Compression wear is designed to provide compression and support to address certain medical conditions or to improve athletic performance.
Compression wear can be designed to mitigate medical conditions that involve inadequate blood circulation. This type of wear usually worn on the feet or legs and applies different levels compression along the limb, with the compression being greater at the lower levels i.e. near the ankles. The intention is to counter the effect of gravity and push the blood (and lymphatic fluids) back to the heart through veins that may have become compromised over time. This type of compression is known as graduated compression and it is usually present in socks, stockings and sleeves worn on the calf.
Other compression wear is designed to stabilize and support specific joints and muscles to improve co-ordination and increase muscle force and endurance. This would include compression shorts, tops, gloves, tights, elbow and arm sleeves.