Compression for runners...can these form-fitting clothing options really give you an edge?
Maybe you've tried compression for running gear to help you go the distance, prevent injury, or speed recovery.
Or maybe you're on the fence about it. Yes?
WeeViews Ambassador Brynn Cunningham gives you The Rundown on 3 types of compression clothing for runners.
Here's what you need to know...
It’s true: Recovery DEFINITELY takes just as much effort as running.
With a bit of planning and tweaking of daily habits, runners can integrate recovery into their day-to-day lives, making recovery rituals automatic, even non-negotiable.
👀After all, if we look at running as a long term activity that we are committed to because of its energizing, life-enhancing after-effects that contribute to our overall health, vitality and longevity...
👉Then we must be mindful about balancing the stress-inducing components of running by pairing it with smart and adequate recovery.
To put it simply:
In Post-Run Recovery: 3 Runner-Tested Tips to Bounce Back, Lucie lists three major areas of self-care that lead to the ultimate trifecta of running recovery:
Today, we’ll look at one subcategory of massage and bodywork: compression for runners.
The purpose of wearing compression apparel when it comes to running is to:
Therefore, compression can:
Compression apparel for runners comes in many forms:
The benefits of using compression as a post-run recovery strategy is that it is:
Lucie also tells us that “no matter what, strategic rest is the best way to recover from a run,” and wearing compression post-run certainly qualifies as strategic rest.
Of course, you can wear some compression during a run, but here are some other times to wear it to maximize recovery:
As you can see, there are many ways to fit compression into your post-run recovery plan.
The Runner’s World article “Compression Socks for Running” discusses in detail exactly:
NOTE: I feel better after wearing it, and though that is just anecdotal evidence, it’s enough for me.
The 3 types of wear-tested and reviewed compression clothing in this article includes:
For assistance in determining your own size, here are the female wear tester’s measurements:
The Feetures! Plantar Fasciitis Relief Light Cushion Crew Socks, which I wear in a size medium, are a simple, nylon sock that can be worn easily while running, working or around the house.
NOTE: One time I wore them in a race, but they did not stay up, slipping down to my ankles, so I won’t be wearing them during runs again. That’s OK, though, because I didn’t buy them for running, anyway. They do not slip any other time.
For a daily sock, these work well with the added benefit of compression.
Although the Sockwell Pacer 3/4 Crew Compression Socks, which I wear in size S/M, are no longer in production, Sockwell makes a similar style:
I LOVE these socks for everything:
If you want a do-it-all compression sock, one for running and recovery, Sockwell is the one.
The ProCompression Marathon Recovery Socks, which I wear in size S/M, are made to wear after long, hard runs.
The Xoskin 5.0 Graduated Compression Socks, which I wear in size 1, are the big daddies of compression.
In fact, these are my go-to for mountain biking, a favorite cross training activity.
Another way to manage the height during cross training activities is by pushing them down to sit underneath the knee rather than folding them, which decreases the compression sensation.
TIP: Runners with extra sweaty feet will appreciate how dry they are. I can finish a two-hour ride in 90-degree weather, hang them up to dry without washing, and they will be ready for the next day.
NOTE: Of all the socks I own, these ones keep my feet the driest of all thanks to the RAPIDriCOPPER, thus minimizing the risk of blisters forming on the next form.
The Xoskin 4.0 Women’s MID Compression Shorts Low Rise, which I wear in size medium, are the first Xoskin product I ever owned, and they instantly sold me on the company.
Compression and support for the:
The Xoskin 4.0 Women’s MAX Compression Tights Knee, now named the 3/4 with Mid-Rise Waist, which I wear in size small, gives you just that.
Needless to say, Xoskin’s customer relations is top notch. They ended up sending me three pairs of their Mid Compression, next up on the list, for free, because no one ever orders them in small.
Whereas the Xoskin 4.0 Women’s MAX Compression Tights Knee, reviewed above, are uber tight, the Xoskin 4.0 Women’s MID Compression Tights Long, size small, are not so compressive, as the name indicates.
TIP: If choosing between the MID and the MAX, I would say they serve two different purposes, as you can see from their descriptions.
While training for trail ultramarathons and marathons, I invested in the CEP Recovery Compression Tights, size II, for the ultimate hip-to-feet experience.
When training for ultramarathons and marathons, I generally use these once a week, after my longest runs, if I am at home and not moving around much, in a thoroughly resting state.
Sometimes we have niggles in the smallest places of our bodies or simply don’t want a total compression experience. That’s where the OS1st QS4 Performance Quad Sleeve ITB Brace, which I wear in size small, comes into play.
Most runners have experienced tight:
TIP: Wearing a sleeve as simple as this can decrease associated cramping and alleviate tightness. I notice the difference after a couple hours.
It is most useful in hot weather or while traveling, because it is easy to stow away and doesn’t overheat the body.
Plantar fasciitis (PF) sleeves are an essential item in my running tool kit because of my foot health history:
Thus, in an attempt to prevent and heal said issues, I’ve had many plantar fasciitis sleeves over the years, including ones made by:
Here’s why every runner could benefit from PF sleeves, not just the foot-injury prone:
TIP: I like to wear PF sleeves after hot-weather, summertime runs when I’m going somewhere immediately after the run, because they fit well with open-toed sandals and are a quick, passive recovery to sneak in when life is busy.
The ProCompression Calf Sleeves, which I wear in size S/M, come in a wide variety of fun colors and are often on sale, making them inexpensive and also another good place to start when adding compression to your post-run recovery.
TIP: Much like the IT Band Sleeve and PF sleeves, I always pack calf sleeves when traveling or camping for races so that I can reap the benefits while sitting during a long car ride or flight, while lounging around the campfire or during sightseeing adventures.