I swear by compression socks. I’ve read research that says they increase blood flow to your muscles speeding recovery and decreasing muscle fatigue. I’ve read research that says it’s all bunk. I tend to agree with the former. Whether the speedier muscle recovery and decreased muscle fatigue is real or imagined it is powerful and worth investing in a few pairs of socks. I save my compression socks for use during long runs or after a long run. My level of fitness and purpose for the run determine if I wear them before or after my run or both. If I’m out of shape I tend to wear them both before and after a run. If I am in good shape or it is hot outside, then I wear them after my long run/race. I often wear my compression socks when racing as I feel less muscle effort when wearing them. Again, whether this is based on science or my own mind playing tricks on me really doesn’t matter because they work! I consider compression socks one of my best purchases!
These socks also add major fun to your workout and race attire. With coupon codes abound you should also never pay full price for these babies. The two brands I’ve run in, raced in, and recovered in are CEP and Pro Compression. I currently own two pairs of CEP Compression (black and hot pink) and two pairs of Pro Compression (purple and holiday colors). Because Pro Compression features a sock of the month with a 40% off coupon and free shipping they have become my favorite. They also offer more colors and fun styles. When it comes to recovery they both are great, but my Pro Compression socks are slightly less tight (same size in both) which make me feel more like my muscles are recovering than having circulation cut off.