Which is Better: Compression Socks or Compression Sleeves?

Compression gear should be worn by anyone who leads an active lifestyle. That said, we are often asked what is the difference between compression socks and compression sleeves. When should you choose one over the other?

What is the Difference Between Compression Socks and Sleeves?

The difference starts with the design. Compression socks cover both the foot and the calf whereas sleeves lack the foot portion.

However, both socks and sleeves help to improve the circulation of blood because they provide graduated compression, meaning the compression gets lighter as it moves up the leg. Crazy Compression socks and sleeves offer 15-20 mmhg true graduated compression -- the perfect amount to fit your needs.

Compression socks and sleeves can be worn by athletes to boost performance, prevent injury and speed up muscle recovery. They are also ideal for people who spend long periods of time on their feet, like nurses.

Compression sleeves are ideal for:

Preventing shin splints. Shin splints are very common amongst runners among who:

(i) have recently increased the duration, frequency and/or intensity of their training

(ii) run on hard, uneven surfaces which places a strain on the front leg muscles

(iii) may have flat feet or high arches (this often causes the front leg muscles to go into overdrive to provide stability)

Compression sleeves provide much needed TLC to the calf and shin areas by boosting blood flow to injured tissue, reducing pain and inflammation. If you frequently suffer from shin splints, sleeves would be an ideal choice to help you get back in the game much more quickly.

Related: 5 common running injuries and how to prevent them

Compression socks are ideal for:

Protecting your feet. According to Mayo Clinic, “Sitting with your feet on the floor for a long period causes blood to pool in your leg veins.” If you are traveling for long distances by car, plane or rail, compression socks are likely to be more effective since they help to promote circulation in your feet, ankles and legs whereas sleeves stop short (at the ankles).

Apart from sitting for long periods of time during travel, if you suffer from swollen feet due to the nature of your job, wearing compression socks can help to keep your protect your feet by forcing the blood to flow upwards. Remember that compression socks are tightest around the feet and lower legs - and these are usually the most affected areas when it comes to swelling.

Related: 5 self-care tips for nurses  

Making your selection

In many cases, the choice between compression socks versus compression sleeves comes down to personal preference. For example, some athletes prefer to wear sleeves because it gives them more flexibility to wear regular socks or open toe shoes while enjoying the many benefits that compression offers.

The good news is that whether you choose compression socks or sleeves (or both) for your fitness needs, you don’t have to sacrifice style. At Crazy Compression, we have many designs to fit your personality.

Let us know your preference by joining our community on Instagram or Facebook. Use #crazycompression to show off your compression gear!

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