Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review: Tommie Copper Compression Shirts & Gloves

Coaching legend John Wooden once said "It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it."

We all want to finish strong, unfortunately the aches and pains of life and training can serve has hurdles on the way to the finish line. At times we all need a little assistance to help ensure that we not only finish, but finish with gumption. Enter Tommie Copper.

Tommie Copper therapeutic copper compression (TCC) technology works by combining the health benefits of copper found in their patented copper-infused yarn with a proprietary multi-directional compression technology. The result is Tommie Copper’s Cu29 Compression fabric used in all of Tommie Copper’s Compression wear.

Compression helps stabilize muscle tissue, keeping the swelling of muscle fibers at a micro and manageable level. Traditionally, compression wear was designed primarily for athletes to be worn for short periods of time to increase performance, enhance recovery and alleviate pain. Tommie Copper’s Cu29 compression material now makes the same benefits available to the masses at an affordable price point.

Why Copper?
Copper has been used for medicinal purposes as far back as ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome as well as in the ancient Aztec civilization. One of the world's oldest medical texts, the Ebers Papyrus states, "Treat inflammation with pulverized copper". It is also believed that copper stimulates the immune system to fight infections, to repair injured tissues, and to promote healing.

Compression helps stabilize muscle tissue, keeping the swelling of muscle fibers at a micro and manageable level. By combining the benefits of compression material with copper-infused yarn, Tommie Copper’s compression gear aims to merge the benefits of compression fabric and copper.

So here’s the big question… Does it work?

The Gumption Gear Field Team had the opportunity to review the Tommie Copper Compression Shirt and Compression Gloves. Both the Compression Shirts and Compression Gloves provided compression without restriction meaning normal movements were not restricted or complicated. The fabric is exceptionally soft and light weight – so light weight in fact that often times you’ll simply forget that you have it on.

Our field team used the Tommie Copper Compression shirts in every scenario from daily training sessions, training runs, post-triathlon race recovery sessions and simple, everyday use.

To their credit the crew at Tommie Copper takes efforts to point out that not everyone will experience the potential benefits in the same way. From our end, our testers had no misconceptions that the shirt would eliminate killer knotted muscles, nor did our team believe it would bring about the miraculous healing you may be seeking for your lower back pain. That being said, the compression shirt provided comfortable support and all day stability in the shoulders and back.

Perhaps, just as important for a compression shirt that will be worn through the day – the shirts are highly odor resistant. In terms of relief from aches and pains, one field tester did note that when wearing the shirt for extended periods of time, there was some relief from the typical lower back pain experienced from an old sports injury.  It is at this point we stress pain and injury are very different things.  The shirts did not, nor did we expect them to, heal the sports injury.  However, the compression shirt did seem to help alleviate some of the aching associated with that injury.

The compression gloves stand out from other products because of their simplicity.   No velcro, no bulky straps and no heavy metal pieces. The gloves (available in both full finger and fingerless compression styles) are made of the same lightweight soft fabric as the shirts. As such you can wear them all day without interfering with normal activities which is a definitive plus.  While our team did not report similar levels of relief while using the gloves as the shirts, it should also be noted that none of our field testers suffer from any of the debilitating joint ailments that plague the individuals this particular product would most likely help.

That being said, there are two specific points worth noting from our review team.  One of our field testers discontinued use of the gloves as she reported that they seemed to exacerbate a tingling sensation when worn through the night.  However, this could be as simple as a sizing issue.  
Our second tester, while noting no significant changes, did report that they plan on continuing to use the compression gloves to see if they eventually provide some relief for their mild carpal tunnel syndrome.

Bottom Line….
Once again, we would be remiss if we didn’t note that pain and injury are very different things. No compression gear on earth will heal a severe sports injury. That being said, there is a reason you can see athletes at every level of competition utilizing compression gear and our crew is interested enough in the line of Tommie Copper gear to purchase some of the calf compression sleeves to aid in their marathon training.

For those seeking a product to help the body recover from training sessions, or simply to provide additional relief for those aches and pains standing between you and the finish line, we recommend you take the time to research how Tommie Copper might benefit you.


  1. good review. very informative!

  2. I agree with Ali Me, the article is very informative.

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  3. Thank you very much for this information, yes Tommie Copper might help in body pain as well with chiropractors.

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  4. If you enjoy working out, running or just playing sports in general, you have probably been introduced to or have heard of compression shirts. These types of shirts can be found at most general athletic stores and online, and are useful to not only athletes, but to anyone who want a different look.

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