Evaluating the acute effect of compression socks for recovery between exercise bouts





Sport medicine, Sports performance, Recovery intervention, Compression garments, DOMS


The current study aimed to investigate the acute application of compression socks for recovery after a strenuous bout of lower-body exercise. 58 active young adults (29 females, 29 males) performed ankle range of motion, calf circumference, isometric strength, calf endurance and perceived muscle soreness measures at baseline, and up to 48 hours following a strenuous bout of lower-body exercise. During the 30-minute recovery period, participants were randomly assigned an experimental leg (compression sock - COMP) and a control leg (passive recovery - CON). No significant group x time interactions were recorded (p > .05) and effect sizes were mostly trivial, except for a small decrease in perceived muscle soreness in COMP compared to CON immediately post-recovery (d = -0.29). For both groups, calf circumference increased, and calf endurance was reduced following exercise (p < .001), while perceived muscle soreness increased significantly over the follow-up period compared to baseline (p < .001). The application of compression socks for 30-minutes following intense calf exercise had little effect on physical measures but may result in a small decrease in perceived muscle soreness immediately following their use for recovery. These garments could be a viable recovery option for athletes with a short timeframe in between training bouts.


Download data is not yet available.


Barnett, A. (2006). Using recovery modalities between training sessions in elite athletes. Sports Medicine, 36(9), 781-796. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200636090-00005

Bennell, K., Talbot, R., Wajswelner, H., Techovanich, W., Kelly, D., & Hall, A. J. (1998). Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of a weight-bearing lunge measure of ankle dorsiflexion. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 44(3), 175-180. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0004-9514(14)60377-9

Bochmann, R. P., Seibel, W., Haase, E., Hietschold, V., Rodel, H., & Deussen, A. (2005). External compression increases forearm perfusion. Journal of Applied Physiology, 99(6), 2337-2344. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00965.2004

Broatch, J. R., Bishop, D. J., Zadow, E. K., & Halson, S. (2019). Effects of Sports Compression Socks on Performance, Physiological, and Hematological Alterations After Long-Haul Air Travel in Elite Female Volleyballers. J Strength Cond Res, 33(2), 492-501. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0000000000003002

Brophy-Williams, N., Driller, M., Halson, S., Fell, J. W., & Shing, C. (2014). Evaluating the Kikuhime pressure monitor for use with sports compression clothing. Sports Engineering, 17(1), 55-60. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12283-013-0125-z

Brophy-Williams, N., Driller, M. W., Kitic, C. M., Fell, J. W., & Halson, S. L. (2017). Effect of Compression Socks Worn Between Repeated Maximal Running Bouts. International Journal of Sports Physiology & Performance, 12(5), 621-627. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2016-0162

Carmont, M., Silbernagel, K. G., Mathy, A., Mulji, Y., Karlsson, J., & Maffulli, N. (2013). Reliability of Achilles tendon resting angle and calf circumference measurement techniques. Foot and Ankle Surgery, 19(4), 245-249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fas.2013.06.007

Chatard, J.-C., Atlaoui, D., Farjanel, J., Louisy, F., Rastel, D., & Guézennec, C.-Y. (2004). Elastic stockings, performance and leg pain recovery in 63-year-old sportsmen. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 93(3), 347-352. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-004-1163-9

Cohen, J. (2013). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203771587

da Silva Chiappa, G. R. (2021). Effect of resistance exercise with arm sleeve compression garments accelerates blood lactate removal. Manual Therapy, Posturology & Rehabilitation Journal, 1-4. https://doi.org/10.17784/mtprehabjournal.2021.19.1220

Driller, M. W., & Brophy-Williams, N. N. (2016). Journal of Athletic Enhancement The Use of Compression Garments in Elite Australian Athletes: A Survey. https://doi.org/10.4172/2324-9080.1000228

Galanaud, J. P., Laroche, J. P., & Righini, M. (2013). The history and historical treatments of deep vein thrombosis. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 11(3), 402-411. https://doi.org/10.1111/jth.12127

Hébert-Losier, K., Wessman, C., Alricsson, M., & Svantesson, U. (2017). Updated reliability and normative values for the standing heel-rise test in healthy adults. Physiotherapy, 103(4), 446-452. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physio.2017.03.002

Heiss, R., Hotfiel, T., Kellermann, M., May, M. S., Wuest, W., Janka, R., Nagel, A. M., Uder, M., & Hammon, M. (2018). Effect of Compression Garments on the Development of Edema and Soreness in Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). J Sports Sci Med, 17(3), 392-401.

Hirai, M. (1999). The effect of posture and exercise on elastic stocking compression at different sites of the leg. Vasa, 28(3), 190-194. https://doi.org/10.1024/0301-1526.28.3.190

Kellmann, M., & Beckmann, J. (2018). Sport, recovery, and performance. Interdisciplinary insights. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315268149

Kellmann, M., Bertollo, M., Bosquet, L., Brink, M., Coutts, A. J., Duffield, R., Erlacher, D., Halson, S. L., Hecksteden, A., & Heidari, J. (2018). Recovery and performance in sport: consensus statement. International journal of sports physiology and performance, 13(2), 240-245. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2017-0759

Kraemer, W. J., Bush, J. A., Wickham, R. B., Denegar, C. R., Gomez, A. L., Gotshalk, L. A., Duncan, N. D., Volek, J. S., Putukian, M., & Sebastianelli, W. J. (2001). Influence of compression therapy on symptoms following soft tissue injury from maximal eccentric exercise. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 31(6), 282-290. https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2001.31.6.282

Leabeater A. J., James L. P., Driller M. W. (2022) Tight Margins: Compression Garment Use during Exercise and Recovery - A Systematic Review. Textiles. 2(3):395-421. https://doi.org/10.3390/textiles2030022

Lee, D. C. W., Sheridan, S., Ali, A., Sutanto, D., & Wong, S. H. S. (2021). Wearing compression tights post-exercise enhances recovery hemodynamics and subsequent cycling performance. Eur J Appl Physiol. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-021-04661-0

Mattiussi, A. M., Shaw, J., Cohen, D. D., Price, P., Brown, D. D., Pedlar, C., & Tallent, J. (2022). Reliability, variability, and minimal detectable change of bilateral and unilateral lower extremity isometric force tests. Journal of Sport and Exercise Science.

McCormick, B., Talpey, S., James, L., & MacMahon, C. (2022). The Influence of Instruction on Isometric Mid-Thigh Pull Force-Time Variables. International Journal of Strength and Conditioning, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.47206/ijsc.v2i1.134

Montoye, A. H., Mithen, A. A., Westra, H. L., Besteman, S. S., & Rider, B. C. (2021). The Effect of Compression Socks on Maximal Exercise Performance and Recovery in Insufficiently Active Adults. International Journal of Exercise Science, 14(7), 1036.

Rhodes, D., Jeffery, J., Brook-Sutton, D., & Alexander, J. (2022). Test-Retest Reliability of the Isometric Soleus Strength Test in Elite Male Academy Footballers. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 17(2), 286. https://doi.org/10.26603/001c.31047

Rosso, C., Vavken, P., Polzer, C., Buckland, D. M., Studler, U., Weisskopf, L., Lottenbach, M., Müller, A. M., & Valderrabano, V. (2013). Long-term outcomes of muscle volume and Achilles tendon length after Achilles tendon ruptures. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, 21(6), 1369-1377. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00167-013-2407-1

Schoenfeld, B. J., & Contreras, B. (2013). Is postexercise muscle soreness a valid indicator of muscular adaptations? Strength & Conditioning Journal, 35(5), 16-21. https://doi.org/10.1519/SSC.0b013e3182a61820

Shimokochi, Y., Kuwano, S., Yamaguchi, T., Abutani, H., & Shima, N. (2017). Effects of Wearing a Compression Garment During Night Sleep on Recovery From High-Intensity Eccentric-Concentric Quadriceps Muscle Fatigue. J Strength Cond Res, 31(10), 2816-2824. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0000000000002116

Stickford, A. S., Chapman, R. F., Johnston, J. D., & Stager, J. M. (2015). Lower-leg compression, running mechanics, and economy in trained distance runners. International journal of sports physiology and performance, 10(1), 76-83. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2014-0003

Thompson, D., Nicholas, C., & Williams, C. (1999). Muscular soreness following prolonged intermittent high-intensity shuttle running. Journal of Sports Sciences, 17(5), 387-395. https://doi.org/10.1080/026404199365902

Trenell, M. I., Rooney, K. B., Sue, C. M., & Thomspon, C. H. (2006). Compression Garments and Recovery from Eccentric Exercise: A (31)P-MRS Study. J Sports Sci Med, 5(1), 106-114.

Warneke, K., Keiner, M., Lohmann, L., Hillebrecht, M., Wirth, K., & Schiemann, S. (2022). The Influence of Maximum Strength Performance in Seated Calf Raises on Counter Movement Jump and Squat Jump in Elite Junior Basketball Players. Sport Mont J, 20, 63-68. https://doi.org/10.26773/smj.220610

Weakley, J., Broatch, J., O'Riordan, S., Morrison, M., Maniar, N., & Halson, S. L. (2021). Putting the squeeze on compression garments: current evidence and recommendations for future research: a systematic scoping review. Sports Medicine, 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-021-01604-9

Evaluating the acute effect of compression socks for recovery between exercise bouts



Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Leabeater, A., Clarke, A., James, L., Huynh, M., & Driller, M. (2023). Evaluating the acute effect of compression socks for recovery between exercise bouts. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 18(4), 820–832. https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2023.184.07



Sport Medicine, Nutrition & Health