Longer the Distance, The Better for Compression Socks

Steve Magness

Today I noticed an interesting tweet from Steve Magness. For those who don’t know, Magness ran a 4:01 mile in high school. Since then, Magness has studied and wrote about the science of running and serves as an assistant coach to Alberto Salazar. Two things can be said about Magness: He’s fast and he knows running.

Today, he tweeted, “Compression socks don’t impact 10k performance but do help in maintenance of leg power.” This tweet also came with a link to an article discussing the topic at hand.

I saw that tweet and I agreed. The benefits of running with compression socks really don’t show in shorter distances like the 10K. Now I know Magness specifically said the 10K, but I noticed a few tweets from people replying to him saying they never wear compression socks during actual runs — just for recovery. Wearing compression socks just for recovery is fine, in fact you really should wear them for recovery after runs because they will work wonders — no matter the distance. The point is, I don’t want people thinking compression socks can’t help during an actual run or race.

There can be a beneficial effect during longer runs. Wearing socks during shorter races or runs like a 5K or 10K aren’t going to do much for you. When you start getting up to the marathon distance is when you’ll be able to notice an improved performance.

It surprises me compression socks are still a weary topic when it comes to running. “Do they really work?” is a question asked far too often. I’m glad people are understanding they’re great for recovery — But it’s also time to realize their ability to help during longer runs as well.

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