It seems that you can't head to a gym or run down your favorite trail these days without finding someone wearing compression garments. Weekend warriors and elite athletes alike are squeezing themselves into knee-high socks, tights and even full bodysuits that promise to improve performance and speed recovery from hard workouts.
Those claims might be true. Or they might not be. A good bit of research has been conducted on the effectiveness of compression gear, and the results are inconclusive.
Two Indiana University studies released in 2010, for example, found no impact on running performance when highly trained distance runners were outfitted with lower-leg "sleeves," and no effect on jumping ability when 25 average guys wore upper-leg compression garments in three different sizes.
Yet Canadian researchers concluded in a 2012 study that compression socks improved blood flow to calves and "may enhance performance, especially in sports that require repeated short bouts of exercise."