Get The Benefits of Compression Without Ditching Your Favorite Socks

Endurance athletes everywhere are welcoming athletic compression with open arms. Everyone from the likes of world class athletes like Meb Keflezighi to the weekend warrior are sporting compression wear during their runs and after for recovery.

Those who haven’t hopped aboard the fast-moving compression train often have the same reasons. Most notably, not wanting to wear a knee high sock is one of the reasons I hear most.

I can’t really blame people for not wanting to rock a sock that is knee length – especially in the 90+ degree weather we’ve been having lately. I, too, am more of a running minimalist – the less fabric on me, the better. The knee high socks I have I only wear post-run for a few hours for recovery purposes. However, when those extra long runs creep into my running schedule, I turn to compression calf sleeves. This way I can still sport my favorite running socks while getting the benefits of compression.

There are many options to choose from when it comes time to picking out some sleeves, so let’s go over a few.

Let’s start with CEP’s All Sport Compression Calf Sleeves. CEP is becoming one of the more   popular compression brands on the market and recently received endorsement from U.S. Olympic marathoner, Meb Keflezighi. Unlike other brands, CEP is backed by Mediven, a medical compression stocking company with 60+ years of experience. Their sleeves feature 18-25mmhg graduated compression and can be worn for basically any activity. CEP sleeves are available in black, white, red, blue, pink, and green and are $34.96.

If you see someone running and they have bright-colored sleeves on, chances are they are sporting Zensah Calf Sleeves. Zensah sleeves feature targeted compression, delivering pinpoint compression to your shins and calves. Based out of Miami, Zensah can be regularly seen on members of the Miami Heat throughout the past few years. Those looking to treat shin splints and help their overall endurance, while sporting sleeves in basically any color you can imagine (they even have a limited edition American Flag-print sleeve in time for the 4th) can turn to Zensah. A pair is $39.99 and a single sleeve is $19.99.

These next calf sleeves are from the land down under, Australia – so they are obviously come armed with 50+ UV protection. SKINs A400 Compression Calf Tights are designed with a super comfortable fit and more precise, targeted Dynamic Gradient Compression. These sleeves also have Memory MX fabric, which contains a unique high stretch elastomeric yarn – which returns to its original shape no matter how much stress you put under it. Rory McIlroy and members of the St. Louis Blues are just a few of the athletes who can be seen sporting SKINs compression gear. The SKINs sleeves are sold for $60.

The last compression sleeve we’ll take a look at today is the 2XU Compression Calf Guard. Excellent at moisture wicking and featuring UPF 50 sun protection, these sleeves make for a great choice when it comes to a hot summer run. The sleeves are also made of 50 Denier, circular knit fabric, which means it’s highly durable and will maintain the proper compression without wearing out. 2XU Compression Calf Guards are sold for $55.

Compression is a great way to reduce muscle damage and fatigue while improving circulation and recovery. Not introducing compression garments into your training – whether it be during your run or after – is just silly. With the sleeves providing a nice (and cheaper) alternative than going with socks, there is really no reason to not give compression a try.

Discover more at AthleticCompression.com or SocksAddict.com.

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Pass Me My Mesh Socks, We’ve Got A Heatwave

Holy heatwave, the temperatures sure have been climbing up the thermometer these last few days in the midwest. When the temperature changes like this, so do my socks.

The heat affects people of all sorts’ wardrobes — runners, cyclists, hikers and the everyday working man/woman. Cuts get shorter and the weight gets thinner when summer crawls in (or in this case, surges).

Personally, I wear low cut socks year round when I’m running. The variable for me when it comes to running socks is how they are cushioned. Winter time is a great time to bust out something like the SmartWool PhD Running Light Micro Sock. It’s made with the low cut I like, but also has nice cushion and made of wool to keep my feet and toes warm when it’s cold. However, with the temperatures reaching the mid to high 90s, I’m less inclined to rock out a run with something that’s going to make my shoe a sauna for my foot.

During the holiday weekend I made great use of my Feetures Light No Show Socks. These socks are about as breathable and lightweight you can get. By combining mesh vents, fast-drying fabrics and snug-fitting fibers, your feet will stay cool, dry and blister-free — the Triple Crown for summer running or cycling. This Feetures sock feels phenomenal on my foot and is the closest I can get to feeling like I’m running with no socks on at all.

When it comes time to hit the trails in the dog days of summer, some of you may need to stick with a higher cut sock with your hiking boots. Much like running, the shoe is already gonna warm up your foot, so you don’t want to add any other insulator to your apparel — but of course you can’t go sockless either.

When you’re ready to trek into the wild, give Icebreaker Hike + Lite Crew a try. This sock is made with breathable mesh zones for extra ventilation and an anatomical toe box to reduce chafing. As you explore mother nature, you can enjoy the sights and sounds instead of thinking about how sweaty and hot your feet are.

Heading to work every day with sweaty and hot feet can be a real drag. Why wear uncomfortable socks to the office when there are plenty of summer dress sock options out there as well.

For example, the Dahlgren Dress Casual Crew Socks are a fabulous option when it heats up. A lightweight sock made of an alpaca and Merino wool blend, it provides soft, absorbent, blister resistant luxury. The sock features light cushion under your foot to soothe on long, tiring days and a light, flat 5 x 1 rib knit top that doesn’t add unwanted bulk.

With the right pair of socks, the hot temperatures can feel less of a burden since your feet will be feeling comfortable all day at the office or for the entirety of your run, bike ride or hike. Remember, during the summer, mesh is your best friend.

To browse more summertime socks, visit SocksAddict.com.

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Improving Performance and Recovery with Compression

At road races across the country, more and more people are sporting those tight knee high socks which seem to be the best conversation starter for runners these days. As more people embrace compression socks, more are starting to extend their love of compression toward apparel as well.

With a slew of brands to choose from, it’s important to get a proper lowdown of what is out there in the world of athletic compression. Shorts, tights and shirts are just a few of the options you’ll stumble across on your search for compression greatness — but what can you  count on to actually be effective?

The first move to separate the compression contenders from the pretenders is getting to know each brand’s technology behind their compression.

Starting with Skins, a brand that uses gradient compression, we’ll find they engineer their compression to provide the correct level of surface pressure to specific parts of the body. Doing this enhances your circulation and gets more vital oxygen to your active muscles — boosting your power, speed and stamina. Skins also warp knits their apparel using fine quality yarns. Warp-knitted fabrics have no natural stretch, making the apparel stronger and longer lasting.

Within Skins, you’ll find compression garments made specially for recovery and performance. Skins provides recovery compression for the St. Louis Blues and Rory Mcllroy.

Another major player in the realms of compression is CEP. Widely known for their compression socks, CEP has expanded their catalog into compression apparel as well. Backed by their parent company, Mediven — which has over 60 years of medical compression experience, you can only expect quality.

Looking at CEP’s Running Shorts, you can expect improved blood circulation, which will provide you with more energy, stamina and performance.  Not only can you expect help with your energy and performance but you can expect help with injuries. The CEP shorts can help with pulled hamstrings, injured quads and IT Band issues. Start pairing CEP shorts with your socks on your runs, and now you’re really optimizing your performance and taking full advantage of what compression can do for you.

2XU is a company that looks to heighten your sports training, racing and recovery demands with gradient compression in shorts, shirts, tights and more.  2XU utilizes world-leading fabrics, intelligent graduated design construction and ergonomic cuts to present top-notch compression options for those first-timers looking to delve into athletic compression.

Whether pro or amateur, expanding into athletic compression is a worthy one, but definitely one that will take some research into finding out what’s going to be best for you. Things are going to get pricey, so the last thing you want is to put your money toward something that won’t suit you best.

For all your compression apparel needs, visit AthleticCompression.com.

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McDavid Is Latest Addition to Aleva Stores

AthleticCompression.com continues its growth as Aleva Stores adds McDavid to its inventory.

McDavid’s roots trace back to 1969 when Dr. Robert F. McDavid designed and developed what was to become the first widely used lateral protective knee brace in football.

Now, McDavid is the most widely used and recommended brand of braces among sports medical professionals and the industry leader in sports medical products, technical performance athletic wear and consumer merchandising.

The latest innovation to come out of McDavid is its HexPad Technology, which changes the way athletes wear under clothing by fusing padding to the performance fabrics and defining an entire new category – Protective Apparel.

Their goal remains to develop innovative products and technologies to help prevent injury and to enhance performance of athletes and active people of all ages, which fits in perfectly with what Aleva Stores is trying to do with AthleticCompression.com.

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Aleva Stores Adds CompresSport to Its Online Stores

As the athletic compression takeover continues, Aleva Stores is keeping itself in the game by adding CompresSport compression wear to AthleticCompression.com, RunningSocks.com and SocksAddict.com.

CompresSport has been tried, tested and approved by sports professionals and amateurs and has made itself a leader in the compression market. CompresSport is dedicated to helping athletes boost their performance, delay fatigue, avoid muscle tear and injury and provide quick and optimum recovery.

The CompresSport technical weave is designed for a more effective venous return from the feet to the heart as you exercise. After exercise, CompresSport fiber will continue to apply its actions of venous return acceleration and elimination of toxins produced during effort and support to the muscle. CompresSport makes sure your recovery is quicker and return to exercise is made easier and quicker.

The addition of CompresSport is an exciting one for Aleva Stores as they continue to strive to make AthleticCompression.com the most optimal compression site around. By bringing in CompresSport, a more ample inventory of the best compression wear on the market is available via AthleticCompression.com.

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Patagonia Socks Now Available at SocksAddict.com

Now offered at SocksAddict.com are Patagonia socks. The addition of Patagonia will help round out the hiking and running socks options available in the sock Mecca known as SocksAddict.com.

Patagonia grew out of a small company that made tools for climbers and now makes clothing and socks for climbing, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, paddling and trail running. All these sports are silent sports and the reward comes in the form of connection between the athlete and nature.

Patagonia is always on the search for more environmentally friendly fabrics. In some Patagonia products, hemp and recycled polyester is used. By bringing in Patagonia, SocksAddict.com is not only adding stellar products, but environmentally friendly products for the sports that connect you with nature.

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Time To Spring Into Some New Socks

Feel that? That’s the wonderful temperatures of 60-plus degrees strolling in. The delicious Summer Shandy is available again, Spring Training is under way,  people are grilling out on patios, and people are prepping for some spring cleaning.

Spring cleaning doesn’t just apply to your home — it should apply to your sock drawer as well. It’s time to toss those bulky socks to the side and stock up on some new socks that will carry you through the spring and into summer.

Now that it’s getting warmer, you don’t want a sock that’s going to overheat your feet while you’re at the office or out on the town. When it comes to casual socks in the spring time, it’s hard to beat SmartWool’s City Slickers for men and Best Friend for women. Both socks, of course, feature SmartWool’s fabulous Merino wool that keeps odor and moisture under control no matter the conditions. Both socks feature lighter cushioning but with the power of wool, even on the cooler spring days your feet will stay warm.

Another reason to celebrate the arrival of the warmer weather is spring activities like running. People are flooding away from the treadmills and hitting the pavement. When you’re buying your new running shoes for the spring, don’t forget about socks too —the most underrated part of your running attire.

Feetures Light Series may be one of the best options to turn to this spring for a warm-weather running sock. They’re ultra-lightweight and ridiculously breathable. They contour and hug to your feet so well, you’ll forget you are wearing them. Its CoolFeet Ventilation System combines mesh vents, fast-drying fabrics and snug-fitting fibers to keep your skin dry while keeping a tight fit on your feet — which means no blisters! The socks are available in no show, crew, mini-crew and quarter length.

Springtime also means baseball time. With Under Armour Baseball Over-the-Calf Socks, you’ll feel just like the pros as you hit the diamond in pure comfort. Under Armour’s Baseball socks wick away moisture and accelerates evaporation as you play and features a fully cushioned footbed that offers maximum shock absorption for long-lasting comfort.

I know, I know…you’re probably already yelling at the computer screen, “WHAT ABOUT GOLF!!??!!” Don’t worry, I didn’t forget. Hitting the links is one of the first things on the to-do list when the weather is anywhere near at least the 50s. Nothing says spring better than the smell of a freshly cut golf course. When you’re getting your golf attire all set up, be sure to add Drymax Golf Lite-Mesh Mini-Crew Socks to your list. These golf socks contain a dual-layer moisture removal system, yet are still lightweight. They contain a mesh air vent system designed to keep your feet cooler — perfect for those late afternoon spring tee times or in the dog days of summer.

Spring is always an exciting time, especially for those of us in places like Michigan. It’s the perfect reward for making it through a grueling winter — so why not reward yourself a little further and pick up some stellar socks that will get you not only through the spring but summer as well.

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