Do Compression Socks Really Work?

Do Compression Socks Really Work?

📅April 7th, 2015, 12:32

We’ve all had speculation on whether or not our fancy compression socks actually help us with our recovery and performance. EC3D Compression socksFor many years the general consensus among athletes was that they do work, and are beneficial. But there was always someone who would say that there isn’t any significant scientific evidence that proves they work or that it was only in our heads.

Well, the time has come where statements like that can no longer be made. Below you will find the abstract of a recent study that was conducted to determine the effectiveness of compression socks when it comes to recovery and performance for athletes. The findings were encouraging. 🙂


Article Abstract: Armstrong, SA, Till, ES, Maloney, SR, and Harris, GA. Compression socks and functional recovery following marathon running: A randomized controlled trial. J Strength Cond Res 29(2): 528–533, 2015—Compression socks have become a popular recovery aid for distance running athletes. Although some physiological markers have been shown to be influenced by wearing these garments, scant evidence exists on their effects on functional recovery. This research aims to shed light onto whether the wearing of compression socks for 48 hours after marathon running can improve functional recovery, as measured by a timed treadmill test to exhaustion 14 days following marathon running. Athletes (n = 33, age, 38.5 ± 7.2 years) participating in the 2012 Melbourne, 2013 Canberra, or 2013 Gold Coast marathons were recruited and randomized into the compression sock or placebo group. A graded treadmill test to exhaustion was performed 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after each marathon. Time to exhaustion, average and maximum heart rates were recorded. Participants were asked to wear their socks for 48 hours immediately after completion of the marathon. The change in treadmill times (seconds) was recorded for each participant. Thirty-three participants completed the treadmill protocols. In the compression group, average treadmill run to exhaustion time 2 weeks after the marathon increased by 2.6% (52 ± 103 seconds). In the placebo group, run to exhaustion time decreased by 3.4% (−62 ± 130 seconds), P = 0.009. This shows a significant beneficial effect of compression socks on recovery compared with placebo. The wearing of below-knee compression socks for 48 hours after marathon running has been shown to improve functional recovery as measured by a graduated treadmill test to exhaustion 2 weeks after the event.

EC3D compression socksAs you can see, the evidence speaks for itself. Below the knee compression socks will definitely speed up the recovery process. So, does this mean any compression sock you find will do the trick? Not necessarily!   You should be looking for compression socks that are calibrated correctly to ensure proper circulation and blood flow. If you get socks that are not, they may act as more of a tourniquet than a circulation enhancer – which is definitely NOT what we want! Recharge is proud to carry EC3D Compression products, which focus on having properly graduated compression.


In medicine, the millimeter of mercury (mmHG) is the “gold standard” for blood pressure measurement. EC3D’s medical-grade compression garments are the result of more than 15 years of innovative medical research, and a devotion to the active lifestyle. EC3D has put their garments to the test against other EC3D compression socksgarments that claim to offer compression, and the results are not surprising. EC3D has the best graduated compression of all. Those who do have a good amount of compression haven’t calibrated their compression, which results in reverse compression. Meaning, they have, for example, more compression at the calf (28 MmHg ) than at the ankle ( 20 MmHg), which can be very dangerous for people that do need blood flow enhancement. This can actually make your legs feel more fatigued. With EC3D, you don’t need to worry about that.

So now you know that compression socks do actually help your recovery and performance, and you know where you can get the best out there…and join us for Max King’s April 28th TPG for compression demo night with EC3D to take them for a test drive!