Most runners are familiar with compression sleeves and leg-wear and the way they aid in recovery by helping to prevent muscle cramps and fatigue. I remember when I bought my first pair of compression calf sleeves five years ago before my first half-marathon and how it made me feel like a “real” runner. While compression therapy originated as a way to help diabetic patients combat swelling in their limbs, it has come a long way in the construction, design, look, and use for athletes the world over.
CEP is a line from German based brand Medi who has developed a whole line of socks, sleeves, shorts, tights and shirts for a wide variety of sports. Compression gear is designed to deliver specific levels of pressure to the limbs to aid in recovery, by increasing blood flow that in turn, decreases muscle fatigue and soreness and can help prevent or lessen the chance of D.O.M.S (delayed onset muscle soreness). Having had some minor issues with blisters and achy feet after long runs, I decided to give these socks a trial run (pun intended).
I was anxious to be able to try the new(er) line from CEP, especially the “no show” sock. I pretty much hate wearing socks in general and when I do, they have to be comfortable, thin, and barely noticeable. I had high hopes for this pair of socks and have used compression calf sleeves from this company before.
The Women’s Dynamic + Run Ultralight No Show Socks provide moderate compression with about 15-20 mmHg, which stands for millimeters of mercury. The higher the numbers, the higher the compression. Here’s little bit more detail of this particular sock:
- Close-fitting*, anatomically padded foot section for blister-free running
- Proprioceptive ankle and arch stabilization
- Antibacterial, odor-reducing properties
- Perfect heat and moisture management thanks to a hydrophilic finish
- Air channels in foot section keep feet the right temperature
- Extra-flat toe seam prevents pressure points
- Extra padding in the heel for ultimate comfort
- Flexible, combine perfectly with CEP Progressive+ calf sleeves 2.0
*it is important to note that when purchasing these socks, you have to measure the circumference of your foot at the instep, to make sure you get the appropriate size for your foot. Okay, now to the actual review…
On the first run that I wore these socks, I was in heaven! My feet felt fresh in every sense of the word! It was like a had run a quick three miles, when in reality, it was a hard ten that particular day. My tootsies were fairly dry and hadn’t swelled all that much as is typical after a longer run. Not bad! After a few more subsequent runs with these socks, I noticed similar results. The arch support part and ankle stabilization claims, however, weren’t noticeable to me because A) I have extremely flat feet, and my arches have never been an issue and B) my shoes have a lot of stability since I tend to over-pronate. Will I wear them again? Yes, but I won’t go out of my way to make sure I wear them on every run. They are probably best for someone who might be getting the beginnings of developing Plantar Faciitis or someone who has high arches.
Out of the two socks I tried, the Women’s Dynamic +Run Ultralight Short Socks were the rock stars! I hate to admit that, since I had socks and I especially hate socks that show–ick! But, vanity and fashion-sense aside, these babies did the most for what I was looking for: they prevented blisters and had the right amount of compression (20-30 mmHg) that my Achilles and lower calf muscles and joints felt supported and stabilized. I really noticed a difference in how much faster my legs recovered after my weekend long-runs. I love so much that I wear them to work under my boots on days when I know I’ll be spending hours on my feet. Verdict: I’ll definitely go out of my way to wear these on long-runs and race days…but I’ll opt for some of CEP’s new colors like aqua, pink, and lime green. They are very much worth the $22.50 retail price. For more information on the construction of these socks, visit http://www.cepcompression.com/.