I get asked a lot of questions about compression socks. There are quite a few brands on the market that sell compression socks. CEP is the biggest player on the market and it’s because they were making them before it was ever popular or even understood by the public. Why? That’s because their parent company was creating medical compression therapy for a very long time. The first pair I purchased were the CEP black calf sleeves. Should you purchase calf-sleeves or calf-socks? I’ll get to that soon but first I want to talk about the benefits of calf sleeves.
The idea behind wearing the sock is it increases circulation in your legs. The increased circulation brings more oxygen to your muscles, and that in turn means you’re going to have better performance and recovery. They are supposed to help you with shin splints and also calf injuries by providing maximum stability to the weak areas of your legs. In effect, lactic acid build up is minimized and more oxygenated blood flows through your extremities so as to keep you less fatigued.
Let’s get into the sleeve versus the sock choice. I prefer the calf sleeve over the sock because I can wear my favorite socks while retaining the benefits of wearing a sleeve around my lower leg. For example, I have a pair of Iniji five-fingered toe-socks that I wear with the Altra wide-toed running shoe. This ends up being a good combination for me. I might wear a thicker wool sock in winter during my cold weather runs. But I get to keep the leggings on.
Now, you have to determine what activity you are doing, and this will help you better decide. If you’re doing a triathlon then maybe wearing sleeves under your wetsuit is an option in order to minimize wasting time changing into socks. However, you might only want to wear the sleeves during the swim portion, as sock-foot portion will get wet. Every brand on the market offers different benefits. For example, CEP creates socks that are meant to be used for activity, and not solely recovery. Their socks are meant to create blood flow to the foot during activity, but not while at rest. Brands such as 2XU created socks that can be used after activity to refresh the leg as it increases blood flow to the leg and foot. There are a lot of brands on the market from Duluth to Under Armour to Nike. They all provide good effects.
Now, in the case of CEP, they stitch their socks differently than their competitors. Compression garments should have a measurement called a mercury millimeter measurement that measures compression force. The higher the number, the more compression you get. Keep in mind that higher doesn’t necessarily mean better. Where the force is being used, is a bit more important than how strong the force is. Insert joke.
CEP uses graduated compression in order to encourage blood flow back to the heart by use of controlled compression. Their socks use 23.5 mmHg at the ankle and 18 mmHg at the calf. This kind of stitching ensures the sock is not too tight on the calf. It also ensures it is tight enough on the ankle. It is intended to increase blood flow unlike some socks that are too tight throughout the entire leg. Try on a pair and see if they are for you.
Check the labeling on the packaging or ask the retailer to find out the benefits. None of the brands are the same. We sell alot of CEP at the store. Most inexperienced runners who shop our store end up buying compression socks. They love them and it gives them confidence to keep at their program. They can focus more easily on the task at hand.
- Graduated medi compression
- Soft zone, comfortable band
- Odor-reducing silver ions
- Anatomical fit
- Breathable, moisture management
- 18-25 mmHg graduated compression
- Shin splints
- Calf Injury
Calf Sleeve Material:
79% Nylon (Polyamide), 21% Spandex
Recovery Sock Material:
85% Nylon (Polyamide), 15% Spandex
Made in Germany
- 20-30 mmHg from ankle to calf, 18 mmHg consistent compression over the calf
- Maximum stability for calf muscles to help prevent injuries
- Heat and moisture management thanks to hydrophilic design
- Combine perfectly with CEP dynamic+ ankle socks
- Antibacterial, odor-reducing properties
I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
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