Do compression socks increase athletic performance?

"Research suggests that compression garments can be effective for improving muscle recovery after fatiguing exercise, but has shown little to indicate an athletic performance benefit."

"In theory, sports compression garments improve performance during exercise and speed recovery afterward by improving vascular circulation, thus increasing oxygen delivery to muscles and removal of metabolic waste products such as lactic acid."

"Research does indicate that compression can be effective for improving muscle recovery after fatiguing exercise, such as running a marathon. But, although multiple studies have looked at the effect of compression garments on sports performance, they have found little evidence of a performance benefit. And some researchers have found that the advantages of the garments primarily have to do with the wearer’s perception—raising the possibility of a placebo effect."

While it does not appear that there is a physiological performance gain to wearing compression garments there is also no measured negative performance effect. Anecdotally compression wearers do tend to feel more confident and feel better when they wear compression during activity. The feeling of support around an injury or an area that has been predisposed to injury may provide a mental benefit as people perform better when they feel better - which depending on the individual may be a large contributing factor to their performance. So if you feel better wearing it, wear it!

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