Gear Review: Stoko K1 Tight

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Functionality meets style with the Stoko K1 supportive tight.

Stoko’s K1 is a knee brace built into a pair of tights. They provide adjustable joint support for people with ligament instability (ie ACL), mild sprains or strains. Personally, I love them for my super sensitive ITB sensitivity.

The K1 supportive tight is designed to provide a more functional alternative to the traditional bulky knee brace, targeting active people like athletes and outdoor recreationists such as myself alike who want to wear the most performance-enhancing gear possible.

The K1 is comfortable and lightweight enough to be worn alone as hiking pants, or like a base layer underneath waterproof pants for snowshoeing, skiing and more.

Designed with cables that travel throughout the tights providing precise, adjustable support around your hips, knees and calves with easy-to-use dials, these machine-washable tights from Stoko mimic the natural support system usually given from the body’s muscles and ligaments.

My favourite feature is their environmentally-friendly material. They are made using Repreve® Yarn, which is an environmentally conscious fiber made from plastic bottles! It’s woven into a light and breathable high stretch fabric so they are comfortable and lightweight enough to wear for every activity without sacrificing effectiveness. I’ve been wearing mine for a couple of months now and have found them comfortable and supportive while hiking, trail running, snowshoeing, ski touring, cross country skiing, and bouldering.

Another thing about Stoko that I love is that they’re local. Founded by UBC Mechanical Engineering alumn Zach Eberwein and Olympian Scott Morgan, Stoko offices and distribution centre are located right here in East Vancouver. Eberwein and his team plan for the K1 to be the first in a future series of supportive activewear, which is super exciting. Lots of us active folk regularly have injuries and need the right gear to help us heal, but also to allow us to keep playing and training safely. Learn more about the company’s history in this article by BC Business and this interview in the Vancouver Sun.

Sounds too good to be true? Well beware that they do come with a pretty hefty pricetag at $500 a pop. They are, however, registered by the FDA and Health Canada as a Class 1 Medical Device so if you have a private medical benefits plan, you might be able to get some or all of the cost covered. Learn more about that here.

Note also that while they are very comfortable to wear, they are a compression tight and fit like that and then some. As Stoko describes on their website, the tights are, well, tight. You need to take time to put them on, stretching them over your legs slowly in sections almost like a wetsuit. I can attest that the first time putting them on I wondered if they were too small or if I was doing it correctly, but alas with some patience, they went on like a charm and became easier with each successive use.

Interested? You can buy the Stoko K1 online at stokodesign.com/collections/all, or in person at some local Vancouver and Tri-Cities retailers like Kintec and Paris everyBODY, as well as at some physiotherapy clinics. A full list can be found at stokodesign.com/pages/find-stoko-near-me

Learn more about the brand and the product direct from the source at stokodesign.com