My Expert Take on ACEL Graduated Compression Socks

With the widespread promotion of physical activity and exercise, new breeds of performance-enhancing activewear and sports apparel are hitting the market every day. As an exercise scientist, recreational athlete and true health advocate, I’m always on the hunt for affordable, practical ways to make the process of working out a little easier and more effective for the everyday consumer.

Compression products are an oldie-but-goodie, resurfacing in athletic and sports performance markets after decades of use as medical therapy for individuals with diabetes and circulatory disorders. Among the newest is ACEL high-performance MEDI-COMPRESSION activity socks, which have been specifically designed for performance during and recovering after periods of intense activity.

I recently tested the ACEL brand all season graduated compression socks for my own training pursuits. After a few months of use, I participated in the following Q&A with ACEL during which I shared some interesting insights and advice for others who regularly engage in exercise or sports-related activities.

Q: As a Doctor in Exercise Science, what role do you see for compression socks in an exercise routine or in use with sports?

A: In relation to sports and other forms of physical exercise, I think a clear rationale for using compression socks lies in their potential to reduce the overall energy cost associated with exercise. When worn below the knee and tight around the calves, compression socks have been demonstrated to improve the rate at which blood flows from the lower limbs back to the heart.

With continued use, this will inherently improve blood circulation and may well aid in improving exercise performance and recovery time as well. Due to increased pressure on the muscles and surrounding connective tissues, compression socks also provide a bit of added lower limb stability, which could further reduce the energy cost of exercise, especially when exercises are weight-bearing in nature (i.e., walking and running).

Related Article: Five Highly Effective Ways to Prevent Running-Related Injuries

Q: What role do compression socks play from a medical standpoint (i.e., recovering from a certain type of injury or use with a preexisting condition)?

A: From a medical standpoint, compression socks can aid in both the treatment and prevention of deep vein thrombosis, which occurs when a blood clot forms in one or more of the veins that lie deep in the legs beneath the muscles. In cases of deep vein thrombosis, blood tends to pool in the veins causing a lot of swelling, pain and, oftentimes, fatigue due to poor circulation.

By compressing the limbs, compression socks can greatly reduce the severity of these symptoms, which is why they generally come highly recommend by many physicians. They may also be of benefit to people with other vein-related medical conditions like varicose veins and spider veins.

Q: Outside of physical benefits, do you see psychological benefits with the use of compression socks in training as well?

A: Without a doubt I think wearing compression socks can have a host of psychological benefits. Individuals with deep vein thrombosis and other vein-related medical conditions may feel empowered, as they can use them to control unpleasant symptoms like pain and fatigue in ways that improve their

physical functioning and overall quality of life.

Similarly, wearing compression socks may help athletes and exercise enthusiasts to feel more confident and optimistic about their ability to perform and adequately recovery, which, in and of itself, offers a huge psychological boost.

Q: In your professional opinion, what makes ACEL compression socks different and/or better than other compression socks you’ve tested in the past?

A: I love the fact that ACEL compression socks offer an affordable solution for the people who need them. I’ve tested a lot of compression socks in the past, most of which have been far more expensive than the ACEL brand. In addition, the overall quality and durability of these socks is superior to any other brands I’ve tried, as many tend to show abnormal signs of wear (i.e., holes at the big toes) with very limited use.

ACEL compression socks also have excellent arch support, which is especially beneficial for people with raised or high arches (pes cavus). A lot of compression socks are generally padded for people with either neutrally aligned (normal) feet or flat feet (fallen arches or pes planus), which may, over time, cause unnecessary foot aches and pains when worn by those who have naturally higher arches. I can attest to this on a personal level.

Q: What are your personal experiences with the ACEL product?

A: As both an exercise scientist and recreational athlete, I’ve tried a whole lot of compression socks in the past, none of which left a lasting impression. I decided to give the ACEL brand a try while training for two consecutive half marathons, scheduled just a week apart. Given that one of these marathons would be my very first trail race, my training was quite intense with a whole lot of hill climbing and running on uneven terrain and, oftentimes, over sharp, dangerous rocks.

ACEL Nina Cherie Franklin PhDPrior to training, I hadn’t run in the trails for years so I suspected that my initial runs would require extended recovery times. On my very first training day, during which I ran 8 miles in the trails, I wore ACEL compression socks and continued to wear them on and off over the next 24 hours.

I can honestly say that I experienced absolutely no muscle soreness in my lower limbs and was completely amazed.

As a scientist, I was a initially a bit skeptical thinking this might have been some sort of a placebo effect but as someone who’s been running for nearly 20 years, I know my body and how it responds to new exercises so I wholeheartedly attribute the quick recovery time to my wearing ACEL compression socks.

Moreover, these socks withstood months of training for and subsequent completion of both half marathons along with countless washes and dries and, as of this day, they’re still like new and equally as effective.

Related Article: A Personal Endurance Challenge: How I Survived My First Trail Race

Q: How will you incorporate ACEL compression socks into your clients training?

Since I actively conduct exercise-related research, I no longer work directly with clients. However, I would certainly recommend ACEL compression socks to athletes, exercise enthusiasts and individuals who have or are at risk of vein-related medical disorders. I also recommended that they be worn regularly, as opposed to sporadically, for maximum benefits.

Get your very own ACEL high-performance MEDI-COMPRESSION activity socks by clicking here!

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Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a physician for advice.

Before starting an exercise training program you should first make sure that exercise is safe for you. If you are under the age of 55 years and generally in good health, it is probably safe for you to exercise. However, if you are over 55 years of age and/or have any health problems, be sure to consult with your physician before starting an exercise training program.