Let’s talk about compression socks for runners.
If you’re a runner you will have noticed by now that compression socks have infiltrated the running world. But the question remains, are they really all they are hyped up to be?
So what exactly are compression socks and how do they work?
Compression socks are exactly as the name entails, they are socks that compress the leg. The important thing to note though is that proper compression socks have a gradient compression meaning they are tighter at the ankle and get gradually less compressive higher up. They essentially work to combat gravity when it comes to circulatory processes, meaning they help to pump everything back up towards the heart.
Compression therapy has long held a place in managing venous and lymphatic insufficiencies and has proven to be effective.
Compression Socks for Runners
So the question is.. Do these effective qualities seen in medical applications help to improve PERFORMANCE in endurance sports?
Well here is the amazing answer you’ve not been waiting for… The studies contradict themselves with some claiming a measurable improvement in performance is noted, while others suggest there is no noted improvement in performance. How is that for underwhelming.
When is comes to RECOVERY there is far more agreement amongst studies. I will confidently say that the use of compression socks does seem to speed up the process of lactic acid recovery. Here are the findings of a study of well-trained runners by the Australian Institute of Sport and the University of Tasmania. Athletes in this study reported a reduced level of muscle soreness by 20% with the use of compression socks.
Now if you aren’t convinced yet. Here are some less scientific reason why you might consider compression socks:
- They save your legs from nicks scratches while trail running and can even protect against poison ivy.
- They can keep your legs warm on your cooler runs when you might have reluctantly worn tights.
- Compression socks look cool. Trust us, these are no longer just socks designed for grandma.
So in summary I think it is safe to say that you may find an overall improvement with the use of compression stockings most notably in the time it takes to recover between runs and if not, at least you’ll look great.
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If you want to learn more about how compression socks can benefit you get in touch with us! We carry a wide array of both off-the-shelf and medical grade socks covered by your insurance plan.
Call us for more information (416) 887-4109