The importance of socks is not something most running coaches focus on. There is enough written about all sorts of workout gear from shoes to technical T-shirts, but the humble sock gets left out. This is our ode to socks. More specifically – compression socks.
Now you’ve probably only heard of airline pilots, diabetics or people with deep vein thrombosis endorse compression socks, but these days a lot of runners are starting to sport them on the track. The basic science behind it is that compression socks stimulate blood flow. And that increase in blood circulation helps reduce lactic acid build up, thereby helping runners recover from their runs faster.
Though it must be mentioned that there is lack of scientific evidence showing their effect on improving a runner’s performance. Majority of the studies have proved that they have no physiological affect on a runner, thereby not assisting in increasing performance. Despite these studies, athletes and runners have reported that they had reduced strain on their calves and their recovery time was much faster.
Try to keep in mind that compression socks are high socks, so they might not be advisable when you’re running in high temperatures, but you could use them as a tool and wear them whenever you think you’re going to be training extra hard, so as to help you recover faster.
They might not guarantee an improved performance, but then there is no panacea, no magical cure-all for such a step. It comes with a number of little steps. Since no adverse effects have been reported, our suggestion would be to go ahead and get yourself a pair and try them out. Sometimes using gear, even just as a security blanket, can help your performance.
Whatever works for you, make sure it’s also working for your running, and not adversely affecting it.