Let’s play a game. We’ll give you a phrase, and you tell us the first thing that comes to mind. Ready? Okay. Compression socks.
So what did you think of? Did you visualize an elderly woman sporting beige, rubbery hose? Maybe you pictured a nurse wearing a white uniform, hair in a bun with compression socks up to her knees. There’s a stigma attached to compression socks, but they’re not just for grandpa anymore! Let’s take a look at exactly what they can do for your health, and why you should stock up on these stockings.
What are Compression Socks?
If you’re only familiar with compression socks because your grandma wore them, you may not know what they are. Before you can understand their benefits, you’ll need to know exactly what they do.
Compression socks are socks which are tight at the feet and ankles, and gradually become looser toward the top. Not all socks are knee or thigh-high, either. There are many types of compression socks, and all will provide a different benefit to your health.
Of course, there’s a scientific explanation for how compression socks work, but we’ll just keep it simple. Compression socks are made of a strong elastic which puts a lot of pressure on your feet, your ankles and your legs. They push down on the surface veins and arteries, and by doing that, your blood is forced to take the narrower paths.
The long and short of it is that as compression socks change the way your blood moves, more blood will circulate to your heart. This is particularly helpful for people with conditions like edema, varicose veins and for women who are pregnant. But did you know that active and healthy people can benefit from compression socks, too?
Many studies have shown that compression socks can help the most active people stay healthy. They’ll reduce pain, boost recovery time and increase blood circulation through your body. Even if you’re not a runner or an athlete, compression socks will provide benefits to your circulatory health. Ready to learn more? Let’s look at what compression socks can do for healthy and active people.
Who Needs Compression Socks?
You already know that compression socks are great for those who are prone to varicose veins and poor circulation. But they’re great for runners and athletes, too! When you’re active – and even when you’re watching Netflix on the couch – your heart is pumping blood to your arms and legs. Your cells use the oxygen in your blood, then your veins carry that blood back to the heart where it gets oxygenated again.
When you exercise, your muscles use the oxygen in your blood more quickly than your heart can supply it. As a result, your muscles begin to operate “anaerobically,” or without oxygen. This creates a buildup of lactic acid. Lactic acid is the chemical your body produces which makes you feel a burn while you work out.
Wearing compression socks both during and after a workout can help your body in a few ways.
- Arterial dilation. Arterial dilation is just a fancy way of saying that your arteries will grow slightly larger while you’re wearing compression socks. That, in turn, means that more blood will return to your heart to be oxygenated. In fact, blood flow in your arteries increases by up to 40% when you’re wearing compression socks.
- Vein constriction. When you’re wearing compression socks during exercise, the walls of your veins will constrict. This makes the blood flow faster to your heart. So why is that a good thing? Not only will your deoxygenated blood reach your heart more quickly, but lactic acid will be flushed from your body faster, as well.
- Reduction of swelling. Even if you’re not training for a triathlon, compression socks will help promote healthy circulation. They’ve been proven to reduce edema in people of all ages and lifestyles. They also help to lessen the risk of blood clots, which can be very dangerous. Finally, if you already suffer from vein disease, compression socks can help to lessen the symptoms.
6 Reasons You Should Wear Compression Socks
Alright, have you had enough of the science stuff? Ready to learn why you need compression socks? Here are 6 reasons you should stock up on stockings for your circulatory health.
- Compression socks can boost your athletic performance. Studies have shown that athletes wearing compression socks can continue activity for longer before feeling fatigued. The increased blood flow and flush of lactic acid is thought to be the reason for this.
- You’ll recover from workouts more quickly. Athletes who wore compression socks in the 24 hours following activity found reduced instance of muscle soreness, and a quicker recovery time than those who did not wear the socks. Please note that you should not wear compression socks to bed.
- You don’t need a prescription! If you’ve been seeing a doctor for vein trouble or other ailments, it’s possible that you’ve been prescribed compression socks. But did you know that you can purchase compression socks “over the counter?” Some insurance companies will even reimburse you.
- Compression socks come in different levels of firmness. You can find compression socks in different strengths. On the package, you’ll see a number followed by mmHg. 10-15 is the lowest firmness of compression socks, but you can get them in 15-20 mmHg without a prescription, too. Anything over 20 mmHg and you’ll have to talk to your doctor.
- Compression socks just look cool. Remember when we talked about grandma’s compression socks? Well, the style has changed. Compression socks are now sold in attractive styles; in fact, no one even has to know you’re wearing them!
- They’re good for your feet, too. Whether you’re an athlete or you work long hours on your feet, compression socks can help alleviate the pain associated with foot fatigue. Compression socks can help to relieve pain from plantar fasciitis, too.
Of course, if you’re experiencing any type of vein condition or illness, you should talk to your doctor before using compression socks. But for a healthy person, compression socks are a great way to boost your athletic performance and recovery, improve your circulation, and prevent vein illness!
Below you can find a list of our top 5 compression socks that help you with your goals
Perfect for athletes or if you need to spend hours on your feet, suffer from plantar fasciitis or need pain relief for better and faster regeneration.
Targeted more at the heel and back of your foot while giving some serious ankle support and comfort thanks to a very comfortable toe cushion, these socks are your perfect choice if you are a runner, hiker, track and field athlete or an athlete in general.
Made for the ambitious athlete and designed with the latest innovation in moisture management. These high performance sport socks support, heal, regulate temperature and protect your feet during each run or exercise. If you´re serious about sports you gotta have these.
If normal compression socks are too hard to put on these are just for you. Conveniently put them on using a zipper. Using these you can literally just zip the pain away…
If you are having pain in your calfs or if you want to avoid getting aching calfs you should try this model. Firm fit leads to better blood circulation in your legs and less pain. Calfs and feet regenerate better after a run or workout. On top of these benefits they just look super cool.