Compression socks are growing in popularity everywhere. No more are the just for the elderly or infirmed, but conversely, many athletes are using them, particularly runners. There medical and athletic benefits have long been realized. Nabee, a successful Kickstarter project, has come through with some very attractive and effective compression socks that will give a boost to your legs, while keeping it cute.
What are Compression Socks?
Simply put, they are socks that are tightened by spandex or elastic at the ankles and get progressively less tight towards the knee. Why? Gravity, that’s why. If you have ever spent a whole day on your feet, maybe as a waitress, hospital employee, or just standing in line at Disneyland, then you know how your feet feel at the end of the day. Usually, swollen, tender, and screaming to be elevated. The reason for this, is that although the heart does an excellent job of pumping blood all day, it is fighting a gravity based tendency to pool at the lowest point, your legs and feet.
Compression socks fight that tendency. By exerting strong pressure on the lower ankle and gradually reducing that pressure towards the knee, the interior blood flow, or arterial pressure is ramped up, forcing movement of blood to be on its way. The compression on the muscles, arteries and veins narrows the passages of blood and sends it packing. No loitering here. Nabee Socks exert 20mm HG compression at the ankle and tapers of at 15 below the knee.
Prevention is key with Varicose veins, which are essentially bulging distended veins. Compression socks, not crossing your legs, and exercise, all help to avoid developing them.
Are they comfortable?
Yes. Like a childhood blanky, it feels comforting and securing. The genius in the design is that the toe box is generously loose so that your toes don’t feel uncomfortable or restricted. I have fairly wide feet and I was perfectly comfortable in them. The constriction in the legs felt great. It wasn’t too tight. I forgot about them shortly after putting them on. Getting them off is a little easier than getting them on, but the cute design that the socks have are there because of the stitching, which shows from the inside. It leaves some long lasting impressions on the skin when the sock comes off. Not attractive if you want to switch into a dress quickly.
Putting the socks on takes a bit of wrangling, but once on, they stay in place very well and provide much support. During my exercise sessions they were comfortable and stayed in place. Also, on recovery days, they felt great on my normally sore legs.
Do they work?
Yes. Many studies have shown a positive effect of compression socks. Nabee socks are on the lighter side of compression, the level most people would need to use.
Some runners feel that the socks give them an edge by compressing their muscles and reducing impact vibration, and thus providing longer running time with shorter recovery time. Others feel that the compression is helpful in aiding oxygen blood flow in exercise. Either way, I noticed a superior level of performance. I plan on using it in my high altitude trek in Nepal, especially on recovery days. I especially noticed a warming sensation when wearing them lying down. Hospitals often have means to compress bed ridden patients legs to keep blood moving.
Who should use these?
If you stand a lot these will make your life a tad easier. Nurses, Doctors, Tellers, Waitresses, and so forth all spend all day on their feet. Also, frequent fliers, or even older fliers will benefit from the edge over poor blood flow while seated for hours on a plane, that these socks will give them. Runners often use these. And lastly, pregnant women will appreciate some relief to aching feet. However, there are definite contraindications, such as a history of blood clots. Check their site for more details.
Overall, these are super cute socks with a really great purpose. At $35 they would make a great gift for someone in your life who could use them. They come in 4 awesome designs, the Frou at pink and white argyle, Bubble, black with white bubbles and blue toe box, the Waldough, as in Where’s Waldo, and the Bolo, and nice neutral black and gray stripe. They are also synthetic material (72% Nylon and 28% Lycra) so they will be moisture wicking and hold up great in the wash.
The good: Comfortable, very cute, effective, synthetic, machine washable
The bad: Leaves an imprint on your skin after removed for a while.