SKINS Science - proofing instead of guessing

The hidden substance behind SKINS products

The research we carry out in the garment development stages allows us to keep pushing the boundaries of technology and compression – leading to the development of dynamic gradient compression, which features in our A400 clothing, for example.

The amount of research published on the functional parameters of SKINS is unrivalled within the sports compression wear industry. So far, ten studies carried out using SKINS have been published in independently peer reviewed medical journals.

Published research of this kind has contributed to SKINS being recommended and endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association and qualifying for registration as a therapeutic device by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration.


Research on SKINS has been conducted by:

  • Dr Nick Gill, Strength and Conditioning Coach - Waikato Chiefs
  • Dr Peter Clothier, Sports and Exercise Science Lecturer and Researcher - School of Biomedical & Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney, Australia
  • Mr Dayne Walker, Researcher - School of Biomedical & Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney, Australia
  • Jason McLaren, Research Consultant - iSPORT Biomechanics
  • Melinda Wosik, Clinical Trials Coordinator - Western Sydney Area Health
  • Laurence Houghton, Researcher - School of Human Movement and Exercise Science, The University of Western Australia
  • Dr Ben Dascombe, Sports Science Lecturer - University of Newcastle
  • Mr Aaron Scanlan, Research Lecturer - School of Medical and Applied Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Engineering & Health, Central Queensland University
  • Melissa Hagan, Clinical Researcher - MPRO
  • Dr John Jakeman, Teaching Fellow; Strength and Conditioning - University of Abertay, Dundee
  • Mr Joshua Sear, Researcher – Central Queensland University and High Performance Development Coordinator – Cycling Australia
  • Ross Hanbury, Sport Scientist Harlequins Rugby Club – Department of Life Sciences, Roehampton University
  • Chris McManus, Human Performance Unit Manager, The University of Essex
  • Kelly Murray, Human Performance Unit Sport Scientist, The University of Essex
  • Nicholas Morgan, Sports Integrated Ltd


What have they found?

  • increases venous return
  • reduces exercise induced muscle damage (EIMD)
  • accelerates recovery processes
  • removes lactic acid faster
  • increases strength and power
  • improves endurance
  • increases muscle oxygenation
  • improves body temperature control
  • reduces in-flight ankle oedema you get the benefits of a better performance without pain.

SKINS Science
  1. Treat your muscles to more oxygen and they’ll repay you with improved performance. More power, less pain and quicker recovery time.
  2. We’ve got your muscles all wrapped up. Focused support reduces your risk of injury and improves muscle efficiency.


Key Research Summaries

Journal Publications:

The Influence of SKINS A400 Lower Body Compression Garments on Running and Neuromuscular Performance.

McManus, C., Murray, K., Morgan, N. (2015)

The University of Essex, Human Performance Unit

During steady state running at a fixed intensity of 60% vVO2max(12.1 ± 1.3 km/h), running economy was significantly lower (p < 0.05) in correctly fitted compression tights when compared with running shorts. When wearing correctly fitted compression compared to running shorts, the runners demonstrated that they used less energy when running at a sub maximal speed. They were more economical and efficient. It is widely accepted that runners who are more economical during sub maximal speeds have the ability to push harder or run longer during their training and/or events. 

Preliminary development of a wearable device for dynamic pressure measurement in garments.

McLaren, J., Helmer, R.J.N., Horne, S.L., and Blanchonette, I. (2010).

Procedia Engineering; The Engineering of Sport, 2 (2), 3041-3046.

Existing garment pressure measurement devices are predominantly limited to static pressure measurements and not well suited to monitoring dynamic pressure during sports activities. This study illustrates the construction of a wearable dynamic pressure monitoring device (WDPMD) that measures changes in pressure between a subject and garment during activity. Results of accuracy and precision from the study reveal the WDPMD compares favourably to existing static compression devices and was found to be suitable for monitoring changes in pressure dynamically between a subject and garment. The authors conclude the WDPMD had advantages in terms of functional testing, portability, memory, communication and power capacity.

Lower limb compression garment improves recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in young, active females.

Jakeman, J.R., Byrne, C., and Eston, R.G. (2010).

European Journal of Applied Physiology, 109(6), 1137-1144.

This study examined the effectiveness of lower limb compression as a recovery strategy following exercise-induced muscle damage. Seventeen volunteers were involved in an exercise protocol designed to induce muscle damage. This study indicated that individuals who wore Skins lower limb compression garments for 12 hours following exercise inducing muscle damage, experienced up to 20% less functional muscle decrement and lower perceptions of muscle soreness in comparison with individuals who had a passive recovery.

View full paper.

The Effects of Wearing Lower-Body Compression Garments During Endurance Cycling

Scanlan, A., Dascombe, B., Reaburn, P., and Osbourne, M. (2008).

International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 3(4).

This study examined the effects of SKINS lower-body compression garments (LBCG) during a one-hour cycling time trial on twelve well-trained cyclists. Results showed increases in muscle oxygenation economy and improvements in cycling economy, suggesting SKINS LBCG may delay the onset of fatigue and prolong optimal performance for well-trained endurance cyclists.

View full paper.

Effects of wearing compression garments on physiological and performance measures in a simulated game-specific circuit for netball

Higgins, T., Naughton, G.A., Burgess, D. (2009).

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 12, 223—226.

This study investigated the effectiveness of SKINS gradient compression garments in improving physiological variables in a netball-specific circuit. Data recorded from a Global Positioning System (GPS) of nine subjects revealed greater distances were travelled at a faster velocity (3.5ms-1) when wearing SKINS gradient compression garments compared with wearing usual netball attire and a placebo garment. This suggests during a netball game, players may be able to cover more distance during short sprints by wearing SKINS gradient compression garments than without them.

View full paper online.

Compression garments and recovery from eccentric exercise: A P-MRS study.

Trenell, M.I., Rooney, K.B., Sue, C.M., and Thompson, C.H. (2006).

Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 5, 106-114.

This study investigated whether compression garments could benefit metabolic recovery from eccentric exercise. Following 30 minutes of downhill walking the muscle metabolites of eleven subjects were evaluated at baseline, 1 hour and 48 hours utilising P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The results of the study shows that wearing SKINS resulted in an increase in cell membrane turnover (PDE), which helps alter the inflammatory response to muscle damage and accelerates recovery processes.

View full paper.

Effectiveness of post-match recovery strategies in rugby players

Gill, N. D., Beaven, C. M., Cook, C. (2006).

British Journal of Sports Medicine, 40, 260–263.

This study examined the effectiveness of contrast water therapy, SKINS gradient compression garments, low intensity active exercise, and passive recovery on the rate and magnitude of muscle damage recovery, as measured by the enzyme Creatine Kinase. Measurements of 23 elite rugby union players took place before, immediately after, 36 hours after, and 84 hours after competitive rugby matches. The rugby match resulted induced significant increases in player creatine kinase levels. The results also revealed the magnitude of recovery in the passive recovery intervention was significantly worse than in the low intensity active exercise, contrast water therapy, and SKINS gradient compression garment interventions at the 36 and 84 hour time points.The authors concluded that low impact exercise immediately post-competition, wearing gradient compression garments, or carrying out contrast water therapy promotes better physiological recovery than passive methods in young male athletes.

Comparison of three types of full-body compression garments on throwing and repeat-sprint performance in cricket players

Duffield, R., and Portus, M. (2007).

British Journal of Sports Medicine, 41, 409–414.

This study compared the effects of three types of full-body compression garments, including SKINS, on repeat-sprint and throwing performance in cricket players. Ten male cricket players performed randomised exercise sessions with each of the three garments and a control garment. The results revealed significant differences in mean skin temperature, lower 24 hour post exercise creatine kinase values and lower 24 hour post exercise ratings of muscle soreness when wearing compression garments. In conclusion, the authors indicate the potential benefits in utilising gradient compression garments as a thermal insulator in cool conditions, and as a recovery intervention tool after high-intensity exercise to reduce post exercise trauma.

Visit British Journal of Sports Medicine website to view full paper.

A randomised, crossover, open-label study of the effectiveness of SKINS – Travel & Recovery garments in reducing in-flight ankle oedema

Hagan, M., Lambert, S. (2008).

Medical Journal of Australia, 188(2), 81-84.

This study did prospective measures on 50 passengers on flights of greater than 5 hours with measurements conducted on both the outgoing and return flights for each passenger – one wearing SKINS and one not wearing SKINS. Results showed significant differences in ankle circumference and symptoms of Economy Class Syndrome. More specifically, results found that participants wearing gradient compression garments (SKINS) during air travel experienced

  • 55% decrease in ankle swelling
  • 58% improvement in leg pain
  • 52% improvement in leg discomfort
  • demonstrated improvements in alertness, concentration, energy, fluid retention and improved post flight sleep

The Effects of Whole-Body Compression Garments on Prolonged High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise.

Sear J, Hoare T, Scanlan A, Abt G, Dascombe B.

Published in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2010) 24(7), 1901-1910.

This study investigated the effects of SKINS whole-body compression garments (WBCG) during a 45 minute high-intensity intermittent running protocol, designed to simulate the physical loading of field based team-sports. Results showed wearing SKINS WBCG increased total distance covered during the protocol suggesting that wearing the garments may increase physical performance during field based team-sports. This may be attributed to the increase in muscle oxygenation.

Percentage Increases

  • 8.5% increase in total distance covered whilst wearing SKINS in comparison to a control.
  • 4.3% increase in oxygenation percentage in the muscle whilst wearing SKINS in comparison to a control.

Visit Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research website to download full paper.

Efficacy of lower limb compression and combined treatment of manual massage and lower limb compression on symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage in women

Jakeman, J.R., Byrne, C., and Eston, R.G. (2010). Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24(11), 3157-3165.

This study expands on previous research and investigated the effectiveness of combining a sports massage immediately after exercise with wearing Skins long tights for 12 hours as a recovery strategy following jumping activity. It was observed that the combined treatment was beneficial in terms of reducing perceived soreness and moderating decrements in functional strength. The addition of the sports massage was not more beneficial than wearing Skins alone in moderating muscle strength loss, but was beneficial in further limiting increases in perceived soreness. It was concluded that if available, the combination of sports massage and Skins compressive clothing after exercise may be positive in terms of perceived soreness, but in terms of functional muscle recovery, it is no more beneficial than wearing Skins compressive clothing alone.

  • Strength loss was 24% less in the group wearing Skins in comparison with a passive recovery.
  • Countermovement jump performance loss was 14% lower than passive recovery.
  • Up to 49% less soreness when combining Skins with sports massage compared with a passive recovery.

Visit  Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research website to download full paper.

Positive Effect of Lower Body Compression Garments on Subsequent 40-km cycling time trial performance

Kieran M. de Glanville and Michael J. Hamlin (2012). Journal of Strength Conditioning Research 26(2): 480–486.

Compression garments have become an essential part of an athlete’s recovery strategy so that they feel better and perform stronger on any subsequent training session or competition.

In this study, researchers tested just that – the ability of 14 well trained athletes to perform a 40-km cycling time trial (TT), 24 hours after completing an initial 40-km TT. The protocol was completed twice, once with the athletes wearing SKINS long tights in the recovery period between the two time trials, and once wearing a Nike non-compression base layer.

In a controlled environment, the researchers demonstrated that second 40-km TT performance was improved (faster) when using SKINS graduated compression compared to the Nike non-compression base layer placebo. This improvement resulted in a substantially higher average power output recorded (3%).

The authors concluded that the wearing of graduated compression garments during recovery is likely to be worthwhile.

Visit Journal of Strength Conditioning Research website to download full paper.