Sunday, April 28, 2013

Compression Socks

I'm a bit slow in noticing new trends.

Probably it's been going on for years but I noticed for the first time at the Newport 10 Miler running race today that a fair number of the runners were wearing knee high socks.

I've seen ladies wearing long socks to run before but I always assumed that they were some kind of fashion statement because they were usually pink or covered in polka dots or little flowers or hearts.

But these socks today were worn by men and women, and they looked "technical" in the way that products look "technical" when they are supposed to do something "technical" that will help you in your sport and the designer wants to make sure that you and everyone else sees how "technical" their product is.

I think they are called compression socks.

Apparently they are supposed to do something to make you run faster or hurt less when you are running or hurt less after you have been running.

There's an article about compression socks on the Science of Running blog. It's about 2,500 words long so let me summarize it for you...

  • they might help blood flow
  • they might stop your leg vibrating (seriously!)
  • they might improve performance
  • they might improve recovery
  • various experiments have been conducted and results are mixed
  • the author tried them out and got the best results by wearing them on the day before the race (go figure!)

I noticed that one lady running near me for most of the race was wearing a fetching pair of lime green calf sleeves. (Hey, what else am I going to look at for 10 miles?)  I guess these are supposed to work in the same way as compression socks.

Why hasn't this technological marvel been adopted in dinghy sailing yet?

You could wear those lime green sleeves on your arms as well as your legs.

Or does a tight wetsuit or tight rashguard have a similar effect?

Further research is indicated.


Bruce Taylor said...

Like you, I'm not sure about the benefits of these things for runners as there is no proof they help. I think they're a gimmick at best. They are probably good for long flights though to help prevent DVT.

I wear full length hikers and boots, and they do make removal easier after sailing.

Oxtails said...

Unlike you, I am usually browned in a skillet and then braised for hours until tender. Socks don't often enter the equation.

O Docker said...

This gives substantial credence to my theory of Tillerman and young women in short, skimpy pants.

Pandabonium said...

I think you should go for the pink with red hearts, Tillerman.

Dan said...

I wore compression socks(they were not as attractive as the photos) when I had a DVT and it sure helped my leg feel less tired when I was on my feet a lot. I used them cycling during that time and it did seem to make a differance. Lately I have been having calf pain while cycling and am thinking of going back to the compression socks if I can't work out of the discomfort. I would not discount them.

Anonymous said...

Not a runner here but I wear these everyday. I work in a warehouse. Concrete floors. Not found any shoes that help BUT the compression socks WORK! No leg pain at all and prevaricose veins remain pre,as per my Dr. A good alternatice is Gold Toe support dress. Made in same factories as pricey others. My co workers call me dutch boy because of the look with shorts LOL

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