There’s a lot of good science behind compression technology, such as stimulating blood flow, reducing lactic, and aiding recovery after exercise. In this photo are some compression socks that I’ve used on a couple of trail races. One other positive thing they offer, when racing on rough ground is protection to the legs from rocks and vegetation.
My experience on the UTMB last year was that they pooled liquid in the ankles, and stopped it being redistributed around the legs, resulting in a spectacular case of kankles. I know many other runners suffered the same issues last year, so I’m not sure if it was an effect caused by the extra toll taken on the body after extraordinary weather fluctuations, or that the positive effects wear off after longer distances. Darren Roberts running for Team Men’s Fitness wrote an excellent blog post about his experiences with compression socks; http://www.scribd.com/doc/92581256/Trials-UTMB.
One thing I know for sure. I won’t cross the UTMB start line wearing them this year. Decompression time for me!