Compression socks, long popular with diabetics, the elderly and airline pilots, are now making their way to the dance world. Athletes who wear compression socks claim that the constriction stimulates blood flow, offering better recovery from exercise and increased jump height and power. Some dancers say the socks keep muscles from fatiguing as quickly during grueling rehearsals and relieve tension after dance-intensive days.
But is it all in their heads? According to a recent study, maybe not: Subjects who wore compression socks for 48 hours after running a marathon improved their performance on a treadmill test two weeks later. Although that’s not a guarantee that the same benefits will translate to a dancer’s body and training, it’s a good indication that compression socks can at least offer muscles significant support.