Should Your Socks Have Compression?
Swiftwick has always made socks with a compression element. Like anything else though, there is no one-size-fits all to compression as it can be incorporated in varying degrees to help accomplish a number of different objectives.
One of our core technology principles at Swiftwick is Fiber First Moisture Wicking. We choose the fibers used in our socks based on their inherent abilities to move perspiration away from your skin. We feel this is a better approach to wicking than treating less optimized materials with chemicals because it means that the socks’ properties do not wash out and leach into our water or your skin.
To wick sweat from your skin, socks must maintain close contact with your feet. Our Contoured Compression® Fit aims to give you a perfect every time so your socks won’t slip around, bunch up or cause blisters. When socks fit right, they can perform not only their wicking job well, but also other key functions.
Compression socks have gained popularity in some athletic circles over the past decade. Those tall, over-the-calf socks that some runners and especially triathletes have taken a liking to are eye-catching and have led many to ask what they’re good for.While these tall socks are the most visible, the applications for compression in socks are as varied as the number of athletic activities themselves. ASPIRE socks for example, are made in a full array of lengths with firm compression to stabilize and support muscles and skeletal structures. Coupled with a thin construction, they provide a very responsive feel and minimize fatigue that can be caused by jarring and vibration.Moderate compression is popular for a comfortably fitted feel as found in the VISION sock collection. This lesser amount of compression still provides an amount of support, but in a less aggressive fashion that makes these socks an excellent choice for a wide range of activities. And importantly, these socks also stay in place to prevent bunching and blisters.
Swiftwick MAXUS™ is designed for comfort. It is ideal for runners who desire plush cushion without compromising fit and performance. MAXUS™ delivers compression performance benefits you can feel in a relaxed comfortable fit.
Compression for Recovery and Prevention
Then there’s graduated compression, the form that maybe more people are familiar with. Graduated means that the compression is scaled from the bottom to the top. The firmer fit around the foot and ankle gives way to less compression as you move upward toward the knee. This is done to encourage blood to move back toward the heart. Graduated compression socks are popular for speeding post-athletic recovery by encouraging improved circulation.
They are also great for preventing swelling in feet and ankles while sitting or standing, either at work or for example on long airline flights, making them ideal for a number of people. In any event, graduated compression can help improve circulation and leave feet and legs feeling fresher.
Many Compression Choices
The world of sock compression is perhaps a bit more complex than the popular stereotype. That is a good thing though as there’s no single solution that works for everyone and every activity. Now that you have a better understanding, you can choose the compression and fit that’s right for you!
- Chris Cowan