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Effect of compression socks worn between repeated maximal running bouts


Brophy-Williams, N and Driller, MW and Kitic, C and Fell, JW and Halson, S, Effect of compression socks worn between repeated maximal running bouts, International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12, (5) pp. 621-627. ISSN 1555-0273 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Human Kinetics, Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1123/ijspp.2016-0162


Purpose: To determine the effect of wearing compression socks between repeated running bouts on perceptual, physiological and performance-based parameters.

Methods: Twelve well-trained male runners (mean SD 5-km time 19:24 1:19 [min:s]) recorded their perceptions of the efficacy of compression socks for recovery before completion of 2 experimental sessions. Each session consisted of two 5-km running time trials (TT1 and TT2) on a treadmill, with a 1-h recovery period between. In a randomized crossover design, 1 session required participants to wear compression socks during the recovery period, and no compression socks were worn between TTs in the other session (control).

Results: RRunning performance between TT1 and TT2 for runners wearing compression socks was similar between TTs (mean Δ 5.3 20.7 s, d = 0.07, P = .20), whereas for control runners, performance significantly decreased in the second TT (mean Δ 15.9 13.3 s, d = 0.19, P < .01). When grouped by perception of efficacy for compression socks, participants with strong beliefs (n = 7) experienced improved subsequent running performance with compression socks (mean Δ 3.6 19.2 s, d = 0.05, P = .32) compared with those with neutral or negative perceptions (n = 5; mean Δ 17.9 17.0 s, d = 0.19, P = .04). Cross-sectional area of the calf and muscle soreness were significantly reduced during the recovery period with the use of compression socks (P < .01), whereas ratings of fatigue showed no difference between conditions.

Conclusions: Wearing compression socks between repeated running bouts can aid recovery and subsequent performance. Furthermore, subsequent exercise performance may be even further enhanced when athletes believe in the efficacy of compression socks to assist in recovery between exercise bouts.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:compression garment, running, performance
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Brophy-Williams, N (Mr Ned Brophy-Williams)
UTAS Author:Kitic, C (Dr Cecilia Kitic)
UTAS Author:Fell, JW (Associate Professor James Fell)
UTAS Author:Halson, S (Dr Shona Halson)
ID Code:111891
Year Published:2017 (online first 2016)
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2016-10-13
Last Modified:2022-10-18

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