Compression Socks for Marathon Runners- Do They Really Help?

Compression socks are popular among runners, who wear them to recover from long runs, races, or workouts.  The socks improve circulation in the diabetic population by stimulating blood flow.  Manufacturers claim that compression garments improves oxygen delivery, reduce lactic acid and prevent cramps in athletes.  But are these claims true?  Recently, the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy published this study that examined the effect of compression socks on running performance and muscle damage.

Runners in the study that wore compression socks did not post faster marathon times as compared to other runners in the same race.  Post-race blood testing showed no differences in markers of muscle damage between groups.  Additionally, the runners wearing the compression socks showed the same loss of leg muscle power and jump height as those who did not.

BOTTOM LINE:  Compression socks may not be an effective way to recover between runs.  Post your thoughts/opinions below!