I honestly don't remember when it was... I think it was maybe marathon training? Or when I was running half marathons and longer distances? But I began to suffer with calf cramps. I mean severe calf cramps. I had friends suggest that I try calf sleeves. I ignored their advice for a couple of weeks, and then I tried a pair.
From my very first run with compression sleeves, I won't run without them. I'm serious. To me, my compression sleeves are as important as socks and shoes. I don't run without them.
I also wear them for cycling and other activities where I think that I could use some extra support.
In addition to sleeves, I also occasionally wear ankle sleeves (for support or recovery - especially after a tough trail run)
I wore thigh sleeves when my hamstrings were angry with me.
So you can say that for me personally compression gear is very important to me.
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