Joe Friel's blog is following this at a much more scientific level than I'd be capable of, so I'll leave that to him. What cannot be questioned however, is the amazing popularity compression gear is enjoying right now. Kona was no stranger to compression clothing this year, and even more notably we all saw Lance in compression gear between stages of the tour recently.
So, compression gear is here to stay. Does it work? It seems impossible to say for sure at this point. In my own very personal experience, I do enjoy compression gear after especially long or difficult training sessions. I've trained with compression gear as well, but I really didn't notice a difference, aside from my ability to draw funny looks from the general population.
Ok, so lets say you want to try it. What should you buy? When it comes to leg compression, I think the Zensah Compression Sleeves are the best thing out there. They're durable, built well, and not as badly over priced as some of the more well known (I'm looking at you 2XU) vendors out there. Why sleeves over socks? Well, if you're doing a tri and you do decide to race in these things, sleeves are really the only way to go. Additionally, wearing whatever socks you want (or no socks at all) is a really nice thing for post race recovery.
Well, they look as funny as any compression sleeves. Combine these with my Croc Prepairs and you'd really be styling...
More reasonable than most, but still kind of pricey for what they are. I've heard of people having great results with medical grade compression socks purchased from CVS or Walgreens. I haven't tried that, but it would be a cheaper option if it worked.
For me at least, these things seem to help out with the inevitable DOMS that a long run/ride will leave you with. They hold up well, and they seem to be constructed with better than average material and craftsmanship.
If you're looking for compression sleeves, these would probably be the ones to use. Of course if anyone else would like me to review their brand, I'd be happy to.