We’ve just had Ross Tucker (Sports Science Dr and author of The Runner’s body) come in and see us for his latest challege – climbing Kilimanjaro barefoot!

As usual we help were we can and we have along with Csock, sponsored his team with compression socks for their challenge.

But why socks when when he is walking barefoot?
They’re graduated compression socks — snug-fitting, over-the-calf socks aimed at improving oxygen delivery to muscles, speeding lactic acid removal and stabilizing the lower leg for greater muscle efficiency.

But do they work? Compression socks and wraps have been widely accepted in clinical and post-surgical settings for the treatment of edema, lymph edema, phlebitis, varicose veins, spider veins and deep vein thrombosis. Most theories about how the socks can improve running performance focus on the physiological and biomechanical support of the lower extremities.

The primary rationale behind wearing compression socks in a race is that they may enhance venous return to the heart through a more efficient calf muscle pump, leading to increased endurance capacity. And there is the notion that because muscles are kept more compact, balance and proprioception are improved and muscle fatigue is minimized.

However, a study presented at the 2007 American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in New Orleans suggested there were no statistically significant differences in maximal oxygen consumption, heart rate or minute ventilation between treadmill runners who wore compression socks and those who did not.

According to the study, conducted at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, subjects did, however, show a faster lactate recovery rate after exercise when wearing the compression socks, suggesting that compression socks might speed recovery after a strenuous workout or a race.

So to read more about Ross and his team as they camp out at night with their socks on, follow them live at http://barefootimpi.org/the-challenges/kilimanjaro