Running with Compression Socks

Compression running socks. I know you’ve seen people wearing them- at the gym, the race starting line, and even on the basketball court. Have you been wondering about this trend too? So when I was contacted by Triangle Vein Clinic in Cary, I was quite eager to learn the reasoning behind compression running socks. It turns out; it’s not so much of a trend, but a therapy for your legs. Interesting, yet I still had plenty of other questions, like how do the socks benefit runners and athletes?

Graduated compression running socks support your legs when running, exercising or sitting still. Where to get them and Why.

My research began at the Triangle Vein Clinic where I was measured for a pair of compression running socks. I keep referring to these socks as running socks, but the accurate term is graduated compression socks. The term graduated is used to describe how the socks fit tighter around the feet and ankles and gradually become less tight as they go up your leg. The graduated compression supports the normal flow of blood in the leg. Wearing the wrong size socks can negatively affect your circulation. That’s why it is necessary to go to a medical office like Triangle Vein Clinic to get accurately measured for a pair of compression socks. It took less than 10 minutes to get measured for my socks, and I brought an entourage of kids with me too.

The socks come in a variety of colors. Naturally, I chose pink since I would be wearing them in the Komen Race. The Triangle Vein Clinic ordered the compression socks for me, and in a few days they arrived at my house. I wish I had ordered them before I started training for the 5k. I tend to push myself during training, and after my last run the week of the race my legs felt Every Bit of It. I lost a week of training when the kids and I got strep, and I literally made up for lost time on my legs. Shin splits and leg cramps plagued me the night after my run. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to run the race. Then my compression socks arrived.

graduated compression running socks support normal blood circulation. Learn about other benefits of these socks for runners.

I carefully slipped the compression socks over my feet and pulled them up to my knee. The socks tightly hugged my feet, ankles and legs, yet it didn’t feel constraining. My legs felt refreshed like they were taking a breath of fresh forest air. The cramping pains that lingered from my last run slowly evaporated, and I was energized to run the Komen 5k on Saturday morning. I was still worried about the after effects of running a 5k. Would the pain be worse?

I looked at the box my socks came in (Sigvaris Performance Socks) and on the back it clearly stated that the socks support the legs and feet in the following ways:

  1. Improved blood circulation & increased oxygen delivery to the muscle tissue for longer endurance.
  2. Stimulates & stabilizes compression of active muscles for faster regeneration.
  3. Reduces aches and cramping to optimize performance potential.
  4. Achilles tendon protector that reduces vibrations on vulnerable ligaments.
  5. A footbed cushion zone & toe protector fabrics for comfort and protection against blisters.

graduated compression running socks support normal blood circulation. Learn about other benefits of these socks for runners.

I wasn’t about to quit the race because my legs hurt, and now that I had a pair of compression socks I felt empowered just holding the socks in my hand. It was nearly 80 degrees when the race started at 7:30 a.m. There wasn’t much of a breeze when I started running down the street. I could feel the sun bearing down on my head. I was thankful I wore a visor. I was worried that my legs might feel hot in my socks that stopped just short of my knee, but honestly in-spite of their tightness my legs felt cool and comfortable. The box proved itself right, and my aches began to feel minimal. I stopped thinking about my legs and began to focus on the race.

The real test of endurance for the compression socks would be after the race. Would the pain come back? Were the socks just a band aid of sorts during a run or exercise? When I went home after the race, I took the socks off, and I waited. I was waiting for the pain and cramps to return. I looked at my watch; it had been three hours since the race, and still no pain. In fact, the pain never came.

I talked to a few other people that wear compression socks, and I learned that they are good for your legs during in-motion activities like running and exercise, when you sit or stand for long period of time. I wear my socks every time I exercise now, and my legs are loving it. Do you suffer from shin splints or leg cramps after exercise? Or maybe your curious about treatment for vein problems? Contact the Triangle Vein Clinic in Cary, and their helpful staff will schedule a time for you to be fitted for your very own compression socks.

Do you wear compression socks when you exercise? Have you thought about trying compression socks?

FTC Disclosure: I received a pair of complimentary compression socks from the Triangle Vein Clinic in order for me to write an accurate review. I also was compensated for this post. I am not a medical doctor, and all opinions and experiences are my own. Please see Disclosure/Disclaimer for details.


13 comments on “Running with Compression Socks”

  1. I trained and ran my marathon in compression sleeves! They really felt like they helped me!

    1. Rachel says:

      That’s great! I’m going to race with my socks from now on.

  2. I love compression socks. Whether it’s for running or even CrossFit, they really help with recovery.
    A must for everyone who wants to take their workouts to the next level without feeling sore all the time.

    1. Rachel says:

      I’ve been wearing my compression socks to the gym when I lift weights. They really help with next day soreness.

  3. Interesting – I often see people wearing them but never understood the benefits. I’m not much of a runner anymore but my husband is so perhaps I’ll suggest that he give them a try. #smallvictoriessunday
    Nicole | The Professional Mom Project recently posted…How to plant a simple and beautiful container gardenMy Profile

    1. Rachel says:

      I was always curious of the benefits too. So glad I gave them a try.

  4. Gammon says:

    I haven’t ran many long distances (at all) but my husband uses those after his Ironman races!

    1. Rachel says:

      Your husband should try wearing them during his races as well. The Ironman is intense. The neat thing about the compression socks is that they are versatile for all physical activities.

  5. Carl says:

    My life has gotten so much better since I started using compression socks. I am a runner too, and I work at an office. I have my socks on for several hours a day. During runs I find tat the reduced vibrations reduce the chances of suffering an injury. I had so many soft tissue injuries, I can’t even recall them all.

    At my office I like wearing the socks because I had some minor spider veins and varicose veins. Compression therapy helped me get rid of them.
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    1. Rachel says:

      That’s great Carl. Not too long after I wrote this post, my father-in-law was complaining about pain in his legs from sitting all day at work. I was able to recommend compression socks to help with the pain. It’s good to know that these socks help runners and sitters.

    2. basketking says:

      Yeah! I had the same problem and not it just got away.
      I play basketball for some time now but I often had those little injuries that I though I have to quit. And then my doctor recommended to trying compression socks. So I found different blogs and find ezcompression. And then I bought my first pair of these socks and with time I started to feel better and injuries also were gone..
      So I really recommend to everyone, who runs, plays basketball or just have to sit all day at work, buy some compression socks. After a while you will start to feel much better!

  6. This is some really good information about compression socks. I had no idea that some of them will show you if they will hold up over a long run. That is good for me to know because I have been thinking about getting some compression socks for my mother since she is a runner.

    1. Rachel says:

      Your mom will love compression socks. They help with recovery after a run.

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