Paula Radcliff, a record holding marathon runner, along with several of the best road runners like Gete Wami and Lornah Kiplagat have worn compression socks in the past. Compression socks are highly popular among athletes, especially runners, as they provide the much required external leg support during and after strenuous training sessions and marathons. The best compression stockings are known to enhance the performance of athletes by providing their lower extremities with the required physiological and biomechanical support.
The main purpose of compression socks is to circumvent venous complications which arise due to inefficient blood circulation from the legs to the heart. Compression socks are made of elastic material to apply pressure on the legs, especially at the ankle. The compression or pressure applied by the socks on the leg muscles promotes blood from successfully flowing from the leg back to the heart, preventing possible blood collection in the legs. The improved circulation of blood enhances supply of oxygen to the leg muscles.
Moreover, the socks provide the necessary external leg muscle support to increase the endurance capacity of the legs during exhausting workouts. It is believed that the socks provide the required amount of constriction along the leg which keeps the lower body muscles in place and supported. This minimizes muscle fatigue and strains while also preventing possible leg injuries.
Compression socks not only increases muscle efficiency of the lower leg but is medically proven to speed up the recovery or stress-relief process after long hours of strenuous exercise or training. According to various studies, compression socks facilitate quick lactic acid removal in the legs allowing the leg muscles to recuperate in a statistically shorter duration.
Compression socks are commonly used for the treatment and prevention of various venous disorders like spider veins, varicose veins, venous insufficiency, and edema. However, as the basic function of compression socks is to facilitate blood from flowing back from the leg to the heart, the purpose can be extended beyond the basic medical use of curing and preventing venous complications. Therefore, the supportive and therapeutic features of compression socks can be made useful for the aid of athletes to ensure improved performance and speedy recovery.