How Compression Apparel Works

In clinical research compression textiles have already been successful for many years. Preferably inactive and lying patients as well as travelers during long distance flights are wearing compression socks to prevent thrombosis. For these people the socks provide a better flow rate in the venous system, smaller venous back pressure, thus a higher venous blood return to the heart.

Compression garments like compression socks or compression leg sleeves use outside pressure on the muscles. This improves blood flow inside the muscles and surrounding connective tissue. The precondition for optimal oxygen and nutrient provision of muscles is an essentially even blood flow.

This even blood flow is hard to achieve while standing upright, so several different mechanisms have to support the backflow of blood to the heart. This is so important because 85% of the entire fluid volume in the body is being found in the venous system.

External mechanical pressure e.g. from compression garments causes a volume redistribution from superficial to deep venous system. This in turn causes an increase in flow rate in the deep venous system. This effect is often equated to a higher evacuation of metabolic waste products and better oxygen supply in the muscles, ergo: improved performance.

During exercise e.g. cycling, running, skiing another effect is added: Inside the veins are venous valves located in regular intervals. Created in pairs they prevent any venous back flow in the direction of the extremities (legs) which happens in between every heartbeat. At the same time the veins are being compressed through muscle contraction ("muscle vein pump"). This transports the blood volume from one venous valve to the next in the direction of the heart.

In the event this mechanism is disturbed or overworked (e.g. physical activity), the veins expand and that makes the venous valves insufficient (limited functionality). This feels like "heavy legs" and they swell. Increased venous back flow to the heart means in reverse better boost potential in the heart itself and therefore more supply of oxygen and blood in the periphery.

What should you pay attention to?

Based on the named effects any compression wear in sports is only useful if the pressure flow is anatomically matched. This means the compression is strongest at the ankles and continually gets less over the knee and to the thigh. This is called "graduated compression". For compression socks or tights a pressure range of 20-30mmHg at the ankle has been deemed optimal. (1mmHg is the static pressure a 1mm high mercury column develops).

What do we learn?

According to our research (based on the results of 37 international sport compression studies) it is beneficiary to wear compression garments during exercise if you:

1) want to improve maximal strength, sprint performance and jumping height,
2) want to influence your oxygen intake and lactate concentration (endurance),
3) want to increase your stamina.

For compression during recovery you should know that:

1) Lactate concentration tends to go away quicker while wearing compression wear,
2) Muscle pain and swelling is reduced through wearing of compression gear,
3) Maximal jumping, sprint and power performance recover quicker while wearing compression gear.

SLS3® Compression Socks - Keeping It Cool!
The special material used for the SLS3 Compression Sport Socks is designed to keep you cool when wet due to sweat or extra water applied on the Socks. The cooling effect will you to keep your body temperature down ( especially in extreme hot races like the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii ) which results in an improvement of performance.

SLS3® Material - Safe in the Sun

Only the safest and best materials go into the making of SLS3 Compression Socks. As a result, our sox feature a 50+ protection against those harmful UV rays.