We can't help but wonder if the new rage for knee high compression socks is more seventies fashion statement than proven science.
According to the New York Times of all papers:
"At Kona, 415 of the 1,677 competitors in the run portion of the race
wore the socks, said Chris Bohannon of the triathlon gear manufacturer
Zoot. They wore them to increase blood flow, supposedly supplying lower
leg muscles with more oxygen and more evenly distributing muscle
strain. Compression socks were originally used by diabetics, pregnant
women and travelers seeking better circulation and preventing blood
We're just really impressed that somebody actually counted socks. But Chris were there 415 socks or 830? That's the question that has us scratching our heads.
The Times goes on to reports that:
"Studies of runners in New Zealand found mixed results — compression
socks didn’t help middle-distance runners but “there does appear to be
some benefit of wearing these garments on maintenance of leg power,”
Ajmol Ali, a sport and exercise science professor at Massey University
in Auckland and lead researcher on the studies, wrote in an e-mail
To see if the socks make athletes’ legs feel more powerful and
less fatigued, Hillary Biscay, a professional triathlete who won the
Ford Ironman Wisconsin last month and placed 35th among pro women in
Hawaii, wore compression socks on a variety of her two or three daily
runs. Like many of the athletes studied, Ms. Biscay preferred the
least-tight socks for training."
If you are persuaded by either the fashion or the science you can see a round-up slide show of the latest and greatest compression socks HERE.