Compression gears are all the craze these days. You will see runners wearing colorful arm and legwear, and perhaps you’re curious what those are for. Some of you may be using compression socks when you run and notice the benefits of wearing them.
For users of compression socks, did your leg endurance get better? Did muscle soreness quickly gets relieved after a run? These are the questions that you can answer, but there are also other benefits that you can get from compression socks.
For newbies in the track and field or you’re simply doing it for your health, there is more information you need to know about how compression socks work for runners.
1. How Do Compression Socks Help Runners
You may argue that compression gear is just hype. It may be so for non-athletes, but it is a must-have if you are into the sport of running. In essence, compression socks apply a tighter pressure and tension at the lower extremities. Here are some facts and figures about compression socks that you need to know.
a.) Enhance circulation
during exercise, the blood vessels dilate. When this happens, blood circulation slows down. Compression socks support the veins by tightening the muscles of the legs to keep the blood moving at a fast pace.
b.) Boosts recovery time
increase in blood circulation during a run speed up muscle recovery. It means that it will also decrease muscle soreness by 20%.
c.) Reduce leg cramps
with better blood circulation, it lessens leg cramps after running since the body can rapidly eliminate metabolic waste and lactic acid from the system.
d.) Minimize muscle fatigue
muscles will feel less tired due to the tightness that the compression socks provide. It decreases the stress every time your foot hits the ground.
e.) Temperature control
the makeup of the compression stockings is with breathable fabrics that allow the air to penetrate, keeping the legs cool and dry.
f.) It fights the effect of gravity
every time the foot hits the ground, fluids in the muscle tissues and blood vessels go down with force. Compression socks serve as a cushion that helps to stabilize those fluids.
2. When is the Best Time to Wear Compression Socks
It is ideal for wearing compression socks during your run due to the reasons mentioned above. It is primarily for blood circulation, and it will help reduce swelling, fatigue, and stress on the legs.
Wearing your compression socks even after a run will continue the recovery process. The longer you wear the socks, the faster it will help heal the muscles.
3. How to wear compression socks for running
Since the makeup of compression socks is much different from regular ones, it is challenging to get a foot into them. You can bunch it up or fold it, but it will still be hard since all the fabric bunches up, making the tension stronger.
The fastest and easiest way to do it is to fold the sock in half, half of the inside out, then put your foot in and pull it up. It’s that easy! There is no need for you to shimmy or wiggle your foot, putting a lot of effort into wearing your socks.
4. The Best Compression Socks for Running
It is also essential that the compression gear you will use will have specifications that will meet your needs. If you wear the wrong one, chances are, you may find the socks unbearable to wear. So what should you be looking for in compression socks?
1.) Graduated socks
There are three types of compression socks intended for different kinds of needs. For running, the most ideal would be the graduated socks with a tension that is tightest at the ankle and gradually decreases towards the calf.
It has to be the right fit for your legs. As mentioned earlier, wearing the wrong one may even strain your legs and feet if it’s too tight.
Perhaps the best fit you can start with is the midrange around 20-30 mmHg.
The ideal size for this legwear is knee-high. Since the upper part of the compression socks is a bit looser, there is a tendency for it to roll down to your ankle.
If you are going trail running, choose the dark-colored socks over the light ones. Once the lighter-colored compression socks get dirty with mud, washing them out will be close to impossible.
6.) Socks or Sleeves
Now, there are also compression sleeves available. However, compression sleeves only cover the calf leaving the foot and the ankles. So better choose the one with full coverage to protect the rest of your feet from possible injuries.
Lastly, compression socks for running are created to provide comfort and relief during and after running. It also lowers the risk of injury to your feet. This is not just a fashion statement or an extra garment to wear outside, but a protective wear as you do your activity.