So you've done your research, read our blog post on the various benefits of wearing compression garments for training and racing as a runner or a triathlete and you're now ready to make your purchase. However, you realize you have the option to go with compression socks or compression sleeves.
So how do you choose?
The first thing you need to do is assess your needs. Socks offer a slightly better compression factor than sleeves because they also "hug" your foot as well as your ankles. Ask yourself the following questions which will help guide you towards the right direction.
1. Will you race and/or train in your compression wear?
Even though the benefits of compression wear are mostly for recovery (after doing exercise) there are some benefits of wearing compression socks or sleeves during longer races like a marathon, Ironman or any Ultra distance races. If you are a short distance runner (racer), you should consider your purchase of compression wear strictly for recovery, in which case either socks or sleeves would work for you. However, read the next questions before making your decision!
2. Are you "only" a runner or a triathlete?
As a triathlete, the last thing you want to do in T2 is put on a pair of compression socks. These are meant to be somewhat tight for them to work properly which means, will take some time to put on your wet feet! You could wear socks under your wetsuit, however, that would look a little funny and they would get damaged fairly quickly. That being said, sleeves fit perfectly under your wetsuit and leave your feet exposed for the elements of swimming.
3. What type of runner are you?
Are you a trail runner, a road runner or do you run barefoot on the beach? Trail running is usually pretty messy and wet so wearing a compression sleeve with a "quick dry" sock will be the best solution for your feet and for the longevity of your compression garment. Also if you are a barefoot runner or run with a "minimalist" shoe, a sleeve would be a better option for you since most of those shoes require no socks.
4. Are your feet sensitive to the type of sock you wear while you run?
Obviously if you are, the sleeves might be the best option for your situation. This leaves your feet exposed for you to wear your favorite running socks and for triathletes, don't interrupt your T2 routine for your usual socks/shoe combination.
Regardless of your decision, compression socks or sleeves are a great way to help you recover faster - getting you ready for your next training session and also help in injury prevention.
You can visit our website at www.LunatikAthletiks.com to see our line up of compression socks and sleeves. We're constantly adding to our inventory so follow us on Twitter or Facebook for product updates and new releases!