Do Compression Socks Work?

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

I seem to question everything these days.  I have fallen too many times for that so called “wonder item” now on the market that will make me more flexible, take a minute off my time, brings on rapid recovery, the list goes on.   I decided to run a number of experiments using compression socks over the last six months and I found they do help with recovery.First experiment

After a couple of hard days of training, I woke up the next morning to find my legs were so sore I had trouble walking.   I put one compression sock onto my right leg, (underneath long pants), and went on with my day.   I took the sock off during sleep that night.   When I woke up my right leg was significantly fresher than my left.   By going off feel, I would say my right leg was 50% more recovered than my other leg.

Second experiment

After waking up with sore legs from a few days of hard training, I put my normal compression sock on one leg and on the other leg I put a compression sock the next size smaller than what was recommended for me, again not wearing them when I was sleeping.   The next morning when I woke, the leg that had a smaller size compression sock was significantly more recovered than the leg that had the normal compression sock on.   Going on feel I would say around 20% more recovered than the other leg.

Running with compressions

I have done a number of different tests with running wearing compression socks and calf guards and I personally find no improvements in any way in my training, racing or recovery afterwoods.   In the past, any run that was going to progress over an hour, I would always wear compressions, but now I will only use compressions for recovery.

Racing with compressions

As I have already noted, I have not found any improvements in performance.   I have read wind tunnel data stating that some calf guards will add around 2 minutes to a 180km bike.

The one thing worth noting is that if you are going to race with calf guards or compression socks, beware that it will increase your body temperature.

Tim Egge


2 thoughts on “Do Compression Socks Work?

  1. Yes, compression socks really work. The graduated compression socks have been used to combat deep vein thrombosis or the formation of blood clots. They reduce soreness by not only increasing circulation of lactic acid/metabolic waste within the muscle. Thanks for sharing the nice article.


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