The Beginner’s Guide to Compression Socks and What Brand Works For LARGE Calves!

There is NO way I am spending $50 dollars on a pair of socks! I thought as I looked through the endless options of compression socks online. I had read through at least a hundred different reviews and paged through multiple websites looking for the best fitting, the most efficient, and the most cost effective way to try out some compression socks.

Why you ask?

In my search for a solution to shin splints (read that post here) many places suggested compression socks to help heal and prevent shin splints. Naturally, I was curious and wanted to give them a try myself.

What I discovered may surprise you!

But first, why compression?

Compression is beneficial in many ways:

  • Better Circulation – leads to more oxygen and nutrients getting to tissues and muscles
  • Less or Reduced Fatigue – more oxygen and nutrients helps with more efficient energy use
  • Reduced Inflammation – inflammation is BAD — is due to injury and causes pain
  • Aids Recovery – better circulation means faster healing if injury does occur
  • Stability/Support – provides slight extra support for lower legs helping to prevent injury
  • Lower leg protection – helps cover your lower legs especially on trail runs

Along with the multiple benefits of compression socks, there are many different styles to choose from when deciding to give them a try. Most compression sock suppliers sell knee high, calf height, ankle/crew cut, or compression sleeves.

You will certainly have to try out what will work best for you, but for me, the choice was pretty easy.

I started looking into compression socks because of an injury. With high shin splints, I decided to go with knee high compression socks to see if that helped with the pain I was experiencing. I was also worried about the fit of calf height socks because I have large calves and was worried about them rolling down during a run.  

My own personal preference also kept me away from sleeves because it still requires me to wear socks. And being forgetful, the fewer things that I can forget before heading out for a run, the better!

I also stayed away from ankle or foot compression socks because my feet and ankles never caused me problems. If that is something that you are struggling with, I would say give them a shot, because they definitely cannot hurt. But I do not have any personal experience with short compression socks. 

After A LOT of research, I finally decided to order some compression socks and here’s what I discovered!

PROS:

  • Feel Good – I’ve been injury free lately and they don’t hurt/pinch.
  • Increased Recovery – I’ve been logging more miles than ever without issues.
  • Less Shaving – Ok — so this one is a little more for the ladies — but you can get away with skipping a shave here and there if you are running with high compression socks on! Always a plus in my book!  😉 
  • Increased Speed? (Maybe) I have been logging faster times than previous but that could also be from the training and work that I have been putting in.
  • Stylish/Trendy – The socks are another way to “accessorize” while running and also make you feel like a rockstar!

CONS:

  •  Hot? — I have not had issues with being too warm wearing these socks while running, however, I like to run in the morning or evenings, not during the mid-day heat. Other people may not like/enjoy wearing compression socks due to being too warm. 
  • Expensive? — They certainly can be. But injuries can also be costly, whether in medical bills, time off, missed races, etc. And if you do some research, you might find an awesome deal!
  • Limited sizing — The brand I use is true to size, however, I need to order a Large to Extra-Large (darn you large calves!) which does not give me much wiggle room for adjusting if needed.

Overall, I love my purchase — and have even bought a few more compression socks! (Because which runner doesn’t need more socks?)  

And if you are interested — this is the brand that I use. (This is an affiliated link meaning that I may receive compensation for any item that you buy but it in no way increases your purchase price.)

I love these socks! They are true to size (so definitely measure before you order!) But they are definitely durable, comfortable, and something that I would recommend!

Questions:
  1. Do you wear compression gear while running?
  2. What is a must-have for your long runs?
  3. Any other questions about my experience with compression socks?
-Jordan

Questions? Comments? Leave Them Here!