I tried using the 2XU sleeves a few months ago since I know so many people that swear by compression garments. I think it is all in your head. I wore them on all my long runs from December through the marathon I did a couple of weeks ago. No noticeable difference while running. I even set out for one of my long runs without them, and didn't notice until I got home and didn't have to take them off (I think distance was around 20 miles if that helps). I did wear them for the marathon since I had trained in them, and posted a new PR, but I don't think the sleeves did anything other than make me look/feel faster.
I do HIGHLY recommend them for recovery. I wore a pair of recovery socks (and still do) after those runs (and other hard efforts), and did notice a difference in recovery time. My advice, get them if you want, but the scientific data says that the performance gain is around 2%, but the recovery gain is much greater.
Give them a try for a long while and see what you think. Maybe your results will be different from mine. Worst case scenario, you get a pair of ~$60 socks to wear around the house (or for halloween).
I started to use compression sleeves when I strained my Achilles. I used the active and recovery sleeves. I definitely noticed a difference while wearing them as my Achilles didn't bother me as much (especially on the bike). However, after the issue went away I didn't notice a difference. I got the 2XU compression active sleeves but they didn't (and are worse now after a year) "compress" all that much.
The recovery sleeves are a different story. I still have issues with tight calves and they feel much better after I've worn the recovery sleeves. They don't have an (or as much) achy and fatigued feeling if I wear the sleeves. I like them so much that I'm looking into getting recovery tights to help my quads feel better after longer races.
Before jumping on compression sleeves and/or socks, how is your nutrition on long runs? Do you take water only or add electrolytes? Blood thickens during workouts, so if not enough nutrition is added, that could be a reason for circulation issues.
Thanks for the advice everyone. I have a long brick this weekend so I'll give them a try and see how it goes. I've always heard that they are great for recovery so I'll try that out too.
@ Andee - My nutrition on long runs is up and down. At times I can neglect my nutrition expecially after a long swim and bike. It's a work in progress. Training for a full Ironman has been much different than Half in regards to nutrition especially.
I'll experiment with a few things this weekend.
I appreciate all of the great feedback!
I just wanted to throw the nutrition aspect in there in case compression gear does not help. I understand about nailing nutrition when increasing distance.