Ever considered wearing compression socks during your run? Compression socks, sleeves, leggings, and tights can increase oxygen delivery and circulation, decrease lactic acid build-up, prevent cramps, and minimize muscle fatigue.

Ready to take advantage of the latest, greatest compression technology? Check out the benefits of compression socks for running and learn what to look for when choosing a pair.   

Compression for Runners

Compression garments for runners are made up of gradient elastic and other materials that gently squeeze the subcutaneous tissue of the leg and ankle with 15-20 mmHg or 22-32 mmHg of pressure. This pressure decreases as the garment moves up towards the knee. A sock labeled 15-20 mmHg is 20 mmHg at the ankle and 15 at the calf.

Benefits of Wearing Compression While Running  

Compression offers many benefits for runners, especially during and after their runs.  

Temperature

Wearing compression gear can help regulate your body temperature. Putting pressure on your feet and legs and gradually decreasing that pressure towards the knee, helps get your blood flowing back towards the heart, thus regulating your body temperature. Compression garments can also help keep your lower legs nice and warm during your runs, keeping your muscles limber, an added bonus.  

Protection

Wearing knee-high compression socks, sleeves, leggings, or tights not only protects your lower legs from dirt and stones and scratchy branches, the pressure they provide can also help stabilize lower leg injuries.    

Compression Can Improve Performance and Recovery

Here’s what you’ve been waiting for folks, the two things most improved by wearing compression socks and gear when running: performance, and the dreaded recovery cycle.

Performance

The gradient pressure from compression garments increases blood flow to the legs and feet which improves endurance so you can knock out that extra mile. When the foot strikes the ground during a run, it sends vibrations up the runner’s leg and causes to shake. This can damage muscles, leaving your legs sorer than ever, especially if you are a long-distance runner. Compression helps improve muscle movement by squeezing your legs and muscles to provide stability and ultimate comfort during your run.

Recovery

Compression garments help in your recovery process by reducing muscle soreness and decreasing swelling and DOMs after your run. 

What to Look For When Buying Compression

Compression garments, such as socks, sleeves, leggings, and tights, can increase oxygen delivery and circulation, decrease lactic acid build-up, prevent cramps, and minimize muscle fatigue. When you’re looking for any type of running socks, including compression, you want to make sure they are breathable and have moisture management system to prevent blisters and irritation.

Compression socks for running are typically made from materials such as nylon, polyester, wool, CoolMax, Lycra, and Spandex, which all help keep your feet dry, comfortable, and blister-free, another bonus for runners.    

Remember, compression or not, badly fitting gear can ruin a run. Compression socks are sized by calf and ankle circumference, so make sure you measure your calves for proper sizing, otherwise, you won’t get the proper compression levels (i.e. 15-20 mmHg, 22-32 mmHg) and benefits. A proper fit will also prevent the garment from moving or slipping while you’re running.

Compression Socks We Recommend for Running

CEP Compression

CEP Compression applies more than 60 years of experience with German design, research, and manufacturing to create high-tech, high-quality athletic compression gear engineered for intelligent athletes looking to improve their performance and have a shorter recovery phase.

With targeted compression throughout the foot that provides support, improves shoe fit, and reduces swelling, try the CEP Women’s Dynamic+ No Show Socks.

Try the CEP Men’s Dynamic+ Short Socks. Perfect for the athlete looking for added support and an improved shoe fit, with targeted compression in the foot and ankle area provide support while reducing the instance of swelling.  

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Smartwool

Experience the comfort and powerful combination of performance-enhancing Merino and recovery-enhancing compression with Smartwool’s PhD Run Graduated Compression Ultra Light Socks, available for both men and women.  

Injinji

Try the Injinji 2.0 Compression OTC Sock. Featuring a 5 Toe Fit System combined with a graduated lower leg compression design that enhances circulation, accelerates recovery of muscle force capacity and reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

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