Why Should Runners and Hikers Wear Compression Socks?

Why Should Runners and Hikers Wear Compression Socks?

Why Should Runners and Hikers Wear Compression Socks?

Compression socks apply steady pressure to your ankles and legs. That means they tighten your veins and increase blood circulation, essentially reducing the amount of blood that flows downward while helping more reach your heart. Read a medical description of the benefits compression socks offer, and you'll see phrases like "reduce the risk of venous ulcers," "minimize swollen ankles," and "help prevent deep vein thrombosis."

If you're a recreational athlete, a runner, or a hiker perhaps — you may fall into the trap of associating compression socks with your grandma or maybe an air hostess. The thought of compression socks may sound overly medical, as well as a little on the senior side. Nothing could be further from the truth. Compression socks can help almost anyone improve their overall health by increasing circulation and reducing the risk of various leg disorders, most of which start in the veins.


Who Benefits from Compression Socks?

Nearly anyone can benefit from wearing compression socks.

If you're stuck behind a desk all day, your calf muscles don't do very much, and you run the risk that blood pools toward the bottom of your legs — even if you take proactive steps to get up, walk around, and do some stretching exercises every hour. Compression socks are for you, and the same holds true if your job or other daily activities force you to stand up for extended lengths of time.

If you’re a health-conscious person who likes to do everything in their power to look after your body, both in the present and with your mind on the future, compression socks are for you.

Suppose you're a serious athlete, and especially a runner, hiker, or long-distance walker. In that case, you may already know that compression socks have the potential to take the sting out of some of that post-workout leg soreness and that they can help you stay comfortable and warm as you exercise. It's even possible that routinely wearing compression socks gives your performance a boost as you achieve better circulation.

Nonmedical compression socks don't require any prescription, and some people even choose to wear them simply because it makes their daily life more comfortable.


What do You Need to Look Out for if You Want to Try Compression Socks?

Compression socks for athletes can broadly be divided into two types — below the knee and above the knee. If you’ve got well-developed calf muscles, you will almost certainly find the above-the-knee variety to be much more comfortable.

Because compression socks may take some getting used to, you may want to start off wearing them for short lengths of time. Don't fret because those markings you see on your legs don't mean that you're compromising on blood circulation.

The only caveat is that you need to make sure your compression socks fit correctly. Most athletes and people who would like to give compression socks a go for daily use will do best with very light to light versions (which apply pressures of 8 to 20 mmHg), while others will opt for firmer compression socks.

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