Compression "sox" that are Made In The USA from a company whose sole focus is compression.
Less padding in the footbed of the sock as well as a few more color options (hey, if you are going to look like a dork, might as well go all out).
A good sock from one of the smaller companies playing the compression game.
SLS3 doesn't have the company history that some of their competitors do. SLS3 doesn't have the company size that some of their competitors do. And from the previous statements we are assuming SLS3 doesn't have the company budget that is as large as some of their competitors.
With that said, they DO have a product that rivals that of their competition.
SLS3 is a smaller company that was started three years ago in 2008 when the idea of compression for athlete racing and recovery was just emerging. With a background as European professional athletes, and having recently relocated to Southern California to train and compete, SLS3 quickly realized there was a growing need for American athletes to have access to compression wear. SLS3 offers Compression Socks, Compression Sleeves, Compression Apparel and Compression Tights that are all manufactured within the U.S.A. (which we think is pretty cool)
Speaking of cool, SLS3 has designed it's socks with a special material (polypropylene) that is intended to do several things.
First it is supposed to stay cool when wet which in turn helps to cool your body. Many companies are marketing this aspect of clothing and our opinion is, yeah, it does cool you off until it dries again. The same as dumping water on your head. So take this claim with a grain of salt as it does cool you, but almost any damp material would.
Next, the polypropylene has been proven (not sure by what exact test) to absorb 300% less fluid than nylon based socks (which some of the competition is using). We couldn't verify exactly 300%, but the socks do a very good job of not absorbing fluid and becoming heavy.
Lastly, the material offers a 50+ SPF for protection from that dangerous sun. This is great for your legs from the lower knee down, but make sure to not forget the sunscreen so you will prevent one crazy looking tan.
It's All About Performance
Every compression garment company has their own studies that state their own performance improvements. For SLS3, that magic number is 34%. We think, it's up to you to decide how much it "increases" your performance.
However, we can tell you that these socks feel really good on. We can tell that if you wear them on a longish run, your legs will feel better the next day. We can tell you, that compared to other compression socks, these socks are a good choice.
One important thing we would like to point out about these socks in which we have no explanation for is that they are easier to get on than most of the other socks we have tested. This can be an important factor when T2 rolls around.
The statement below is directly from the SLS3 website and we think it is a simple way of describing exactly what compression garments do.
"The supportive effect and the compression of the SLS3 Compression Sox reduce the muscle vibration drastically, which leads to less damage of the soft tissue and less sore muscles."
This statement doesn't make any outlandish claims or offer any magic numbers, it simply states that compression will make you feel better after the work is done.
The SLS3 Compression Sport Sox uses RC - COMP Technology. We couldn't find too many specifics on this other than it is a graduated compression model, which is what a lot of companies are going to since it is proven to be the best option for improving blood circulation.
All compression garments should have a mmHg measurement. mmHg is a mercury millimeter system for measuring compression force. The higher the number, the more compression you get. The SLS3 Compression Sport Sox comes in at 20-30 mmHg with an average of around 24-26 mmHg. This is considered firm compression.
TriBomb Bottom Line
A great compression sock from a fairly small, new company that is keeping the manufacturing right here in the USA. Summary