Most athletes have heard about the benefits of compression garments these days. Until fairly recently, I had been a skeptic. I had never tried them out, and had always done just fine with any type of athletic competition I had engaged in, so I figured, what’s the use? That ended roughly two months ago when I got the opportunity to test out several different types of compression gear.
One of the articles of compression gear that I was fortunate enough to test out were the EC3D Twist Compression Socks. I got them while I was training for an ultramarathon (which sadly ended with an injured peroneal tendon and not a medal; better luck next year!). I was running anywhere from 25-40 miles per week of tough trails. Needless to say, my legs were getting pretty fried.
When I got these socks to test out, I was not expecting to feel much of a difference. By the end of my first run with them, I had become a believer.
The concept behind the use of these socks is simple: Put them on normally for when training or competing, and you get the perfect amount of compression for that activity. When you’re all done training, give the socks a twist, which increases the compression for faster recovery from training.
The area that I was doing most of my training at has by far the toughest trails with the steepest hills in the area. One in particular, known as Asthma Hill, is a particular kind of beast to undertake. Every time I run it, by the time I hit the top every muscle in my legs feel like they’re exploding. But this time, things were different.
When I got to the top, my thighs were experiencing the normal burn. My calves, however, were not. They felt fine. I was quite confused. So I ran harder and I ran faster, testing out this newfound superpower. It kept up.
The EC3D compression socks made such a difference that I added several miles on to my expected distance that day. I was thoroughly impressed. So then it was on to the next test; how well they help you recover.
Once again, I was skeptical when following the directions on how to switch the socks into recovery mode. I wasn’t quite sure how twisting the socks would change the level of compression, or how much good that would honestly do. My apologies to the EC3D company for not having enough faith, once again I was corrected in this.
When you follow the directions, simply pushing the socks down to your ankles, twisting them, and pulling them back up, it makes a subtle difference in the pounds per square inch of pressure that it is placing upon your leg (taking it from 20-25 mmHg in performance mode to 25-30 mmHg in recovery mode). I wore them around in this mode for the rest of the day. My calves never got sore.
The socks have a very modern looking pattern, strong weave and are lightweight
So, for a simple overview, let’s switch to chart mode for the good and the bad.
The goods are not so hard to list:
1. They work. Great level of compression in both performance and recovery mode. My calves never once got sore using these.
2. They are the most comfortable compression gear that I own. With most compression gear, I feel itchy in it for the first 2-3 miles, and again if I don’t take it off right after working out. EC3D uses a blend of 85 % Polyamide, 15 % Elastane in these socks, which, in my opinion, is far more comfortable for wear. I even started wearing them to work on occasion.
3. You are replacing two pairs of socks with one. Instead of buying specific performance socks and recovery socks, you get both in one easy package.
4. They don’t stink. I was seriously concerned about the idea of wearing socks out in public during the recovery phase that I had just worn on a long run. 15 miles worth of sweat is enough to make just about anything smell, but the socks just didn’t. I’m not sure how they accomplished that, but I’m sure glad they did.
5. Durability: I’ve taken these things through thorn bushes, mud, and plenty of other stuff without them wearing down. Send them through the washer and they are like new again.
6. They look cool. Not an overly important feature when you’re looking for performance, but who wants to be working out in something that doesn’t look cool?
1. At $59.99 per pair, they are more expensive than some other compression socks out there.
I feel it’s almost unfair writing this, because obviously price is going to be based on the quality of the gear that you’re getting. However, if you’re just looking for an inexpensive pair of compression socks, this isn’t it. If you’re just looking for something to wear once a month, or if you’re not sure that you’ll really use them, you can buy a cheap pair of compression socks for $15.
For those who train more seriously though, this is about an average price for high quality compression socks. And as states earlier, these ones are replacing two pairs with one.
The Twist Compression Socks can be found on EC3D’s website at http://ec3dsports.com/us_en/compression-twist-socks-bkb.
20-25 mmHg in performance mode
25-30 mmHg in recovery mode
- One Sock – 3 Functions
- Increases Performance
- Speeds up recovery time
- Increases arch support with the help of a single Twist