A compression sock is full length from the toe to knee. This is a great choice if you're a runner that isn't particular about wearing a certain style sock. If your intent is to wear the compression garment for recovery, then the full length sock is the better choice. The sleeve may cause some mild swelling in the feet when your body is a little more sedentary. This won't be the case wearing the full length sock because of the constant compression from toe to knee.
A compression sleeve runs from the ankle to knee. When wearing a sleeve, you can wear your preferred socks and shoes. For a triathlete, the sleeves are superior because they can be worn during the swim under the wetsuit and it saves time in transition. But if you race anything longer than a Half Ironman / 70.3, we always recommend the socks because you are including the foot part which is critical for longer races.
- longer runs
- longer triathlon races (from Half Ironman upwards)
- to be used with your preferred running socks/shoes
- shorter runs
- shorter triathlon races
There are pros and cons for sure to both the sock and sleeve. It all comes down to personal preference and what your intended use will be.