Compression socks are specialized hosiery that help prevent the further progress of disorders such as edema, phlebitis and thrombosis. These disorders can even be prevented by the use of compression socks. The benefits of compression far out-weigh any downsides. It applies pressure that relieves aching legs, and improve blood circulation as well as helping to prevent blood clots and deep vein thrombosis. They might also be used for running, flight travel, and pregnancy, or to help with the pain of shin splints, achilles problems, or plantar fasciitis.
If you are new to the use of compression socks, the many options available to you might seem confusing. To help you out, we have our new guide of the best compression socks. We have narrowed down the myriad of options, looking at all features, to provide you with only the best options to choose from.
What should I look for when buying my compression socks?
As with most things you buy in today’s market, there’s a lot of considerations to take into account, so that you buy right the first time. This is very much the case when purchasing compression socks. Finding the right pair for your needs is vital, otherwise you’ll be spending good money on the wrong products.
When it comes to compression socks the most important thing is comfort. Being comfortable in something that you’ll be wearing for most of the day is a consideration that should be high on your list.
So let’s look at the different aspects of compression socks that you’ll need to take on board when buying your own pair.
Different Styles Of Compression Socks
A popular style in compression socks. People who want low visibility of their compression socks will normally go for this style. An example would be people who wear them for work or for people who require a higher leg compression.
Knee high socks:
As the name suggests, these compression socks will come up to the knee and is generally worn by athletes, sports people and runners. They fit tightly around the lower leg area.
These compression socks will wrap around the calves and will start just above the ankles. These are for people who don’t want the tightness around the ankle area or near the feet.
Tips for choosing the best compression socks for you
- Measure your ankle and calf when they are not swollen, so you can size yourself correctly
- Compression stockings vary in length and color.
- Make sure to find one that suits your health that you won’t feel embarrassed wearing.
- A pressure gradient of above 30 mm hg will require a prescription; only low and medium / moderate compression pressure gradients will be on this list.
10 Best Compression Socks 2021
2. Run Forever Sports. Compression Socks for Men & Women
Medical Grade Graduated Recovery Stockings for Nurses, Maternity, Travel, Running, Leg Relief, Prevent leg swelling, calf pain, shin splints.
Pressure Gradient: medium
These cotton socks are easy to put on and feel light on your feet and comfortable around the lower legs – you’ll feel like you are just wearing regular socks, while they apply the pressure you need to keep healthy and comfortable. They are high quality and help provide all day pain relief. Great for athletes, people suffering from maternity pains or varicose veins, and people who go on long flights. They look great and feel great, and come in four colors and three sizes.
3. SB SOX Compression Socks (20-30mmHg) for Men & Women
Stockings for Running, Medical, Athletic, Edema, Diabetic, Varicose Veins, Travel, Pregnancy, Shin Splints, Nursing. Medical grade compression socks.
Pressure Gradient: medium
SB SOX have favorable reviews from over 1,000 customers. They come with a free e-book and an FAQ guide that should answer any further questions you have about the product. They offer a money back guarantee, as well.
This great product reduces the build up of blood in your calves and feet, and are sold to people looking to promote recovery from injuries to the calf, ankle, feet, and legs. The heel and toe are reinforced and cushioned, and the breathable fabric is designed for comfort. There are 4 size options, and 3 color options. Customers comment on the high level of service offered, as well as the usefulness of the socks.
4. Nurse Mates Women’s 12-14 Mm hg Compression Trouser Sock
Pressure Gradient: low
These women’s only socks provide low pressure that make them a good fit for many. They provide just a little bit more support and pressure than a regular sock, and there are 35 options for the color. There are plain white socks, but many of them have patterns on them, so they resemble regular socks and can fit right into your wardrobe. These socks are ultra-soft, and comfortable for all-day use.
These socks focus the compression on the calf and ankle, not on the foot. This makes them a good choice for workers who stand on their feet all day, who may feel squeezed in other options if they have no need for stronger pressure. However, for people with more severe disorders, this sock might not be the one for you.
5. A-Swift Compression Socks (1 pair) for Women & Men by A-Swift
Running, Athletic Sports, Crossfit, Flight Travel – Suits Nurses, Maternity Pregnancy, Shin Splints – Below Knee High. Anti-odor.
Pressure Gradient: medium
This sock is another that offers 20 – 30 mmHg pressure. It comes with an e-book on the game of tennis, and this sock is meant to be worn during athletic events. It is made with a silver yarn anti-bacteria fabric, which regulates temperature and odor. Ideal for traveling, this sock comes in 25 charming patterned options, with three sizes that should fit most.
They should not be dried in the clothes drier.
One very nice feature of these socks is the different color on the heel and toe, which makes putting the socks on properly easy.
6. MoJo Recovery & Performance Sports Compression Socks
Pressure Gradient: Medium
These medical grade graduated socks boost blood circulation and alleviate pain from exercise. They have a reinforced heel and toe for a longer-lasting sock. This sock is tightest at the ankle and the pressure decreases as the sock goes up the leg. There are six sizes and eleven stylish color options. The sizes are measured by the ankle and by the calf, guaranteeing a great fit.
These socks are a slightly thicker fit than some others, which will keep them up the entire day. They are still thin enough to be worn with a regular shoe. They also are made of non-slip material, which will keep you surefooted.
7. Physix Gear Compression Socks
Suitable for both men and women, these compression socks have a stylish design that uses shades of black and tan. Each pair has a taller design that offers help from the tip of your toes to the top of your calves. The socks can fit men who wear up to a size 14 and women who wear a size 15.5. You can pick from sizes based on your shoe size. Wearing these socks can both increase your blood flow and improve your circulation. One pair can work for up to nine hours or more.
Covers both your lower legs and calves
Can increase blood flow and circulation
Easy to put on and remove
Provides compression support for hours
Even the largest sizes can feel too tight
Can fit too loosely
8. Sockwell Women’s Micro Grade Compression Socks
Designed for nurses and other professionals who spend long hours on their feet, these compression socks are also a good choice for pregnant women and others who experience swelling in their feet. The socks have a graduated design that is tighter around the lower part of your foot and looser near the top of the socks. This prevents swelling while you’re on your feet and increases circulation. The socks come in different sizes to feet those who wear shoes of between four and 11 sizes. As the bottom of each sock does not include any cushioning, you can get the most out of your shoes. The socks have four zones that work together to improve your circulation.
Available in multiple colors
Comes in several sizes
Graduated design to prevent swelling and improve circulation
Designed specifically for women
Thinner than other types of compression socks
Can develop holes and rips easily
9. BAMS Premium Bamboo Compression Socks
BAMS is the only company that makes pairs of compression socks that are also antibacterial. No matter what type of shoes you wear or how long you spend on your feet, the socks can keep your feet from sweating and stop bacteria from clinging to your feet and shoes. This pair comes in an all-black design and in other designs that feature bright colors around the heels. Made from bamboo and other natural materials, the socks feature multiple zones that increase and decrease the compression around different parts of your feet. They also have a breathable design that keeps air moving to help you stay cool.
Moisture wicking fabric helps to regulate temperature and reduce feet sweating
Breathable design keeps your feet cool
Can stop bacteria from sticking to your feet and shoes
Features different zones/types of compression
Do not fit those with wider legs or calves
Material isn’t as thick as you might like
10. Vitalsox Italy – Compression VT1211
IDEAL for: Running, Training, Race, and Recovery Socks
Pressure Gradient: low (12-20 mm)
This new product is unique in that it offers arch support; the compression starts at the mid foot for maximum circulation increase. Vitalsox compression socks are great for athletes and people with mild vein disorders. They stretch in four directions, guaranteeing a good fit.
11. MDSOX 20-30 mmHg Graduated Compression Socks for Men & Women
Ideal for: Everyday Use, Travel, Running, Maternity Pregnancy, Nursing, Circulation, Recovery
Pressure gradient: Medium
The MDSOX 20-30 mmHg socks offer seven sizes and twelve colors, so you should be able to find the type that suits you best.
These socks offer odor eliminating properties, and can offer comfort for varicose veins. They are also promoted for workers who will be on their feet for a long time, athletes, or travelers. They come with a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, so you can send them back for a refund. These socks are very thin, which adds to comfort; but they can also take some work to upkeep, because they will last longer if hand-washed instead of machine washed. However, they are inexpensive and should be easy to replace if need be.
12. EvoNation Men’s USA Made Graduated Compression Socks 20-30 mmHg
IDEAL for: Comfort Fit, Circulation, Travel
Pressure gradient: Medium
These comfortable socks are reinforced so they will last longer. They are designed to be worn all day, and their thickness can fit into any shoe. They offer options for casual wear, as well as formal work dress. There are 4 sizes and 5 colors. As these are made only for men, they do not offer so many options as the socks meant for either gender.
However, the 85% Nylon, 15% Spandex makeup of these socks make them long lasting and helpful against DVT (deep vein thrombosis), lymphedema, and the general fatigue, soreness, and swelling that can happen if you work on your feet all day. They are machine washable.
These are often used as a medium type sock, because they are thicker than some options, but thinner than others, and remain useful. This is a good start to see what you like, for a fair price.
13. Compression Socks (Fun Patterns 20-30mmHg) Men & Women Running Casual Socks by CompressionZ
Pressure Gradient: Medium
These socks are definitely a bit pricier, but the fun colors and long last makes them worth it! There are 11 colorful and eye-catching patterns available, and each comes in four sizes. They are meant for sports and daily wear, and have been particularly helpful for travelers. They deodorize and keep your feet dry throughout the day.
They are extremely good quality and provide a very tight fit. These socks are a great choice for dealing with mild varicose veins.
Why Do People Need Compression Socks?
There are a number of reasons why people buy compression socks, from preventing deep vein thrombosis, reducing swelling to recovering from long runs and sessions at the gym. Compression socks have a variety of uses and can help in a number of ways.
The main two reason why people should think about buying compression socks are as follows:
My Father in law recently had a heart operation and now he has to take a blood thinning drug which prevents his blood from clotting. To help with this, he also has to wear compression socks.
These were perscribed by his doctor and is the same for many other patients who may have had heart operations or aren’t as mobile as they should be and may be more likely to develop a thrombosis.
Other health reasons are:
- People who go on long flights or car journeys where they will be sitting for a long period of time. Also for those who experience foot and ankle swelling when they travel. These people are more prone to thrombosis related conditions.
- People who are on their feet all day for work. Compression socks will reduce fatigue in the legs, lower legs and provide the wearer with increased compression levels of comfort.
Athletic / Sports
A lot of sports people and athletes wear compression socks. There’s a couple of reasons why they do this. First of all it improves the blood flow to the legs, which can increase endurance, stamina and performance of the wearer. Being able to run for longer or become less fatigued during sports, is an added bonus for most.
Another reason why they are good for sports people is the reduction in muscle vibration. This in turn will help with the recovery phase of training, which will enable the wearer to train more often with reduced muscle pain or stiffness.