To determine the effects of wearing graduated compression stockings (GCS) on the exercise response, twelve high fit males served as subjects in a series of two experiments. The first experiment consisted of six subjects performing two tests of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) on a treadmill with and without GCS. The second experiment consisted of six subjects performing three separate three minute tests on a bicycle ergometer at 110% of their VO2 max. The experimental conditions for the three tests were: GCS worn during the test and recovery (GCS), GCS worn only during the test (GCS-O/O) and no stockings worn during either the test or recovery (NO-GCS). Oxygen consumption (VO2) was measured at rest, throughout the duration of all tests and during recovery in both experiments. Blood samples were obtained at rest and at 5, 15, 30, 45 and 60 minutes post exercise in the first experiment and at rest and at 5, 15 and 30 minutes post exercise in the second experiment for the determination of lactate and hematocrit. The use of GCS in the first experiment resulted in no significant difference in VO2 max, recovery VO2 or plasma volume shifts. Lactate values were lower throughout the duration of the recovery period with the 15 minute values being significantly different with the use of GCS. Significant differences in post exercise blood lactate values were found in the second experiment. The GCS trial resulted in significantly less lactate when compared to the GCS-O/O and the NO-GCS trials. There was no significant difference in post exercise lactate values between the NO-GCS and the GCS-O/O trials. Plasma volume changes were not significantly different among trials. Results of both experiments showed recovery lactate values to be lower with the use of GCS. These lower values are not ascribable to plasma volume shifts but rather appear to be due to an inverse gradient created by the GCS resulting in the lactate being retained in the muscular bed.