Teresa Zortman is not only our Manager of Content Marketing, but also a former college athlete and avid runner. After being plagued by injuries, she now swears by compression socks for running.
My quest for the best compression socks for running began at age 18. I was a Division 2 college track and cross country athlete and strenuous training had left me with some of the worst shin splints you could imagine. Walking from class to class was painful and I relied on 6-8 Ibuprofen a day and constantly wearing compression socks to make it through.
When you’re a college athlete, you don’t get to take a break from running when something hurts, especially when your scholarship hangs in the balance. I had no choice but to train for double days, run high-volume mileage, and compete in meets, so managing pain was paramount.
Traveling for college meets complicated things as well and usually left my feet swollen and my shins in pain. I was constantly trying new ways to alleviate this problem, from KT tape, to physical therapy, to every compression sock brand you can imagine, trying to find the best compression socks for running.
What do Compression Socks do for Running?
You may be wondering what compression socks do for running shin splints. Well, shin splints are medically known as “tibial stress syndrome” and occur in athletes who have recently had a large increase in their training load. The increased activity damages the lower part of the leg along the tibia- including tissue, muscles, and in some cases bone. This trauma causes a range of pain that can become debilitating.
Compression socks help this by increasing the amount of oxygen circulating in that part of the leg. Where there is oxygen and blood flow, there is increased healing. The boost in circulation also helps improve muscular endurance, increase muscle efficiency, and aid in pain relief. One of the most effective forms of compression is graduated compression. Graduated compression starts in the ankle where the sock is tightest and gradually loosens up the calf. It should be noted that if you're suffering from Achilles issues or shin splints, it's best to wear full compression socks like our nylon compression sock rather than a compression sleeve. The compression socks provide additional circulation through the ankle and foot which will further aid in healing. But sleeves work fine for day-to-day prevention and refreshing your legs.
What you wear when you are not running can be just as important as what you wear when you are. While nylon compression socks are great for while you are in action, I prefer cotton compression socks for recovery. The fabric is super soft and breathable on your skin, and VIM & VIGR’s cotton compression socks offer the same graduated compression as their nylon selection.
Lacing up for a run in my favorite color block sleeves.
VIM & VIGR Compression Socks
After college, I stumbled upon what I believe to be the best compression socks for running, VIM & VIGR compression socks. I still do a fair bit of long-distance running, and I only wish I could’ve found these socks sooner.
In fact, when I started marathon training I lived in my color block sleeves. After a long run, I always used my Montana Plaid compression socks for running recovery. In the second half of 2020, I clocked 645 miles in 6 months and didn’t have any issues in my shins. A fellow runner friend actually started to develop shin splints and after I recommended VIM & VIGR socks, he credited me with helping him continue training.
Not only are VIM & VIGR Socks the best compression socks for running, but they are beautiful too! There is an array of colors in every fabric type. For runners, I would recommend nylon socks while running, and cotton compression socks for running recovery, so you can capitalize on the benefits of graduated compression while also looking stylish and staying cool.
At this point, I recommend VIM & VIGR socks to every runner who will listen, and so far I’ve heard nothing but agreement that these socks are the best compression socks for running. My advice is, don’t wait until you have shin splints to use compression socks. Use sleeves and socks for prevention now and you may even notice your legs recover faster. It’s never too early to reap the benefits of graduated compression socks, and give yourself the boost you need for more miles!