Category Archives for Compression socks

How to choose and use the best compression socks for edema?

Are your legs swollen? Do they appear thicker than normal? Chances are that you are suffering of edema, commonly referred to as swollen feet. In this article we are going to focus on what steps you can take to prevent or end this condition. We will also take an in-depth look at which ones are the best compression socks for edema.

What is edema?

Looks of different cases of edema.

Edema is a clinical term for water retention. In everyday life you might refer to it as swelling. The feet – most likely the ankles – get fat and heavy. This occurs either because the circulatory system can’t transport the excess fluid away from the swollen area, or because the body can’t get rid of the fluids.

The symptoms of swelling include tight skin, bloated legs, or skin marks. In very severe cases of edema if you press the skin at the swollen area it retains its shape only after 20 seconds. At that point even the best compression socks for edema might not be enough. Consult with a trained physician.

 

The looks of swollen feet.

Edema can appear as a result of several causes. Pregnancy, humid weather, running injuries, sitting or standing for extended periods of time. In other cases the failure of the circulatory system is the cause. Kidney failure is also a common cause. With ageing edema becomes more common, and some medications have edema as a side effect. People taking long flights and pilots may also experience swelling of the feet, as a side effect of deep vein thrombosis. In all of these cases choosing and wearing the best compression socks for edema can do wonders for the health of your feet.

 

The main cause of edema: Different types of pressure in the veins

To understand what causes edema, you have to know about two terms: hydrostatic and osmotic pressure. Both types of pressure influence how much fluid gets into the veins from the cells and vice versa. The pressure that fluids put on the walls of the veins is called hydrostatic pressure. Osmotic pressure is generated by proteins and the blood plasma.

If the hydrostatic pressure rises in the veins, there will be more edema. Similar effects will follow if the osmotic pressure falls in the veins or rises in the cells. These factors can be influenced by drinking enough water and eating healthy. Eating just enough salt and minerals as well as drinking at least eight glasses of water every day will go a long way to keep the osmotic and hydrostatic pressure at an adequate level.

Best compression socks for edema as treatment

BeFit24: The best compression socks for edema

The best compression socks for edema can do wonders for ending the condition. You can speed up the healing process by eating a certain diet, or applying cream to the swollen area. However the combination of these two work best. Although in most cases just choosing and wearing the best compression socks for swelling consistently should be enough.

Edema compression socks work by helping the blood flow back towards the heart and thus helping it wash out the excess fluids from your legs.

The BeFit24s are one of the best compression socks for edema. If you feel discomfort, puffy and swollen feet after a whole day of work, the BeFit 24 compression socks for edema can help treat the condition.

Pregnancy

One of the biggest users of edema compression socks are pregnant women. Other, chemical based remedies are not safe to use during pregnancy, as the chemicals might affect the baby.

During pregnancy the weight of the featus puts extra pressure on the veins. The circulatory system struggles to remove all the fluids from the legs. There are different models on the market, differing mostly in their length. Full length models that cover the whole leg as well as the stomach are called maternity compression leggings. If you see varicose veins and experience swelling only in your lower extremities, than pregnancy compression socks might be enough for you.

Organic treatment options

With most things in life, regular exercise can make a whole world of difference. The movement of the muscles has a natural massaging effect on the veins, which helps move the fluid away from the swollen area.

Consuming too much salt can increase the osmotic pressure inside the veins. This can be solved either by consuming less salt, or drinking more water.

Elevating your legs while sleeping helps the blood flow quicker from your lower extremities, the veins can transport the excess fluid away from your legs quicker. This also helps a lot if you struggle with varicose veins.

Avoid standing or sitting for extended periods. This is the primary cause of the breakdown if the circulatory system in your lower extremities. Walk around, move a little it every hour when you are sitting down. Take a nap with your feet elevated every afternoon.

Loosing weight can also help a lot, as the excess weight puts more pressure on your veins. Just as with salt, it might be wise to limit your sugar, alcohol and caffeine intake. Caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the body, sugar raises the osmotic pressure inside your veins.

There are alternate therapies claiming to be effective at treating swelling. These include acupuncture, massage therapy and plant-based organic pills and supplements. I am sceptical how effective these would be on their own, but they could be a good added way to speed up the healing process, together with a pair of the best compression socks for treating swelling.

How long before you see the effects of compression socks in treating edema?

The best compression socks for edema start improving your circulation as soon as you put them up according to Vein Directory. However it is possible that it will take 24 hours or even a few days before you start to see the swelling reduce. If you don’t see the edema slowly going away, either the compression socks are not fitting properly, or they are not strong enough. Maybe you have some other physical condition, which doesn’t allow the swelling of your feet to stop.

How do compression socks treat edema?

The best compression socks for edema work on a very simple premise. By putting pressure on the legs they reduce the diameter of the veins. This speeds up the blood flow.

The best type of compression socks for edema are all graduated compression socks. These models put the most pressure on the ankles the level of compression gets smaller gradually as it gets higher on the legs.

Another type of compression is uniform compression. That type puts the same amount of pressure everywhere on the legs. Although research showed that graduated compression is more effective at treating most venous disorders than uniform compression, the latter is prescribed by doctors in treatment of edema. In 2004 Partsch, Winiger and Lun found that graduated, between 11 to 21 mm Hg pressure was the best compression socks for treating edema after a long day of standing or sitting.

Hg mm stands for millimetres of mercury, it is used for measuring the strength of the compression socks by how much pressure they put on your legs.

What are the most common compression ranges?

 Mild compression: 8-15 mm Hg. Used for treating situational, easy cases of edema.

 Moderate compression: 15-20 mm Hg. Used for treating mild to moderate swelling and leg pain. Most compression socks for treating swelling in nurses, teachers and truck drivers are in this range.

Firm compression: 20-30 mm Hg. Used for treating more severe cases of edema, mostly with bed ridden patients, as this type can prevent venous leg ulcers.

Extra firm compression: Over 30 mm Hg. Also called medical grade compression, doctors prescribe them in extreme cases of leg swelling, mostly with people who suffer from diabetes.

The best amount of pressure for treating edema is between 15 to 20 mm Hg.  Benigni et al performed a study to determine what is the best amount of pressure to use to treat different venous diseases. They have found that lower, 15-20 mm Hg pressure was more effective at treating swollen feet than l0 mm Hg pressure or lower.

This pressure between 15 and 20 mm Hg is recommended by most physicians for treating venous diseases. More severe cases might require compression socks between 20 and 30 mm Hg pressure. Models over 30 mm Hg are very rare and they are available only with a doctor’s prescription.

Compression socks or stockings: is there a difference?

The short answer is no. There is no real difference in how edema compression socks or stockings work, or how effective they can be at treating swollen feet. The main difference is their length. Socks usually end just below your knees. Stockings can cover your lower abdomin. This is an important feature if you experience swelling in this area, which is common with pregnant women. As a rule of thumb I advise to use the shortest compression garments that cover the swollen area, but nothing more. Putting on and taking off these garments can be a hassle, and if you choose a poor model it can get really sweaty.

The BeFit24 Compression Socks for Edema

The BeFit24 edema compression socks

If you suffer from edema at the end of your day, these compression socks are the perfect fit for you. They are simply the best compression socks for edema. By applying between 10-14 mm Hg pressure on your legs, these socks help treat edema by helping your veins wash out the excess fluid from your legs. As a great sideffect these socks treat and prevent the appearance of varicose veins.

You wear these socks during flights. The graduated compression prevents edema in your legs, which commonly tortures flight travellers around the world.

The socks are made of 55% elastane and 45% polyamide. This combination lets your feet breathe, so it stays clean and dry even if you wear them during your workday.

 

 

 

Tonus Elast Open Toe Medical Compression Socks

This open toe models are medical grade compression socks that put anywhere between 18 and 21 mm Hg pressure on your legs.

The flat seams are one of the best features of these socks. The design of the socks prevents blisters and chaffing. The dense structure of the material is designed to aid blood flow during long flights  and workdays, thus reducing swelling. The socks are made of 80% polyamide and 20% lycra.

The heel zone has a strong design to give your legs additional support and extend the service time of these products.

 

 

Neo G Travel and Flight Compression Socks

These socks were designed mainly in airline travellers in mid, but since they treat edema well in the air, there is no reason why they couldn’t treat swelling just as well on the ground.

They put between 14 and 18 mm Hg graduated pressure on your legs to prevent swelling and DVT. The maximum compression slowly decreases from your ankles up towards your knees.

The reinforced material and the heel cup guarantee durability and comfort. The graduated compression technology is ideal for helping blood flow and helping the excess fluids get out of the legs. The best compression socks for edema work by applying graduated compression on the legs, so does this model.

 

How long should you wear compression socks?

You can find all the information about the best types of compression socks for you on CompressionCarl. So far I didn’t talk a lot about how long you should wear compression socks. In this article I will tell you exactly when to put on and when to remove your compression socks based on your conditions.

My goal is to give you exact advice, and share some tips from top experts of the field. There is so much misleading information on the internet about exactly how long you should wear compression socks, that I felt compelled to write an article that clears up the subject once and for all.

How long should you wear compression socks?

The amount of time you should spend with your compression socks on varies based on what you use them for in the first place. This is an opinion that is shared by several experts, such as the Lafayette Regional Vein and Laser Center. A runner looking for quicker recovery is in a completely different situation than a young backbacker who wants to prevent DVT. Wearing compression socks after a surgery is also different.

If you are wearing the socks for general venous health, it is possible that you don’t even need compression socks. You can contribute a lot to healthy veins by being in good shape, taking at least 10 000 steps and drinking at least eight cups of water each day. If you still notice varicose veins on your legs, consult with a trained physician.

Nurses should wear compression socks from the beginning of their shift until the end.

Other jobs involve sitting in one place for hours on end. Working in front of the computer or driving trucks belong in this category. Walking has an important part in helping the circulatory system. The contraction and expansion of the muscles pushes the walls of the veins together and then releases them, which helps move the blood around. For people in sitting occupations I recommend wearing compression socks during the whole work shift. Standing up sometimes and taking a short walk should do wonders too.

Airline travel

Compression socks are also popular with airline travellers and pilots. The legs are under different pressure on the ground than up in the air, which affects the veins. Small blood cloths might travel in the circulatory system and get stuck inside the veins of larger muscles groups, also called deep veins. This is where the name of the phenomena comes from – deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Compression socks reduce the risk of DVT during long flights. If I travel I already go to the airport wearing my compression socks. If it very hot, or I don’t want to be seen in my hip Physix Gear Sport compression socks, I just go to the restroom after checking in and put my socks on.

The ankles are prone to swelling during long flights. The walls of the veins loose their firmness as a result of the pressure difference, the circulatory system can’t transport the intracellular fluids away. Hence the swollen ankles. Wearing compression socks for the whole duration of the flight prevents the swelling of the ankles.

Recovering from surgery

Compression socks can make a big difference to the cosmetics of your legs after surgery.

Post surgery compression socks reduce the development of blood cloths, not to mention they makes a whole world’s difference in cosmetics after small vein sclerotherapy. Dr. Nicholas Kemp recommends wearing compression socks after vein sclerotherapy of laser vein surgery. Needless to say, that if your physician sees fit, you should keep wearing compression garments during the time you are recovering in bed. Just to be sure, wearing them 1-2 weeks after leaving the hospital, until the final checkup is wise. Once the patient is out of the hospital blood cloths are very rare, but it is better to e safe than sorry. Wear them as much as you can.

 

Getting rid of venous leg ulcers is a full time job. Wearing compression garments for 24 hours a day is a standard part of a VLU recovery protocol. Stockings and socks designed for this purpose can put anywhere between 30 to 50 mm Hg pressure on your legs. They can hold really tight, which prevents some people from sleeping. If you are one of these people, your physician can recommend alternative recovery devices, such as leg wraps or the Circ-Aid machine.

Runners:competition and recovery

Runners were one of the early adapters of compression socks.

One of the early adopters of compression therapy were runners. Empirical evidence suggests that compression therapy aids runners during competition by lowering their heart rate and raising their lactate threshold. Runners should put on their compression socks before warm-up, and have them on until the end of cool down.

However more runners use compression socks after races to recover faster. There are multiple recovery devices one can use to get regain the freshness of their muscles sooner. The exact time you should put on your compression sock might differ, but as a general rule put them on as soon as you can after the race, and leave them on for at least six hours. You can even leave them on during the night for your sleep.

Conclusion

How long should you wear compression socks? That depends largely on what you use them for. Runners, nurses or patients recovering from surgery all have different needs. As a result, they should wear compression socks for different time lengths. If you have any questions, share it in the comments below.

 

Cycling compression socks: Can they make you a better cyclist, or they just look funny?

If you have ever been to a cycling race, you must have come across a specific type of cycler. The one that wears a strange type of elastic, purple long hosiery you can see from miles away. We call these items cycling compression socks.

You start having strange thoughts in your head: Did he put them on in the morning? Maybe he even sleeped in them. Maybe he wore them on the way to the race in the car. For sure he is going to cycle the whole length of the race wearing those footwear. When the race is over, for sure he is going to get back into his car wearing them, and if he is really manic, he will even sleep in his sweaty hosiery again.

If you see that guy, you have found a real believer in the benefits of compression hosiery. He is compelled that he is fresher than the others and he is recovering quicker than any of the other competitors. At the moment the scientific evidence on the usefulness of cycling compression socks in enhancing sports performance and helping recovery is inconclusive. But more on that later…

 

Are cycling compression socks effective?

Compression socks have a long history of successfully treating venous disease, such as varicose and spider veins. They are well known to improve circulation in pregnant women, as well as diabetic and bed-bound patients.

The reason for its success is the added pressure it puts on the veins, speeding up the blood flow. The blood collects and flows in small veins in the extremities. The speed of the blood flow can be made faster, if some pressure is put on the legs. This makes the veins tighter, and the same amount of blood flows quicker in a vein with a smaller diameter.

Compression socks are common items in the NBA.

In the eighties athletes started thinking, if bed-bound patients and the elderly can benefit from compression technology, why can’t we. Hence the start of athletes using these to enhance performance, recover quicker and draw a few sideways glances at races. Although the last one is admittedly a side effect. Some sports – like basketball – have embraced the compression wearables as a part of the sport’s dress code.

Nowadays compression shorts, hosiery and socks have become common among endurance athletes. Although runners benefit massively from these wearables, recently cyclists started using them. The ones who were early adapters were the travelling cyclists. On long airline travels compression socks can reduce the risks of DVT significantly and speed up recovery.

What does science say?

Despite the empirical findings of endurance athletes, what other pieces of evidence are there that compression socks work? Does science back it up? There have been experiments looking at the use of compression garments for runners. Some experiments have found that these products help during competition. For example the heart rate of runners was lower while wearing compression socks during the race then otherwise. Runners were able to raise their lactate threshold during competition.

Rob Duffield, PhD has found evidence of compression socks helping runners. Despite publishing three studies about compression wearables, and making several more for companies, he has found no evidence that it helps cyclists.

Some other researchers have found compression hosiery to be helpful. Jeremiah Peiffer, PhD and exercise physiologist at the the Murdoch University in Australia regularly wears these cycling compression socks as he is a competitive cyclist himself. He claims that the theory of improved blood flow aiding athletic output and recovery is a very sound one, although it is hard to find scientific evidence that it helps cyclists.

In 2008 a study from the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance found that muscles covered with compression garments worked using less oxygen. Matt Driller, a researcher working for the Australian Institute of Sport performed two studies to measure the effects of compression garments on back-to-back 15 minute cycling trails. He found that cyclist dealt better with fatigue, and could repeat their athletic performance sooner after wearing compression tights.

Why the conflicting results on cycling?

The way the human body works during cycling might account for the reason why cycling compression socks are not as effective as for runners. During pedalling the muscles shorten during exertion since it is a concentric motion. In other sports such as walking and running the muscles lengthen during activation, which leads to delayed onset muscle soreness. This is a condition compression socks can help with during recovery. However cyclists are unlikely to get delayed onset muscle soreness.

Empirical evidence

Triathletes often wear compression garments if the rules of the particular race permits them – not all races do. Despite the mixed results of studies most athletes still believe in their effectiveness and wear them. Maybe the placebo effect is at play here. In very easy terms, the placebo effect means the mind believes a particular intervention is helpful. It actually has an effect, without changing anything in the physiology. For many athletes the way they feel affects the way they race. Simply having cycling compression socks on and feeling like you have an edge over other competitors might be enough to justify wearing them. Even if their effect is purely mental, they can help a lot if the athlete has to cover long distances on back-to-back days.

If you decide to wear compression socks for cycling, what should you pay attention to?

Secrets to finding the perfect cycling compression socks

  • Size and fit 

First of all, choosing the proper fit is very important. If the socks are too tight, they will choke the blood out of your legs instead of helping circulation. If they are saggy, the garment won’t hold the muscles effectively.

 Always check the size chart of the company. The size chart is always featured on the product’s Amazon page. When in doubt, it is better to choose the smaller option.


  • Graduate or uniform compression?

There are different types of compression technologies on the market, the most notable ones are uniform and graduate compression. Uniform compression puts the same amount of pressure everywhere on the muscles. The more common graduate compression puts more pressure on the muscles the further they are from the heart, and less pressure if they are closer to the heart. Graduate compression is more common, since it creates the ideal help for blood flow without restricting the movement of the muscles in any way.

Above you can see the pink version of the Physix Gear Sport compression socks. They are comfortable graduate compression socks that refresh your legs. For this reason they are the model I recommend for all my runner friends. If you believe in the effects of compression, you can’t go too wrong with this model.

  • Seamless

If possible, look for seamless products. A badly designed seam can cause chaffing, blisters and make your cycling experience a real handful. The products advertised on this site all avoid pressure in areas that can chafe or restrict circulation.

  • Durability

All the products advertised on this site are very durable. They are usually made of some combination of nylon, polyester and spandex, with a little bit of mesh added for better breathability. The breathable material lets the sweat evaporate from your skin. As a result, with these materials yo won’t be swimming in your sweat while you cycle. The best cycling leggings feature a 360-degree stretch material that stretches around every individual’s muscles for better fit, and better aerodynamics on the bike.

The best products have an antibacterial yarn. Small silver linens run through the fabric for added protection against bacterial infections and fungi development. Hygiene is key, especially if you race and have to wear the items repeatedly.

The best products have some extra padding at the saddle area. This makes the race more comfortable, and reduces the chances of chaffing or blisters while you are sitting in the saddle.

So which are the best cycling compression socks for men and women? Let’s take a look at the three best products!

Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks

The Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks cut down your recovery time

Finally you don’t have to look foolish in your cycling compression socks. A stylish design that doesn’t compromise on comfort or effectiveness. The graduated compression technology speeds up your blood flow, so your muscles can recover faster. Your sweat can evaporate through the drying material of the socks. Your skin will remain fresh, dry and healthy.

There is no need to compromise on style, health or comfort anymore. Your wallet will stay healthy. The company offers a no questions asked, 100% money-back guarantee in case you find yourself disappointed with the product. But you won’t. Physix Gear Sport users are raving fans. Get ready to become one.

Blitzu Sports Graduated Sports Compression Socks

The Blitzu cycling compression socks in action

The Blitzu Sports compression socks are well known among runners for their groundbreaking kinesiology taping design. This is the only model on the market combining the stability of kinesiology taping with the effect of compression technology. If you suffer from aching joints and ankle problems, this is the perfect model for you.

The ultra stretchable fabric provides durability and flexibility. Your skin can breathe in this fabric. It stays fresh and dry during even the longest rides. You will get the confidence, and energy boost you need to perform at the edge of your abilities.

It is available in many different styles and colours. Feel the confidence, feel the boost and feel the difference right away. The company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t feel the extra these socks can provide for you, Blitzu will return your money, no questions asked.

VeloChampion Compression Sport Socks

VeloChampion Compression Socks

The most technical compression socks on our list. Made with a special blend of technical yarns to provide comfort and recovery even during the longest rides in the saddle.

They provide 20-3o mm Hg compression for your legs. The oxygen flows and the waste materials leave your muscles quicker. These cycling compression socks give excellent support to your legs. You will be surprised how much they speed up the recovery process, and how much fresher you will be if you use these socks for cycling and running.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many different high quality products on the market. Although the empirical evidence is clear that cycling compression socks enhance the performance and recovery of cyclists, but the science so far is inconclusive. Even if it is just the placebo effect, the compression socks can be a great aid for any serious cyclist out there.

 

How to Choose the Best Running Compression Socks in 2017 – Look Fashionable and Increase Your Running Performance

In recent years compression socks have become more and more fashionable. The running community has been at the forefront of this revolution. Compression socks are effective for enhancing athletic performance as well as speeding up recovery. Let’s look at which models are the best running compression socks for men and women in 2017.

The best running compression socks in 2017

The Physix Gear Sport Compression socks are the best compression socks for runners. They have everything that the best running compression socks need to have.

These socks are made of nylon and quality, stretchable lycra material. These socks are breathable, which lets the sweat evaporate from your skin and keeps your legs dry during workouts. The fabric has antibacterial and anti-fungi qualities.

The socks have a double stitched heel design, which lowers the vibrations going through your legs when you step on the ground during your run. This is a huge plus when it comes to preventing and treating shin splints.

The socks have a single toe design, which hold your toes tightly but don’t compress them too much.

The Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks put between 20-30 mm Hg graduated compression on your legs. This is the ideal amount to promote blood flow while sitting, running or sleeping. This way you will not only have lower heart rate while running, the training load on your muscles will decrease, and they will recover quicker.

It is clear how much the company believes in their product. The Physix Gear Sport Compression socks come with a lifetime money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with your product, they will refund your money, no questions asked.

Recovering with compression socks.

Do compression socks work?

Running compression socks have certainly grew in popularity among athletes, so much so that people trying out for the Olympics are using compression socks. However there are still people who claim that compression socks give you no real competitive edge. In my opinion if they only worked as a placebo, then they would not be used by so many serious athletes. At the very least they do not hurt your performance. On the other hand if they probably don’t give you a huge edge, in that case everybody would be using them. As with most things in life, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Whenever I have to decide if something is good for my body or not, I prefer to look at what the science says instead of anecdotal evidence and stories. Let’s see what scientists can tell us about the effectiveness of compression socks.

What are compression socks good for?

Initially compression garments were used to treat venous diseases. The two most common were pregnancy swelling and lymphedema. In the first one the higher blood pressure caused by the featus results in the mother’s legs swelling up. In the case of lymphedema, the body’s lymp drains don’t do their jobs properly, which resutls in the limbs swelling up like balloons.

Throughout the years their positive effects were used to treat more and more diseases. Diseases related to a sitting lifestyle, such as varicose veins and spider veins. Air travellers also started to use them to lower the chances of suffering deep vein thrombosis.

The most popular compression socks in 2017 are graduated models. Graduated compression socks help the circulatory system by putting more pressure on the ankles than on the higher parts of the legs. This difference in pressure causes the blood to flow quicker towards the heart. This way the valves inside the veins don’t have to work as hard to prevent the blood from flowing back down or pooling up in the veins – a major cause of varicose veins.

Soon runners started to take notice, especially endurance, long distance runners. With their interest, exercise researcher started to look into whether the best running compression socks could really enhance performance, or runners were just experiencing a placebo effect.

I see a pair of compression sleeves there

First, let’s separate two different areas where the best running compression socks might have a positive effect on one’s life. During competition, and after competition – recovery. The first one requires that the compression socks cause a more effective movement pattern, less energy uptake, or a peak in performance that immediately correlates with better racing times. The second part states that with the positives of compression socks, one can rejuvenate their muscles, and get back to peak physical condition quicker.

There are multiple theories behind why compression socks work.

Reason 1 – Better blood circulation

This theory states that due to the better blood circulation in the lower limbs, the muscles are getting nutrients and oxygen quicker, which in turn leads to better performance. Continuing on the same logic, more waste materials -such as lactic acid – can be washed out of the muscles, leading to better performance.

Reason 2 – Muscle vibration taken away

When you run and your foot hits the ground, vibrations go through from the point of impact through your muscles, tendons and joint until they are absorbed. As the theory goes, these vibrations cause ruptures and put stress on the muscles, which can be one of the reasons behind the delayed muscle soreness we experience.

The most compelling evidence for the claim that the reduction in muscle vibration actually helps performance significantly was provided by the long jumping and hurdle jumping community. These athletes regularly wear compression pants. Kraemer et al. proved in a study that these products decrease muscle vibrations. This in turn leads to better muscle control, and increased proprioception.

Reason 3 – Keeping the muscles warm

After warming up, a constant problem for athletes is that the msucles might cool down between the warm up and the actual competitive period. In an environment where every little edge counts, cooling down just a little bit can decide between finishing in first place, or not even making the top three. The best running compression socks do an excellent job of keeping the leg muscles warm, and not letting them cool down.

Now that we know all the theories behind why the best running compression socks might increase performance and help with recovery, let’s go through all the research.

Taken at the Tokio Marathon.

What does the research say?

The research literature could not provide an overwhelming evidence to why compression socks increase performance in runners, but there are encouraging signs out there. Ali et al did a study in 2007, and found the socks could not account for any performance enhancement, or change in physiological parameters. However after the run the runners experienced significantly lower muscle soreness, which was a result of the reduction in muscle vibrations.

On the other hand in a 2009 study Kremmier found that the lactate threshold of athletes improved when wearing compression socks while running. Other studies found that the energy consumption and running economy decreased as a result of wearing the best running compression socks, as well as improved performence over a 5 kilometer race. A study by Bringard (2006) found improved running economy, especially in the middle speed ranges.

On the question of whether compression socks improved lactate clearance, Berry et al provided the most comprehensive study thirty years ago in 1987. The study demonstrated that blood lactate clearance improved after exercise.

The study however requires a bit of a side note. First of all, it measured the lactate levels in the blood, and not in the muscles. The latter causes muscle soreness. It is possible that the decrease in blood lactate was down to the compression preventing lactate entering the blood stream from the muscles. The other possible explenation is that the lactate enters the blood stream, but it gets taken up by the other muscles in the body. It is hard to know which phenomena is at play exactly, but the results of the study are the same nevertheless.

On the recovery side, the studies have demonstrated clearly that compression garments help recovery. In a 2010 study by Byrne and Easton, they put graduated compression tights on people after plyometric exercise, which led to a decrease in muscle soreness, and better recovery.  It is suspected that the combination of decreased muscle vibrations and the pushing out of the blood lactate is at play here. However scientists do not agree 100 % on what causes muscle soreness, so at the moment all we know is that the best runnig compression socks help with recovery, but the exact mechanisms are not clear.

What are compression socks good for? What does the science say?

A side note to the research

So what does the research say?

As a sidenote to the results of these studies, it is important to realise that they were done with different types of compression socks. Some sstudies used uniform compression, some graduated compression.

The strength of compression differed also. It seems that there is a sweetspot in compression strength for increasing blood flow. Byrne in 2001 found that 20 mm Hg pressure at the ankles increased blood flow, while 30 mm Hg cut off the circulation.

It is clear that during competition even the best running compression socks are not game changers. If it was so, everybody would be using them. However during recovery they can help a lot.

Looking at the research, long distance endurance runners might benefit the most from compression socks. In long distance running muscle damage could interfere with muscle contraction, and limit the number of muscle fibers taking part in muscle contraction, which in turn limits performance. After the run the results are clear. Compression socks help recovery.

Anecdotal evidence

If you are an active runner yourself, you can find a lot of runners who talk about how compression socks helped their performance. Some claim that compression socks help even during Olympic trials. Others feel that they were able to cover more mileage than otherwise with the help of compression socks.

The types of compression

Graduated compression socks, and how they work.

Basically there are two different types of compression technologies on the market, graduated and uniform. Graduated compression socks are the most popular, as they help blood flow the most. These products put the largest amount of pressure on the ankles, and the pressure slightly subsides as the socks get higher on the legs. The difference in pressure creates an ideal environment for the blood to flow up from the ankles towards the heart. The pressure is largest at the ankles, where the pull of the gravity is largest on the blood.

Uniform compression is used mostly for fighting swelling and edema. They can be dangerous if applied in the wrong situation, so they are available only with doctor’s prescription.

You might also find targeted running compression socks in stores. These products apply extra compression to a specific part of your legs. The most common are special plantar fasciitis socks, or the ones that apply extra pressure to your aching achilles tendons. The extra pressure is applied with tighter materials holding the leg firmer at the area where the extra compression is needed.

Strength of compression

As I mentioned above, there is a sweetspot of compression strength for running socks, but there are still a lot of different types of running compression socks on the market. As studies found before, the best compression range for the best running compression socks was around 20 mm Hg around the ankles. This promoted the best blood flow during workouts.

Let’s take a look at what other levels of compression can you find in the best running compression socks.

The Physix Gear Sport graduated compression socks in action

First of all, the strength of compression is measured in millimetres of mercury – mm Hg. The larger this number is, the bigger pressure the garment puts on your legs.

10 – 15 mm Hg – This is the lightest compression range. It is called super light compression. This range provides good prevention against shin splints, plantar fasciitis or overworking. If you exercise lightly, or you don’t like feeling the super hard, super tight feeling larger compression puts on your legs, than these models might be just for you.

16 – 20 mm Hg – These are a band of lighter compression socks for running. The best compression socks for pregnant women who want to exercise during their pregnancy are found in this range.

21-30 mm Hg – The most common and best running compression socks for runners are found in this pressure range. They promote optimal blood flow for better athletic performance, and quicker recovery.

Over these pressure ranges there are no compression socks for runners. However there are other great compression socks over this range, but those are used in extreme cases of varicose veins, lymphedema and swelling.

If you don’t know which compression range would work best for you, it might be a great idea to consult with a medical professional. Another way would be to start with a cheaper model, and slowly work your way up from there.

How to choose the

best running compression socks?

Unfortunately choosing the best running compression socks is often overlooked by inexperienced runners. In my opinion they are as much, if not more important as wearing the right running shoes.

The famous story about John Wooden, the famous college basketball coach comes to mind. On the first day of preseason training, he used to sit down his rookie players, and show them how to properly put on their socks. As he said, unfitting socks cause blisters, blisters cause missed shots, missed shots mean lost games, which translates to lost trophies.

To go forward with this analogy, if you choose anything but the best running compression socks, you will feel uncomfortable as a result of chaffing, blisters and skin burn. If your socks are too tight, they will choke the life out of your legs. If they are too loose, they will not be able to put enough pressure on your muscles. Any of these factors will contribute to subpar training and running performance.

The Danish Endurance Graduated Compression Socks in Action.

The fabric

The most important part to finding the best running compression socks is the fabric. Runners often make the mistake of wearing regular socks for workouts, made of 100% cotton. Cotton does not let your skin breathe, and the sweat to evaporate, the fabric holds and absorbs moisture. This causes blisters. The best running compression socks are made of some combination of nylon, spandex and lycra. These materials help wick the sweat and moisture away from your skin during the workout, leading to more hygienic and dry workout conditions.

Size

Choosing the correct size compression socks is a challenge for most people. A good trick is to try them on before purchase, but if you are getting one online, just check the size chart at the product description. These charts compare the sock size to the shoe size, so if you know your shoe size, you should be able to make a good decision.

Some size charts of the best running compression socks might mention few of the following measures:

  • Ankle circumference: Wrap a measurement tape around your ankles right above your ankle bone.
  • Calf circumference: Wrap the tape around the largest part of your calf. To be sure, measure multiple parts of your calf, and use the largest number.
  • Knee length: Take a measurement tape from the floor from the back of your heel up to the bend of your knee.
  • Thigh circumference: Measure the thickest part of your thigh, right at the top. Measure at multiple places, just to be sure.
  • Leg length: Take the tape from the floor right behind your heel to the top of your thighs. The tape should be firm, straight and smooth.

Toe design

There are two types of products based on toe design: single toe models and five toe models. Both can work, but they both have their drawbacks. The single toe models can cause serious skin damage if the seams are not well designed. For this reason I encourage you to choose models that are seamless.

With toe socks if the toes don’t fit perfectly, the material can get caught between them and cause chaffing and blisters. If you choose toe socks, make sure they are the perfect fit.

Extra padding

The best running compression socks can come with excellent extra padding. For example the Physix Gear Sport compression socks have double stitched heel paddings.

These paddings give extra protection to the areas of your feet which they cover. The most common areas are the heels, the plantar fascia, the achilles tendons and the toes.

The tendons are covered due to the extra padding, which helps in case your achilles tendons are aching. The extra padding and compression helps the blood flow to the tendon, which causes the inflammation to subside. The blood transports nutritions and T cells to the inflamed area.

If you choose running compression socks with extra padding, make sure they are attached with comfortable, good quality seams. If the seams are prone to tearing, or they cut into your skin they will cause skin burn and chaffing.

Length

Based on where you want to run, you might want to consider wearing different length compression socks. If you run in rainy weather, or you are a fan of trail running through the forest with thick vegetation, you might want to consider wearing knee high socks. These protect your legs against the damage of plants, bushes and rocks. In rainy weather they keep your legs warm, but they allow them to dry up if possible through letting the water evaporate.

Common injuries in runners and how to solve them

For runners there is nothing worse than getting an injury. It can lead to being absent from training and competition for a long time. For people who are hooked on the dopamine of exercising being absent from running can be a life altering problem.

For runners there are many ways to prevent injuries. Stretching, proper nutrition and leaving enough time for recovery can seriously lower the chances of suffering an injury.

The effect of running compression socks in injury prevention

Other things that can help treat and prevent running injuries are compression socks. As covered above, they reduce the muscle vibrations during your runs. Normally when you step on the ground your feet touching the ground produce vibrations that travel through your legs, and get absorbed by the bones, joints and muscles. These vibrations over time put a big strain on your legs, leading to injuries such as micro tears inside the muscle fibers, and the overuse of the joints.

Inflammation and plantar fasciitis

Inflammation is a major cause of leg pain in competitive runners. The tendons tire due to overuse, and this produces a pinching, sharp pain inside the legs. Most often the achilles tendons and the bottom of the feet are suffer from inflammation. At the bottom of the feet, inflammation is also known as plantar fasciitis, or runner’s foot. The plantar fascia is a tissue running between the heel and the toes. A sure sign of plantar fasciitis is feeling pain in your foot when you step out of bed in the morning.

Compression socks can help not only treat, but prevent plantar fasciitis. On the prevention side, the better mood flow, and quicker recovery between workouts reduces the perceived extension of your feet. Once you suffer from inflammation, the best running compression socks increase blood flow to the problem areas. The inflamed areas receive more nutrition in less time, and the T cells responsible for ending inflammation can travel to the problem areas quicker.

You can wear the best running compression socks either during your workout, between workouts, in the office or in your sleep.

Shin splints

Shin splints are caused exactly by the heels hitting the pavement while running. Even standing and walking all day long can be a cause of shin splints. How can you know if you are experiencing shin splints? Do you have a throbbing pain in your shins? Does this pain keep you from exercising?

This is one of the most common injuries that occur to runners. It involves the shins aching, in the front of the legs. There are two different types of shin splints. The ones that occur on the inside of the legs are called medial shin splints. The ones occurring on the outside of the legs are called anterior shin splints.

The best way to prevent shin splints is build up your mileage first when you start running. If you put too much mileage on your legs too soon, then wearing compression socks can treat your legs.

The risk of DVT in runners

The general public is not aware how dangerous DVT is. Deep vein thrombosis is when a blood cloth travels in the veins and gets caught – most likely – in one of the veins of the thigh muscles. If the cloth travels to the lungs or to the heart, it can be fatal.

After the day of a hard workout, runners are at an increased risk of suffering DVT. Combined with other risk factors, such as smoking, dehydration, diabetes, being overweight, taking birth control pills or injuries causing internal bleeding. It is essential that runners use the best running compression socks to keep blood flowing quickly and prevent DVT.

Unfortunately not many runners now how to recognise the symptoms of DVT. Swelling in the legs after a workout can be a sign of DVT. Other signs can be a sudden, but constant pinching pain in your calves. Unfortunately most runners mistake this pain for a muscle injury, and don’t go to a medical professional to get it checked out.

Other great compression socks for runners in 2017

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, the Physix Gear Sport are the best compression socks for runners.

Danish Endurance Graduated Compression Socks

These excellent graduated running compression socks are made of moisture wicking, antibacterial material that lets your skin breathe. The material makeup of the socks is 65%  polyamide, 20% elasthan with 15% lycra. The socks put between 18-21 mm Hg graduated compression on your legs. They have a super comfortable fit, which ensures that you will enjoy all the positive effects of graduated compression. This product is machine washable below 40 °C. One of the best running compression socks on the market.

Go2 Compression Socks

Excellent graduated athletic compression socks for recovery as well as performance. The product is on the larger side of compression, it puts between 20 and 30 mm Hg graduated compression on your legs. It is machine washable. The Go2 compression socks are easy to put on, and they hold your legs very tightly. They don’t have enough extra features for me to call them the best running compression socks, but they are good ones to keep as backup or rotation models.

Blitzu Compression Socks

These models provide graduated compression to reduce muscle fatigue, make you better competitors and help recover faster. It has a special Blitzu Kinesiology Taping Design, which pairs the effects of compression technology with the positive effects of kinesiology tapes. Excellent for marathon running, basketball, gym training and cycling. The kinesiology pads stay in place, but the fabric around them is stretchable, so it conforms to the shape and size of your legs. The product comes with a 100% money back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with it.

Zensah Tech+ Running Compression Socks

This product is made of a mixture of polyamide and elastane, a durable yet stretchable combination that lets your skin breathe during competition. These models are especially good at treating shin splints. They hold tight and stabilise the calf and shin area. The toes are seamless, which prevents chaffing and blisters. Excellent graduated compression for runners, basketball players and cyclists. The socks are knitted with an especially high, 200 needle count construction. This provides extra comfort and durability at the same time.

Conclusion

I hope this article gave you a good overview of which are the best running compression socks in 2017. The article contained short reviews of the best graduated running compression socks, as well as buying guides and tips on which one to choose. Do you have experience wearing compression socks for running? If so, share it in the comment section below!

 

Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks Review: An Excellent Pair of Athletic Running Socks

The Physix Gear Sport compression socks are one of the highest rated, best compression socks based on Amazon reviews. They are one of the most durable atheltic compression socks with excellent design. The excellent material, comfort, and durability makes this product one of the best running compression socks on the market.

What are the Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks for?

Upon looking at the socks, it is clear that they were designed with active people in mind. They have extra heel padding, which significantly reduces the impact of one’s steps while running. This way the joints have less resonance to absorb, they are under less stress. The material is very comfortable, soft and breathable, with antibacterial qualities.

Although they are comfortable, they hold the legs firmly. One can immediately feel the strength of the graduated compression on the limbs. They can be used during a run, or for recovery after the workout. They are excellent for both.

Compression technology

The Physix Gear Sport compression socks put between 20-30 mm Hg graduated pressure on your legs. As with all graduated models, the pressure is largest at your ankles, and it slightly subsides as the socks get higher on your feet.

This compression range makes the socks suitable for not only enhancing athletic performance or speeding up muscle recovery, but also treating shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and other running related injuries.

Material

The exact makeup of the socks is 80% nylon and 20% spandex. This combination makes the socks machine washable, which is a significant help. Some socks are only able to be washed in lukewaearm water with your hands. This takes time away from more important things. Use the Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks and you will be able to spend more time with your family or working out.

The socks have breathable material. You will be able to work out and still have your feet dry. Your sweat will evaporate through the nylon, which is an important prerequisite to foot hygiene. On that note, the products come with silver lines woven into them, an excellent antibacterial quality. This prevents bacteria from growing, and fungi development.

Style

The socks come in three different colour combinations, black and blue, black and pink, and black mixed with grey. The majority of the sock is black, apart from the heel area and the “Physix” tag on the elastic band below the knees. The sporty look of the socks is excellent and will make you the envy of other runners on the track. The Physix Gear Sport compression socks has an unisex design. Both women and men can wear them with style.

Extra

The heels of these socks are one of the thickest, yet most comfortable I have ever seen. The extra heel padding is attached to the rest of the socks with double stitching. This ensures durability. With low quality compression socks the stitches are the area where the socks come apart after repeated use. This is totally not the case with the Physix Gear Sports compression socks. In terms of durability, these are one of the best compression socks on the market. The socks didn’t loose their firmness as a result of repeated use and washing either.

Guarantee

Physix Gear Sport is so confident in the quality of their product that they offer a lifetime satisfaction money back guarantee. If you try on your new socks, and they are not what you imagined, or you have a subpar experience, they will give you back your money no questions asked. Not many companies have such a great customer service policy. This is a testament not only to the company, but the quality of Physix Gear Sports Graduated Compression socks too.

Conclusion

The Physix Gear Sport compression socks were one of the best running compression socks reviewed. Their design is flawless. Wearing them feels comfortable, but they appear to be firm. They are breathable, and the extra soft heel pads are a joy to step on. All these positive attributes combined with the lifetime satisfaction money back guarantee makes this product an excellent choice if you are looking for a pair of running compression socks.

Truth or Lie: Do Badminton Compression Socks Really Work?

Many badminton players experience the toll this intense sport takes on their body. Aching legs, creaky knees, and muscle injuries are common among the players of this great sports. In recent years more and more players can be seen wearing sleeves or long socks on their legs. Many have been wondering what purpose these badminton compression socks and sleeves are supposed to serve.

Badminton compression sleeves are excellent for making sure the leg muscles get a steady supply of oxygenated blood during competition. After the competition they can help the muscles regenerate quicker. They can play a big role in ending inflammation, and healing soft tissue injuries. However their role in preventing injuries should not be overlooked either.

This short video touches on many points made in this article:

Your muscles need oxygen

The circulatory system has many roles in the body. One of the most important, is to supply the cells with oxygen and nutrients. During a badminton game your leg muscles need a steady supply of oxygen to keep up the hard work. This is only possible, if the valves work properly. Tight valves let the blood flow really fast up towards the heart. The heart then pumps the blood through the lungs and the stomach, where the blood gets full of oxygen and nutrients. This blood then goes to the muscles.

The whole system has to work efficiently, and effectively. If only one part doesn’t do its job, the whole circulatory system will suffer. If the veins are too wide, the blood will flow slower in them. In some cases the walls of the veins might be so loose, that the blood just stops, and pools up inside them.

Compression technology was invented in large part to treat this condition. By putting pressure on the limbs, they press the veins together. This leads to quicker blood flow, and the muscles getting lot more nutrition.

This ties together nicely with the second use these products have for badminton players:

Quicker recovery

After the competition the lactic acid inside the muscles lead to a uncomfortable, sore feeling. The muscles feel tense, until the lactic acid is washed out of the muscles the athlete is not ready to play to her full potential again.

By putting pressure on the limbs and compressing the veins together, these products help the blood circulate through the muscles much quicker. This way the lactic acid gets washed out of the muscles a lot sooner. This recovery method has gained a lot of coverage in recent years, and has become widespread among athletes competing in sports that require anaerobe energy systems.

During badminton, you have to make frequent, sharp and quick changes of direction. You hit one, then try to position yourself, anticipating where you will hit next. Since you have to make a lot of adjustments in your positioning, you makes many sudden changes of speed, instead of working at one constant speed. During such movements the muscles are required to work in an oxygen poor environment. This leads to lactic acid buildup inside the muscles.

Most badminton players put up compression garments during the night after their competition. Spending these hours in compression leggings or compression socks cuts down the recovery period significantly, and lets the athlete work at their full potential a lot sooner.

Compression sleeves in action

Injury prevention

Other than helping the muscles get a better supply of nutrients and oxygen, the compression garments have another benefit during a badminton game. They reduce the risk of injuries.

Most muscle injuries happen as a result of muscle fatigue. If the muscles are well rested, they can correct the position of the body and the limbs even if you fall down or take an awkward step. However if the muscles are fatigued, their reaction time gets longer. By the time the muscles start correcting your position, you will be in such an awkward position that there will be nothing for you to do.

Compression sleeves are made of extremely durable, yet tight materials. Most models have a large percentage of spandex, which lets you move freely, but keeps your limbs in a confined space. This way   even if you step awkwardly, the compression garment will not let the limb get injured.

This is one of the reason, I recommend compression socks instead of compression sleeves if you have a history of twisted ankles. Socks cover your feet, and your ankles. Sleeves start above your ankles, and end under your knees.

The problem with wearing socks can be the tightness of your shoes. You need to wear regular socks over the compression models, and if your shoes are too tight, they will crush your feet, or not get on them. In extreme cases this problem with fits can lead to blisters or skin burns.

It is a must that the model you buy has some copper or silver content. These materials act as antibacterial and anti fungi bodies. The sweaty feet are extremely vulnerable to bacterial and fungi infections. These materials keep the socks and your feet hygienic.

It is just as important that your feet stay as dry as possible. This can be done by choosing sleeves that let your skin breathe. This way the sweat will naturally evaporate off your skin.

Fashion is a big part of how an athlete puts together her wardrobe. This is why compression products are made in a seemingly infinite different colours and designs. No matter what colour your shoes are, what type of badminton dress you wear, you will find the compression garment that will make you look fashionable and awesome on the court.

In order to prevent rashes, burns, chaffing and blister it is imperative that you choose a product that has a seamless design. The socks and sleeves move on your leg just enough that if the seams are constructed poorly, they will lead to bad injuries.

If you feel frequent pain in your knees during or after playing badminton, is it likely that the impact of your steps not he ground has a severe effect on your knees. As you step or jump and put down your feet, the impact of landing on the ground gets absorbed by your legs. This can lead to knee pain. Socks that have a cushioned sole and padded heel are advised for such badminton players. This extra padding on the bottom of the feet helps absorb the impact of your steps. One of the best models for badminton players are the Acel Designer Compression Socks. 

Most models you will find in online stores are graduated models. They put the largest pressure on the ankle area, then the pressure gets lower as the product gets higher on the legs. This way the pressure on the veins is the largest where the pull of gravity is the largest on the blood – the ankles. This design has the best results when it comes to enhancing athletic performance, reducing the risk of injuries or speeding up recovery.

The strength of compression is measured in mm Hg – millimetres of mercury. The higher the number, the more pressure the compression product puts on your skin.

Most products advised for badminton players are somewhere between the 15 – 25 mm Hg range. From 15 to 20 mm Hg is considered a low compression product. They are best when it comes to preventing muscle soreness or other problems. When you already had a long history of muscle soreness and injuries, or you feel your body doesn’t regenerate as quickly as it used to, it might be best to crank up the pressure and use a product with 20 to 25 mm Hg pressure. Out of these higher compression models, I recommend the Run Forever Sport Calf Compression sleeves. They are extremely comfortable, with a special design that lets your legs breathe, while applying up to 25 mm Hg graduated compression on your legs.

No matter what kind of model you choose in the end, wearing compression socks for badminton will enhance your performance on the court, and help you recover a lot quicker off it. You can only win by investing in a pair of great quality socks or sleeves.

How to be better by wearing the best basketball compression socks?

Allen Iverson made NBA history when he took the court by storm wearing a long, white hosiery on his right arm, and scored 51 points on the 21st of January in 2001. Many wondered at the time if this was an eccentric fashion choice from the charismatic player, or it had some medical implications too. It turns out that Iverson was suffering from muscle swell on his arm, and one of his coaches recommended that he wore compression hosiery on the problem area. That night a new fashion trend was born among basketball aficionados. (You can read more about the story here.)

Since then such clothing items have become the norm among basketball players, and one can see many athletes wearing them when tuning in to an NBA game. Let’s look at what are the most important things to keep in mind when choosing the best pair of basketball compression socks.

The science

Why did compression items become normal in basketball? Studies show that by increasing blood flow to the muscles, these items help muscle work during competition, and speed up the recovery process after workouts. The total number of benefits include:

Better blood flow: The walls of the arteries dilate, which increases blood flow to the muscles as much as 40%.

Quicker recovery: Veins become tighter, which lets the valves work more efficiently, which in turn leads to quicker blood circulation. Lactic acid is washed out of the muscles faster after competition.

Reduced number of injuries: The compression garments provide support to the muscles and tendons. Muscles have to produce movements in a more economic fashion.  Muscle vibrations are also reduced.

I am convinced that you have to put as much care into choosing your socks as you put into choosing the right pair of shoes. If you choose the right model, you will significantly reduce the risk of blisters, toenail issues, skin burns, fungi and bacterial infections. The socks are on your feet all the time, and your feet are a crucial instrument for your success or failure on the basketball court. The right socks must feel comfortable during sprints, cuts, jumps and other difficult maneuvers requiring agility.

The height of the socks

The are three different  models when it comes to basketball compression socks: ankle, knee high and thigh high models. Ankle ones start at the toes, and end right above your ankles. These are not going to be visible for an outside spectator, but they can give important support to the tendons, valves and arteries in your feet, .

Knee high socks end right above your calf, below the knee joints. These models are the most popular, since calves tend to be overworked during heated basketball encounters. This muscle group requires extra support and care. All my favourite models are from this group.

Socks that go over your knees are not recommended for basketball. Even though these apply pressure on the thighs also, they can fall down during competition since the movement of the knees makes it hard for them to stay tight to the skin. However these models can be great for post-competition recovery, especially if you frequently feel soreness in your thighs.

Compression leggings can be even better for regeneration. If you frequently experience pain in the naval area, these will be perfect for you. You can wear them during your sleep, and you will wake up as a new person. However if you don’t have problems with the muscles above your knees, I recommend that you use only compression socks. Getting leggings up can be a real problem, not to mention how difficult it can be to take them of when you have to go to the toilet. You can read a comprehensive guide about leggings here.

Compression sleeves  have been gaining popularity recently. They start at the ankles, so they don’t put any pressure on the feet. They end right below the knees, with an elastic band keeping them up. They are also great products, you can check out a longer article and guide to them here.

The thickness of the socks

Intermittent sports – like basketball – require you to wear thicker socks. These sports involve cutting, sprints, jumps, all motions that put a significant strain on the muscles and the tendons.

There are a lot of models that have added padding in one area or another. These paddings can provide support and mitigate the impact of landing and sudden movements. The following types of support are found in most of the models on the market:

  • Extra toe protection: Prevents blisters and mitigates the force of impact.
  • Extra arch support: Pain reducing arch support to add balance and provide a solid foundation during the match.
  • Soft foot padding: Ensures impact absorption at the foot, the heels and the toes.
  • Added ankle stability: Provides stability and structure to the tendons to prevent injuries and fatigue.
  • Achilles tendon support: Gives structure and consoles the aching tendon.

The padding on the heels and the balls of the feet are especially important if you are not a young gun anymore. As a player ages, the fat on the bottom of the feet becomes thinner, thus extra layers are needed on the socks to absorb the impact of landing.

Style and colour

There are virtually an endless number of different styles of on the market. Most products can be purchased in a number of colours. No matter what your personal favourite is, or what colours your team plays in, finding the best one for you can not be a problem.

The material

Most socks are made of nylon, with a mix of spandex, cotton or silk added to them. The exact material makeup of the product is not important, but it is crucial that you choose one with moisture wicking technology. These will let the sweat evaporate from your skin quickly. Anti-odor and anti-bacterial abilities are also a must. These ones keep the unwanted smells at bay, while preventing bacterial and fungi development.

Choose socks that fit perfectly

There is a story about John Wooden and how he used to start pre-season training by explaining to his new recruits how to put on their socks and how to tie their shoes. His thinking process was that badly fitting socks cause blisters, blisters cause uncomfort, which leads to missed shots, which leads to lost games.

The moral of the story is that if you wear socks that don’t fit your life will be a misery. Too big socks will sag, causing discomfort and blisters. A good rule of thumb is that in the arch, toe and heel areas the socks should feel tight on the skin, but not so tight that they stretch. Sagging or hanging on any part of the foot is forbidden.

There are many different vendors producing basketball compression socks. Each one has their own size chart. If you look for these items on Amazon, the charts on the product description pages will reveal exactly which size you need.

Added benefits for streetball

If you play on the streets there are some added benefits to wearing compression garments. These are UV protection, heat control, and cleanness.

UV protection is crucial if you spend long hours out on the court. This can prevent skin complications and other issues caused by lengthy exposure to sunlight.

Heat control is another crucial feature. Most models nowadays are made of materials that keep your legs cool during the summer, while during the winter the thickness of the material keeps your skin warm.

If you wear compression garments, all the dirt that would otherwise collect on your skin will get caught up on the clothing item.

An extra tip

If you play basketball several times a week, I suggest you buy more than one pair of socks. Usually you will want to wash your pair after each workout, but time constraints might prevent this. Not to mention that this would not be the most efficient method to go about having fresh socks for each time you enter the court. As a rule of thumb if you practice three time a week, I would buy at least two pairs. For more workouts I suggest having three pairs.

With this in mind, let’s look at a few compression socks perfect for playing basketball.

FITSHIT Premium Socks: Graduated Stockings For Men & Women

Even though this product is marketed as a premium sock, it can be gotten for a very reasonable price. They are clinically proven to reduce muscle soreness and fatigue. The socks have moisture wicking and anti-bacterial features. They will keep your legs dry and door-free. There are supporting pads on the balls of the feet and the heels, the ankles. There is also a little bit of support at the achilles tendon.

Vitalsox VT1211 Graduated Compression Socks

This product is available in twelve different colours, and was made of 70 % Silver Drystat, 10 % Spandex, 10% Lycra and 10% Nylon. This combination of materials provides anti-bacterial and anti-odor moisture wicking possibilities for the socks. Its medium strength graduated compression provides just enough pressure and gives maximum boost to the circulatory system. This one is a high quality product with Vitalsox having almost twenty years of experience in making compression products.

Physix Gear Sport socks for men and women

These socks offer true graduated compression, with high quality, anti-bacterial moisture wicking materials. The product is very durable thanks to its double stitching seams. It helps prevent blood cloths from forming and can provide an effective treatment method for varicose and spider veins on top of the usual blood circulation benefits of graduated compression. The socks come with extra support at the heels, the arch of the foot and the toes.

Graduated Compression Socks by DANISH ENDURANCE

These socks are made of a mix of polyamide, elasthan and lycra. The products are made in the EU, which ensures the highest quality materials, and high quality knitting technology. The products provide 16-21 mm Hg pressure with graduated compression from the ankles up to the top of the calf. The product provides all the benefits one would want from a pair of top socks. The padded footbed removes moisture and adds extra cushioning to reduce the force of impact.

Blitzu Compression Socks

These products have a unique design that combines the stability of kinesiology taping with the benefits of compression materials. This taping technology gives added support to the feet, the heels, the arch, ankles and the calves. The product is made of the company’s trademarked Power+ Premium Performance Fabric. This material combined with the superior grade circular knit structure delivers 360 degree stretch for greater flexibility and durability. The company offers a 100 % satisfaction guarantee. In case you don’t like the product, they will refund your money no questions asked.

High Fit Pro Compression Socks with TRIANGLE of SUPPORT

This product offers extra strong compression with anti-odor and moisture wicking material. The company offers a lifetime 100% money back guarantee. There is added ankle support with the socks, while the toes are protected with extra padding.

Vitalsox VT1211 Graduated Compression with DryStat

This product has one of the most advanced makeups of all the socks on the market. It has a footbed that adds extra cushioning to the bottom of your feet. The graduated compression of the socks puts 12-20 mm Hg pressure on the legs, and slowly reduces towards the knees. A smooth toe seam protects the toes during a workout. A special arch support is included to reduce plantar fasciitis. An ankle protector reduces friction and pressure. The material is a mixture of Drystat, lycra and nylon. This combination is an exclusive mix used by only Vitalsox, which is designed to remove moisture, and prevent bacterial and fungi development. There is a thin mesh stripe running down the side of the socks to increase ventilation and provide superior wicking.

What qualities are you looking for in the best basketball compression socks? Leave a comment below!