Benefits of Compression Socks for Athletes

Benefits of Compression Socks for Athletes

Are you considering wearing a pair of compression socks for running, roller skating or cycling? The advantages that come with wearing this particular type of socks are very appealing and offer huge benefits for your health and well-being. Check out your athletic strengths!

Until a few years ago, compression socks were mostly used when running. However, compression socks are gaining popularity among cyclists, mountain bikers and inline skaters. When you see the benefits of compression socks, you'll quickly understand why. Compression socks can help you recover faster, reduce muscle soreness, and improve your performance while exercising. Most importantly, they help prevent injuries.

If you're an avid runner, then I bet you've heard of compression socks. Studies show that compression stockings help improve blood flow and circulation, increase oxygen delivery to muscles, and remove lactic acid for better recovery from exercise. We'll look at the scientific evidence on the specific benefits of compression socks for athletes to see if they're really worth wearing on your daily run.

What are compression socks?

Compression stockings or compression stockings were originally introduced as a clinical trial for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Research has shown that compression stockings improve venous return by increasing femoral venous blood velocity in hospitalized patients. Over time, the athletic community became interested in applying compression socks as a tool to improve performance and athletic recovery.

Compression socks gently squeeze your legs from below the knee. Their purpose is to promote better blood circulation in the legs. Insufficient blood flow can lead to reduced blood return to the heart and retention in the legs. Compression stockings reduce the ability of the superficial veins to dilate and congest, preventing blood flow from causing congestion.

The benefits of compression stockings

Improve athletic performance

One of the main reasons for wearing compression socks while exercising is the desire to improve athletic performance. Overtraining your legs can lead to stress, fatigue, tension and restricted blood circulation. The support of compression stockings and compression therapy increases blood circulation, relieves foot pain, shin splints, muscle inflammation, soreness, and helps improve athletic performance.

A systematic review investigating the effect of compression socks on athletic performance found that those who wore compression socks during football games were able to cover more ground and longer distances. Therefore, the researchers believe that the benefit of wearing compression socks is that they may protect against eccentric movements or smaller muscle oscillations during running.

A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that when participants wore compression socks [R], running performance improved as anaerobic and aerobic thresholds increased.

The performance benefits of compression stockings are directly attributable to enhanced biomechanical support of the muscles, resulting in increased efficiency and lower metabolic costs for a given workload, reduced muscle microtrauma [R] and enhanced proprioception [R]

Reduce muscle soreness and fatigue

Several studies have shown that compression socks have positive benefits for muscle fatigue and muscle soreness after a workout. Compression stockings can be very beneficial, especially during prolonged activities with short recovery times, such as high-intensity functional training styles.

A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning investigating the effect of compression socks on running performance found that competitive runners wearing low-to-moderate compression compression socks had improved reverse exercise jumping performance after exercise, suggesting better maintenance of muscle function [ R]. Other studies have shown that running uphill and downhill reduces muscle function and increases muscle fatigue, which is offset by compression socks. Peak torque was improved at 1, 24, and 48 hours post-workout, and muscle soreness was improved due to higher preservation of muscle function [R].

Other general benefits of compression stockings include

  • blood circulation
  • oxygen transport
  • Improve lymphatic drainage
  • Reduce leg swelling
  • Helps prevent blood clots
  • Helps relieve leg pain
  • Prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

What is the best type of compression socks

When shopping for compression socks, you must first determine why you are buying them? Compression stockings can be worn for medical conditions to reduce pain and swelling in the legs, or for exercise. There are three main types of compression stockings, graded, anti-embolic, and non-medical.


Gradient compression socks have the strongest tension at the ankle and gradually decrease towards the knee. These require professional commissioning in a medical environment. This type of compression stocking is very common when treating swollen lower legs.


Use anti-embolic compression stockings to reduce the likelihood of DVT. Like gradient socks, they provide gradient compression, but the degree of compression may vary.

non-medical sports

Non-medical or compression socks for athletic purposes are also scaled, but do not require professional fitting. Most socks are moisture wicking from toe to knee and are usually made of nylon, lycra or polyester for better pressure and compression for improved torque, reduced inflammation and improved recovery.

 How to choose and use compression stockings

The benefits of cycling (both bicycling and mountain biking) with compression socks

The principle of compression socks is actually very simple. As the name suggests, compression socks provide compression. By putting the calf under stress -- especially for cyclists -- the body can recover faster.

Another benefit for racers and mountain bikers is that compression socks help prevent cramps and tight calf muscles. This is exactly what just about every active sport cyclist suffers. Additional benefits of cycling with compression socks include:

Reduce Lactic Acid Buildup:

Medical professionals will tell you that getting fresh oxygen to your muscles is an important part of any workout. Failure to do so can lead to a buildup of lactic acid. Fortunately, a key advantage of riding in compression socks is that they clear the buildup of lactic acid that builds up after a workout. Lactic acid buildup occurs when the body is working hard and can't supply enough oxygen to the muscles - think of it as a backup fuel source. Compression socks like the ZSZBACE Compression Socks help remove lactic acid as it builds up during strenuous activity.

Additional Leg Support:

All cyclists put stress on the leg and foot muscles during the ride. Wearing ZSZBACE Compression Socks provides additional support for your leg muscles and tendons, including the Achilles tendon. Wearing compression stockings after a workout can also help with muscle recovery. Wearing socks can help reduce muscle soreness, fluid retention, and swelling after a strenuous ride.

Enhanced comfort:

Compression socks are designed for the right or left foot for a perfect fit every time. When your workout heats up, ZSZBACE compression socks feature a special temperature-regulating material called hDc moisture management, designed to keep your legs and feet cool. This high-tech fabric also wicks away moisture and sweat as you ride. Plus, the compression socks come with extra foot pads for extra comfort while wearing the shoe — not to mention preventing blisters.

The Benefits of Compression Socks: The Takeaway

Although the underlying mechanism for the benefit of compression stockings is unclear, research suggests that it may be related to increased oxygen delivery, reduced muscle oscillations, and better running mechanics. If you drive a lot of miles on the pavement each week and experience fatigue, soreness, or shin splints, compression stockings can help you improve muscle function and optimize recovery.

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