When you’re running, you should be focused on your form or the local scenery—not on the stiffness and pain in your legs. If you love running but frequently experience shin splints or very sore muscles, compression socks may be the answer you’re looking for.
Compression socks are an inexpensive, easy way to protect your muscles and joints during a run, and they make recovery afterward go more smoothly. The guide below discusses the many benefits of compression socks for runners, how to choose the best compression levels for your needs, and how to pick the right size.
Do you frequently experience soreness and pain after going for a run? Nurse Yard’s compression socks are just what you need. With graduated compression, cushioned ankles, and lightly supported arches, our compression socks are designed to keep you pain-free and energized both during and after your run. Shop our styles today—there’s a little something for everyone!
What Do Compression Socks Do?
Compression socks apply snug pressure to your calves and feet to help the fluids in your legs fight the flow of gravity. Rather than allowing fluids to pool in your ankles and cause painful swelling, compression socks gently push the blood and lymph away from these areas. This process not only improves circulation but keeps your heart rate steady and aids in recovery after a run.
Benefits of Compression Socks for Runners
Running is good for cardiovascular health, conditioning the muscles, and relieving stress. However, it can also cause painful conditions like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and joint problems.
Compression socks help treat and prevent these issues by:
- Supporting the muscles and connective tissues in the legs
- Improving circulation and lymphatic drainage
- Alleviating stress and pressure on joints
Compression Sock vs. Compression Sleeves
Some runners may prefer compression sleeves over compression socks and vice versa. Compression socks cover everything from the toe to just below the knee, providing compression and support for the feet, ankles, and legs.
Compression sleeves are footless and cover the leg from just above the ankle up to the knee. Runners who don’t experience sore feet or dislike having compressed toes may prefer compression sleeves. However, a full compression sock often includes arch support, which can alleviate pain in both the foot and leg.
Do Compression Socks Improve Athletic Performance?
Compression socks for runners improve athletic performance when worn regularly during and after your run. When you slip on a clean pair after a run, it helps you recover more quickly so you’re not sore or stiff for your next run.
During a run, compression socks enhance circulation in your legs, which bathes your muscles in oxygen and keeps your pulse steady. They also aid lymphatic drainage, which keeps your muscles from fatiguing as fast. These factors help you run faster and longer.
Do Compression Socks Aid in Recovery After a Run?
Yes—compression socks help your legs recover faster after a run by preventing the buildup of fluids in your muscles that can cause inflammation and pain. Improved circulation also helps keep your muscles “warm” after you’re finished running so your muscles don’t seize up in the sudden shift from intense activity to resting.
If you plan on wearing compression socks to help you recover after a run, be sure to slip into a clean pair. Wearing sweaty compression socks for too long can cause unpleasant infections in your feet, such as athlete’s foot.
How to Choose the Right Compression Sock
Finding the right fit and compression level and determining which key features your socks need helps ensure you experience all the benefits compression socks have to offer. Below we walk through all the factors you need to consider when choosing the right compression socks for running.
Find the Right Size
Compression socks that are too small can chafe or bruise the skin, while socks that are too large can cause blisters on your feet and slip out of place. The best way to find the right compression sock size is to measure the widest part of your calf with a flexible measuring tape and pair that measurement with your shoe size.
Compare both measurements to the size chart for the compression socks you want to purchase to find the right fit. For instance, if you’re getting Nurse Yard compression socks and you wear a women’s size 8 shoe with an 11-inch calf circumference, the women’s S/M will likely fit you best.
Determine the Right Compression Ratings
When it comes to running, it’s important to choose compression socks with the right amount of pressure to comfortably hug the leg and improve circulation. Too much pressure can disrupt blood flow, while too little won’t be effective in supporting good circulation.
Compression is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), with higher numbers indicating more pressure. While 15mmHg is sufficient to prevent some soreness, graduated pressure ranging from 30mmHg around the ankle to 20mmHg just below the knee is very effective in reducing inflammation and improving performance.
Determine Which Features Matter to You
Different brands of compression socks for runners also have different features to increase the wearer’s comfort and prevent problems like athlete’s foot and chafing.
Here are a few key features to think about when looking for the right pair:
- Open toes to prevent chafing and allow the toes to breath
- Compression sleeves that only cover the ankle and calf
- Moisture-wicking to keep feet and legs cool and dry
- Anti-odor/anti-microbial to prevent unpleasant smells or infections
- No-slip soles to keep you steady during and after your run
- Top band or cuff to keep the socks in place while you run
- Cushioned foot or arch to absorb and reduce impact
- Quick-drying to keep your feet drier and blister-free when you run
Get Compression Socks for Your Next Run From Nurse Yard
Nurse Yard’s compression socks for runners offer snug, graduated compression that improves circulation without chafing the skin or falling down. Lightly supported arches absorb impact as you run, and a roomy fit in the toes allows your feet to breathe. Additionally, cushioning in the ankles protects them from rubbing against your sneakers.
With these compression socks, you can run at a steady speed for longer, and they come in a number of different colors, sizes, and styles so you can choose a perfect fit that matches your aesthetic. Order your first pair today, and get a second pair 70% off!