Men's IMBRACE Snow Leggings Review

Imbrace ski brace compression tights review

Imbrace Snowsport leggings extremely practical ski wear

Quality compression leggings designed by skiers for skiers; which have built in knee support, booster straps to engage the core and lower back, along with some other nice touches

I'd just turned 65 as I took the Imbrace snowsport support leggings out of their bag, and I was most impressed at the quality of the product, and at my age I need all the support I can get :)

When we were offered the chance to test the Imbrace knee support leggings, designed by, 4 x Winter Olympian Chemmy Alcott, I was curious as to how they'd stack up against many of the braces I've had to use over the years, from a simple neoprene hinged brace through to a Donjoy Armor knee brace, and more recently the Stoko knee brace.

Prior to wearing knee braces, I had also been an early adopter of compression tights for running, and back in the day would wear my Second Skins as a base layer when skiing.

Over the years I have had many a knee injury, with my tally being two arthroscopies (keyhole surgery) on both knees and one ACL reconstruction, and an ACL in my other knee, but no reconstruction, as I was unaware at the time!

There's more here on how I did my ACL and the ensuing ACL reconstruction.

When not in the mountains exercising, be it cycling, running or various water-sports I don't use any support for my knees, probably as I'm having to deal with other physiological issues such as my Achilles and calf muscles!

Back in the Mountains however it doesn't take long for the knees to flare up.

And then it's all a question of knee/body management taking into account the conditions and what overall is the best option for the knees, and God forbid actually take a day off, which is what I'm currently doing while writing this, even though there is 10cm of overnight fresh up the hill. However, I'm focusing more on a potential La Grave day tomorrow.

When living in the mountains we do take one day at at time with each day bringing different choices and I've certainly put the Imbrace leggings through the mill, as it's not always lovely knee-friendly conditions, especially if skiing away from the pistes.

I initially used the Imbrace on our first ski tour of the season, just up from the Col du Lautaret in the Galibier sector under some shell trousers with adequate ventilation (picture above / below). 

And when skinning up did not really notice them, as there is little or no obvious restriction.

Since that first ski tour I've worn them on numerous occasions, and disciplines in the past month, from e-bike ski touring up the Col du Granon, to carving the piste on my GS race skis (Carv Mountain Master) and then back to far more physical skiing activity, cross country skating, though Chemmy might disagree with me on which is the more physical :)

Imbrace knee support brace compression leggings cross country

Unfortunately in the past month, the hinged neoprene knee brace has also had to be used, and that's more to do with skiing wind-affected snow when ski touring.

So where does that position the Imbrace?

For general skiing there's no doubt it's nigh on an essential part of my gear wardrobe, though we are in the midst of winter, and ski touring in April might be different having to deal with temperature management, but I could, just like when I cross country ski, wear the Imbrace stand-alone for going up and don some over trousers when transitioning.

Imbrace knee support brace compression leggings review

It should be noted that the Imbrace is not promoted as an alternative to a knee brace, though for sure if you have weak knees the added neoprene support will be welcome.

Where the Imbrace scores highly over other compression leggings is above the waist where integrated Core Boost Straps reinforce the all-important core muscles along with providing extra hip and lower back support. Plus the neoprene side panels around the knee and ITB band are the major USPs of the Imbrace over other tights.

And as I've already mentioned the quality is immense along with the attention to detail, such as the great pee flap, in the men's obviously, and it's not as if that's a major issue for men but it's a nice touch when it's cold and things are not always readily available :) 

More details here.

And as a footnote, I'll probably be wearing the Imbrace leggings when competing in the Serre Che Trail run in a couple of weeks. Ironically I tend to be able to run without any knee issues!

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