If you’re seeking the potential benefits of knee-high compression socks, but hate their geeky appearance (reminiscent of the socks your elderly uncle wears with his sandals and bermudas), check out the ankle-high alternative from German sportswear company CEP.
They’re called the Dynamic+ Cycle Ultralight Short Socks ($22.50, available in both men’s and women’s versions). The socks purport to deliver much of the benefit of knee-highs—reduced swelling, assisted circulation, speedier recovery—but with a more conventional-looking cut.
Do they work? Who knows? My impression is the same as most endorsements of compression socks. It’s just that: an impression. Purely anecdotal.
But I’ll say this: I love their snug, secure, foot-specific fit. (Yep, they’re labeled L and R.) Their nongeeky look. I love that they’re relatively easy to pull on and off, vis-à-vis the wrestling match that knee-highs require. They’re durable (dozens of washings and wearings to date, and the company guarantees their compression effect for six months). They’re padded at pressure points. They wick sweat away. They don’t wrinkle or bind.
I wear them for both cycling and running.
As for performance benefits (remember, purely anecdotal)—I’ve long been plagued by calf cramps when I push hard on a bike ride. But since I’ve been wearing the CEPs, the cramps have disappeared. Now, that could be because I’ve been managing my electrolytes better. Or maybe it’s the socks. Or both. As I said, Who knows?
Science has yet to jump on the compression bandwagon. More about that in an upcoming post. But these socks have become my workout favorites. I even wear CEP’s knee-high version from time to time. Just call me your geeky elderly uncle.