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Compression gear gaining popularity in running

Updated: 07/04/2014 2:05 PM
Created: 07/04/2014 1:47 PM WNYT.com
By: Benita Zahn

Among the July 4th celebrations are local races.  You may have seen runners wearing what appear to be knee socks. They are compression socks and they're growing in popularity.

As I continue my series on running I have the information you need before you pull on a pair.

Running takes a toll on your body so runners are always looking for an edge. That's why compression gear is gaining in popularity. There are compression tights and shorts which your lower extremities in place - reducing extraneous motion and reducing fatigue.

However, compression wear plays another role -- especially when it comes to compression socks as Charlie Woodruff, long time runner, coach and owner of Fleet Feet, explains.

It's more compressive at my ankle than it is at my knee. It takes that blood that's accumulated down there and it moves it back towards my heart. It takes waste with it, lactic acid, so it slows down fatigue. As a recovery tool, some folks will wear a sleeve sock as a recovery tool so you'll recover more quickly the next day,” said Woodruff.

However, Woodruff says to take care when buying compression socks. They need to be fit properly - one size does not fit all. Your calf will need to be measured.

The pants are kind of okay, we can do that. But when it start talking about socks, because they're sized differently. We need to be careful that we're getting the right product on the bodies,” he explained.

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