Compression socks are used by athletes to recover from intense workouts and races as quickly as possible. These snug-fitting, knee-high socks are meant to increase circulation and reduce lactic acid build-up. Some athletes wear compression gear while training and racing, others use them after a run.
Keeping oxygenated blood flowing to muscles is important for performance. The more oxygen the cells have, the better they will function. During exercise, the body produces lactic acid as a waste product. If this lactic acid is not removed from the muscles, it can contribute to soreness and decreased ability to perform. Another factor in decreased performance is muscle fatigue. Muscular vibration during physical activity contributes to fatigue. Think about how much shock and vibration is going through your leg muscles as you pound pavement with 3-5 times your body weight while running. Over time, those little vibrations of the muscles add up and they become fatigued.