If you have ever had sore calves either during or after a race. One of the most common suggestions you will receive is, “have you tried compression socks?” And while a lot of people wear them not every one truly understands why. So today we are going to break down the question, why do runners wear compression socks and the benefits they offer.
Why do runners wear compression socks?
The short answer to the question is that runners wear compression socks to reduce swelling, soreness, and cramping. Now let’s break down how compression socks work and why you should or shouldn’t try them.
One of the most important reasons runners wear compression socks is to reduce swelling. The calves are one of the first parts of the legs that start to go on runners during heavy exertion. And the body’s response to this is to send more blood to help in recovery. The down side to this is that too much blood swelling around the injury doesn’t allow for proper blood flow, reducing the effectiveness for recovery, and allowing lactic acid build up. So compressions around this area allows for just the right amount to aid in recovery.
Reduced Soreness and Cramping
These two are directly related to getting blood into and out of the targeted area effectively. As explained above. This combination of increased blood flow along with a consistent flow of new blood (and more importantly the oxygen it carries) aids in muscle repair. Helping flush out lactic acid which is one of the main causes or soreness and muscle cramping.
Should I try Compression Socks
Yes! There is no reason not to try some compression socks for either in the race of recovery. There is really no downside as long as you don’t get something way too tight. Starting with wearing them for recovery. This is a great way to get used to wearing them. And deciding on the right amount of compression for you.
Remember that compression wear should be snug but not uncomfortably tight. If you feel tingling or a cold feeling in your limbs, take the compressions off immediately.
How to Choose Running Compression Socks
There are two ways you can go with compression gear. You go with cheaper brands that work but will lose their compressions over a few washes. Or you can go a little more high end with something that will last longer. When it comes to socks I like to go with quality, knowing how important they are when it comes to keeping your feet healthy when racking up a lot miles.
If you have a favorite pair of compression running socks, let us know in the comments below!