If you are exercising on a regular basis you probably saw or heard about compression socks. They are a good investment if you are already in that moment of your training. If you run or ride a few times a week for an hour and feel that your calf or shins are not performing that well, or if you feel that you would need a little push to recover or even if you are an unlucky amateur athlete like me and is facing a shin splints moment.. for all those reasons and a few more that I could share:
They protect your legs from small scratches, abrasions and nasty things like poison ivy on the trail. Good if your running in a park that has sand trails, I normally do my running in one of those. Or for cycling they work perfectly protecting you from any bike oil.
Compression technology has been proven to limit swelling, especially in people who spend all day on their feet. I’m guessing spending 24 hours on the trail for a 100-mile ultra counts.
Collects on your sleeves and not on your legs.
Allows you to wear shorts on those iffy days when you’d reluctantly wear tights. You can feel how fast you warm up on running while using your compression Socks.
Compression Socks: with or without feet?
I have tried both: compression socks that would go from my feet to my calf called’ leg sleeves’. Each one works for you in a unique way, it will be about adapting and realizing that the technological benefit is there and if you are practicing regularly you will be able to enjoy it.
I personally feel that the leg sleeve is better for me for running , and that is because I had blisters while running with that compression socks, for me, my feet is very sensitive and I feel that after a long run depending on how thick the sock is that might give me blisters.
At first, you might me impressed on how tight these socks can be and let me just say that they are a little bit tricky to get into. You may try to do to it calmly on your first trials and make sure you are careful with it.
For me, I use the leg sleeve for running and I feel that it helps with getting warm for the run, protects the muscle and enables a better blood flow and helped me with my shin splints issue.
I like using the compression socks for cycling, it really helps once you are riding for a long time and you can’t feel your feet or your start have cramps on your calf. Using a compression sock for riding really improved how I felt during the training and I felt that personally, I recovered better.
Where to find Compression socks and how to choose ?
I must say that living in a remote state of Australia doesn’t really help when it comes to finding good quality gear or accessories for sport at a good reasonable price. But after a good research and a trip to the East States, I must say that for me personally buying cheap or the cheapest compression socks / leg sleeves proved to be the wrong way. The quality just isn’t there.
For instance, I’ve bought a leg sleeve in a bike store, it was their own brand and looked like ok. Basically, it was a lycra kinda of fabric with elastic on its ends. As they were my first I couldn’t tell the difference and didn’t seem to make any improvement for me at all. It was in a sale from 2XU that I had the courage to buy one of their compression socks. Funny enough it was then that I realized that the fabric is totally different and once you use on your first training your are able to tell the difference. My advice would be to buy online from 2xu they are great quality and the best price that I could find.
For you to find out your size for this kind of gear you will have to measure your calf on the ‘biggest’ part, for example, my largest area on my calf is 33cm. Which means that I use small compression socks, (just as a reference I am 1.72m tall)