How to Wear Compression Socks

How to wear compression socks
Kim asks: Are you supposed to wear compression socks over or under your running tights? I see people wear them over (maybe more for fashion), but I would think that would defeat the purpose?
For those who aren’t entirely familiar with compression socks, they stretch from the foot to the knee with graduated tightness in strategic locations. The tightness is designed to improve blood flow while either running or recovering (or both).
For running, proponents of compression say it improves blood flow from the heart to working muscles while stabilising muscles and tendons. For recovery, proponents say compression improves blood flow (with its healing properties) to reduce fatigue and soreness.
Detractors point to a placebo effect and/or a lack of a definitive study. CEP is a leading brand in compression socks and sleeves. Brandt Furgerson, who is the director of CEP North America, visited Runner’s World HQ in early May to talk compression.

“CEP should always be worn next to skin,” Furgerson said. “We size using circumferential measurement, so wearing CEP socks
or sleeves over the tights doesn’t really work. We want to make sure we are applying the right level of compression to the body, not the body and a pair of tights.

“If the tights are compression tights, we do not recommend wearing two compression garments that have an equal level of pressure. This could cause a doubling of compression in overlapping areas.“If they are standard running tights that make no specific claim on compression, they probably aren’t tight enough to cause a problem. That being the case, we still recommend wearing them under your tights. Golden rule: next to skin.”

Tip: On colder runs, compression socks under tights provide a second layer of warmth. Just make sure those tights aren’t compressing at any point below the knee.


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