I've experimented with socks and sleeves, wearing them during a long training run, or after a run for recovery. While training for my first marathon I hadn't discovered compression yet, but I did use the socks for my second, to great effect. I honestly felt a huge difference in my recovery and performance that time around.
Since I work at a running store, I learned about the science behind compression. Basically, the material is tighter by the ankle, and gradually lessens as it stretches up the calf and to the knee. This helps force the blood back up to the heart, to increase circulation. This action helps keep the muscles fresh, to give support as needed and even help with injury recovery.
Thanks to the lovely folks at BrightLife Go, I had a chance to choose a pair of compressions socks from their vast selection of different styles, price points and compression levels. I had a hard time picking just one, some of them were really cute, like this pair from Zensah:
I ultimately decided to go with a pair from Sigvarus, which was from the Athletic category:
The first thing that I noticed was how soft the socks were, with a cushioned bottom. They were definitely more comfortable that my other brand, and seemed more pliable, and easier to put on. Compression socks are a bit of a struggle to put on, like super tight panty hose, but these were a breeze.
I also liked the different panels, which you can see by the grey seams, one hugged my calf, the others, the arch of my foot.
I wore these a few times on the treadmill as I started training for the Boilermaker 15k, giving myself some extra help near my injured ankle. I was trying to be cautious as I slowly made my way back to longer runs.
I have a half marathon coming up on September 12. The other morning I ran nine miles, then spent the morning packing up the car for one of our trips to the ADK. I decided to put the socks on after my run, and wore them all day, until dinnertime, after we unloaded the car, unpacked, and made dinner. I happily woke up the next morning without any soreness or stiffness, just fresh feeling legs.
If you're in the market for compression (and I highly recommend it) head right over to BrightLife Go and get shopping!!
*Note: I was sent a pair of socks for the purpose of this review, the opinions on the product are my own.