Athletes of all stripes spend a good deal of time identifying the best ways to improve performance. Some athletes swear by one trick: working out or lifting weights while wearing compression socks. Let’s dive into why and whether compression socks are a good addition to your workouts.
How Do Compression Socks Work?
Compression socks are tight-fitting, knee-high socks designed to facilitate better blood flow. They were initially designed to help post-surgical patients and those with varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, diabetes, and various other circulatory issues. They provide tight compression down by the ankles, which reduces further up the leg. This stops blood from pooling in the legs and helps it circulate back to the heart, preventing swelling and blood clots.
Why Do Athletes Use Compression Socks?
The athletes that use compression socks are primarily runners. Anecdotal reports indicate that they improve endurance and running performance while decreasing soreness and improving recovery time. Weightlifters and those who participate in short-burst exercises have also reported benefits to performance and attribute it to better oxygen delivery and blood flow. Some even indicate that the compression around the ankles helps improve balance.
It’s important to remember that although there’s robust evidence that compression socks aid in recovery, there are few studies to back up their efficacy during workouts or weightlifting. That said, the anecdotes are plentiful enough to take seriously. Additionally, wearing compression socks during an exercise rather than waiting to put them on later does give you a head start on the recovery benefits.
Is It Safe To Wear Compression Socks While Working Out?
Doctors generally agree that there’s no harm to wearing compression socks during workouts, as long as they fit you correctly. Compression socks come in more sizes than regular socks, and your size is determined by your calf and ankle measurements rather than shoe size.
Look for socks like Feetures, designed to offer 15 to 20mmHg of compression at the ankle along with targeted compression. Pair that with high-density cushioning and left- and right-fitting socks for anatomical efficiency, and you have a compression sock with the ultimate fit.
See What Compression Can Do for You
It’s best to consult your doctor to ensure compression socks are appropriate for your particular situation. For example, compression socks may not be advisable in the rare case that someone has a peripheral vascular disease. But in most cases, they are perfectly safe, can enhance your workout, and boost your recovery so you can improve your performance over time.
Find your pair of Feetures compression socks to see the difference for yourself.