compression socks

Unlike most tennis players, I grew interested in the game in my late childhood. Since then, I have been a devoted player. I have been playing professionally for almost twenty years. Still, after these many years of being with the game, I keep getting the same questions from beginners and amateurs regarding tennis accessories. They keep asking me questions like what shoes to wear? Which racquet do you use? What socks do you wear with tennis shoes? Do you wear compression socks? And many more…

Honestly, as a beginner, I was also bothered like you. I faced so many problems initially because I wasn’t training under any professional trainer or guide. I have improved through the trial and error method. And after numerous wrong decisions, I have come to know that even the socks you wear on the court need to be carefully chosen for enhanced performance.

Of all the questions I get, what socks you wear with tennis shoes is one of the most common questions. In this blog, I am aiming to answer all the things about tennis socks, including how to choose them wisely as per your needs and why I shifted to compression socks for tennis. 

Why I like Compression Socks

Like all other 90’s kids out there, I was and still am a big fan of Rafael Nadal. Ever since I saw him beating Roger Federer on the court, I made up my mind that I will learn to play tennis. So when I first came across a clay court in my high school, I couldn’t stop myself from rushing into the court.

When I started playing professionally, I used to face lots of problems.

First of all, I have narrow feet, so there was a huge problem fitting into shoes. I kept on changing my shoes and even opted for expensive ones. But surprisingly, the problem didn’t leave me. Instead, I used to get cuts or rashes on my foot in the middle of the matches. It was affecting my game, and I was worried. But after talking to my coach and professional players, I realized that shoes were not the problem for me; it was the socks. I was surprised why no one told me about the importance of socks for tennis players. 

To no one’s surprise, I struggled to learn which socks should be worn for a comfortable fit and enhanced performance. I have been everywhere and done everything. And after a lot of research, professional advice, and doctors’ appointment, I had motivated myself to invest in compression socks. I am using these socks for a long time now. And these socks seem to be the best investment for my tennis career. But before jumping into discussing compression socks in detail, I would like to talk about some common tennis-related questions that every beginner has worried about, but nobody talks. 

Ankle Length or Long Length Socks?

Professional tennis players often choose to wear long-length socks. And I was asked uncountable times by young tennis players why. Well, the first reason I think is that long tennis socks look good. You know they do. But when you think about the primary factor why tennis players choose to wear high socks, it comes down to comfort and safety.

Ankle socks are also comfortable. However, they don’t cover up your shoes, making you prone to cuts and rashes. Especially when you are wearing new shoes, they get rubbed against your skin around the ankle and wound you. Sometimes you can get serious wounds, hurting your legs while jumping and running around the court. Moreover, if you go for a pair of soft, high socks, not only will it prevent such injuries but also enhance your performance.

Who is the winner?

As for me, when it comes to tennis, I always go for comfortable products. I prefer using high socks all the time, and the reason is comfort. But besides comfort, there is another reason. And it is because they soak all the sweat.

You may find it absurd or silly but let me explain.

When you are wearing short socks, in most cases, the sweat runs down from your legs to your shoes. What happens then? Your feet remain wet throughout your time on the court. Normally, nothing will happen. Besides the constant uncomfortable feeling, sometimes, you may get rashes.

But, in extreme scenarios, your feet may end up getting all slippery inside your shoes. Especially players with narrow feet like me are more likely to have such problems. Therefore, high socks are so essential. They will absorb sweat efficiently and keep your feet dry to give your best when you are in the court. And, yes, I recommend high socks strongly.  

Why players were wearing high ankle socks

Earlier, when there was no technological research about tennis equipment, players wore regular high ankle socks. But, it is scientifically proven that a pair of thick tennis socks allow you to perform better on the court by providing comfortability. Specially designed thick bottom tennis socks help fit into the shoes perfectly, as they have for me.

If you are confused about finding the correct shoe size for you, I suggest you try using thick tennis socks for a better fit. In addition, these socks provide added cushioning to your feet, so you don’t experience fatigue. Also, they work as a shock absorber and protect your feet from experiencing jerks. 

What are Compression Socks?

Now let me begin with compression socks (or compression stockings). What are they? They are socks of various lengths designed to squeeze legs a bit more than typical socks gently. They hug your feet when you are wearing them.

As you may know, most of the problems tennis players face are with the veins of their feet. Compression socks work great with such issues, particularly with regard to venous problems of the legs. By gently squeezing the legs, these socks increase the pressure in the tissues beneath the skin. This not only exerts support to your feet but also feel very comfortable.

Moreover, the materials that compression socks are made of are generally thicker than regular tennis socks. With such features, compression socks can save your feet from various injuries and cuts which you get from wearing new shoes. 

Benefits of Compression Socks

Compression socks help reducing excess leakage of fluid from the capillaries, and they also increase the absorption of this tissue fluid by the capillaries and lymphatic vessels. As a result, you are less likely to experience swollen feet. Additionally, it also reduces the ability of veins to expand to fill up with blood, which prevents that blood from causing congestion. 

Types of Compression Socks

Compression socks generally come in two lengths: knee-high and thigh-high, but amongst these two, knee-length compression socks are growing more popular among tennis players. 

Although there is no proven fact that these shoes help you improve performance, some research shows that compression socks help recover from feet injuries. Plus, if you are playing on clay court, there is a risk of getting injured; these socks will provide you better support and shock resistance.

Nowadays, if you look closely, most iconic tennis players prefer to wear compression socks. Players like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were seen wearing these socks in the 2019 Wimbledon championship. 

Should you wear two tennis socks?

Another common question from young tennis players is whether it is necessary to wear two tennis socks simultaneously.

Let me tell you; there is no hard and fast rule about that. It helps to reduce blisters from the feet. But, some of my fellow players have started wearing two socks for better fit and comfort. All the top tennis pros wear two pairs of socks when competing. If you look closely, Roger Federer was seen wearing them numerous times.

One pair of socks create two interfaces: The skin-sock interface and the sock-shoe interface, with each interface generating a certain amount of friction. And high friction between two interfaces causes blisters. To get rid of this problem, some players create a different interface by wearing an additional sock. The two socks slide across each other before movement occurs, resulting in a reduction of shear and, therefore, blisters.

However, I don’t think that two socks are necessary for better performance. It is your skills that count. It is entirely a personal preference to wear two tennis socks at the same time. I am letting this out for you to know the mechanism and choose wisely for the game. 

However, besides all the benefits, wearing two socks is bad, according to some researchers. If you wear very tight socks, those can disrupt blood circulation in your legs and result in muscle cramps. Also, if you sweat too much, you might not be comfortable wearing two socks at the same time.

Few Final Words

I hope I have answered the general confusion of the young players regarding tennis socks. In my opinion, compression socks are better than regular socks. However, remember that socks won’t improve your game. Your dedication and hard-work to the game will bring out the best in you.


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