UCI Bans Knee High Socks, Compression Material | CEP Compression Canada’s Response
The above question was posted on our CEP Compression Canada Facebook fan page. CEP Compression Canada President Chris Jones (@keepupwithcj) offered his reply which was a little more thorough than what a Facebook comment would allow for so here is his full reply:
Compression socks have been banned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (“UCI”) for a number of years.
The original claim was that it provided an unfair aerodynamic advantage to the athlete.
Some say that it may have been more of a uniformity ruling to make sure the athletes all looked the same. Same goes for no sleeveless jerseys, minimum inseam lengths on shorts….. that kind of thing.
“Socks (and shoe covers) used in competition must not exceed the mid-distance between the ankle and the knee.” – UCI
The new ruling is specific to the height of the socks allowable. Since CEP compression socks are above the maximum point on the leg (basically our b1 measurement) we are in violation. The fact of the matter is that this doesn’t hurt CEP because the prior ruling already prohibited socks that extended to our D height.
From CEP Compression Canada’s perspective, we believe the health benefits from wearing medical grade compression should take precedence. A healthy athlete is going to be better for the sport but it is ultimately their call. If we make our own cycling organization, I guess we could make the rules! :)
Here are a couple of slides that speak to the issue from a March 2012 presentation made by UCI’s Technical Coordinator Julien Carron (to see the full presentation click here):
What do you think of the ruling? Would love to hear your comments on the issue.