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Does Compression Gear Do Anything?

Posted Oct 29 2012 8:18pm

This was a question I had been asking myself over and over again.

I went back and forth asking myself if I should drop $40-60 on a pair.  I just couldn’t decide. So I just kept pushing the idea aside, that is, until I had the opportunity to try out some compression socks from Lunatik Athletiks. One reason I really wanted to try this particular brand is because they are the best looking compression socks I have seen!

The prices at Lunatik Athletiks are reasonable for being so out of the box in terms of style.  I suggest everyone check them out. They have cool men’s gear too!

The theory behind compression gear is they are supposed to help promote circulation to improve recovery and reduce soreness.  Through a little research, it seems like the scientific community is still undecided if compression gear improves athletic performance or not.  However, they look cool AND they are said to at least help “perceived” soreness.  I am sorry, if my mind is helping me feel less pain because of these socks, I am in.  I don’t know how this is seen as a bad thing?!  Sign me up!

Now, it is kind of hard to write a “review” on how socks look and what others have said, I was going to have to try them out for myself! So I decided to wear them to the Runner’s World Half Marathon and Festival because I knew I would be logging some serious miles in hilly terrain.  I was going to need all the help I could get!

I decided to wear them to the 5k and 10k (they were about an hour apart).  I have never run two races on the same day and was afraid my legs would get tired and I was hoping these might have some magic in them!  I have to admit these socks were also great because it was a little to hot for tights and a little too cold for shorts.  These socks made a perfect “inbetweenie” style!

 

I felt like I was back in catholic school where I only had to shave between my knee socks and skirt. Gross but no one knows unless you announce it on your blog…whoops!

While I was running I found that I was focused on the socks for a little while during the beginning of my race.  Would I like them?  Would they bother me?  But after about mile 2 in the 5k, I totally forgot I was even wearing them.  They were comfortable and very well made.  No inside strings rubbing on my feet causing cuts or blisters.

After I finished the 10k my legs were feeling fine and it was almost like I was ready to run another 13.1 on the next day.  (Ready or not I was still going to have to do it.)  I have to admit, I did not train as much as I would have liked for these races.  I certainly did not train for hills.  Since I wasn’t sore on Saturday or Sunday I am going to credit the socks with the win.

As much as I would like to say it was my own physical prowess that led me to a painless journey through Bethlemhem, PA, I am not so confident in that.  Clearly, I didn’t have a chance to run all the races with and without socks for a side by side comparison, so I will never be able to be 100% sure.

But all I know is that I was not sore.  Win.  And I got a lot of compliments and interest in my socks.  Double win!

I am going to start implementing compression socks into my regular long run training and hope it will promote recovery and speed.  So for me, I guess the answer is ; Yes, compression gear does do something and was an extremely worthwhile experiment!

Question:  Do you wear compression gear?  How do you like it and implement it into your training?

 *Disclaimer: Lunatik Athletiks provided the socks and skirt at no cost. All opinions are my own.

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