Not likely. Many runners, basketball players, and other athletes wear them, hoping the socks will boost their performance and reduce the risk of muscle soreness and injuries. These ultra-strong elastic socks, worn typically below the knee, are often recommended by doctors for people who have circulatory problems. It has been proposed that compression socks could benefit athletes by pressing on muscles and veins in the ankles and legs, thus improving blood flow back to the heart and allowing it to pump more efficiently. The socks might also reduce side-to-side movement of calf muscles when, for example, runners’ feet hit the ground, thus reducing the risk of muscle damage. Bottom line: There’s no reason to wear compression socks while exercising, unless you like the way they feel. If you do try them, avoid ones with high compression or those going above the knee. Anyone with leg swelling, circulatory problems, or a condition that decreases skin sensation, such as peripheral neuropathy, should talk with a health care provider before wearing compression socks.