Running Compression Socks
It is amazing that runners around the world go to such great lengths selecting and buying their shoes and outerwear, but sadly neglect to concentrate on the type of socks they wear. In particular, running compression socks.
Running Compression Socks Overview
Running compression socksare not just any socks that are worn with the selected running shoes for buffering purposes and/or non-chafing reasons. They are a scientifically proven and targeted performance improvement tool for athletes and should be treated as such. By that I mean that a proper amount of knowledge should be gained about the benefits provided to human physiology. Compression socks started out decades ago as post-operative health aids. Over time they have been found to be useful to people from all walks of life and all types of activities. They are unique in that they are the progression from the original compression stocking to a sock designed for all those involved in sports activities.
They are snug fitting, over-the-calf socks that also aid proper air circulation. As previously stated, the predecessors of running compression socks were generally used in clinical and post surgical settings for treatment purposes. Edema, phlebitis, lymph edema, spider veins, varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis are just some of the medical conditions where compression hose are used. When it comes to running compression socks, the targets are the improvement of blood circulation, reducing the fatigue of muscles, and promotion of post activity recovery.
Made of spandex or strong elastic for exerting pressure and encouraging the pumping of blood with more efficiency, running compression socks are ideal for athletes. The structure and elastic motive force is typically stronger around the ankles where blood tends to pool/clog. The rationale behind providing a pressure compression about the limbs is that it tends to reform the veins and muscles to normal shape, helping push blood back to the heart through even the most narrow veins. This physiological model’s intention is the same for clinical applications in that it promotes even blood circulation and relief from foot pain for patients or sufferers.
Available in many colors and a wide range of styles, running compression socks are measured in mmHg methodology for pressure ranges. Despite the fact that they can be found over-the-counter from various retailers, both offline and online, any compression above 20 mmHg should be selected and worn only after a due consultation with the doctor.
Running Compression Socks Uses
More suited for running marathons than casual jogging, running compression socks also provide warmth to the wearer, a definite advantage during harsh winter conditions and climates. The basic design of these running compression stockings is a graduated compression. The highest compression being at the ankles and then tapering off gradually as they move up the leg. Thus the clinical compression hose are referred to as graduated hose. The therapeutic benefit is similar in that they provide improved circulation, relief of pain, heat retention, acceleration of lactic acid removal, and improvement of the overall performance of the limbs.
A few brands of running compression socks and their features:
- Oxysox features include a positive listing by Peter Sagal in Runnersworld.com, supple feel and tightly woven Lycra for ease of use and being tight around the ankles.
- Injinji Ex-Celerator Compression Toesocks have a double benefit, namely being ideal for use as running compression socks and also blister formation prevention. They are loose around the calves and have individual toe sleeves to help prevent the chafing of adjacent toes. The avoidance of blisters using this toe sock model is probably the most unique feature of these compression stockings.
- Sugoi R + R Compression Socks focus mainly on the feet of the runner with dense cushioning at the heel and toe for minimal foot strike impact, making them rather unique running compression socks in their own way.
- X-Socks Run Energiser Compression Socks advertise a supportive compression and ease of use even during summers. They incorporate instep toe, toe tip protector, air-conditioning channels for keeping the feet cool, X-cross bandage for ankle stabilization, Achilles Tendon Protector, and compression to increase endurance levels. Another feature listed is called the smart compressor zone.
- Hilly M.S. Compression Socks provide thick sections around heels as well as forefoot and are built to allow air circulation. These cater to those wishing shock absorbing features provided by the terry padding. They are socks suited for cool or cold conditions and advertise reduced risk of blisters.
Added Running Compression Socks Benefit
Apart from the above, running compression socks are also useful for post run or race recovery. The enhanced circulation promotes more rapid movement of oxygen and nutrients to exerted and/or damaged muscle tissue. Diabetics, people with circulatory disorders, and those whose jobs or activities require long standing hours can be assisted by either clinical compression stockings or running compression socks.
As with all elastics and compression wear, over time the amount of pressure provided lessens. Manufacturing techniques and materials improve every year, however. Currently a runner can expect perfect performance from running compression socks for over 300 miles and over 50 washings. That is pretty remarkable when compared with regular running socks.
Running Compression Socks and You
Choosing the right running compression socks is of paramount importance for runners as their overall performance depends on how comfortable the fit is over the course of the run and the efficiency of the compression. Every runner and leg is different. Dedicated runners should analyze the change in speed, muscular fatigue and recovery time when trying various models and compression. Browsing online will provide a good idea of the types and colors of running compression socks as well as their respective features, price ranges, size availability, consumer opinions and reviews. Once you move into running compression socks for running or other athletic activities, you will find anything from minor benefit to a dramatic difference.