Compression technology has been taking off in the recent years, we’ve all seen it races all those calf sleeves and socks that more and more runners seem to be wearing. It’s almost become a staple on the ultra scene where almost every one out of two athletes is wearing them. We’ve all questioned how much they can really help and you’ve probably weighed trying them on yourselves, so we went ahead and did it for you. Champion CSX recently got us a couple of pairs of their full length compression sport socks to try out and from a recovery perspective there’s something definitely here.
CSX Compression Socks come in two compression levels 15 to 20mmHg and 20 to 30mmHg, we went with the higher level of compression to give it a more thorough test. First off, I am one of those people who seem to have pretty consistent calf tenderness regardless of how much I run, stretch, train, etc. I have moved from a heel striking runner to a more mid to forefoot runner, so I’m doing all the right things, but I still get some of that soreness. I will say I had trepidation when first introduced to compression technology. I was worried about decreased circulation, blood-flow issue, overheating the legs, you name it basically. What I found was something quite different.
The first few runs I did with the CSX compression socks were definitely a new experience, it just felt a little odd in all honesty. I mean you’re wearing shorts and you have these long socks on and it gets in your head a little bit. Once I got to the third and fourth runs, I started to really ignore it and just go back into my normal routine. I can also definitely say that my soreness diminished. I won’t say the soreness went away completely, so it’s not a cure-all and I found myself not running in the compression socks with every run, but where they really shine is during recovery phases. After a long run where those shins and ankles and calves are sore, the CSX Compression Socks got me back onto the road much faster. I found the additional support in the ball of the calf to allow me to go further during those recovery runs, when you’re trying to work out the acid in your legs. So overall a great recovery tool.
The CSX compression socks start tighter around the ankle and then gradually loosen as it moves up the leg. The top band experiences literally no slippage whatsoever and there is a very nice additional support piece on the Achilles. I also tend to get some level of plantars in the right foot and noticed that the additional support the socks have in this spot definitely helped with this. I would only offer two additional notes. First, on the really hot hot days they do get warm for me (not for everyone though). They wick moisture pretty well, but when it’s 90°+ they do get a little warm. Second, it is very important to measure your calf before buying to make sure you get the right size. Choosing the wrong one he will basically make them useless or conversely can be painful. Overall though, the CSX compression socks are very well made and I highly recommend them for recovery phases. They definitely got me back on my feet again that much faster.
The CSX Compression socks are available on their website and the version we tested, 20-30mmHg, are $59.99.