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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.

    Browse Athletic Compression Socks

  • Compression Socks or Sleeves? What's the difference?

    CEP Compression Leg Sleeves

    Compression socks and sleeves are often worn by athletes to recover faster, energize legs and alleviate the pain from common injuries such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, cramping, and Achilles strains. Graduated compression provides support, the stabilization of muscles and joints, and helps to decrease fatigue, swelling and soreness.

    What's the difference between socks and sleeves?

    For the most part, wearing socks or sleeves is a personal preference.  Leg sleeves are made without the foot portion of the sock and provide the same amount of compression as socks.  If you have a lucky pair of ankle socks or sandals, you can still comfortably wear them with calf sleeves. Compression sleeves are also great for triathlons to keep you moving when switching from swimming to cycling. If you are experiencing swelling, you should not wear compression sleeves.

    To get the full recovery and performance benefits of compression, knee highs are ideal. If you are traveling, you should wear compression socks instead of sleeves to prevent blood from pooling in the ankles and feet. Compression socks are more effective in preventing blood clots (DVT) when flying or long periods of inactivity.

    What should I wear for performance or recovery?

    Zensah Compression SocksBoth compression socks and calf sleeves can be worn for performance and recovery. After a long run or tough workout, try 15-20mmHg compression socks to recover faster. To enhance performance, wear socks or sleeves that provide 20-30mmHg compression to boost endurance and to keep your legs feeling energized mile after mile. If you're looking for a sock or sleeve that you can wear for performance, recovery and travel, choose one that provides 15-20mmHg compression.

    Performance:

    1. TheraSport Performance Socks and Sleeves provide 20-30mmHg compression and are made from a stretchy fabric that's easy to get on and off. Made with a moisture-wicking fabric to keep your feet cool and dry. Also anti-microbial to prevent odor.
    2. Sigvaris Performance Socks come in lots of bright colors and provide 20-30mmHg compression to enhance performance and protect you from injury. Made with high-tech fibers for thermal and odor control. Stabilizes and reduces vibrations of active muscles.
    3. Solidea Micro Massage Leg Sleeves are made with a fabric that is activated as you move to massage your leg and reduces excess fluid [to help speed up recovery]. Made with a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that contains silver to reduces odor.

    Triathlons: The Sigvaris Compression Calf Sleeve provides 20-30mmHg compression to enhance performance. They also dry quickly and are made with a fabric that won't deteriorate in salt, chlorine or fresh water. This style is also available in a 20-30mmHg compression sock.

    Marathons: CEP Progressive Run Socks are some of the most popular running socks out there. Many athletes like Meb Keflezighi are seen competing in them. These socks come in a variety of colors and provide 20-30mmHg of graduated compression so you can run farther, faster with a reduced risk of injury. Also available in calf sleeves.

    Recovery:

    1. Sigvaris Recovery Sock provides 15-20mmHg compression to remove lactic acid and reduce delayed muscle soreness to speed up recovery. This sock is made with patented DriRelease fabric to eliminate odor and moisture, so you can wear it working out too!
    2. CEP Recovery Socks provide graduated compression to reduce lactic acid and decrease muscle soreness. This style is also available with an open toe to wear with sandals.
    3. Therasport Recovery Compression Socks provide 15-20mmHg compression and are available in a variety of fun, eye-catching colors. This style is also available as a leg sleeve.

    Shin Splints: If you have shin splints, these Sigvaris calf sleeves have been proven to prevent and relieve pain and cramping from shin splints. Made latex-free from high tech fibers that prevent odor and provide thermal control. Great for runners, cyclists and triathletes.

    Plantar Fasciitis: Runners often suffer from plantar fasciitis. Get relief with the Sockwell Plantar Ease Ankle Sock. Made from anti-bacterial and thermo-regulating wool and features a seamless toe closure to prevent irritation. This ankle sock provides 20-30mmHg compression surrounding the arch to minimize pain and reduce inflammation.

    See for yourself! Zensah created a great chart to help you decide if you should wear calf sleeves or compression socks. What is your preference?

    Compression Socks or Sleeves?

    Browse Athletic Compression Socks and Sleeves

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