In my post on preparing for race day, I mentioned that I always wear compression socks before and after a race or hard workout (or whenever my legs need a bit of recovery help). After a race, I literally put them on as soon as I get out of the shower, sleep with them on, and don’t take them off until the next morning. I believe that doing this helps me recover FAR more quickly than I would otherwise, and (along with my foam roller and a good post-race meal), I consider my compression socks my most important tool for recovery.
Benefits of Compression Socks
Compression socks have been said to have the following benefits:
- increased oxygen delivery to muscles
- increased blood flow and decreased lactic acid build-up in muscles
- increased performance
- minimized muscle fatigue and cramping
Elite runners, Cross-Fitters, and many other athletes wear compression socks before, during, and after exercise. (I mean, who wouldn’t want to do what Kara Goucher, my idol, is doing? :)) (picture source)
I got interested in compression socks several years ago, because many runners I knew spoke highly of them, but I checked out the research before buying them. What I found was somewhat of a mixed bag. Here are a few highlights:
- Compression socks have been found to increase blood flow when at rest, when you are NOT exercising (that link does a great job at summing up a lot of the research on compression, and provides author names for various studies)
- Wearing compression socks after exercise has been proven to decrease muscle soreness and improve recovery, including reducing DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) 24-hours after a fast 10-K
- Graduated compression socks (tighter at the ankles, looser as you go up the leg) show best effects
- Blood level of lactic acid was decreased after wearing compression socks
- BUT … there are very few studies that show any benefit of wearing compression socks DURING exercise. Studies have shown no change in running times, VO2 max, oxygen consumption, or heart rates, and only minimal difference in time to exhaustion.
I believe that research and proven results are very important, but I also really believe in doing what works for YOUR OWN body. So the effects that I feel after waking up the day after a race are most important to me, and I truly can feel a big difference in my recovery! (Side note: holding your legs up while trying to take a picture like this is a good ab workout – ha!)
When I first bought compression socks, I researched various brands and decided that Eurosock was the best product for me. I like their graduated compression, the research they put behind their products, their materials and technology, and the silver in their socks (which has antibacterial/ antimicrobial/ antifungal properties). The price point was in line with or better than other similar products ($35 each), so I was sold. After about a year of wearing my Eurosocks a few times per week, I wore holes in the heels, and didn’t think twice about purchasing another pair. I have never worn another brand of compression socks, so I can’t compare, but I know these work for me!
When I reached out to Eurosock, they sent me a pair of compression socks and a pair of running socks. Because I already own two pairs of compression socks, I want to offer this pair to YOU! But first, let me tell you about the running socks (which I kept for myself to review). The socks were a little thicker than I am used to, and came up slightly higher above my ankle. It felt funny at first, but the way they hugged my foot made me feel like I had a lot of support. They did not cause any blisters or uncomfortable rubbing, and I got used to thickness within a few steps. On a hot summer Texas day, they did get pretty soaked, so I’d recommend them for cooler temperatures over hot ones. Overall, I liked the running socks, but they weren’t particularly special to me – I’d purchase them again, but wouldn’t go out of my way to do so. (The compression socks, on the other hand, I ADORE … in case you weren’t already sure :)).
(As I mentioned, I purchased my first two pairs of Eurosocks with my own money. I was given the running socks that I kept and the compression socks that I’m giving away to you free of charge. I will pay for shipping out of my own pocket, and I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are always my own!)
Compression Sock Giveaway! <<GIVEAWAY IS OVER>>
Because I’m such a believer in compression socks, I want to share the love with you! Here’s your chance to win your very own pair of Eurosocks compression socks! (Note: I had to choose in advance, so I chose Medium, which fits Men sizes 8-10 and Women sizes 9-11 … but I wear 7.5 and they’re fine for me. I also chose pink, because it’s the best color ever!)
There are three ways to enter, and one of them is to suggest an improvement to my blog. I am going through Katy Widrick’s Octoblog challenge, where I make at least one small improvement to my blog each day, so if there’s something that’s not working for you, or something that could make your Lyons’ Share experience better, please let me know! (You may have noticed the signature on today’s post, or the mobile-optimized website, which were yesterday’s improvements!).
You must enter using the Rafflecopter plug-in below (you have not entered until you click the green “+1” symbols). Giveaway will stay open until Saturday 10/5/13 at 11:59pm CT, and I’ll announce the winner in Sunday’s post! I’ll ship anywhere, worldwide, but it will be the cheap-and-slow version!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
So tell me in the comments… Compression socks – yay or nay? Do you have any suggestions for my Octoblog Blog Improvement Challenge?
Although I haven’t come across a study that shows if compression socks help your athletic performance during workouts, I find that the way they hold my muscles and joints really help. I have cranky ankles from years of running on pavement, and I had bad calf injuries from overexercising in the past. I find that compression socks help with both aspects. Not to mention that my legs stay warm during the winter, and they are kept cool in the summer months.
Have not tried these but would welcome them over the pantyhose style!
yay for me because i’ve had a bloodclot in my calf before and they help
i have heard of them before but never tried them. I believe they helpthe circulation and would be a great benefit
My husband has used them for vascular insufficiency, but I have never tried them
I didn’t know they was such a thing as compressions socks, would love to try them
I’ve never had the chance to try them, but they look like they are amazing! I would love the chance to try them! Thank you so much for the chance!
My girlfriend is a marathon runner, but I don’t think she’s use these before. They seem interesting and worth a shot.
yay I could really uses apair of theses socks.
I have never tried compression socks but these look so much nicer than the old lady looking ones I had been looking at!
yay, my mom uses them
Yes to compression stockings!
I should be wearing compression stockings, but most of them are ugly so I don’t. I have had a lot of surgeries and I know they would help.
I’ve never tried them, but my husband has tried a compression sleeve for baseball and absolutely loved it!
I’ve never worn them but I’m thinking a definite YAY… sounds like they could really help and sound wonderful for recovery. With the problems I’ve been having lately, I think I could definitely benefit from a pair. Thanks for the chance to enter
I’ve been researching them, so even though I haven’t tried them yet, they seem to be a yay.
Compression socks Yay after a fast walk with my big pulling dog.
I’ve not tried compression socks, but would love the chance to!
I recently discovered compression socks and I love them for recovery. I don’t have a pick pair and I really want some!
i wear compression socks and have been looking for some that look more hip and current and less like old lady socks. these sound great
I like them
the older you get the more help you need with circulation and I would love a pair of compression socks to help with my restless legs at night and help me sleep better
I’ve never tried compression socks, but I want to try!
I am new to running, so please don’t laugh, but I had no idea runners use compression socks! I thought they were just for diabetics. 🙂 So cool. If they really help with recovery I totally need to look in to them. I am also new to your blog, so no suggestions yet.
Ya! Great for when you push yourself or overtrain. It will give you some relief.
Yay on the compression socks. The only improvement that I can think of is more giveaways.
I’m a fan of compression socks! I had an accident last year and had to wear them during my recovery period and I just loved it! I can definitely attest to the great benefits!
I wear a pair when I go running
I say yay because I want to try them.
I would love to try theses. YAY
I have never worn them, but would love to try them out!
I say “yay” even though I don’t currently own a pair.
I’ve never tried compression socks (yet) but also have never been a runner before! Husband and I are learning (slowly) and I can see these being very helpful!
Hi Sara! Sorry for the late response, but I wanted to say congratulations to you and your husband for getting into running! Be patient with yourselves, and take it slow at first! I hope you love it!
I’ve seen a lot about the benefits of compression socks, but have never tried them myself. I’m not a long distance runner so have never considered them necessary. However the benefits you listed don’t seem to be limited to JUST runners. I’d love to try them out!
i havent wore them but think they would help but they are expensive!
I am not a runner but I have been wearing a pair of compression socks occasionally for pregnancy related restless leg issues. The help immediately and I can totally see how they would be beneficial to athletes. Thank you for the opportunity to win some a little more stylish than hospital issued ones!
yes on compression socks and for the blog challenge maybe a different color for the comments?
I have diabetes and compression socks are a staple
Meg: I have heard great things about compression socks but after having run for 50+ years, I am so terribly set in my ways. Knowing that I am the most difficult person on God’s green earth to find a Xmas present for, this is the item that may be the holy grail This year, for this beat up, old running guy’ wrap it discretely and I will pretend I was surprised. Then you can regret you ever got them for me when this old, but not dead yet, guy beats you in next years races! – Gary
I’ve never worn them but would love to try them. I feel like they’d be great for after crossfit!
Yes, I LOVE compression socks, especially now since I’m pregnant.
I love compression socks! I really do think they help with recovery. I only have one pair and have to wash them way to often as I’m training for my first half marathon!.
I just found your blog and look forward to checking it out!
Tried them and i love them!
Im not sure but, would love to try them!
I’ve never worn compression socks but would love to try them. Thanks for the chance!
I’ve never used compression socks before but… it’s a YAY. If they help with recovery then why the heck not! 🙂
I love your site! but if i were to change one thing, I’d put your picture along the sidebar, because you have a face that people would want to see!
Hey Cori, I might win a prize for latest response to a comment ever (sorry!), but wanted to thank you for the suggestion of putting my picture on the sidebar – done! Can’t believe I never thought about this before you suggested it :).
I have been wearing compression socks for a few years and love them. I would love to win these.
I say anything that can help you with your health or comfort is a YAY! I have never tried the socks, but I know how wearing the boots in the hospital helped me so much, it’s the same idea. Worth a try, maybe not for everybody.
i love compression socks and need some new ones! thanks for the chance to win
i love compression socks!
I wear compression socks when flying overseas, but maybe I should wear them more often???
I’ve heard people wear them to alleviate leg cramps after lots of sweating and exercise.
I have one pair of compression socks at the moment, and I LOVE them! I need more because I have wash these like daily. 🙂
I have never tried them, but just learned a bit about them in one of my nursing classes last week, and they sound awesome for after running, as well as for working!
I am DYING to try compression socks. I have researched a bit but not enough to feel comfortable purchasing. Now I have somewhere to start, 🙂 especially if I win!
i have never tried them before but since i live in the mountains they might be helpful for walking up and down the hills in my area
I love the benefits of the compression socks, just wonder if they are actually comfortable!
I’ve never tried compression socks, but I want to try!
YAY! I would like to try these
I’d love to try the compression socks! I’m wondering if they may be beneficial for diabetics. Can’t think of any changes needed.
Hi Rae. I’m sorry for the very late response, but wanted to let you know that, like you suggested, compression socks can be very beneficial for diabetics! In fact, they were used for diabetics far before runners got on board, and they really help improve any circulation issues that diabetics have. Here is a link I found useful (note that it’s done by a company that makes compression socks, but I still think the info presented is good): http://www.sigvariscares.com/ftp/WebPDFBro/DiabetesBRO.pdf . I hope you try some!
Big believer in compression socks, and I appreciate your perspective and background info. I have found that wearing them after makes a huge impact on recovery. I’ve worn mine out!
Yes for compression, as I age any advantage is a big positive, especially when it comes to recovery.
Big fan of compression socks!!!
I would love to try compression socks, lots of nurses I work with wear them.
I think these would be great and I did write one comment but seen they are pink so I would give them to my son’s girlfriend that runs marathons too. She loves pink too!! Too cool.
I think they would be great for runners especially when the weather is cold out. I’d love to win for my son in medical school that runs in assorted marathons all the time. Thanks. great product!
I’d say yay because I’ve heard such great things about them, although I’ve never tried them myself.
I keep reading about compression socks and how they are beneficial for long distance runners, I am training for my second half and could use these.
Hi Jessica! I’m sorry for the late response, but wanted to wish you good luck in your training for your second half!
What a great blog challenge!! I really like your blog, but I’ll try to keep thinking! I hate when I ask for suggestions and no one comes up with anything! I’ve never tried compression socks because I always feared they’d cut off my circulation. I’m sure that’s silly, but maybe I should give them a try!
Would love to try them! With my wonky leg I think they would really help!
I talked to my doctor recently and she suggested compression socks … just need to buy some after the marathon this weekend.
My feet are 13’s though – so I am not ‘entering’ 🙂 Good luck to the winner!
yay! would live to try these.
I am a huge fan of compression socks!
I have neuralgia and would love to try something that would make my legs more comfortable at night.
Hmm…I am not sure that I can think of a blog improvement for you, Meg. I like so many of the things you do already! I’ve never tried compression socks but would love to give ’em a try!
Sorry for the late response, Laurie, but wanted to thank you for this sweet comment! I think you of all people (being such a great runner AND lifter) would really benefit from compression socks – ask for some for the holidays coming up :).
I just started using compression socks for longer runs, and while I haven’t noticed a difference during the run, I have noticed a faster recovery time. I just bought a cheap pair from Amazon, so I am looking forward to trying a pair of Eurosocks!
i have never worn them before but i am sure they would be great if i did wear them.
I swear by compression socks! I love them! I was wearing them on every single run I was doing! I think they do wonders for recovery and help to alleviate some of the shock and impact of running on your legs.
I would loveeee to win these! Between running and Crossfit, this would be great. I am a size 7 so fingers crossed. I think it would be great to have your twitter feed along the sidebar
Yes, you need compression socks for all that activity! Thanks for the Twitter feed suggestion … adding it to my list now! Love those suggestions that really test my (completely non-existant) technical abilities!
I’ve never worn compression socks, but I’ve been thinking about trying some out to see if they help recovery.
I hope you try them, Allison … they really help me!