As an aging but striving to go fast runner I am always intrigued by gear which holds the promise of improving performance.
Compression socks are now showing up on top tri-athletes and world class marathoners such as Paula Radcliffe, the world marathon record holder. At OR I ran into a German company CEP Sports introducing a compression sock which research has shown may improve performance in endurance events. OK these knee high socks are a bit goofy but in the 2 runs to date in a sample I have found them incredible comfortable and soothing on the lower legs.
The company's testing at a German institute has shown that time under load=running time in a staged test was approximately 5% higher than with normal socks. Maximal VO2 consumption increased by 3%. Circulation in the lower leg increased by 30-40%. I think this increased circulation should help my plantar heels as circulation is known to help the condition. As I nordic ski I found the increased circulation and thus warmer lower legs particularly promising. Models exist for alpine skiing where I can also see the utility.
CEP recommends leaving the socks on for half an hour after workouts to help with recovery.
Other compression socks exist but CEP claims their consistent circular pressure and medical grade materials and construction make for a more effective and longer lasting sock. The company is just introducing the product in the US and is in limited distribution. From the CEP website dealer list I see they are available through Hannulink Tri-Gear. They are pricey at $59.90. Other compression sock companies include SLS3 and Oxysox.