Runners are a different breed. We push ourselves to the limit, trying every day to challenge ourselves just a bit more than yesterday. It’s tough to run, but it’s also unbelievably rewarding.
A runner’s body goes through a lot during a week of consistent workouts. Whether you’re training for speed, endurance, or a little bit of both (or just running for fun and to stay healthy), your body needs all the support it can get.
That’s where compression socks come in. These specialized socks were designed with athletes in mind, and they have some unique benefits that make them specifically appealing to runners. If you’re looking for the next addition to your runner’s toolbox, look no further than compression socks.
Below, we’ll take a look at the biggest perks of compression socks for runners and how to choose the right pair for your specific needs.
What Are Compression Socks?
Compression socks are designed to provide your feet with extra support and comfort during workouts, after workouts, and throughout the rest of your day. These socks are typically designed with built-in graduated compression, which means certain parts of your feet get gentle pressure and support while other parts of your feet are left alone.
Graduated compression socks target the parts of your feet and legs that need the most support, such as your arches, ankles, and calves. In these areas, compression socks put gentle pressure on your muscles, creating a soothing and supportive sensation.
When Can You Wear Compression Socks?
You can wear compression socks anytime, although we don’t recommend sleeping in them!
Many people make compression socks their primary all-day choice, keeping enough pairs in their dressers to last throughout the week. Other folks prefer to only use compression gear during and after workouts. Ultimately, it's a matter of preference when you wear compression socks — the only rule is to wash your socks after each use and take them off before bed.
If you prefer only to wear your compression socks at certain times, we recommend slipping them on before you take a run. The gentle compression and arch support can make your running sessions significantly more comfortable, especially if you deal with issues like shin splints or flat feet.
The Benefits of Compression Socks for Runners: 5 Big Perks
Now, let’s take a look at some of the biggest benefits of compression socks for runners, including:
- Reduced foot odor
- Relief after a run
- Avoiding chafing
- Wicking away moisture
- Arch support
1. Reduced Foot Odor
Every runner deals with smelly feet from time to time. It’s inevitable — or is it?
When you choose the right socks, you can fight odors during and after your workouts. Copper Fit’s Compression Socks are infused with odor-fighting copper, making them ideal for breaking a sweat. That includes running.
In addition, when your compression socks fit just right, you can expect reduced sweat, which in turn leads to less stinky feet. For this reason, it’s always smart to refer to a sizing chart before buying a pair of compression socks. You can find a handy sizing guide on all of Copper Fit’s product pages.
2. Feel Better Faster After a Run
Running can sap your energy, leaving you ready for some rest (and maybe some carb-heavy comfort food). While getting those carbs after a run can be a big part of recovery, taking care of your legs and feet is a big deal as well.
Compression socks can soothe a runner’s aching feet in a number of ways:
- Graduated compression can soothe everyday aches and pains, helping you get back on your feet — and back on the pavement — sooner.
- Specialized compression socks featuring cooling menthol can provide an even more soothing sensation and are especially helpful when your legs are ultra-sore. Choose socks like these for post-workout recovery.
- Since compression socks include built-in arch support, avoiding some of the strain on your feet while running can lead to fewer aches and pains afterward.
3. Anti-Chafing Design
Chafing is the worst, and it’s also a common problem for runners. All of the movements involved in running fast can produce friction, leading to painful chafing in a variety of sensitive areas. If your legs and feet are particularly prone to chafing, we highly recommend giving compression socks a try.
Copper Fit Compression Socks are designed with an anti-chafing circular weave, making each pair soft and friction-resistant. Swap out your current running socks for a pair of Energy Compression Socks, and you won’t regret it.
4. Moisture-Wicking Materials
One of the biggest complaints that turn folks away from running is how much the activity makes you sweat. We get it — sweating excessively can be uncomfortable, especially when most of that sweat is localized within your socks. Sweaty feet are a big problem for runners, but they don’t have to be.
One of the lesser-known benefits of compression socks is the use of moisture-wicking materials. Fabrics like spandex, nylon, and polyester can naturally wick sweat away from your skin, keeping your feet nice and dry (and less smelly) during and after a tough run. If sweaty feet have been your biggest pet peeve as a runner, moisture-wicking compression socks can save the day.
The combination of moisture-wicking materials with anti-odor copper makes Copper Fit Compression Socks the top choice for runners. If you can avoid sweaty feet andstinky feet at the same time, it’s a huge victory.
5. Built-In Arch Support
Don’t let foot problems discourage you from running. With the right support, you can reap all the benefits of running without hurting your feet. Arch support from compression socks can be a key ingredient in your recipe for success.
The built-in arch support in a pair of Copper Fit Compression Socks can help you avoid foot fatigue and keep excess weight off the wrong parts of your feet. In many cases, runners experience a night-and-day difference after running in socks with arch support built in.
In many cases, it’s necessary to see a podiatrist and get advice if you deal with a foot condition that inhibits your running. Issues like flat feet, plantar fasciitis, and more are common and treatable, but they may require support from a healthcare professional.
How Do I Choose the Right Compression Socks?
Now that you know some of the biggest benefits of compression socks for runners, let’s make sure you’re ready to choose a pair that fits you well and meets your needs.
Know Your Size
The right fit is a huge deal when it comes to compression socks.
This is because of the unique nature of compression; since compression socks are designed to put gentle, targeted pressure on your feet, you never want to pick a pair that is too tight. The result, as you can imagine, would be a hard-to-ignore sense of your socks being too tight.
This issue is easy to avoid. Just take a look at a sizing chart before purchasing any compression socks or other compression gear. Copper Fit’s sizing standards are simple:
- Men’s 6-9 Shoe: Small/Medium
- Men’s 9-12 Shoe: Large/X-Large
- Women’s 7-10 Shoe: Small/Medium
- Women’s 10-13 Shoe: Large/X-Large
If you think you might need 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, or 5XL compression socks, make the call based on your calf circumference measurements. If your calves are 18-20 inches in circumference, opt for 2XL or 3XL. If your calves are 20-22 inches in circumference, go for 4XL or 5XL.
Know Your Style
Every runner has their own set of preferences when it comes to socks, shoes, and other gear. These preferences will still apply when it comes to compression socks. If you normally prefer running in ankle-high socks, you’ll want to stick with that style. Likewise, you’ll want to go with knee-high compression socks if you normally want some extra length for the socks you run in.
Know Your Feet
If you run regularly, you’ve probably already discovered some of your feet' natural quirks. Maybe you have fallen arches or particularly wide feet.
Whatever the case, what you know about your feet can influence your choice of compression socks. You may even want to pair your compression socks with a set of specialized insoles or built-in orthotics.
When in doubt, a visit to a podiatrist can be helpful if you suspect that you have specific foot problems that need to be addressed. While at the office, you can ask your doctor whether compression socks would benefit you and what type to choose.
If you run regularly, compression socks can make a huge difference in how comfortable and confident you feel. You can wear your compression socks during your runs for extra support, as well as after each workout, to help you recover and get back on your feet faster.
You’ll be amazed by how much of a difference a pair of socks can make!