Compression socks can be a runner’s best friend, especially after a long race when calves, ankles, and feet may be swollen and sore. By encouraging circulation and energizing the legs, this health-based hosiery is a go-to recovery tool for lots of athletes. That’s why I was pleased to test out a couple of pairs of sporty compression socks from Vim & Vigr of Missoula, Montana, which conveniently arrived soon after I finished another hilly half marathon.
These knee-high compression socks come in all sorts of interesting colors and patterns: argyle, fair isle, fun stripes, nautical stripes, polka dots, and solid black. These designs are actually attractive and stylish enough to wear to work or every day, even with skirts or sporty dresses. Sizes, which correspond to US numbered shoe sizes, include small (5-7), medium (7.5-9.5), and large (10-12). Fabric content for the cotton socks includes 50 percent, cotton, 20 percent nylon, 18 percent rubber, and 12 percent spandex. For the nylon socks, the fabric content is 88 percent nylon and 12 percent spandex. The knit weave offers a 15-20 mmHg compression level. A few styles come with a 20-30 mmHg compression level.
How do Vim & Vigor Compression Socks measure up to real wearing?
After trying both the cotton and the nylon varieties of Vim & Vigr Compression Socks, I began wondering about the sizing. The cotton pair fit nicely, even offering a bit of extra stretch for longer-lasting comfort. The nylon pair was extra snug, even though my actual size is a whole step lower than the sock size I tried. The nylon compression socks were not actually knee high, which was somewhat disappointing. These socks were at least two inches too short, even for a shorter person like me. Instead of hugging snugly under my knees, they repeatedly slipped down on my calves (especially with movement), which sort of defeated the purpose of calf compression. This was bothersome, and I had to wonder how a taller person would fare and how tight the nylon socks would be on someone with sturdier calves. The cotton socks stretched all the way up to the knee and stayed there, as expected. Best of all, they fit beautifully under tall boots.
The engineered fabric knit of Vim & Vigor Compression Socks does offer excellent comfort and support, and it’s breathable. The reinforced-knit toe cap adds to a better foot fit as well. They do take a little effort to put on, tugging them up a little at a time, sort of like nylon stockings. But once they are on, these socks are incredibly soothing to run-tired feet.
Vim & Vigor Compression Socks retail for $30 to nearly $40 per pair (for the women’s socks), depending upon vendors and special offers. Moisture-wick nylon, wool, and wide calf collections are available as well. The company also offers compression tights, men’s compression socks, and unisex compression calf sleeves.
Note: This product review was based on free samples received from the manufacturer’s promotional outfit.
Overall, I found Vim & Vigor Compression Socks to be comfortable, soothing, and suitable for post-race recovery and traveling. My two pairs stood up well to machine laundering in cold water, although I did not put them in the dryer.
Vim & Vigor Compression Socks could also be useful for diabetics, pregnant women, those recovering from surgery, or anyone who must remain standing (or even seated) for long periods of time. Besides runners, Vim & Vigor Compression Socks might be just the ticket for bartenders, beauticians, cashiers, chefs, coaches, construction workers, doctors, flight attendants, horse trainers, mail carriers, nurses, pharmacists, retail clerks, teachers, theater ushers, tour guides, wait staffers, and others who work on their feet. Plus, the compression socks are supposed to help prevent varicose and spider veins and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Did I mention I am now hiding my Vim & Vigor Compression Socks, so they don’t run away mysteriously from my sock drawer?