I have heard about these from more than a few runners. Legs that go over 10 miles or so usually need extra care the rest of that day and sometimes the next. It's called that 'recovery', and proper care will help prevent injury and get us out on the road for the next run.
But I've always blanched at the prices of these socks. recently, someone wrote about the diabetic anti-embolism socks sold at the local drugstores. It was Viper in one form or another, the huaracha wearing cheapskate --but he puts in serious miles and so should know about recovery. I don't know about your town, but here in Maricopa county, you can't swing an immigrant hater without hitting a Walgreens or CVS, or one under construction. We received a $5 coupon via email to CVS and off I went yesterday after a 15 mile run.
I spent 30-45 minutes sitting in the aisle trying to figure out what to buy. They have hip high, but I knew from past court appearances that wouldn't be a good idea.
They had 'up to the knee and these seemed like the ones I had seen at marathon expos. Usually for $60. The $35 price tag on the ones in the store beat that, but my mind began to wander over to the $8 ace bandages.
What is the purpose of the socks and how do they aid in recovery? Simple mild compression of the lower legs creates additional pressure in the cells, veins, and arteries which facilitates faster oxygen delivery and waste (lactic acid) removal. The research suggests that this is especially good for recovery post-run but is also useful during the run as it delays soreness and fatigue. And they look so damn spiffy! But I want function, then form. What about those Ace bandages?
I looked at the 6" Ace bandages. These could be quickly wrapped around the calf area without going through all the pelvic gyrations, grunting, and hopping around on one foot the compression socks require to put on (hey, just like constipation!). The degree of compression can be controlled by the user -just wrap tighter or looser, and they can be used in a variety of other McGuiver household applications. The best part is that they cost $8.00. I flunked economics a few times during college and couldn't shake the "I've got a coupon" idea, and so spent $15 extra to get the socks. Besides, I wanted to try them first, and then possibly do a comparison against the Ace wraps. I ended up choosing the calf length Futuro brand. With these, I'd be way ahead of the technology!
Then there was the awkward few minutes of measurement to determine my size -just between medium and large of course, so I went medium which seemed to be right. This is a bit gross I know, but I also tried on the pair in the torn package to be sure. They had obviously been tried by more than a few embolism sufferers but I had to be sure. I also saw a peg full of "moderate" compression but there was no indication that moderate meant MORE or LESS compression. Leaders of Futuro take note and please provide clarification.
Heck, I don't know. I wore them for a few hours, much to the amusement of my spouse. I didn't notice any extra oxygen delivery or lactic acid removal. And today, I feel pretty much like I ran 15 miles yesterday. I'll use them post long runs for a while because it sure didn't hurt anything, and I may try them during a run because I'm almost shameless in fashion. And I really do want to try Ace bandages to see if the focused compression makes a difference.
Cupcake = pretty good product, take it for what it is worth, leaves me wanting MORE