Compression Socks vs. Compression Sleeves

May 17, 2014

I’ve been doing some solid running lately.

Thursday morning I met up with a friend in Eagle River for a easy 9 miler. I can’t believe how well I fared since that’s nearly the distance of a long run for me these days, but I felt good and am counting my blessings.

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Joanne and I ran 6 miles together, and then I finished the last 3 on my own. I bought the new Mizuno Wave Rider 17, so I have been breaking them in this week. Even though it doesn’t take much to break in a pair of running shoes, I do wear them on shorter runs before I lace them up for a long run. DSC_0003Before my run on Thursday, I had a toasted English muffin—half with raspberry jam and the other with peanut butter. I have been eating this for breakfast nearly every morning this week.

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Thursday was my day off from work, so I had lunch with Craig, which is always a good time. Afterwards I ran some errands.

I rarely go to Wal-Mart, but I was looking for an oil filter for Craig’s car and they do sell them for cheap there. (Unfortunately they were all out though.) I always feel weird going to Wal-Mart. I don’t know what it is, but I can go to Wal-Mart in my hometown, but in Anchorage I feel out of place.

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I also stopped at REI and used some of my dividend towards some GU products and NUUN tablets that were on sale. Two of my favorite brands. DSC_0024

Thursday night Craig grilled chicken while I made Israeli couscous, fried potaoes, and roasted broccoli. Yum.

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We ate outside and enjoyed the glorious sunshine we have been having. We haven’t bought a table and chairs for our deck yet, so we improvised with TV trays and folding chairs.

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Friday morning we enjoyed our traditional weekly coffee date to cap off the week. I had a decaf Americano along with my recent standard breakfast of an English muffin topped with jam and peanut butter.   DSC_0006

I have been using compression socks for about three years and love using them. I don’t think they are a miracle worker, but I do think they help with recovery and warding of fatigue during a long run.

I’ve often wondered though if the compression sleeves would be any different. DSC_0008

So I was happy when a representative from Insoles and Beyond contacted me and offered to send me a pair of compression sleeves.

I have worn the compression sleeves on a few runs and really like them as well. They have graduated compression (just like the socks) with more compression at the ankle to push any waste towards the heart and back into circulation. I also liked that they were much easier to put on than the full sock.

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Overall I thought they worked about the same as the full sock, but I did highlight a few bonuses to each one.

Pros of compression socks:

– No swelling in the feet.

My feet swell when flying, so I would wear the compression socks instead of the sleeves when flying.

– No need for extra socks

With the compression socks, you don’t have to wear (or bring along, if you are traveling) an extra pair of socks.

– Overall more compression

For some reason, in my mind the sock would seem to provide more overall compression and effectiveness since you have compression starting in your feet.

Pros of compression sleeves:

– Ventilation at the ankle

I’ve gotten used to short socks and like having a bare ankle, so I appreciated that extra ventilation and the freedom my ankle has to articulate naturally without any added material.

– Great to wear under a long dress

A bonus to the compression sleeves is that you can wear them under a long dress such as a maxi dress.

– Ability to change out socks

If your feet get extra sweaty when running, you can easily change your socks and leave the compression sleeves on. This would be especially beneficially if you are an ultra runner.

– Easier to put on

The sleeves are definitely easier to put on. I hear this is especially nice when you are very pregnant.

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Questions

Do you prefer compression socks or compression sleeves or neither?

Do you gradually break in your running shoes?

5 Comments
    1. for me, the main plus of the sleeves is that i can wear them to work under dress pants. but for running and almost anything else, i always default to socks. probably cause the fewer items to put on, the better.

    1. I love NUUN and GU too, and that dinner looks delicious!
      I like compression socks better, mainly because then I don’t need extra socks, it just makes things easier, and by now I’m used to (and only run with) ProCompression socks (high or low), so if I ran with the sleeves I’d still be using their socks. Like you though, I wear the sleeves for recovery if I’m wearing a long dress.
      I definitely break in new shoes with a couple of shorter runs, and I can’t wait to read what you think about the 17’s.

    1. I love English muffins with PB&J on them too, especially when I toast them and the PB gets runny. Yum! Agreed on the WalMart thing. My hometown’s store is a social gathering place, the one here is kind of a dungeon of creepy people.

      I prefer the sleeves. Socks that squeeze my feet drive me crazy, especially if they’re too tight around the ankle.

    1. I’ve never tried compression socks but love my Zensah compression sleeves. They’re definitely great for in-between seasons races.

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