Compression Sleeves and Socks

September 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Foot Care Products, Footwear Products, Health, Sports, Travel 

This blog post is written by Laura, a firm believer in the value of compression wear. She is a running enthusiast, and writes about the world of compression wear at Compression Info.

The Benefits of Compression Sleeves

When it comes time for your next big race or even weekend hike, wearing the proper footwear can be essential for ensuring the best experience for your body. Yet, as you open up your sock drawer, you see you have your compression socks alongside your compression sleeves. For the best experience possible, this time, you should choose to wear your compression sleeves.

What is the difference between compression sleeves and compression socks?

Compression socks will cover the entire foot- from the tip of the toe all the way up to the calf or even the knee. There are different types of compression socks, though for runners and hikers the typical choices feature graduated compression. This means they provide gradient (or reducing) pressure up the leg. Compression socks can be difficult to put on and often times needs to be fitted by an expert to ensure proper functionality for the wearer.

Compression sleeves start from the top of the ankle and go up to the bottom of the knee. Compression sleeves can be easily worn by any athlete or those looking for added comfort when they run or hike. Compression sleeves are much easier to put on and off than compression socks, especially if the foot is wet from sweat. In fact, compression socks are difficult to remove from a sweaty foot and nearly impossible to get back on once they’ve been removed.

Wearing compression socks in a race can be risky- especially if you need to visit the first aid station due to an injury and you need to remove your compression socks. If there’s any sweat, you’re going to have a difficult time removing your socks and you can forget about putting them back on.

Benefits of Compression Sleeves for Running and Hiking

Compression sleeves

Compression sleeves on a runner

Compression sleeves can bring several added benefits to active runners and hikers. Wearing compression sleeves can increase the overall running or hiking experience, as well as the recovery period after it’s all over. A few of the main benefits of wearing compression sleeves include:

Support

The added support from the slight pressure of compression sleeves can give runners and hikers a more comfortable experience when they are hiking or running. According to runnersworld.com, the added pressure will support the muscles of the calves, while at the same time controlling the muscle movements. This added support and control will help prevent muscle oscillation that results after endless pounding from the impact of running.

Circulation

Recent studies have shown that adding compression sleeves to your run or hike will enable your arteries to dilate, allowing more blood – and therefore more oxygen – to flow through them. As stated at fleetfeethartford.com, arteries can have an increase of 40% more blood flow during the activity and an increase of 30% of blood flow during the recovery period.

Recovery

After a long run or hike, wearing compression sleeves can assist in the muscle recovery. Dr John Jakeman states that compression sleeves can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the muscles due to the rate of cellular membrane turnover in the damaged muscles following exercises such as running or hiking.

In summary, compression sleeves can truly benefit your next run or hike. Whether you notice the benefits during or after the extended exercise, your legs and feet will be thanking you and you won’t want to run or hike without your compression sleeves ever again.

Editor’s Note – Getting the socks on your foot and leg: When I was at the Outdoor Retailer’s Show in Salt Lake City I learned a great tip that helps when putting on compression socks. One at a time, put your hand down the some from the top into the sock’s heel. Hold the inside of the heel and turn the top of the sock inside out down over the bottom of the sock. When the sock is rolled over the heel take you hand out and you have the opening into the foot part of the sock. Slide you foot in and work the fabric onto the foot so the toes are set in the tip of the sock. The simply roll the sock up and over the foot and heel and up your leg. This is much easier than struggling to pull the sock over your foot, ankle and calf.

Compression socks and sleeves are also valuable then flying or doing any long distance travel where you are seated for an extended period of time.

I came home from the OR Show with one pair of compression socks, a pair of toeless compression socks, and a pair of compression sleeves. Over the coming months, I’ll report more about these.

Feet, Compression Socks, and Your Veins

June 19, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Last week I posted an article on compression socks. This is a short follow-up to explain a bit more of the benefits of these socks.

Leg problems are widespread throughout the world, but what most people don’t know is that approximately 90% of leg disorders originate in the veins. If you have tired, aching legs, or if you see the beginning of varicose veins, it is time to learn how to improve the health of your venous circulation. Vein problems can progressively worsen over time and can affect your health and well being for the rest of your life.

Compression therapy means wearing socks or stockings that are specially designed to support your veins and increase circulation in your legs. The socks or stockings are normally worn in the morning upon arising, and removed at night. Throughout the day the compression they provide prevents blood from pooling in leg veins, thereby helping overall circulation.

Remember that the heart attempts to pump blood against gravity up the veins of the legs, and as a person walks, the regular contraction and relaxation of the calf muscles around the veins are necessary to help the heart move blood up the legs efficiently. But, it is unlikely that a person will walk continuously throughout the day – most of us sit or stand some of the time. Also, some people have inherited weakness of the vein walls or valves, which create additional challenges to venous circulation. This is why wearing compression socks or stockings is vital for the treatment or prevention of varicose veins and other circulatory problems, especially for individuals who are at risk.

For more information on compression products, including athletic socks, visit AmesWalker.com.

Benefits of Compression Socks

June 12, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Foot Care Products, Footwear Products 

Whether you are walking on the golf course, out for your regular workout or running a marathon, often times your legs and feet will feel swollen or achy when you are finished. There is an easy solution that can help your legs and feet feel better: compression socks. Wearing compression socks can help increase blood flow, more evenly distribute muscle strain and help legs feel less fatigued.

These products used to be considered only for people with medical conditions or circulatory problems but are now becoming more widely used by people who are catching on to the benefits. They can help those who practice more moderate exercises. Surprisingly, research shows athletes are at a higher risk than others for DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis), a potentially fatal blood clot that forms in the deep vein system of the lower leg and can occur from sitting in the same position for an extended period of time. Trained athletes have a lower resting heart rate which can cause blood to stagnate and become thicker which could lead to problems like DVT.

Athletes should stay hydrated with both water and an electrolyte replacement. Dehydration from extended athletic activity causes glycogen and water to be pulled from muscles, and blood becomes more dense. Immediately following an endurance event, the body compensates for this by pulling water and glycogen back into your muscles. Better circulation drains lactic acid out of the blood system and legs. This is why a cool-down is necessary – it allows the blood in your working muscles to gradually move back to your internal organs instead of pooling in your legs.

Compression socks apply maximum pressure at the ankle and systematically decrease up the sock length, which maintains proper venous blood flow in the leg. This improves circulation and provides support. For runners, this helps to prevent the tightening of the calf muscles and helps the muscles recover much more easily.

AmesWalker Compression Socks

AmesWalker Compression Socks

A cushioned cotton support sock like AmesWalker.com E-Z Walker Sport (15-20 or 20-30 mmHg) will help improve circulation. E-Z Walker Sport have superior moisture wicking effects to keep feet cool, dry and prevent bacterial growth. The padded foot guards against blistering and skin lesions from foreign objects in the shoe and the double sole cushions the foot during strenuous activity. You should check with your doctor to see which firmness is best for you.

For more information on compression products, including athletic socks, visit AmesWalker.com. The website has great information on compression values and how to select the right compression sock.

AmesWalker sent me a pair to try and I wear them when golfing. I found that my legs have not felt as tired – and interestingly, my feet subsequently feel better too. If you use compression socks, I’d welcome your opinion on how the socks have helped. Drop me an email.

This post is the result of my asking them to send me an article I could use in this blog. I’d like to thank Danielle Robitaille from AmesWalker for her help. I have always said we need to keep our feet happy. Here’s a case where keeping our legs happy will also keep our feet happy!

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