Disclaimer: I received products from Incrediwear and CEP Compression as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!
In addition to the shoes I recently blogged about, socks are another necessity when it comes to running — unless you’re running barefoot, which I most certainly am not.
In my swag bag at The Running Event, which I attended last month in Austin, I received five pairs of socks. Four of them can be worn while running, and the other is specifically for recovery. I’ll write about each of them below.
Compression is meant to help with blood flow. A booklet that I received with the CEP products says, “Improved circulation means more oxygen for muscles and ultimately more energy for athletes. At the same time metabolic waste products (such as lactates) are carried away from the muscles, which accelerates recovery.”
There are also directions included in the booklet for putting on the socks. People are supposed to start by pulling the sock inside out and putting the foot in, then gradually pulling the sock up with both hands. It does specify not to roll the top band down. I think I did this with one of the pairs (before reading this in the booklet) and it felt weird, so I would agree — don’t do that.
We learned about graduated compression at The Running Event expo, in which the compression is highest in the ankle. Learn more about CEP Compression and how it works here.
CEP Compression Women’s Trail Merino Socks
The running pair of socks I received from CEP Compression were the Women’s Trail Merino Socks. When filling out the form for The Running Event, I was asked for my calf circumference size, which I measured at 40 centimeters. I guess my calves are larger, because this measured at a large size (IV). This size fits well. I’m only five feet tall, and the socks do come all the way up to my knees.
These socks were comfortable and felt warm. I haven’t done any intense trail running since receiving them, but I think the merino wool will be helpful for running through any puddles or water. If it’s cold for the Algonquin 50K in February, I might even wear these for volunteering to help keep my legs warm.
The packaging says, “Graduated, consistent and targeted compression stabilizes muscles and improves performance.”
I also see online that these socks have “Proprioceptive ankle and joint stabilization to help prevent injuries,” so I might have to wear them again soon. I injured my ankle by stepping on it the wrong way during a run Saturday morning. I haven’t run since then because it still hurts, but more ankle support should certainly help.
In case you didn’t know what “proprioceptive” means, I’ll save you the trouble, because I looked it up. Here’s a phrase from the Merriam-Webster website: this system is “how muscles keep track of joint positions.”
I was having some shin pain and I did not notice an instant change for that with these, but I’ll certainly keep wearing them, and I’m looking forward to wearing them for colder runs ahead.
CEP Compression Socks for Recovery
The CEP Compression Socks for Recovery are marked with “recovery” on the bottom so that runners wear them for recovery and not for running. It says on the packaging these are “perfect for traveling,” so I wore them for the first time on my day of flights home from Austin to Salisbury. I also received the largest size for women, IV, in these.
I also wore them after a recent long run, and, unfortunately, during parts of yesterday and today as I try to recover as fast as I can from a sprained ankle. After all, the C in RICE stands for Compression (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
Although my ankle seemed to feel more stiff after I woke up (I didn’t wear the socks to bed), I did think that it felt better yesterday after wearing the socks for a while — it felt more secure. The socks are also comfortable.
These statements about the socks are taken from the packaging:
- medi compression improves circulation and promotes recovery after high-performance activities.
- SMARTINFRARED reflects the body’s own heat to support muscle recovery.
- Comfortable padding for unmatched wearing comfort.
Before I go into more details about the Incrediwear socks I received, I’ll include some information provided on a card from the brand.
The Welcome to Incrediwear card reads: “Our anti-inflammatory recovery wear is scientifically proven to increase blood flow, optimizing your body’s natural healing process. Incrediwear products are designed to be worn during activity, as well as post-workout to reduce muscle fatigue and accelerate recovery after strenuous training.”
Learn more about Incrediwear here.
Incrediwear Sport Socks Thin (No Show)
I received a pair of the Incrediwear Sport Socks Thin (No Show), and I have enjoyed using these socks for running. The socks are made with carbonized charcoal, and I don’t really notice that in particular when I’m wearing them, but they are comfortable and fit well.
The packaging highlights the following things about these socks:
- No-slip ankle
- Arch support
- Heel cup
Other highlights on the packaging include circulation, blood speed, recovery, performance and thermal regulation.
If ordering these again, I think I’d choose the small instead of medium. I put down 8 for my shoe size since that’s what I wear in running shoes, but since I normally wear a 7 in regular shoes, I think the small would fit slightly better — the size changes from small to medium at size 7.5 for women. These socks fit fine, but the heel cup is a little bit off.
Incrediwear Sport Socks Thin (Knee High)
I also received the above socks in the knee-high length. Since these are also thin sport socks, you can actually get to these from the same page as the no show socks and just pick a different length.
The first time I wore these was when I did the Zwift run on the treadmill and I was happy to have no shin pain. I don’t know if this related to the socks or not, but it left a good first impression.
The socks are too long on me — as I said, I’m only five feet tall. So, if I pull the socks up all the way, they actually go over my knees. So, I just fold them down a little bit at the top.
These knee-high socks have the same benefits mentioned for the no show socks. Your choice of sock length might depend some on what length you prefer, or if you would like to increase circulation throughout your entire lower leg. These socks were also really easy to pull up.
I would say the same thing about size — I’d go with my regular shoe size in the future. These do fit, but the heel cup is a little off.
Incrediwear Active Sock (Low Cut)
The Incrediwear Active Sock (Low Cut) has the same carbonized charcoal and listed benefits as the above Incrediwear socks, but they are listed as an “everyday” sock — so they can be used for running or other activities.
I’ve worn them for running so far and liked them, but I may have to try them next time I have a long day on my feet. That’s not too often, but maybe I could use them for a day walking around a city or attending a conference. Or, I could just wear them to work one day.
The low-cut style feels a little thicker than the sport socks, and they have a thicker cuff around the ankles. I don’t notice the same thing about the heel cup with these. There might only be a tiny extra bit of space in the back.
Even with all my recent posts, I still haven’t written about everything I received at The Running Event. So, I have one more post to come! See my previous posts below, and stay tuned for my next one.