Socks are an often undervalued piece of ski gear. Ones that don’t fit correctly, aren’t made of the right material or are just plain ugly, won’t help your game. Ones that do fit correctly and are made of moisture wicking material will help said game. And those that add compression are game-changers in the sock world.
Last week, the Freeskier staff tested out ski socks from CEP, a company specializing in compression sportswear. CEP utilizes Progressive+ medi compression in its 91% polyamide, 9% spandex knit in order to help increase blood flow in the legs. According to CEP, compression can help increase blood flow in the muscles by up to 30%, which results in an increase of up to 3% in maximum oxygen uptake.
Each sock is sized based on the circumference of your calf in order to apply the right amount of compression. This in turn relaxes the walls of your arteries and increases blood flow by up to 40%. In addition, graduated compression that is tighter at the ankle than at the calf helps to increase venous blood flow, pushing de-oxygenated blood back towards the heart.
The staff here at Freeskier tested out the CEP ski socks in a variety of different capacities. First, employed them at our 2015 park ski test at Copper Mountain, Colorado, and then again while hiking Arapahoe Basin’s famed East Wall, hike-to terrain that tops out at 13,050 feet in elevation. In both instances, our staffers could notice an effective increase in blood flow which is a refreshing feeling while being crammed into plastic boots.
Putting these socks on won’t turn you into a superhero but the subtle advantage of increased blood flow will add up to better performance over the course of the day and every advantage is a good one when you’re out there putting your body through the ringer. Furthermore, you’ll see an increase in muscle recovery once it’s time to step out of your boots and into your aprés digs.
If you need further proof of the effectiveness of compression, Meb Keflezighi just won the Boston Marathon sporting a pair of CEP compression socks. CEP sells a variety of compression products, ranging from athletic socks to sleeves and even protective braces. For complete pricing and sizing charts as well as to take a look at the entire collection, head to www.cepcompression.com.