didn’t have any swelling at all. The only thing I can attribute this difference to is the fact that I wore compression socks and they didn’t.
Over the summer, I got to try out these adorable Lily Trotters Compression Socks:
These designer compression socks are made especially for women. One of their key features is that they’re easier to get on and off than most other brands – plus they feel great and look adorable. Their Kickstarter campaign ended earlier this month, but they were really successful and should be all set for pre-orders by the end of August. Check them out online and on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
CEP Dynamic + No-Show Compression Socks
I’m totally crushing on my No-Show Compression Socks from CEP. Now, granted, every time I try a new pair of running socks, they become my new favorites. I can’t help it – I just love running socks. Don’t judge me.
So you might be wondering what’s the point of a compression sock that only covers the foot. But compression actually offers a lot of benefits that go beyond circulatory advantages. Compression based no-show running socks can help alleviate the onset of Plantar Fasciitis, reduce swelling, and improve the fit of your shoe. Plus the snug ergonomic design ensures that it won’t rub or cause blisters. Bonus: I love, love, love the color combo of my pair. (They also come in black/white and black/grey if pink isn’t your thing.)
KT Tape Pro X Patches
I’m a big fan of KT Tape, so I was excited to learn that they had a new product come out this summer. KT Tape Pro X Patches are kinesiology patches designed to provide targeted muscular pain relief for hundreds of common injuries, including shin splints, knee pain, and overuse injuries. They can be used by themselves or with regular KT Tape for added support.
I’ve used them a couple of times, and they are comfortable and easy to apply – much faster than the original tape. You can learn more about KT Tape Pro X Patches HERE, and you can follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Back in June, I did a giveaway for SaltStick, an electrolyte supplement for endurance athletes. But I didn’t have a chance to try the product myself because I was recovering from a stomach bug and not doing much running.
Fast forward to last week, when this happened:
The response from the running community was pretty unanimous:
I needed electrolytes. D’oh.
And then I remembered that I had a whole bottle of SaltStick capsules just waiting to be reviewed. So in addition to water, I’ve been taking one SaltStick capsule for every 30-60 minutes of running. The heat index is still well into the 90’s here, so I do a lot of sweating.
My thoughts on SaltStick capsules? So far so good. They have no taste, they’re easy to swallow, and so far I haven’t had any more post-run headaches. My longest runs are only about 4 miles right now though, so I’m looking forward to trying it out when my training (finally) calls for longer runs.
So those are my summer product highlights. Have you discovered any new products this summer? Please share in the comments!