Runners, both unprofessional and professional, are always in search of ways they can enhance their skills and perform better. The latest way to do so is by using Compression Socks for running. As a runner, you should consider using compression socks to increase your athletic power, enhance your performance, and speed up recovery. When you decide to try out compression socks, this detailed guide will provide you with all the information you need.
What Are Running Compression Socks?
Running compression socks are typically knee-length compression socks that fit snugly and stretch just enough to give your lower legs a gentle squeeze. Often graduated, these compression socks apply the most compression at the ankles and around the calf. The compression reduces upwards. The essence of this compression is to apply gentle pressure to the veins, arteries and muscles in your lower legs in order to increase flow of oxygenated blood towards the heart.
The level of compression of these socks depends largely on the fabric material and design, as well as the runner’s shape, height, size, and personal preferences. Most of these compression socks for running are made of about 80% nylon and 10% spandex.
Graduated compression socks are a kind of mechanical ergogenic aid that is worn when running to enhance the runner’s potential to run faster. As claimed by athletes and manufacturers, there may actually be some performance benefits from the use of these socks.
How Do Compression Socks for Running Work?
The preferred compression socks for runners are knee-length compression socks worn over the foot to rest just below the knee. They are said to be the most comfortable and are very easy to wear. Constructed with either strong elastic or rubber fibers, these socks compress the lower leg comprising the foot, ankle, calf, and shin.
By wearing compression socks, you are reducing the diameter of the veins in your lower legs and this boosts the velocity of blood flow. More so, the valves in the arteries and veins tend to become more effective when the vein diameter is reduced. Generally, compression socks compress the veins, arteries, and muscles to force blood circulation through the small channels and improve venous return. For runners, improved venous return, which is the flow of blood from the legs back to the heart, plays a major role in boosting athletic performance and quickening recovery.
Runners need graduated compression socks with their varying compression levels. Having the highest level of compression towards the ankle, the compression reduces upwards and has the lowest compression level at the top cuff. With graduated compression, it is easier to fight gravity and push the blood easily towards the heart. If blood is left to pool in the lower legs, the body will find it hard to return the blood to the heart. Hence, to ease venous return, graduated compression of running compression socks places the highest compression level in the ankle to push blood upwards.
Benefits of Compression Socks for Running
The positive effects of compression socks to runners is an interesting subject matter across the globe. Studies have shown that compression socks have extensive, favorable, and physiological benefits for all runners.
The benefits of using compression socks for running are numerous. Some of these benefits are:
Athletes require their oxygenated blood flow and hardworking muscles for the removal of metabolic waste products, like lactic acid, and deoxygenated blood. This process has to be precise and balanced to enhance an athlete’s performance. When the muscles in the lower legs of a runner continue to pound the pavement or trail, they constantly undergo a process of break down and recovery. This makes the muscles grow tired easily, thereby requiring replenishing. Inflammation and swelling in the lower legs have to be removed quickly so that fresh blood can quickly replenish them. As a result, there will be no build up of edema and lactic acid, thereby reducing muscular fatigue and enhancing overall athletic performance.
Enhanced muscular stability
Athletes need muscular stability as they exert most on their body weight on their lower extremities when running. As they continue to run, the muscles could start to jostle and have a lateral motion, and may even start to experience decreased stability. These lateral oscillations and muscular vibrations decrease muscular efficiency and reduce fatigue time.
The best Compression socks for running can help to reduce the jostling of these muscles, reduce risk of injury, and enhance muscular stability, and ultimately, enhance a runner’s performance.
Increased warmth in cold weather
There are days the weather will be really cold but you will still have to run, especially if you are a professional runner. On such days, you need compression socks to keep your skin warm and protect your vulnerable muscles. Best Compression socks for running help to increase warmth by circulating oxygenated blood to areas experiencing poor circulation.
Runners love to wear full knee compression socks on cold days to provide extra protection and keep their lower extremities warm. These socks come on handy when working out on tracks in winter or on a rainy day.
Protection for trail runners
One of the major benefits of compression socks is protection. Of all runners, trail runners face more dangers when running. These dangers come in different forms like poison ivy, thorns, trail overgrowth, underbrush, gravels, and risk of falling. Compression socks are always tightly woven to protect runners from cuts, plant poisoning, abrasions, and other dangers along the trail path.
Quicker recovery from injury
Runners suffer different types of injuries like plantar fasciitis, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, calf sprains or strains, metatarsal stress fractures, etc. Injuries need time to heal, and compression socks plays a key role in ensuring faster recovery from injuries. By enhancing blood flow to the injured area, compression helps to speed along injury recovery. Also, compression socks help to improve circulation, which in turn will improve venous return This process will draw blood to the injured area, make sure metabolic waste products are returned, inflammation reduced, and the area no longer has deoxygenated blood pooling. When this is done, the runner will experience quicker recovery from injury.
Quicker recovery from strenuous workouts and races
During training, it is very important that there be a balance between the training and recovery. Compression socks help to give runners a major boost that will speed up their recovery process. For recovery to take place, enough blood needs to flow to the areas of the body that are fatigued. After workout, inflammation starts to help repair damages sustained in the workout process. Inflammation is necessary in recovery, but its residual effects, which are pain and swelling, can be reduced by increasing the flow of blood and edema in the affected areas. Graduated compression helps to increase this flow in the lower legs thereby improving muscle recovery and reducing leg fatigue.
Reduced muscular cramping and soreness
Muscle cramping and soreness is an inevitable part of running or participating in any athletic activity. Although some researchers attribute this cramping to poor nutrition, muscular weakness, poor hydration, and electrolyte imbalance, they have not been proven to be true. Nonetheless, compression socks have a way of reducing this cramping and soreness.
Using graduated compression socks for running will help to constrict the arteries and veins in the lower extremities to improve blood flow. In fact, using graduated compression socks can either delay or reverse cramping and muscle soreness. In addition to increasing blood flow and drawing oxygenated blood to the muscles, the venous return will also be enhanced.
Reduced muscular damage
One of the benefits of compression socks is that they help to reduce the amount of muscular damage an athlete may sustain during workouts. Compression socks will also reduce recovery time, and make you comfortable enough to run faster than your opponents.
Reduced risk of injury
Injuries like plantar fasciitis, shin splints, calf strains, and Achilles tendonitis can develop when running due to insufficient flow and circulation of blood in the lower legs. Wearing compression socks when running can help reduce the risk of having any of these injuries. This is possible because venous return will be enhanced to reduce pooling of deoxygenated blood and metabolic waste products. With enhanced circulation, there is no risk of swelling and edema forming, which in turn, improves recovery after exercise.
Safety when traveling
Competitive running sometimes requires travel long distances to compete in races. However, sitting for an extended period of time can cause blood clots, pulmonary embolism, as well as deep vein thrombosis. If you use compression socks when traveling, you reduce the risk of having blood clots thereby being better equipped to run as soon as you get to your destination.
They keep your legs dry
Most best compression socks for running are made of nylon or some form of polyester material. The fibers are usually made to be breathable so that it does not retain moisture and odor. More so, this material helps you stay dry after you must have worked up a sweat. To do this, the fabric is engineered to wick moisture away from your skin onto the outer surface. The moisture can then evaporate from the surface.
How to Choose the Best Compression Socks for Running
It is important, when choosing compression socks for running, to look out for the one that meets your needs as a runner. With the many options to pick from, here are some tips to guide you.
Firstly, choose the style you will be comfortable running in. Compression socks come in different lengths, which are ankle-high, knee-high, and thigh-high. Most runners prefer to go for knee-high compression socks. These socks cover the area from your toes to just below your knees to offer maximum support and protection.
Secondly, know your measurements and the socks that fit perfectly. Despite the fact that we need the socks to be snug, they should not be too tight or too loose. To measure for knee-high socks, measure your calf, which is the part of your lower leg that is widest. Then be sure of your shoe size. A combination of your calf measurement and shoe size will give you the best compression sock size. Compression that is too much or too little can result in fewer benefits or pose health risks.
Level of compression
Thirdly, know the best compression level for your needs, and if you are not sure, consult your healthcare provider. Here are the different compression levels:
- 8 to 15 mmHg: This works great when you want to relieve minor swelling or you need to protect your legs from blisters and the elements.
- 15 to 20 mmHg: This compression level is the most used by professional and regular runners. It helps to prevent the occurrence of, and provides relieve from minor varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis.
- 20 to 30 mmHg: This is for people who need to prevent and relieve moderate to severe cases of varicose veins, edema, and deep vein thrombosis.
- 30 to 40 mmHg: Works great for preventing deep vein thrombosis, treating severe edema, and preventing or relieving severe varicose veins.
As a runner, it is important to choose compression socks with extra padding. This padding will help to absorb shock and reduce risk of getting blisters. Additionally, it will protect your feet and lower legs while reducing muscular vibrations.
Calf support will help to keep your muscles stable to prevent muscular oscillations. The bands of the socks should be comfortable under the knee so as not to completely cut off circulation around that area.
Common Features of the Best Compression Socks for Running
In order to help you make an informed decision, here are 10 features we found to be common among the best compression socks that will improve your running experience:
Top-Notch Compression Technology
Some compression socks are designed with a gradient compression of 20-30mmHg to give you an athletic fit. They have their performance gear designed for activities that tend to push your legs to the limit. Their arch to calf is engineered with a top-notch compression technology that offers support to the foot to calf muscle. This helps to boost the circulation of oxygenated blood to optimize your performance and reduce recovery time. Your veins will thank you, especially if you have some leg swelling or pain issue like varicose veins and calf compression.
In addition, they are designed to last while offering maximum comfort and boosting your confidence. Their vascular toning is excellent and they are well stitched so they are easy to wash and maintain without losing their compression. More so, these socks breathe, a quality you will find beneficial when running in very hot weather.
Come Highly Recommended by the Doctors
Highly recommended by doctors, excellent Compression Socks combines fashion with technology and science to give you triple comfort. The socks will usually come with a therapeutic and progressive pressure design that gives more compression at the ankle, which decreases near the calf. With the best socks, you are guaranteed reduced swelling and pain because it helps in boosting blood circulation and flow of oxygen.
Rest assured you do not have to experience fatigue, cramping, and swelling anymore. Medical conditions such as varicose veins, muscle recovery and diabetes also improve tremendously when wearing these universally suitable socks.
Provide Maximum Support and Comfort
The hallmark of the best running socks is quality and comfort. With the sturdy, flexible, soft, and enhanced breathability of these socks, you are set to enjoy premium support, maximum comfort levels, and zero moisture and odor retention. Also, perfect socks are made more flexible and durable with the 360-degree stretch which works great for athletes and people who sit for an extended period.
With their elastic layers to stimulate blood flow, effective Compression Socks have a lot of benefits to provide runners. These socks offer a moderate graduated compression of 20 – 30mmHg to improve your blood circulation, recovery, and performance. Injuries and swellings resulting from pulled muscle, shin splints, calf cramps, leg cramps, foot cramps, plantar fasciitis, blood pooling, blisters, lactic acid production, Achilles, varicose veins, and heel cup issues.
Some Compression Socks boast of superior construction with spandex and lightweight premium nylon material to guarantee comfort. There is adequate cushioning where you need it most, which are the heel and toes. The uses for these socks go far beyond running and other sporting activities. Lightweight, breathable, and designed to fit just right, good compression socks should cover 4 sizes and have different ranges of calf circumferences as well as shoe sizes.
Offer Better Oxygenated Blood Circulation
Good compression socks are specially designed to offer you optimal compression when running. Their stitching is of very high quality and getting them on is pretty easy. They are the best option if you want better oxygenated blood circulation to prevent cramping, pain, fatigue, and swelling. Also, if you need a good pair of socks to help with conditions varicose veins, diabetes, spider veins, and muscle recovery, these Compression Socks should be your go-to socks.
Some are Designed with a compression level of 15-20 mmHg, and have all it takes to protect your feet and enhance your productivity when running. The ability of copper to conduct electricity is incorporated in some good socks through the copper fibers that help to revive blood circulation in your legs. The squeezing action is mild and it comes with a perfect settlement scheme so that people who sit for long can benefit from them as well.
With copper fiber infused in these compression socks, you are guaranteed quick relief from inflammation and injury. Also, excellent socks will make your legs feel great and provide you with all the muscle support and articulation you need. In addition, the fabric is a breathable and moisture-wicking one that will keep your feet warm, dry, comfortable, and without odor.
Made of High-Quality Materials
Most Premium Compression Socks are made up of nylon, polyester, and Spandex. With a compression level is 15 – 20mmHg, good socks can give outdoor performance sports men and women medical support and pain relief. Built tough but comfortable, these socks can be designed with padding at the back of the calf and the lower leg for the purpose of providing protection.
Also, some may come as full-length socks and are usually tested by top OCR athletes to confirm their superior quality. They will ensure your muscles are stabilized, your toe box padded, and your performance top-notch.
The best Compression Socks in the market are made of high-quality materials, making them suitable for both machine and hand wash. Some may have a compression level of 20 – 30mmHg to boost circulation of blood, stamina, performance, and recovery. The high-quality design helps to zap odors and fight bacteria in order to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
Excellent Compression Socks are great for male and female runners, and can also meet the needs of other people with swollen legs, pains, pregnancy, and other medical conditions.
Most good socks are simple, durable, comfortable, and carefully constructed. The result is a moisture-absorbent, breathable material that helps in relieving pain, discomfort, cramping, swelling, and many other conditions.
Highly recommended by doctors and loved by trainers, runners who wear these Compression Socks have a lot to enjoy in terms of increased blood circulation, extra support for the heel arch and ankles, as well as flow of oxygen when running. Meanwhile, these socks are universally suitable for other users like office workers, nurses, and anyone who extensively makes use of their legs. The guarantee is unparalleled energy boost, healthier joints, stronger muscles, and better muscle oxygenation.
Great Stitching and Premium Fabric
The best Compression Socks are fashioned with great stitching and premium fabric to ensure you enjoy all the support medical grade compression has to offer. These socks are firm, comfortable, breathable, and of superior quality to meet the needs of runners and other people who need compression support. This support helps to relieve foot, ankle, and lower leg pain. Made of a blend of nylon and spandex, premium Compression Socks boast of durable, reinforced heel and toes that will ensure the socks retain their shape even after running many miles and washing numerous times.
Cool Compression Socks are sweat-wicking and guaranteed to ease your leg pain and other discomfort from medical conditions like edema, varicose veins, sprains, and swelling of the calves, ankles, or feet. These premium socks will make you look great and feel great while running.
In addition, the best Compression Socks are designed with superior quality to make you run better and recover faster. They are engineered with a premium technology to make them denser, better fitting, and more durable. Each pair of these compression socks features ultra-zone ribbing that helps to stabilize the arch and ankle of runners and other athletes. Additionally, the graduated compression gives you compression where you need it most – which is the ankle area.
Runners know firsthand the importance of staying injury-free while keeping fit. This article is a comprehensive guide to help you choose the best compression socks for running. These socks will help you run in a way that is easy and painless.
So, when next you are looking for where to get a pair of these high-quality compression socks for running, think of comprogear.com. We offer the best compression gears for people form all walks of life and at very competitive prices.