Who doesn’t love a good compression sock? The challenge is finding one that is comfortable, without losing performance. Enter the Rockay Vigor Graduated Compression Socks. In this article, we lay out the criteria for evaluating compression socks, from the science and commons sense benefits, to a full review of the Rockay Vigor socks to see how they stack up.
- 1 Why Do Runners Need Compression Socks?
- 2 Research Studies into Compression for Running
- 3 Scientific Benefits of Compression Socks
- 4 Common-Sense Benefits of Compression Socks
- 5 What Makes Rockay Compression Socks Different?
- 6 Rockay Running Socks Pros and Cons
- 7 My Top Fitness Rockay Compression Socks Test Results
- 8 Where to Find Rockay Compression Socks
- 9 Choosing the Right Compression Socks
Why Do Runners Need Compression Socks?
Athletes who are serious about their practice should always be on the lookout for methods to improve performance. This includes runners who are looking to hone their skills. One such way is to utilize running socks or compression socks. Compression socks are gaining popularity for many reasons. They allow runners to improve their abilities during a race or a long run. It also improves their ability to recover after a run as well.
The science behind compression socks for running is only starting to gain full understanding. That being said, compression wear is not a new concept by any means. Compression socks are popular for a wide variety of reasons. This includes the treatment of circulatory system conditions and vein disorders in medical settings. Now there is new evidence which suggests that during running and immediately after runners will be able to benefit from the use of knee-length breathable compression socks. For both short distance running and long-distance running, professional athletes can benefit compression in a variety of different ways.
Research Studies into Compression for Running
Compression socks are becoming a hot-button topic for research in the scientific community. This is largely due to the fact that compression is so beneficial in the medical setting already. These studies aim to look at the effects of compression socks on running performance as well as recovery after the fact. So far, results are both positive and negative depending on the type of socks being used and the parameters of the study.
For example, whether the study takes place in the lab or out on the track impacts the results. While the results are not entirely conclusive as of yet, some have shown notable performance improvements both in terms of running performance and recovery time.
Many runners, however, are swearing by the results they experience with actual use. Anecdotal evidence from actual use of compression socks is different than the evidence that comes from scientific studies lacking an easy way to track and monitor results.
Runners who have been using compression socks for some time note a number of real and discernable benefits. These benefits include measurable health benefits, improvements in sporting ability, and some rather unexpected benefits as well.
Scientific Benefits of Compression Socks
Compression wear has clinically shown itself to aid in recovery through improving blood flow and circulation. Compression gear has long been used by medical professionals for patients who are confined to a bed or a wheelchair in order to improve circulation and prevent blood clots for a number of decades, and so it would stand to reason that the same science would be beneficial for others.
Most compression gear intended for runners is designed to be fully graduated. This means that you will get greater compression around the ankle and then increasing loosening up the leg toward the calf. This is designed to increase the blood flow to and from the lower legs. This allows for an increase in the supply of oxygen to the muscles in the legs.
The muscles require oxygen in order to reduce the supply of lactic acid. This is imperative to fully recovering from a good run. Lactic acid is produced as a result of cellular respiration, or in other words as part of how your body makes energy. In essence, it builds up as a result of your muscles overexerting yourself. If you build up too much lactic acid as a result of a long, hard run, you will have difficulty recovering from your run and will experience more discomfort or muscle fatigue after your workout.
Compression socks promote the blood flow in your legs during and after a run. This results in increased oxygenation in your muscles. This increased oxygenation leads to a decrease in lactic acid. This will allow for the potential of faster, longer runs and quicker, more effective recovery times.
According to Runner’s World, compression wear improves circulation, speeds recovery, increases oxygenation of the muscles, speeds removal of lactic acid, reduces EIMD or Exercise Induced Muscle Damage, improves endurance, reduces muscle oscillation, boosts power, boosts strength, improves control of body temperature, and reduces ankle swelling.
The benefits of compression socks for serious runners are numerous. Both casual and professional runners who try compression socks tend to experience a significant improvement in their running ability and their recovery.
Common-Sense Benefits of Compression Socks
In addition to the clear scientific and medical benefits of compression socks there are a number of commonsense benefits as well. There are many benefits to knee-high compression socks that do not rely on the science to experience.
For example, it is easy to see that wearing these compression socks will provide leg protection from dirt, scratches, abrasions and anything else that you might come in contact with while running. If you are running outdoors and there is a chance your legs will come in contact with the environment, then compression socks can be beneficial in providing additional protection for your skin. Compression socks also provide warmth for the legs on cooler days.
Knee-length compression socks can be a beneficial addition to your running wardrobe whether you are fully invested in the science or not. Once you purchase a pair and give them a chance you may find that you are experiencing many of the benefits compression socks are well regarded for. The best way to know whether compression socks are going to work for you is to give them a shot for yourself.
What Makes Rockay Compression Socks Different?
Rockay compression socks come with a lifetime guarantee which speaks to their quality. When you buy a product that contains a lifetime guarantee you can expect it to last.
These products are made using 100% recycled materials. What this means is that supporting Rockay by purchasing these compression socks means you are utilizing high-end compression products made from upcycled marine waste. This may include old fishing nets and other waste that can harm the environment.
Rockay breathable compression socks are created with proprietary Polygiene Stay Fresh Technology. This technology is uniquely designed to ensure each sock remains odor free even during the longest and toughest run.
These compression socks have sturdy cushioning built into the heel and toe areas to prevent chafing and blistering. These are the areas that require extra support the most. With extra support where you need it you can get the most out of every walk, run, or hike.
There are several qualities that set Rockay products apart from the others. Rockay products are designed to fit well, while being of the highest caliber in terms of quality. The Rockway brand offers snug compression socks that are tight where they need to be and gradually loosen from bottom to top. This will promote good circulation and encourage the fastest possible recovery following a run.
Rockay Running Socks Pros and Cons
- Rockay compression products prevent blisters by providing additional cushioning and protection in the places where it matters the most.
- The socks have a seamless toe for added comfort.
- Rockay running socks offer superior breathability, anti-odor treatment, and ventilation as compared to other compression socks on the market. The material is naturally moisture-wicking. This will allow the wearer to go on long hikes, runs, and walks, without worrying about sweat or odor.
- All products come with a lifetime guarantee which means that you can count on them to really last.
- Rockay products are generated using 100% recycled materials. What this means is that you are benefiting the environment by buying these products.
- These compression socks are snug and fight nicely, holding the muscles in place during long runs. If you are looking for a compression sock that is going to reduce muscle issues during recovery or prevent pain during a run, then this is a solid product to consider.
- Rockay products carry a slightly higher price point as compared to other compression socks, however the quality makes the price point worthwhile.
- Rockay’s compression socks can run a little small so it is important to measure carefully and to make sure to choose the right size.
My Top Fitness Rockay Compression Socks Test Results
What would a review be without actually testing? My Top Fitness took the Rockay Vigor compression socks for a spin and the results were impressive. Beginning with putting the socks on, it took the effort expected for compression socks. Not too loose and a snug but firm fit.
The material did not feel too thick for the running shoes, which is critical as you don’t want to feel your socks, but know they are there. Out the door the immediate feel was a sense of “hugging” the legs. They were definitely providing the pep most normally feel when starting a “compressed” workout.
Where these socks shine is in the breathability/comfort balanced by performance. They have an airy feel to them which helps distract from the feel some compression socks create. Separate of the breathability, they did not create blisters or shift, which led to overall comfort. The key test, which is our favorite workout, is on the hills. You don’t want your legs to feel suffocated, but rather supported, and that is exactly what the Rockay compression socks did. Throughout testing, the performance was never sacrificed, which was the original concern with a more “breathable” sock.
Of note, getting the right size can be a little confusing, so please reach out to Rockay with any questions.
Bottom line, put the Rockay Vigor compression socks to the front of your sock drawer. These are high performing but breathable socks that will add miles to your running.
Where to Find Rockay Compression Socks
Rockay has an easy to navigate website where you can order them directly.
Beyond the top rated compression socks, Rockay has an impressive sustainably created apparel line so you can feel good, while feeling good and looking good!
Choosing the Right Compression Socks
It is important that your compression socks fit comfortably so that you can make it through your runs without discomfort. It is also important that they provide the most effective compression to get the greatest health benefits during each run and post-run recovery.
If the socks you choose are not compressing adequately, or that they are fitting too tightly, you may not be getting all the benefits intended by the brand. Your compression socks need to fit properly from knee to toe in order to give you the best benefit. It may take a little trial and error to find the right fit but once you do there is no doubt you will be elated at the benefits to your running and recovery capabilities.