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Compression Socks for Runners

“If you're not fast you might as well be stylish,” one of my family friends tells a stranger as he stops to ask us about our socks. We were standing in the metro sweaty and heading back home after a five mile run through DC. Indeed we were quite a site to see, me in a purple outfit with Zensah Argyle compression socks in a checkered pink and gray pattern and her with bright red knee high socks (she is a huge University of Arkansas Razorbacks fan). During the run we ran the huge, mountainous hill right by the capital. I mean it's a beast and at that point we had already run up to four miles. I know for most runners four miles is a breeze, but like we established “we might as well be stylish.” Anyway, I am not sure if it is me building up my endurance or the compression socks, but we flew up that hill. I mean we charged it like Bunker Hill flying past the men and women heading home from work. As we finally reached the top of the hill my legs were tired, but not like they normally would be and I attribute that to my compression socks.

That's because compression socks are designed to improve circulation to flush out lactic acid for a shorter recovery time, boost performance and provide protection and relief from injuries like shin splints and plantar fasciitis. Many professional athletes swear by compression socks and calf sleeves to keep their legs energized during a race or while training. Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi proudly sports his CEP compression socks while competing in marathons and during training. CEP offers a wide range of performance socks and sleeves in bright blues, greens, pinks and purples for men and women, as well as classic white and black.

Meb Keflezighi, a 38-year-old immigrant from war-torn Eritrea, the first American man to win the Boston Marathon in more than 30 years, crosses the finish line. The 118th running of the Boston Marathon and the first since the bombing at the finish line last year on Monday, April 21, 2014. Staff Photo by Nancy Lane

Most marathoners and #runchat lovers have heard of notorious athletic brands like CEP, Zensah and 2XU. Why? Because they work. Many professional athletes religiously rock these brands while competing, most noticeably due to their bright colors. If you want to enhance performance, keep your legs energized with 20-30 mmHg compression. This level of compression is ideal if you want to push yourself during your run. Graduated compression also helps to stabilize and support muscles to reduce fatigue as well as soreness and swelling. Performance compression socks are very popular among runners to run farther, faster without the pain. Most athletic compression socks are made with a breathable, lightweight fabric that wicks moisture away from the skin to keep you cool and dry.

 

If you're looking for the perfect "all-in-one" performance and recovery sock, try a pair of socks that provides 15-20 mmHg of compression, so your legs stay energized and heal quickly. This level of compression is also recommended for travel and everyday wear, so you can even wear them to work so your legs are rested for a run afterwards. If you need all-over coverage, try a pairing your socks with the Solidea Compression Capri - great to wear during or after a run, while traveling, or during the day to promote circulation. These high-tech capris utilize patented Micro Massage fabric to help stimulate lymphatic circulation and even helps to fight cellulite! These capri are made from a breathable fabric that is embedded with silver ions to prevent bacteria and odor. You can see why a lot of runners have started wearing compression tights and capris!

We all know that feeling when you over-do it and your legs are screaming. Luckily, there's an easy fix. After getting back from a long run, throw on a pair of recovery socks so you can get back out there the next day. If you suffered from shin splints in the past, compression socks can help prevent and relieve the pain, so an injury doesn't slow you down. To get the maximum recovery benefits, wear compression socks instead of sleeves. If you're wondering if you should try leg sleeves or socks, it's mostly up to your personal preference. Learn more about the difference between compression socks and sleeves, and see our recommendations in both styles for performance and recovery.

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