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Why You Should Start Using Compression Socks

By May 8, 2015 1597 Views 2 comments

Medically Edited and Reviewed by Dr. Erin Zinkhan MD, BSBE

Updated: 05/24/2019

For years, doctors have been recommending compression socks for many medical conditions, from swollen ankles and varicose veins to preventing life-threatening blood clots. When you want to take care of medical problems with your legs, consult a physician, and use the best equipment available.

Who uses compression socks?Athletic Compression Socks

Compression socks are sometimes used by athletes during workouts because compression socks have a variety of benefits, including decreasing swelling during and after a workout. Compression socks are now also being used by athletes and trainers as part of compression therapy to boost their performance and recovery.

How do compression socks work?

Compression socks squeeze the skin from the ankle to the knee in a graduated fashion. This gentle squeezing improves blood flow back to the heart and decreases edema. For runners, be they joggers or marathon runners, compressions socks are beneficial because compression socks decrease the build-up of lactic acid in the blood during exercise. Lactic acid is the main cause for muscle fatigue and discomfort during exercise and can negatively affect an athlete's performance.


According to an independent study from the Journal of Sports Sciences, wearing compression socks during training or during a strenuous workout can help with Daily Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS. Basically, wearing these socks not only enhances an athlete's performance but also provides therapy when they are recovering from any strenuous activity.

According to the study, it was found that 86% of the participants who wore these graduated compression socks did not experience DOMS after their workout. Compared to the participants wearing regular ankle socks, the ones wearing compression socks felt better after their work outs.

How to get the right compression socksCEP Progressive Compression Socks

When choosing clothing, we always look for the right fit and high-quality construction. For socks, we follow the same guidelines. Look for the right amount of compression on the label, and don't opt for bargain compression socks just because you might save some money. The compression should be between 15-30mmHg, so it can benefit you properly.

The correct size is also important. A good sock does not get measured the same way as a shoe, so get the correct ankle and calf measurements to ensure that the sock is a proper fit.

Thirdly, follow the manufacturer's care instructions, so you can keep the socks in optimal working condition.

When training, the right equipment is just as important as the right outfit. Although you will not be wearing compression socks as a fashion choice, wearing high-quality graduated compression socks will help you recover from exercise while your body stays in its best shape.


1.Wu S, et al. Control of Lower Extremity Edema in Patients with Diabetes: Double Blind Randomized Controlled Trial Assessing the Efficacy of Mild Compression Diabetic Socks. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2017 May; 127: 35-43

2.Armstrong Sa, et al. Compression socks and functional recovery following marathon running: a randomized controlled trial. J Strenth Cond Res. 2015 Feb;29(2):528-33

3.Rivas E, et al. Leg compressions improve ventilatory efficiency while reducing peak and post exercise blood lactate, but does not improve perceived exertion, exercise economy or aerobic exercise capacity in endurance-trained runners. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2017 Mar;237:1-6.

4.Brophy-Williams N, et al. Wearing compression socks during exercise aids subsequent performance. J Sci Med Sport. 2019 Jan;22(1):123-127.

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Burt Cancaster, Author

Vitality Medical
7910 South 3500 East, Suite C
Salt Lake City, UT 84121
(801) 733-4449
[email protected]

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Posted in: Compression Therapy
Robert Fisher April 9, 2016 at 9:27 AM
Will it cause harm if compression socks are too tight? Do you carry an Extra Large (foot to knee)?
Burt Cancaster April 15, 2016 at 12:40 PM
Yes, Robert, you can cause harm if the compression socks are too tight. Socks that are too tight will be difficult to don, will be very uncomfortable, and will restrict your blood flow. If extremely tight, the compression sock could, in fact, act as a tourniquet. If you are attempting to treat an illness such as lymphedema or DVT, you should consult a physician in order to determine the correct pressure. Compression sock pressure is usually indicated on the mercury scale and indicated in measurements of mmHg. Your doctor should be able to prescribe the correct pressure rating you need. If you are using the compression socks for sports or for recovery, most athletes use between 8 and 15 mmHg.

Vitality Medical carries several knee-high compression socks. They can be viewed at the links below: