Rockay Vigor compression running socks review
A review of the Rockay compression running socks and a little more info on compression socks and gear in general.
Compression running socks are becoming increasingly popular, both for amateur and elite athletes. There are currently more pieces of compression gear available than ever before, all of which supposedly increases performance, decreases recovery times, reduces pain, and ultimately, allows you to become a better runner and overall athlete.
If you’ve never heard of compression socks for running before, then you likely have a few questions. For example, perhaps why you would wear these, whether or not compression gear actually works, and if it’s worth spending that extra little bit of money on a pair of socks?
This article is a review of the Rockay compression running socks, helping you decide whether or not to invest in a pair yourself. However, we will also discuss more on compression (and socks) in general, answering various questions along the way.
Please note: this is not a sponsored post; all thoughts and opinions are my own. However, I would like to thank the team at Rockay for sending me a pair of compression socks for the purpose of this review. Nevertheless, this post does contain an affiliate link to Rockay in which we may earn a commission from eligible purchases.
Why wear compression socks when running?
Before we dive into the review of the Rockay compression running socks, let’s first discuss why you may choose to opt for a pair of compression socks as opposed to regular running socks.
Graduated compression reportedly increases blood flow to the muscles, allowing you to perform better (run faster as more oxygen is delivered to the working muscles), and also recover quicker between sessions. However, WebMD also mentions how these socks can reduce swelling too, essentially fast-tracking your recovery and preventing any niggles that may stop you from training as often or quite as hard.
Despite the aforementioned benefits, it likely comes as no surprise that a pair of socks won’t improve your performance overnight. In fact, one study found no significant finish time differences between those wearing compression socks and those wearing regular athletic socks. However, the study also suggested the main benefits of these socks lie in regards to improvements in running economy, pain perception, muscle temperature, running recovery, and less general damage and inflammation.
I think it goes without saying that these benefits are several and rather impressive for such a simple and relatively inexpensive piece of kit. But it should be noted that compression socks for running (and other gear) is not for everyone. Often, personal preference comes into play, e.g. some runners do not like the tight feeling of compression socks.
My review of the Rockay compression running socks
Okay, now that I’ve highlighted why runners may wish to wear compression socks (and other gear), let’s dive into the review of the Rockay Vigor compression running socks.
To begin with, on first impression the socks look great, they are clean, minimal, and available in five different colourways – I opted for the Ecowhite variant (as seen above). Also, the packaging is fully recyclable and sustainable, which is a great touch especially considering the amount of plastic and other waste contained from other products from different brands.
The Vigor socks are lightweight and feel a little thin. However, there is plenty of cushioning, with the sock acting as a second skin between your foot and trainers. When worn with a pair of shoes, the socks feel somewhat thicker and more protective, with plenty of support available around the heel and forefoot. After several long walks and a few runs in the socks, it’s safe to say the comfort remains the entire way, providing a light yet supportive step to your stride.
To help breakdown the Rockay running compression socks in more detail, you can find what I like and dislike about the socks below:
- Lightweight & supportive design
- Impressive anti-odour technology
- Durable (build to last)
Each of these pros will now be explained in more detail:
Lightweight and supportive design
The socks are light without compromising on both comfort and support. This creates a second-skin-like feel, great for longer runs and equally as good for lounging around the house. Some compression socks sometimes feel too tight, as if you can’t wait to take them off. However, this is not the case with the Vigor’s – I found myself longing to talk them off hours after finishing my run or workout.
Impressive anti-odour technology
We’re all guilty of occasionally wearing the same pair of running socks more than once, especially if you only wore these for a short thirty-minute run. In particular, however, these compression socks from Rockay contain Polygiene anti-odour technology, keeping the socks odour-free and fresh for longer.
Arguably, I found this to be one of the more impressive features, mainly as it required less washing (which is always a great thing…), but also because it retained its freshness and shape even after long outings – great for travelling and longer runs.
Durable (built to last)
As with all other products from Rockay, these socks are built to last, created using high-quality, recycled and sustainable materials. Although the socks may be a little more pricy than other options, you can rest assured knowing you’re getting your money’s worth – the socks will need to be replaced much less frequently than others.
Although I haven’t had the socks for an extended amount of time, I have been wearing them as frequently as possible and so far, there are virtually no signs of wear.
- The socks run a little bit too high
- Slightly more expensive than other running socks
- Maybe a little difficult to put on at first (easy fix)
Similarly to the pros, the potential cons of the Vigor socks will now be discussed in more detail:
The socks run a little bit too high
This is likely down to personal preference, but I found the socks to run slightly too high. To combat this, I simply rolled them down a little, however, the fabric rubbed ever so slightly on the back of my leg.
By no means was this a deal-breaker – it’s likely down to have slightly smaller legs than others, but it is something to look out for if you think this would bother you.
Slightly more expensive than other running socks
Finally, the Vigor compression running socks are a premium sock – they are more expensive than other available options and brands, including the likes of Danish Endurance. With that being said, this is a premium sock – it is designed with the runner in mind, not only increasing performance but using sustainable materials and fabric in the process, a sock of the future and certainly one that is durable and long-lasting, too.
Maybe a little difficult to put on at first (easy fix)
Putting on the Rockay compression socks for the very first time may seem quite the challenge. However, it’s likely because you’re trying the wrong way – just like I did (more info on how to put these socks on shortly).
Now that I’ve highlighted what I like and dislike about the Vigor socks, It’s time to provide a broader overview of the key features, each of which includes a further explanation to help illustrate each point:
- Graduated compression design increases performance and supports recovery
- Polygiene anti-odour technology (no nasty odours and fewer washes necessary)
- Sustainable and recyclable design
- Super breathable and lightweight
Graduated compression provides the strongest compression at the ankle, gradually decreasing the higher the sock goes. This is useful for numerous reasons, but the extra compression and support at the foot and ankle joint is a welcomed addition, especially as these are must prone to general soreness, fatigue, and swelling.
This type of compression is also used in healthcare environments, with similar but more medical compression socks recommended for conditions such as varicose veins and other lower limb injuries or issues.
Polygiene anti-odour technology
The Polygiene anti-odour technology is something more athletic brands are beginning to implement into their clothing products, including socks. Essentially, this technology helps keep your feet dry, while also eliminating and preventing a build-up of nasty odour.
After several uses without washing, it’s safe to say it’s difficult to build up quite the smell. However, you do still need to wash them, preferably on a delicate wash at a lower temperature to prevent the sock material from shrinking.
Sustainable and recycled design
As previously touched upon, I was very impressed with the fully recyclable packaging, something which more brands should consider implementing. However, the recycled design is only the beginning, as the Vigor compression socks are also made using 100% recycled materials, including regenerated nylon and recycled polyamide and elastane.
You may be wondering: if the materials are recycled, are they up to standard? I would be lying if I said I didn’t have similar concerns. But the material is top quality, clearly made with care and precision to produce a stellar and comfortable fit. It’s not like you’re getting a recycled product – it’s just a different process used to create the fabric in the first place.
Also for each purchase, thirteen bottles of plastic waste are removed from the ocean, further contributing towards a sustainable future.
Super breathable and lightweight
Finally, the socks are super breathable and lightweight. This is thanks to the innovative sweat-wicking design but also a result of focusing on a performance sock. The seamless toe construction further increases comfort, too – a sock that can be worn for hours on end (even after your workout).
How do you put on the Rockay compression running socks?
A few users of the Rockay running compression socks reported difficulty putting the socks on, with a few incidents resulting in damage to the sock. When trying on a pair for the first time myself, I could see what they mean – they run a little tight at first. However, unlike regular socks, there is a special way to put compression socks on, a much easier way (both on the fabric and for you).
The trick is to turn the socks inside out first, folding a pocket for your foot, and then rolling the socks up to your knees. Rockay has also created a short video showing exactly how to put these on, eliminating the confusion for good:
How to choose the right size compression socks for running?
If you’ve made it this far, perhaps you’re now considering purchasing a pair of compression socks for running, whether the Vigor pair from Rockay, or from another brand. Firstly, it should be noted that various brands use different size measurements. For example, some use regular shoe sizes, others the standard small to large scale, and others, a completely new sizing system.
In the case of the Rockay Vigor compression running socks, it is the latter – they have their own sizing guide. To find the right fit for you, use their sizing guide (found on the far right of the page on desktop and at the bottom of the page on mobile) filling out your shoe size and calf measurements to find the recommended fit for you.
As a general rule of thumb: when selecting a size (the same applies for all compression socks), you want a sock that is tight but not restrictive and, of course, comfortable.
To buy or not to buy?
I’m no stranger to compression running gear and socks. However, I can safely say that this pair from Rockay stands shoulders above the other products I have previously tried from other brands. The socks are comfortable, provide more than enough protection, and can be worn multiple times before washing. If you’re looking for a pair of compression socks for running, I highly recommend picking up a pair from Rockay.
Frequently asked questions
To finish, below you will find some frequently asked questions surrounding both the Rockay Vigor compression running socks and compression socks and gear in general:
How long can you wear compression running socks for?
You can wear these for as long as you would like, both during training and as a recovery tool. However, we recommend not wearing these at night.
How do you know if your compression socks are too tight?
As these socks are supposed to be tight, it can be difficult to know whether or not you have the correct fit. If the socks cause pain and discomfort then these are likely too tight - consider purchasing a size up instead.
Are compression socks difficult to put on?
You may struggle putting these on at first. However, follow our guide included in this article for a permanent fix.
Alternatively, you can also view our full list of the best compression running socks here.
Matthew is an avid runner, freelance writer, Durham University graduate, and the founder of Running101.