Should you wear compression socks during or after a run or workout?

December 30, 2017

Should you wear compression socks during or after a run or workout?

Compression socks have made their way onto the running scene over the past several years. Some are flashy, some are flesh colored, and most brands market improved running performance when using the socks. The science behind graded compression socks was first developed as a mode of treatment for people experiencing lymphedema or vascular disease. Researchers found that graded compression garments helped to improve inflammation and treat varicose veins and prevent blood clots in people who are immobilized in bed. The positive pressure created by the compression helps to improve the circulation of the veins up and against gravity, which in turn feeds the heart with improved blood supply  and better return of flow through the arteries. 

A few studies have been done specifically on the benefit of compression socks in runners. A study completed in 2009 found that 10k runners who ran while wearing compression socks experienced less soreness the day after their run when compared to runners who wore regular ankle high socks. Additionally, a different study showed that when 10, runners were tested on a treadmill test, those wearing compression socks demonstrated improved endurance versus runners wearing traditional ankle socks. The researchers believe that the compression socks improved the efficiency of the runners. Another study found that when runners ran to exhaustion at 5k pace they demonstrated improved economy when wearing compression socks.

Interestingly, a 2014 study analyzed the complete physiological processes of collegiate runners. They analyzed the use of compression socks vs. regular socks in relationship to heart rate, blood lactate threshold, maximum oxygen consumption, respiratory exchange ratio, rate of perceived exertion (RPE), and time to fatigue. This date demonstrated no significant improvement in compression sock use except in a lower level of blood lactate at the 1 minute recovery mark. This indicates that compression sock wear can result in improved recovery as less blood lactate is measured in circulation after running.

Another theory is that recovery time and athletic performance is enhanced when compression socks are worn because they reduce the vibration on the tendons, ligaments, and muscles in the legs due to impact when running. The compression can improve the performance of the muscles themselves resulting in less pain and improved endurance.

It is notable that all of these studies analyzed runners wearing medical grade compression socks. Medical grade compression socks provide a graduated level of compression from the ankle to the knee, and are labeled according to their pressure in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg. The first number on the label is at the ankle and the second is at the knee, with a common compression grade being 15-20mmHG.


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But, what about wearing the socks after running, for recovery? One study found that when marathon runners wore compression socks for 48 hours after their race, their performance was better on a treadmill test 2 weeks later. There is very little incidence of negative effects of frequent and consistent wear of compression garments. Many professionals who frequently stand wear them on a daily basis at work and you can even sleep in them.

The great news is that Treat My Feet offers medical grade compression socks that are perfect for improving running performance. Increased circulation from the medical grade yet comfortable 15-20mmhg compression stays tight all day long. Our socks provide graduated and varied compression from the balls of the feet up to the calf for improved blood flow without pinching. They will allow you to push harder during workouts, running further with less fatigue, faster recovery, and less painful feet and calves. The Treat My Feet compression socks also enhance runs by absorbing impact on lower legs. This may also help prevent shin splints and aid recovery post workout.  The breathable moisture wicking formula prevents odors.

They provide a universal fit with tough nylon and spandex combination. These socks are thick, yet super-soft and non-irritating. Material will not lose any compression on washing and can be line dried. Last but not least, there is a complete 100% satisfaction, money back guarantee!




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