Kneesocks—most commonly seen on the legs of high school cheerleaders, volleyball pros, and soccer players—seem to be having a fashion moment. Wherever we go in L.A., from HIIT to Barre classes, sightings of shapely calves clad in kneesocks have become de rigueur.
Blame Crossfit, where it all started, says BRICK trainer Amanda Douglas: “We wear them for fashion and function.” The function she is referring to? Compression, shown in studies to enhance performance during hard runs and boost blood flow in the extremities. And now everyone from Nike to H&M is getting in on the kneesocks game.
“It’s become a real trend,” says Beth Bishop owner of The Phoenix Effect Bootcamp in West Hollywood. “In Crossfit, people wear compression socks to fight fatigue and guard the shins from things like dead lifts or rope climbs. While in distance running or a triathlon, the compression also helps with fatigue and aids in recovery. But now they’re fashionable, too. Women especially love to rock them with booty shorts.” (We’ve noticed.)
While the tube socks look is in full force, Monterey-based company The Sox Box makes an assortment of multi-colored styles emblazoned with sayings like “Deadlift Diva,” “I Know Squat,” and “Yay Burpees.” Co-owner Athena says her obsession began when training for the fire service and she turned to CrossFit in 2009. “That’s where I became a crazy sock enthusiast, but I wanted cool ones that fit around my thick muscly calves.” And all the better to show off those toned thighs.
But not all kneesocks are created equal says Alpha Venice studio owner Joselynne Boschen. “Many of the trendy socks are knock-offs of more purposeful ones. Proper compression kneesocks should have arch support, a re-enforced heel and toe area, extra cushion on the higher shock areas and be made anti-microbial, moisture-wicking material—not just make you look like a sexy cheerleader.” —Rachel Marlowe
Here are five CrossFit socks you’ll see on the knee-high scene, from top: Nike Elite Graduated Compression OTC Women’s Half Marathon running socks, $50 | BIFF IT Knee Sock, $15 | Asics Rally Knee High, $30 | The Sox Box Beast Mode Knee Highs, $10 | Reebok CrossFit Weightlifting Sock, $15