Calf compression socks are reported to improve leg endurance during running, speed recovery after a long distance run, and possibly lead to better performance. Do they actually do these things or is something else happening?
A recent scientific study evaluated the pain levels, performance, and muscle architecture during a six-week training period prior to an ultramarathon and in the immediate period after the race. In this group of healthy experienced runners with no prior issues of leg pain, the study authors found no improvements in the compression sock group. In fact, their runners with compression socks actually reported more pain than the runners who trained and competed without the socks.
The conclusion in this well-performed study of healthy runners is that there is no benefit to wearing the compression socks. Still, I find there are good reasons to wear them, especially if you’re recovering from an injury.