What are Compression Socks and Sleeves? Your Complete Guide | PRO Compression

What are Compression Socks and Sleeves? Your Complete Guide | PRO Compression

Chances are you landed here searching for information about compression socks because you see everyone wearing knee-high socks while working out. Maybe your running friends are always raving about the amazing benefits of compression socks and won't run without them. Or possibly your doctor or therapist suggested you give them a try due to a medical condition.

As you learn about them, check out PRO Compression's full line of compression socks and sleeves and find out what fits your needs and style best. It's okay if you're new to compression, we're here to provide you with sock guidance and reveal how the benefits of compression socks have helped a range people, from the elderly to athletes and everyone in between.

What Are Compression Socks and Sleeves?

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly to compression socks do? A main benefit of compression socks and sleeves is that they wrap around the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your feet, ankles, calves and arms, and are made of a blend of fabric materials such as nylon and polyester. This serves the purpose of improving overall circulation and blood flow to your limbs and body.

They achieve this by providing pressure at specific compression levels to the intended areas they fit around. Compression socks are a special stocking for the feet, often reaching all the way to just below the knee (often referred to as "knee-high socks or stockings"), but they can come in other heights as well. Compression sleeves use the same type of compression technology as the socks but only wrap around a specific limb like a calf or forearm.

Compression levels are measured in mmHg (millimeters of mercury), and correlate to blood pressure levels. Typical compression levels can range from 10 mm Hg to 30 mm Hg, with 30 mm Hg bringing a higher level of intensity.

Depending on specific circulation needs, you can choose which compression level is the right fit. Runners, for example, might want more compression to promote circulation to fit longer endurance activities, while compression dress socks for the office only need a low to moderate compression level to provide comfort throughout the day.

How Does Compression Technology Work?

Another benefit of compression socks and gear is that it is built with a special science and technology. They are specifically designed to apply just the right amount of pressure to specific areas of the body to help increase blood flow and circulation.

Compression socks are often used to address problems with poor circulation, swelling and inflammation due to injury. By increasing blood flow, more oxygen-rich blood is carried throughout the body in an efficient manner and broken-down soft tissue is then able to repair itself more quickly.

While there are many compression products on the market touting a whole host of benefits, it's important that you find a high-quality product that features "graduated compression" and has been tested and certified to the stated pressure ratings.

Why is graduated compression important and what does it mean?

Graduated compression means there is more pressure in a certain area, usually at the extremities farther away from the heart, and as the sock material moves closer to the heart, the pressure decreases. So, for compression socks for example, there is more pressure applied near the feet and ankles and as the sock moves up the calf, the pressure decreases.

This serves to aid blood circulation by counteracting the effects of gravity and helping blood flow back to the heart. In essence, graduated compression socks are squeezing the blood from your feet and toes back up your legs towards the heart.

Have you ever felt heavy or swollen feet after a long car drive or plane flight? It's because blood has pooled at your feet and has not circulated well due to the prolonged sitting position. This is exactly the effect that graduated compression socks and sleeves can help alleviate.

Benefits of Wearing Compression Gear

PRO Compression Raspberry Swirl Marathon Running Compression Sock

Just about anyone can benefit from compression gear.

Athletes of all kinds can benefit from different types of compression products. Wearing them while training or racing will help maximize performance by ensuring better blood circulation while at the same time providing support and protection to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.

Golf, tennis, baseball, basketball, cycling, running and hiking are all sports that can be amplified with compression sleeves. You can wear them during any activity such as walking or running for extra support and comfort to improve performance or slide them on after activity to help recovery.

For those with diabetes suffering from common side effects like edema that often happens as a result of having the disease, over-the-calf compression socks with graduated compression technology work to reduce swelling in the lower limbs. At the same time, they protect feet from accidental cuts and scrapes that, if infected, can be extremely dangerous for diabetics.

Another benefit of compression socks is for those traveling long distances that tend to gravitate towards knee-high socks. They keep the blood flowing during prolonged periods of sitting. Or, if you work a job where you’re on your feet all day, a benefit of compression socks can be preventing soreness and keep you moving and feet fresh throughout each shift.

People with chronic pain in their limbs and joints can look to compression products like arm sleeves for elbow pain or socks to address pain and circulation in the lower limbs. Arm sleeves can also be worn to improve performance during your favorite activities.

The benefits of compression socks are that they can treat a wide spectrum of issues and provide benefits, from mild soreness to severe symptoms and conditions. Just about anyone can benefit from this special type of garment.

Where To Buy Compression Socks and Sleeves

As a consumer, we know there are a lot of options on the market to choose from, that is why PRO Compression prides themselves on being the leader in compression products. 

As stated previously, for best performance and to achieve the full benefits of wearing compression socks and sleeves, it's important that you select certified graduated compression products

At PRO Compression, each and every sock is lab tested and certified to be graduated compression at the stated compression levels. Be careful, because not every product on the market can say the same. Insist on the highest level of quality. All of our socks are manufactured here in the USA to maintain the strictest level of quality.

We have a wide range of socks and sleeves for arms and calves to suit your specific needs. Choose from a great selection of designs and colors and get the maximum comfort from our unique blend of synthetic fabrics.

We also recently introduced a full line of protective braces to support knee, ankle, elbow joints. These compression braces offer additional support to help reduce swelling, control pain, and protect joints during all activities.

Our compression products are made with anti-microbial technical fabric for ideal moisture and odor control. To add, they are stitched to provide the ultimate softness, comfort and fit.

If you’re a runner, whether you jog for general fitness or you're a dedicated marathon runner, who wants maximum comfort in your legs while running but prefer to wear ankle socks with running shoes, try compression sleeves for the calves. 

These promote constant circulation and fight off unwanted aches as you run long distance but also allow you to have the flexibility of wearing ankle length socks for your feet.

Alternatively, there are also mid-to low-rise compression socks you can wear which will allow you to experience the same circulation benefits from compression technology but in a more concentrated area.

We’ve got the science down when it comes to compression products, and we want you to reap the benefits. Shop PRO Compression today to get the best compression socks or sleeves.

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