Many dancers are generally familiar with the term “compression socks.” But what do compression socks do, and how can they help you? These knee or thigh-length socks are made with medical industry standards and apply subtle pressure to your ankles and legs. After pressure is applied to your legs, tissues underneath the skin experience the squeezing and facilitate more effective blood flow to the heart. Compression socks are also designed to help prevent inflammation, improve circulation, and reduce injuries during your dance routine.
Tightest around the ankle and gradually loosening around the calf; these socks help renew deoxygenated blood and move it towards your heart. The optimal compression level is evenly distributed to your veins and arteries whenever you wear socks with medical-grade compression. As a result, your body can repair your muscles, minimize swelling through circulation, and reduce the chance of blood clots.
Compression socks have begun to take notice in athletics as of late. This is primarily because their effective properties have been helping athletes experience a competitive edge by facilitating better recoveries in a wide range of sports. Athletic injuries and decreased performance are often associated with higher levels of lactic acid buildup and a lack of renewed nutrients in the veins. Not only can wearing compression socks drastically reduce the lactic acid buildup, but it can also shorten the timeframe it takes for your body to operate at its peak potential. Those who experience shin splints may also experience an added benefit from wearing compression socks due to their ability to rejuvenate circulation and lower the amount of swelling. In conjunction with faster recovery times, athletes who wear compression socks may report less overall soreness from their training and event participation.
A study that covered the effects of runners wearing compression socks from the European Journal of Applied Physiology concluded that a group of ten runners who wore the socks reported more comfort while wearing the socks. Additionally, only four members from this group mentioned having some soreness from the experiment during their recovery period. Due to a compression sock’s ability to reduce swelling, some runners believe this effect is what causes them to experience fewer injuries while feeling fresher for extended periods of time.
Another study from the American Journal of Physical Medicine stated that recovery rates were quicker with individuals who wore compression socks during strenuous exercise, as opposed to those that didn’t. Twelve athletic male participants were split into two groups of six, where two different experiments tested the participant lactate levels after exhaustive treadmill runs and stationary bike rides. One group performed the tests with compression socks, and the other performed them without. The group that wore the compression socks reported lower lactate levels than those that didn’t. This implies that they may be able to experience quicker and stronger recoveries in between exercise sessions.
How Does This Apply to Dancers?
Functional for improving muscle recovery, compression socks dramatically shorten the recovery window between dance sessions. These socks allow you to return feeling stronger and with more stamina to dance for longer durations. Foot injuries often happen to dancers, but studies have shown that wearing padded dance socks can alleviate the chances that this occurs. Most studies have focused on ballet; however, similar foot injuries can also be prevalent in any other form of dance that doesn’t require socks or shoes.
According to the Journal of Dance Medicine & Science, dancers who performed with Apolla performance shocks on their feet experienced significantly less force than dancing barefoot. This proves that dancers can perform for longer while experiencing a shorter recovery time between their training sessions. Additionally, it declares that these socks can help reduce the force of shock to the feet during intensive dance sequences and jumps.
In correlation with the testing performed by the IADMS, they concluded that our Alpha dance shock helped reduce the peak amount of force by 8% while prolonging the time it takes to reach peak impact force by 7% compared to a standard pair of socks. This means that our socks can lower the force that’s applied to your feet and lower legs.
Recommended Socks for Everyday Wear
The Joule: These ankle compression socks are the perfect support solution when you want a barefoot feel. They offer targeted compression where you need it most while helping to facilitate a quicker recovery.
The Amp No-Show: From barre classes to everyday errands, the AMP no-show compression sock is designed to provide enhanced arch and ankle support. This low-profile sock's high-quality compression is achieved through targeted zones that help you experience a stronger recovery, better circulation, and reduced inflammation.
The Performance Crew: These crew compression socks are made to feel like you're getting a foot massage. Their long-lasting compression properties comfortably wrap your foot and lower calf while allowing you to experience advanced arch and ankle support. A sleek and seamless toebox is met with an accommodating fit that offers enough room for wide feet. Lastly, this sock's knit padding is strategically positioned in the heel and the ball of the foot for improved energy absorption.
The Infinite: Designed for running, recovery, and everything in between, the Infinite mid-calf compression sock will make your feet feel like they're stepping on clouds. This mid-calf sock wraps your lower legs with a snug feel and helps relieve the pain you might experience from shin splints and calf aches.
Recommended Socks for Dance and Sports
The Alpha Shock: These half-sole dance shoes are an effective solution for replacing half-sole shoes. They feature a durable design with advanced compression properties that make your feet feel like they're getting a gentle hug. This pair of shocks is also incredibly lightweight, keeping your feet comfortable and your mind at ease after a long day.
The Joule Shock: This shock is for barefoot dancers or dancers who want to wear them in/over pointe shoes, ballet shoes, or any other shoe that aligns with a dress code. Far superior to a brace from your local pharmacy, these ankle compression shocks provide targeted ankle support and protection so you can dance longer and stronger.
The AMP Shock: This shock gives you arch support like nothing you've tried before. Its low-profile design is met with traction on the ball of the foot and heel, making it functional for replacing traditional jazz shoes or barre socks. Additionally, these no-show dance shocks provide unparalleled support and protection during your dance routine. This shock is also available in a non-traction option for everyday wear, tap shoes, or cross-training.
The Performance Shock: These performance shocks are versatile for jazz, tap, ballroom, or any other athletic activity. They provide a comfortable design for reducing pain and swelling. Sitting just below the calf, these crew support shocks feature a flattering look and feel when you're in class or on stage. Lastly, this shock's knit padding is strategically positioned in the heel and the ball of the foot for improved energy absorption.
The K-Warmer: The K-Warmer is versatile for jazz, ballet, Zumba, or any other dance activity. It features a modernized design and functionality for a wide variety of dancers. Consistent Kinesio compression properties improve muscle and joint support without restricting movement. They also feature a sleek construction that resists slipping down. With a flattering fit that helps you keep warm, these compression leg warmers help keep your muscles energized and your joints stabilized.