Compression Socks or Compression Sleeves?

Compression calf sleeves

With beautiful fall weather comes temperatures better suited for longer hikes, runs and rides, and then some muscle soreness in the lower legs! So do you need compression socks or calf sleeves? It depends on several factors:

 
  1. Are you injured? Compression wear of any type should cover any area of your body that is injured, such as shins with shin splints or muscles that ache from overexertion. Shin splints will benefit from either socks or sleeves, but an injury in the foot or ankle should be covered with compression socks.

  2. Are you increasing your mileage, or starting a new activity? If so, consider compression socks. Compression socks use graduated degrees of compression, which aid muscle recovery while still allowing optimum blood flow to your feet.

  3. Are you traveling? Sitting in a car, bus or plane for more than 30 minutes at a time has negative effects on leg circulation. Put on either your compression socks or calf sleeves (whichever works with your outfit) before starting your trip.

  4. Will you be on you feet for long periods? Even if it’s not officially exercise, being on your feet for long stretches is also hard on your leg circulation. Wear compression socks during your shift for reduced pain and fatigue while you work.

  5. Will there be water? Triathletes, for example, need to go straight from their swim to the phase. Compression sleeves are much better suited for this than socks. If rain is in the forecast, wear compression sleeves, and pack extra socks in case you need them.