Compression Socks: What are they?
The purpose of compression socks is to reduce the swelling caused by blood flow being restricted or blocked. They are worn during exercise to provide additional cushioning against the impact of running. These socks have been around since the early days of track and field, but it was not until 1972 when they were first used in competitive sports such as swimming and cycling that their use became widespread. Since then, they have become a standard part of training equipment for many athletes.
What Are Their Benefits?
They help prevent injury due to the reduction in blood flow. The increased blood flow allows your body to repair itself better than if there is no restriction at all. This helps avoid muscle soreness and other symptoms associated with overuse injuries such as tendinitis, tendon rupture, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and others.
How Long Should You Wear Them?
Speed Up Recovery with Compression Socks (SRRS) are designed to provide maximum protection against blood clots. There is some evidence that suggests that wearing them for just one hour per day may be enough to protect you from getting one. However, most experts recommend wearing them for at least two hours daily. If you are recovering from an injury or have any medical conditions, you should consult your physician before wearing them so that they can advise as to whether they are right for you.
Which Compression Socks Are The Best?
Most people who try on a pair of these socks immediately feel a difference in their muscle soreness. They feel like their legs have had all of the fluid drained out of them because of how much better they feel. Those with heart conditions, circulatory problems, or those who just experience very heavy leg soreness when they exercise will be able to enjoy the benefits of wearing them too.
Although you will find many different types and different price ranges, there are three main fabrics that most of the better pairs on the market are made from. The first type is a mixture of cotton and spandex (or Lycra).
The second is pure spandex. The third is a wool/nylon blend. The first type provides a good amount of support and they have the added benefit of being resistant to odor. The second type does not provide as much support, but most people seem to prefer the feel of them because they are softer. The third type will provide the most support and they are also resistant to odor.
Does Wearing Them Constantly Cause Skin Irritation?
Most people experience no skin irritation, but some people can experience a rash at the beginning. If you experience any irritation, stop wearing them immediately and, if necessary, seek medical attention. It is not known exactly why this happens to some people and not others. It could be due to several different factors such as your diet, bacteria or fungal infection in your feet, or even abnormal sensitivity to the material the socks are made of.
When Should You Wear Them?
The best time to wear them is after you exercise. Even runners and other athletes who experience heavy leg soreness find relief when they wear them after working out. However, it is not necessary to do this. Some people wear them all day and others only wear them when they exercise. It’s really up to you and what is most comfortable for you.
What About the Smell?
Yes, many of these socks will start to smell after a few months of use. It seems that no matter what material they are made of, they all have this problem. This is due mainly to the fact that your feet produce a lot of sweat and therefore cause the socks to harbor bacteria and fungus. Some people stop wearing the socks and throw them away at this point. Others wash them in the washing machine (or by hand) and then dry them. This process can be repeated several times before the socks begin to fall apart or stop working.
Perhaps the best way to keep them from smelling is to make sure that you purchase odor reducing socks. These are a little more expensive, but it is well worth it when you consider that you won’t have to do any extra work to keep them from stinking.
Sources & references used in this article:
Compression socks and functional recovery following marathon running: a randomized controlled trial by SA Armstrong, ES Till, SR Maloney… – The Journal of …, 2015 – cdn.journals.lww.com
Efficacy of compression socks to enhance recovery in distance athletes by L Fletcher, S Raab, S Sanderson, L Vargo – Sport Art, 2014 – academia.edu
Effect of compression socks worn between repeated maximal running bouts by N Brophy-Williams, MW Driller… – … journal of sports …, 2017 – journals.humankinetics.com
Wearing compression socks during exercise aids subsequent performance by N Brophy-Williams, MW Driller, CM Kitic, JW Fell… – Journal of Science and …, 2019 – Elsevier
The effectiveness of compression socks for athletic performance and recovery by JM Stanek – Journal of sport rehabilitation, 2017 – journals.humankinetics.com
Compression stockings in ankle sprain: a multicenter randomized study by M Bendahou, F Khiami, K Saïdi, C Blanchard… – The American journal of …, 2014 – Elsevier
The influence of wearing compression stockings on performance indicators and physiological responses following a prolonged trail running exercise by F Vercruyssen, C Easthope, T Bernard… – European journal of …, 2014 – Taylor & Francis