According to research, and my own experience, for me running while sporting compression socks brings more than a few health benefits, such as improving blood flow, speeding up recovery, preventing injury, and so much more if we have foot issues.
How Do Compression Socks Work?
Compression socks consist of sport stockings that are specifically designed to gently squeeze the lower legs.
The socks are made with stretchable materials that apply gentle pressure over the lower leg muscles to improve blood circulation, prevent the formation of blood clots and reduce pain.
The further the muscle from the heart, the greater the pressure. This means that the compression is higher around the ankle than it is around the knees.
By squeezing the muscles, the socks help our veins push blood back up the legs and towards the heart, where it gets re-oxygenated and then back again. Oxygen (along with nutrients) is what keeps our running machine tagging along, and blood is the vehicle of delivery.
Are Compression Running Socks Worth it?
Scientific proof and for me using compression socks, I believe that compression can help, and they do help a lot to support some foot soreness and damage.
1. Improved Recovery
This is the main reason runners love compression gear, we feel the great benefits of the socks while running and after runs.
Running is an intense, high-impact exercise that takes a toll on our muscles, that is the reason we experience post-training soreness, and pain.
Compression socks improve blood flow in our muscles. It might help repair them faster, so we’re ready for our next run or workout. The improved circulation also helps to reduce our lactic acid build up, so improved blood flow leads to faster recovery.
2. More Stability
Compression socks apply graduated pressure to the muscles of our lower legs, which provides additional support. It will reduce vibration and damage during training.
These type of socks can help us prevent muscle pain, both during and after training.
3. Reduce DOMS
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a part and parcel of a runner’s life, especially runners who love to push themselves.
Any type of exercise is bound to damage our muscles, running is no exception. This is the reason foot pain and other annoying issues are common among runners, especially those who are not yet adapted to the high impact, or those who run too much distances, or high elevation, which might require a longer recovery time.
By improving circulation to our muscles, compression socks may help limit water retention and swelling that may contribute to soreness and pain.
4. Less Swelling
For a long time, compression socks have been used to limit swelling in the feet and ankles.
They help manage spider and varicose veins in people who stand all day, according to their work, or anyone engaging in activities that put constant pressure on the feet.
If we do any type of endurance training, we’re likely spending extended amounts of time on our feet, therefore, trying out compression socks might be super beneficial.
5. Prevent Injury
Running and overuse injuries go hand in hand. Some surveys report that roughly 80% of runners get injured at least once a year. That’s a staggering number.
One way to help us sidestep overuse injuries, besides training properly, getting the right shoes, using proper technique, and all that, is to use compression gear.
With a mix of improved circulation and greater pain relief and protection, we will more than likely decrease our injury risk.
Sporting compression socks may help with lower leg injuries such as shin splints, calf strains, and Achilles tendonitis.
The improved recovery rate also means sustaining fewer injuries, since some overuse injuries can be blamed on lack of recovery.
6. Provides Protection
If we do lots of trail runs through grassy and woody and technical areas, compression socks might be a great addition to our running gear.
These socks can help protect our legs from abrasions and scratches while we go for a run on technical, treacherous trails, and intense impact or the high elevation and on the down. The socks may also prevent our skin from contact with plants on the trail, which can be quite painful.
If we love to wear running shorts when logging the kilometres, then compression socks are a great addition, especially when the weather is hot.
Compression socks also help in colder weather. They can help keep our lower legs warm even in the coldest temperatures and protect muscle strains.
How to Choose the Right Compression Socks
Before we buy our first (or next) compression sock for running, we should make sure to keep in mind the following:
Get the right size. Measure your calves for proper sizing.
Get the right fit. Too loose stocking defeats the purpose of getting a pair, while too tight will likely cause more harm than good.
Choose graduated lower pressure at the knees and progressively higher pressure down to your toes.
Just like running shoes, the socks have to be comfortable, or you aren’t going to wear them, especially during long runs.
Don’t buy white. They get dirty super-fast, and we don’t enjoy wearing dirty socks.
One of the top brands of compression socks is CEP
CEP socks at the Gone Running Shop in Hong Kong: https://gone.run/
Enjoy Wearing Compression Socks, Feel Better, Less Foot Pain, Which Will Support Better Runs With No Foot Pain!