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The Difference Between Compression Socks and Sleeves

Crazy Compression

Posted on July 11 2019

Compression Socks on a Mountain

Are you trying to decide if a compression sock or compression sleeve is right for you? Let’s explore their similarities and differences to help you find the right solution. While compression benefits everyone, wearing the right type of compression is essential for optimal effect. The high-intensity athlete needs a different type of support then the flight attendant looking to soothe swollen feet.

Everyone can benefit from compression

First, it is important to understand why compression is a great option for everyone. Compression garments were first created to reduce leg swelling, blood clots, and improve circulation. When you exercise (or work all day on your feet) your body produces lactic acid and waste products, creating muscle pain. Graduated leg compression provides a circulation boost while reducing inflammation. By doing so, compression contributes to faster recovery while lessens muscle soreness.   

Our socks and sleeves both implement graduated compression. Beginning at the ankles and traveling up the leg, the compression in the garment decreases as the sock or sleeve extends up the leg, pushing the blood back toward the heart. The increased circulation stimulates the muscles and keeps blood from pooling, which causes swelling.

Compression Socks

Compression socks are a great option for everyone, especially for those who plan to wear them for an extended period of time. The socks are tightest around the feet and lower legs. They keep the blood moving through your feet and back towards your heart, thereby reducing swelling.  If at the end of a long workday your feet are swollen, compression socks can help. They are also great for those who sit for long periods of time whether traveling or at a desk job.

Improved circulation is something everyone needs!

Compression Sleeves

Compression sleeves are for the athlete whose shins and calves need extra attention. They help prevent shin splints and reduce blood flow to injured tissues. Compression causes dilation in your arteries which, in turn, increases the blood flow to your muscles. Sleeves give extra support to the muscles, helping to reduce muscle fatigue during strenuous workouts.

So, Sleeve or Sock?

For those who suffer from swollen feet, the compression sleeve is not the right option. Since there is not compression around the feet it does not increase blood flow in this area. The compression sleeve is specifically for the athlete who seeks to increase recovery time or prevent injury to the calves and shins. While compression socks are designed to be worn for long periods of time (such as lengthy airplane trips and long work hours), sleeves are for the high-intensity athlete who needs a little extra support or suffers from shin splints.

Whether you are in the market for compression socks or compression sleeves, our fun quirky prints are the perfect addition to your outfit. We have over 40 years of experience in the sock industry, mastering the ability to combine a unique design style with innovative knitting techniques. Our experience makes our Truly Graduated Compression 15-20mmhg Socks & Sleeves top of the line!

Order your first pair today and see for yourself. Our socks come with a lifetime guarantee.