As part of my ongoing research to “Be a 10 in 2010″, I reached out to a company called Opedix who makes a line of support clothing designed for active and athletic people. Their ethos is interesting; clothes that provide proper support and alignment without sacrificing mobility. I got my hands on their Knee Support System (tights) which have been clinically proven to reduce wear and tear on the knees. As someone who has suffered from runner’s knee, I needed to try it. Hit the jump for my review.
I’ve had my share of experiences with running tights from other companies but with the exception of Adidas’ TechFit, tights are generally designed with thermal properties in mind, not support. Opedix’s Knee Support System looks to solve both concerns.
The science behind the design is complex but the design and function of the legs and knees are well understood. Every time you take a step, opposing forces push your knee joint to the outside. People suffering with poor alignment is an affect of this function operating inefficiently. As the patella (knee cap) floats out of position, irritation builds and before you know it, a striking pain radiates from the knees – the kind that puts many athletes out for weeks.
Normal everyday walking may not exert enough forces to seriously damage the knee but pound pavement like runners do and you feel as though age has gotten the best of you. Attempts are then made to treat the symptoms with drugs and ice packs when preventative measures could be taken.
How does it work? The Opedix Knee Support System works like a knee brace in a much more comfortable and stylish package. Yes I said stylish. Bare with me; if I’m going running, I want to look good while doing it. The Soft Bracing technology as they call it is non-stretch fabric sewn into panels of stretch fabric providing 4-way compression to keep everything in place and help with post activity swelling.
The design is centered around “anchor and sling” construction. The waistband and ankles act as anchors for the rest of the fabric to act as a sling for the leg providing smooth yet controlled motion. In a series of tests against gangly prescribed knee braces, the Opedix Knee Support System provides ample amount of support, especially for something that isn’t custom fitted to you like a brace is.
In use, the tights are incredibly comfortable. It feels like a very thin wet suit with none of the chaffing. The seams are strong and there are reflector strips that zip up behind the lower calves. Nice touch, but my favorite bit is the knee support. As I said early, I suffer from runner’s knee. Normally I have to tape my knee and use proper orthotics which is quite uncomfortable for 5+ mile runs. The Opedix Knee Support System frees me from having to use tape. My knee feels like they have much more freedom to move but I can clearly feel how the “Soft Bracing” keeps it in check. I’ve been using it for over a month on daily runs and haven’t had any problems. The material has awesome memory retention and doesn’t stretch out even with repeated washings.
The Knee Support System is available for both men and women in winter and summer versions for $190 U.S. There’s also a different version for activities like skiing. If you’re a runner, understanding the knees play a pivotal role in how efficiently you run in conjunction with proper footwear will prevent injury. For me, these tights are a must and I highly recommend them.
What we loved:
- High quality construction.
- Delivers support as promised.
- Nice design with contrast stitching.
- Integrated reflector strips.
- Easy to wash, doesn’t absorb odors.
- Seems to resist moisture, wicks it off the skin.
What could be improved:
- Leg zippers tend to pinch into the ankle tendons. Put it in a placket.