I often got small calf muscle pulls from doing sprint triathlons in very cold weather. Coming off the bike to the run my legs were cold and more prone to seizing up. I wear compression socks now when racing and do feel they make a difference. Might just be the extra warmth, I don't know and I don't care. I alse wear them for recovery after marathons and ultras and they definitely help to reduce swelling. Last long race I did I kept them on for two days and had swelling and bruising round my knees above the top of the sock but none below.
I ran the Brighton Marathon this year and wore Compressport FullSocks for the first time on a long run and did not regret it. It is hard to tell how much pain I would have been in without them but they were not uncomfortable and my calf muscles did not cramp as much as I thought they would.
It is not normally our advice to use new kit for the first time on race day but I did and it worked out. Well it didn't cause me any problems. We sell so many pairs of compression socks and have such good testimonials that we would say they do work and the science is solid.
Check out the Compressport socks I used here: http://www.lansonrunning.com/brands/compressport/
you might be interested in this article which appeared today in Triathlete Europe
the general concusion is:
"To a degree, if there’s no harm done – as long as it’s not too tight or irritating or causes blisters – then it hardly matters whether the benefits are in the athlete’s head or not."
in other words, there's no conclusive evidence that they help performance but if you think it does and it's not harming you, carry on. aka placebo effect.....
I get mine from Aldi for £3.99 but I wouldn't spend £30+ on them. I think at that price the perceived 'cost vs benefit' would remove any placebo effect.
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