CEP Progressive+ Merino Outdoor and Run+ Compression Socks

I have received to review two pair of compression socks from CEP.  Their Merino Outdoor and Merino Run+ socks.  To begin, I will say these socks are very well made.  Very high quality German craftsmanship I will even say.  Their website for the full line is CEP Compression

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To give a little background on why I requested these particular socks, I will begin by saying it was not so much for sports performance and recovery, but more for controlling swelling.  I will admit I use both pair for ice fishing and other sporting pursuits, but the goal is to reduce swelling.  About 6 years ago I was diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer, Stage 3.  Yeh, that’s not good.  Long story short, they gave me a big scar on the left side of my rump (no, I have never nude sun bathed) and then I had the pleasure of them ripping out the lymph nodes in my left groin giving me another giant scar.  Well, when you rip those lymph nodes out, even if they find nothing bad in them (Thank the good Lord!) they can’t put them back in to filter the lymphatic fluid in that leg!  So I get swelling in my leg.  I was very diligent about following instructions after the surgery and doing all this massage and having specialists at the lymphadema clinic massage more (Yes, it was such a hardship having those massages…).  What I also had the pleasure of enjoying (sarcasm) were compression stockings.  Oh the dread.  I started out with the full waist high pantyhose kind which I put on once and said, NOPE!  Figuring I only needed the compression on one side anyways.  Then I went to the thigh high which were a pain to get on, but worked ok.  After that I went to knee high stockings which were way better.  I met with a sales rep once at a support group and begged him to get those darn manufacturers to make cool camouflage stockings, but alas, that never happened.  I have been fortunate that my swelling is mostly right where my sock line is and goes away overnight.  I haven’t worn the dreaded stockings in three years, but I do like to control the swelling if possible.

Well, it seems this whole compression fad is perfect for my needs! The CEP compression socks have fit the bill quite nicely.  Here is what the manufacturer says about first their Outdoor series and then the Run+ series:

Outdoor

QUALITY ATTRIBUTES

  • Unique combination of premium merino wool, finest silk and high-tech functional fibers for extreme durability
  • Perfect anatomical fit
  • Extra-flat toe seam

FUNCTIONAL ATTRIBUTES

  • 20-30 mmHg from ankle to calf, 18 mmHg consistent compression over the calf
  • Optimum recovery, performance, and thermal balance
  • Maximum stability for muscles and joints
  • Padded zones to relieve pressure where it’s needed most
  • Close-fitting foot section helps prevent blisters
  • Prevent legs and feet from swelling
  • Antibacterial, odor-reducing properties

Material:
60% Nylon (Polyamide), 20% Merino Wool, 12% Spandex, 8% Silk

Made in Germany

Run+

QUALITY ATTRIBUTES

  • Unique combination of premium merino wool, polypropylene and high-tech spandex
  • Perfect anatomical fit and extreme durability
  • Extra-flat toe seam

FUNCTIONAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Optimum recovery, performance, and thermal balance
  • Maximum stability for arches, muscles and joints to help prevent injuries
  • Improved coordination for greater accuracy
  • Special design activates the flow of blood in the muscles
  • Padded zones to relieve pressure where it’s needed most
  • Close-fitting foot section helps prevent blisters
  • Antibacterial, odor-reducing properties

Material:
55% Nylon (Polyamide), 17% Merino Wool, 15% Spandex, 13% Polypropylene

Made in Germany

As you can see, there are minor blend differences likely to give different performance values based on the activity.  They have thermal ski versions and different heights as well.  For me, the knee high are the ones that make sense as so long as I have compression up to my knee, I don’t get swelling.  Anything lower than that I get swelling.  See below for pictures of my ankle using regular short socks and then using the CEP Progressive+ Merino Outdoor Compression socks.  Oh, and they have right and left markings on them as they are shaped.

With regular short socks worn with hiking boots from 6am-9pm:

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After the same time frame and shoe type wearing the CEP socks:

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It’s a little hard to see, but there was considerable swelling wearing regular socks and virtually no swelling using the CEP offerings.  I am very impressed with them and wish I had known about them 6 years ago as I would have spent my hard earned cash on those instead of the medical versions.  The CEP socks are better quality than the medical versions and around the same price too.  Our insurance doesn’t cover that particular item, so I was relegated to buying them on our dime.  These are much more stylish too.  I always wore the skin colored stockings and nobody really ever said anything, but it would have been nice to have better looking socks.

I will continue to wear both pair of socks over the winter while ice fishing, snow shoeing, and hiking and report how well they hold up through wear and tear.

ChrisD