Company’s compression socks and sleeves offer athletes comfort during activity and recovery afterward, in many styles and colors.
By Henry Howard
I’m a guy so it’s no surprise that I lack the shopping gene.
When I became a runner, I had no idea there were so many options for shoes, socks, shirts, shorts, headwear, gloves and the list goes on. I knew I wanted a good pair of running sneakers and running clothes that wouldn’t chafe me. And I knew better than to wear a cotton T-shirt while running.
As I started out on my running journey, I happily chewed up mile after mile in running shorts, moisture-wicking socks and shirts, and of course running sneakers. When it got colder, layers were added.
At some point I learned of this invention called compression gear. Compression socks. Compression sleeves. Compression tights. And yet, I continued to pick up old reliable — white, moisture-wicking socks.
However, curiosity finally got the best of me. At the start line in some races, it seems like compression gear is required. Of course it’s not but with so many runners embracing it, there had to be something to it.
So I tried out two pairs of Swiftwick socks. Around the time when I started running in them I had a minor issue with a tendon near my ankle. I can’t completely credit the socks for healing me, but I believe they did contribute, as did rest, ice, compression and elevation.
The socks — Swiftwick Aspire — fit well and feel great during and after runs. Swiftwick has many different types to choose from. This particular style goes right above the ankle. That’s great for warm weather running; I probably need to get a longer pair for cold-weather runs.
While I heartily endorse Swiftwick, I’m at a loss to tell you much about how they work. Thanks to Kathryn McKinley, a Swiftwick marketing communications coordinator, who took the time to provide some information about the company’s product lines.
Questions and Answers
Question: Explain to me how — in layman’s terms — Swiftwick compression socks work.
Compression works by increasing the blood flow and circulation through the lower limbs. Swiftwick socks have compression in every sock footbed which gives support and increases circulation. The higher the cuff on the sock the more compression and benefit you’ll receive from the socks.
For workouts, the over the calf compression socks help reduce muscle vibrations which can make your muscles tire and cramp. The compression garments help keep the muscles in place and return blood and oxygen to the muscles and cardiovascular system.
Question: What are the recommendations — before, during or after training or racing, or all of the above? What about length of use — at what point is there a point of diminishing returns? If I wear them to bed, will I still get the benefits?
Our over the calf Twelve’s can be worn during and after training and racing. The Aspire’s are a Managed Compression™ garment which means they have the same amount of compression up the cuff of the sock. The Managed Compression™ allows the sock to stay in place during a workout. The Aspire’s can be worn after training as well to help with the recovery process.
After training and races, some people prefer our Medical Class II Graduated Compression Recovery+ socks. The Recovery+ socks are made for recovery and for long wear. They help prevent Edema, DVT, and varicose veins. The Recovery+ can be worn for long periods of time like traveling and sleep.
Question: I love the socks, very happy with them. But explain to me about compression sleeves. For a long-distance runner like me, how do compression sleeves help?
Compression arm sleeves for runners help protect the arms from UV rays and act as a guard from extreme environments. During the cold weather they are great to keep the arms warm and easy to remove if your arms get too warm.
Question: Swiftwick proudly proclaims it manufacturers all of its products in the USA. Why is that so important to the company, as many U.S. companies are outsourcing to overseas markets?
Answer: By sourcing and manufacturing Swiftwick socks in the U.S., we not only create jobs for our communities, but we also have control over the quality of the products and sustainable manufacturing practices.
Thanks to Ms. McKinley for taking the time to answer my questions. For runners, especially newbies, compression items are definitely a great way to recover faster after workouts.
They are so good, in fact, I am actually looking forward to shopping for my next pair of Swiftwicks.