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These Are a Few of Our Favorite (Compression) Things

compression socksI love compression socks like Buddy the Elf loves maple syrup. And I use them just about as often. I mean, obviously, I wear them a lot for workouts — I use them to battle muscle fatigue on long runs, and I rely on them to offer my shins a little bit of protection from my weights when I’m strength training.

But even more than that, I wear them for recovery — I pull them on as soon as I’m out of the shower following a workout, I plan outfits around being able to wear jeans or tall boots so I can wear my compression socks out and about, and I’m not ashamed to admit that sometimes? I sleep in them.

Come on, guys. Tell me I’m not the only one. (Better yet, tell my husband I’m not the only one.)

As you might imagine, I have quite the collection of compression socks — black ones, white ones, some with funky patterns and bright colors, and others with muted retro designs — and I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you.

Favorite Compression Socks

CEP Progressive+ Run Socks 2.0 ($60): These (or an earlier version of them, anyway) were my very first compression socks. I remember balking a bit at the price — $60 for a pair of socks? Yikes, right? — but I was at my local running store and was having issues on long runs, and the guys I knew there swore these would help. Whaddaya know? They were right. So right, in fact, that a month or two later, my husband went in to pick up a pair for himself. They’re a bear to get on and off because they’re so, well, compression-y, but my goodness, do my legs feel better after wearing them.

SUGOi Women’s R+R Knee High ($40): This is undoubtedly the pair I get the most compliments on, and it’s little wonder — they stand out in a big way. But I don’t just wear them for their looks! They’re super snug and extremely effective, so this pair gets a lot of wear. Plus, I mean, they match basically anything I can pull out of my closet, you know?

ProCompression Marathon ($50): ProCompression is probably the brand I see most often on my fellow runners, and there’s a reason — they offer the Marathon style in a jillion colors, and they often offer deals so you can pick up a pair for a fraction of the cost (which is how I’ve landed about four pairs to date). They’re a bit thinner and not quite as tight than the options listed above, which can be nice for warmer weather or for travel.

Feetures Plantar + Calf Sleeve ($59.99): These are a new — and extremely welcome — addition to my collection. I’ve suffered from plantar fasciosis (yep, that’s what we’re calling it instead of fasciitis these days) enough to be appreciative of anything that offers a little extra support to that part of my foot, and when it’s paired with a calf sleeve? Catch me while I swoon. An unexpected benefit for me has been that, aside from allowing me to paint my toe nails while recovering from a run, the open toe area keeps my foot a wee bit cooler than a closed sock, which has made them easier to wear overnight when the weather is warm.

SVR Compression Calf Sleeve ($29.99): Speaking of calf sleeves, I’m currently digging these calf sleeves a whole lot. There are a couple of benefits to a sleeve over a sock: For workouts, you can wear whatever socks work best for you normally and still get the compression benefits on your calf, and when it comes to recovery, sleeves can be easier to hide beneath pants than a full sock. Plus, although it’s not really possible to wear socks for the swim portion of a triathlon, plenty of athletes take to the water with calf sleeves.

Marvy ($32): Designed with graduated compression to take you from the plane to the office to the gym to recovery (but, you know, hopefully with a wash or two in between), Marvy compression socks can just about do it all. Certain styles, like the Kyoto, have extra cushion in the toe and heel for added comfort.

VIM&VIGR Cotton Compression Socks ($29.99): You know how I mentioned wearing pants or tall boots to hide my compression socks when I hit the town? I don’t necessarily do that with the VIM&VIGR nylon striped socks I have, and I think you could certainly get away with sporting these cotton polka dot ones with the right outfit. This brand isn’t as geared toward athletics as the others featured here, but they’re high quality and adorable, which definitely works for me.

Have you tried any of the brands mentioned above? Do you have a deep appreciation for compression socks, too? —Kristen

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