Do running compression socks help with shin splints?

If you are suffering from shin splints, you might be wondering “do running compression socks help with shin splints?”

Shin splints are often caused by high-impact exercise, and that means you are much more likely to suffer from them if you are a runner. As shin splints can become serious when not treated, you need to take action if you experience this kind of pain.

Compression socks can be worn both while running and after a run, and they will help to prevent shin splints. They work by increasing the circulation and ensuring that your muscles have plenty of oxygenated blood while you are exercising, but more importantly – in terms of shin splints – they reduce the muscle oscillation and vibration that occurs when you run.

Because the socks are tight around the foot and ankle but looser around the calf, they encourage the blood to flow back up to the heart. This increased blood flow is key for healing.

Compression socks definitely can help with shin splints, so let’s look at them in a bit more detail.

Other Benefits Of Compression Socks

Compression socks have a surprising amount of benefits, and the stabilization of your muscles is just one of them. One of the other major benefits is that they ensure that oxygenated blood is flowing steadily to your muscles.

This makes it easier to keep exercising and gives your muscles the oxygen they need for working out.

Compression socks are also good for reducing stiffness post-exercise and can help to stop swelling. Furthermore, with the increased blood flow, more lactic acid will be removed from your muscles, allowing them to stay hydrated.

Because they increase the blood flow, compression socks also reduce muscle fatigue, allowing you to exercise more efficiently and comfortably. This means you can work out for longer, and experience less tiredness and soreness as a result of a workout.

Do Running Compression Socks Help Minimize DOMS?

Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is another common ailment that runners suffer from, and compression socks may also help here.

Many runners are looking for ways to reduce their soreness after a workout, and solutions have traditionally focused on cool-down exercises and hydration, but some runners have started to look toward compression socks as a solution.

Unfortunately, there is no conclusive evidence about whether or not this helps. Some runners feel that compression socks do reduce DOMS after a workout, but few studies have been done, and none of them reached any conclusive decisions about the usefulness of compression socks for treating DOMS.

Do Compression Socks REALLY Work?

Compression socks do certainly alter your blood circulation and help to encourage it to flow back to your heart. Whether they will “work” in a particular situation depends on what you are using them for and the outcome you expect, but they are not a gimmicky product that relies upon a placebo effect.

Some people assume that compression socks don’t do anything because they look the same as ordinary socks.

However, compression socks undoubtedly do squeeze the leg veins and encourage the blood to flow back from the extremities. They can be useful to people who have poor circulation, or those who need to stand extensively.

Related: What are the benefits (if any) for runners that wear compression socks?

Do Elite Runners Use Compression Socks?

Elite runners often use compression socks, yes. Not all runners enjoy the feeling of compression socks and some choose not to use them, but others find that the socks support their legs while they run.

Compression socks have become an increasingly common part of the elite runner ensemble, and you might want to try a pair if you are taking up running more seriously!

Do Running Compression Socks Minimize Calf Soreness?

In theory, yes, compression socks could minimize the soreness in your calves both during and after a run. There are a couple of reasons for this.

Firstly, because they stabilize your legs while you are running, they reduce the stress and shock of every step that you take. Normally, when you run, your muscles shake as you move, especially as each foot lands, and a lot of this impact is absorbed by the calf.

When you run with compression socks, the vibration is reduced, and therefore the wear on the muscle is reduced.

Secondly, because the blood flow is increased, your muscles should stay better hydrated. This helps to reduce soreness and swelling.

What Exactly Do Compression Socks Do To Your Legs?

Compression socks are tight bands that – as the name suggests – constrict and compress your lower legs and feet. They encourage the blood to flow back to the heart by decreasing the diameter of the veins and increasing the effectiveness of the valves which allow the blood to pass through.

Because compression socks are tight around the feet and loose around the calf, they encourage blood to flow out of the feet and keep moving back to the heart, improving your circulation.

Best Brand Of Compression Socks For Women

So, what are the best compression socks for women? You have a lot of options, but some top ones include:

It’s a great idea to try a few different kinds of socks and see which suits you best. For the maximum benefit, choose socks that cover the calves as well as the feet.

Best Brand Of Compression Socks For Men

Men also have a few good options, including:

Again, you might find it beneficial to try more than one kind of compression sock to see which you prefer.

Related: Should you wear compression socks for a half marathon?

Related: Best Ankle Braces For Running With Peroneal Tendonitis


Compression socks can help with shin splints and other muscle problems associated with running. They improve the blood flow, which promotes healing and provides your muscles with plenty of oxygen throughout the workout.

So far, scientific studies on the use of compression socks are limited, but many runners seem to find that they are beneficial, and if you are interested in maximizing your running performance, it’s worth trying them out.

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Coach Scott's Credentials:
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He has published over 20 books including, Beginner's Guide to Half Marathons: A Simple Step-By-Step Solution to Get You to the Finish Line in 12 Weeks! (Beginner To Finisher Book 3), which has become an Amazon International #1 bestseller. Scott specializes in helping new runners become injury-free race finishers. He recently completed his 22nd half marathon race. 

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Do running compression socks help with shin splints?

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