When it comes to work apparel I’m a very lucky gal: what I wear to run or workout in passes as “work attire” when you work for a women’s athletic and sportswear retail company. This means that wicking jackets, sweaty ponytails and muddy “dirt anklets” from the morning’s trail adventure are all perfectly acceptable in a manager’s meeting.
Yes, I dress like this on most workdays. It’s not always a mesh tank top and spandex shorties, but my sock game is strong. It’s strong to the point where my coworkers are disappointed if I’m caught wearing boring low white cotton socks (which still happens on occasion. Laundry, am I right?) When I was pregnant, I was able to rock compression socks every single day. Not just plain ol’ boring medical-in-appearances compression socks, oh no. Ever since Pro Compression came into my life, I’ve been a diehard fan.
While I am still a fairly new runner–a runner who didn’t feel comfortable even calling herself a runner till after running Ragnar Napa 2011, two years after her first race — I know quite a bit about athletic apparel of all kinds. Roughly six or so years of running, a lifetime of athletics, and a career built in part upon being an product educator has taught me loads about performance apparel and other outdoor industry goods from start to finish.
Read: I love nerding out on it.
See, the hardly subtle socks I like most aren’t just a fashion statement. While I had seen them at races, I used to think that I wasn’t a “serious” runner, so why would I need those socks? I didn’t even run that far, I was “just” training for my first half. Cramping and fatigue paired with bonking in races where I thought I was going to PR peaked my curiosity. I decided to try a pair.
Game changer. Longer runs came more comfortably and my legs seemed to bounce back faster. I was convinced. Read more about the science behind the socks here.
If you look back through my race photos, you can see I’ve been racing in their marathon (tall) socks for some time. After that first long run in them I knew they were a huge, leg-saving game changer. Thus, you can imagine my immense excitement in December when I found out that out of over 700 applicants, I made the cut to become an ambassador for Pro Compression! What runner doesn’t want to help spread the love for gear they’re already passionate about?
One weekend that really showed me how much the socks had helped with my training, racing performance and recovery was the runDisney Dumbo Double Dare challenge weekend back in 2013 — the same year as my first-ever half marathon, the Tinker Bell Half. First, on Saturday, there was the 10K where I rocked the pink argyle socks as part of my Cheshire Cat outfit. Don’t worry; I don’t run with my arms down like that!
This was followed by the ridiculously hot (as in over 100 degrees out) half marathon portion. This is where I debuted the look I later dubbed “Naked Maleficent.” (Hopefully this costume has such a name for obvious reasons. Peep the purple socks! This is one of my favorite race photos of all time.)
Neon calf sleeves literally supported me up and down hills at my first (and so far, only) full, the 2014 Oakland Marathon.
This last year I found out that being a compression sock junkie can benefit my life in a big way outside of running as well. A pregnant runner should absolutely take full advantage of her compression sock collection as needed! They were leg savers as I noticed my shoes began fitting poorly and my Gladsoles began to cut into my swelling feet. They got me lots and lots of compliments every time I went to the doctor, from November 2014 through August 2015, and made sure my feet were still feet at the end of the day. There was even a day when I awoke with painful black veins along the outside of one knee.
With a pair of Pro Compression socks, by the end of the day, it had faded mostly away. My circulation was visibly and noticeably improved when I wore compression socks, which helped me run (and go down slides made of giant Red Flyer wagon handles) through about 30 weeks.
Let’s be real. My reputation around work for wearing highly festive socks is probably mostly due to the fact I wore them every day starting late in the second trimester. This was a basic uniform of mine until the day mini arrived at 36 weeks.
While I have the largest number of tall ‘marathon’ socks in my growing collection, I rock the other versions too! The low trainers are my go-to on cross training days (or, to be honest, everyday socks) and now that I have a couple of pairs of the runner socks, I definitely get why folks love them. They have just the right “hug” in a light weight, versus the more cushioned trainers. I even recently grabbed a pair of the new ‘elite’ marathon style recently. Not only are they different through the calf (in a wonderful sort of way) the footbed is cushioned. They’re definitely my new favorite recovery style, but as you can see, I rocked ’em at my most recent half too. I was not feeling as fresh as that smile may indicate while crossing the finish, but I credit my socks with how good I felt the next day.
While I try not to play favorites, the mids have surprised me and won me over. The jailbreaks in particular are a favorite… maybe I need a third pair, because I never want to be without them. They saw me to a surprise 5K PR at the Oakland Running Festival. All credit (superstitious or otherwise) to the socks!
And have I mentioned that Pro Compression makes compression tights too? Oh yes. Snag a PC trucker hat at the next big race expo and you too can be rockin’ it from head to toe.
Ready to try some PC gear for yourself? Of course you are! Use code PRO16 on your next Pro Compression order and save 40% on soon-to-be favorite new socks.