Perhaps you have wondered whether you really need compression socks, what compression socks even are, or if standard socks are enough for you? Compression socks offer so many more benefits than regular socks, though - keeping muscles warm prior to activities, increasing blood flow during and after activities, and even preventing injuries, to name a few. While regular socks can offer warmth, they just don’t offer this kind of support!
Regular socks can be made of cotton, or a blend of cotton, polyester, or a variety of other materials, and depending on the climate you’re playing in, and your specific needs, each can have its own advantages – wool is warm, but could also make your feet sweat too much, for example. Compression socks are usually made of light-weight materials such as nylon, lycra, or spandex, which are stretchy. The material overall is breathable and so will wick away sweat and moisture during activities, while still keeping muscles warm.
Calf compression socks cover the entire lower leg and foot and can be worn so that you don’t need to wear any socks on top of them with your shoes. The right fit will be snug, but not uncomfortable. Regular socks come in various lengths, but some options do not come quite as high as full-length compression socks. If you tend to stand or sit for long periods of time, if your preferred workout or sports activities invoke the calves and legs, or if you have had previous medical issues or injuries to the legs or veins within the legs, calf compression socks provide great options for relief from pain and swelling and protection from further injury and conditions. Regular socks do not offer such relief and protection.
The recommended level of compression is usually between 20 and 30 mmHg (this measurement is millimeters of mercury). Compression socks come in several sizes which are based both on the circumference (which should be measured at the largest part of the calf) as well as the length of the leg. Ensuring a good fit is important for receiving the most benefits from the compression socks.
Compression socks increase blood flow, which increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients that are able to then reach the muscles as they are being engaged during activity. The design of compression socks uses the feature of graduated compression – the sock is tighter at the bottom than at the top, putting greater pressure on the leg at the foot and lessening on the way up to the thigh. This pressure aids in the movement of the blood up the leg (called venus return), and through the veins’ system of valves, preventing pooling and overall allowing the blood to return back to the heart more efficiently. Wearing calf compression socks has been shown in studies to increase this blood flow up to 40% more (during the time one is active, and up to 30% during the period after activity – that is, during recovery). Everyday socks do not affect the blood flow in this manner.
As regular socks also do, calf compression socks come in a wide variety of colors to enjoy and match any other aspects of your sports gear or any uniform and are comfortable as they offer protection and increased performance.