Compression socks are often worn on a doctor’s advice. But, they can provide comfort for traveling, sports, working, and during pregnancy. They work by squeezing the legs to promote blood flow to the heart and improve circulation. They also help the flow of lymph fluids in the cells of your legs. As a result, compression and waterproof socks lead to a reduction in swelling, aches, and fatigue. And, they can help prevent varicose veins, which effect around 20 percent of adults. Are you wearing the best socks for running or even for medical reasons? Check out the best compression socks in your drawer.
Here we explain more about socks and reveal the compression socks for every budget.
Who Uses Compression Socks?
Thanks to the benefits of socks, they can provide relief and protection for a variety of people. They are particularly useful for:
- Those who suffer from or are at risk of circulation problems, such as diabetes, varicose veins, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). For DVT, compression stockings for men and women usually go to just below the knee. You can get compression hose that goes up to the thigh or full tights too
- People who are unable to leave their bed or who struggle to move their legs
- Those who have recently had surgery. Thrombi-embolic deterrent (TED) hose may be recommended in this case. Although, graduated compression stockings are better than TED hose if you can stand up and move around
- People with standing-heavy jobs, such as store clerks, cooks, and serving workers
- Pregnant women, often wear socks to reduce swelling in the ankles and feet, and lower the risk of varicose veins
- Those who spend long stretches of time on airplanes, such as flight attendants and pilots
- Athletes, who wear socks to help prevent tissue damage and speed up muscle recovery
If you’re going on a long-haul flight, socks are a useful item to pack in your hand luggage. Although it’s wise to try and walk around as much as possible, it’s not always that easy. Especially if you have a window seat and the people next to you are asleep!
The Compression Socks for All Budgets
Compression socks can vary a lot in price, starting from around $10 a pair to as much as $100. Here’s a selection of some of the best options for every budget:
PRO Compression Marathon Compression Socks
Marathon socks by PRO Compression are one of the best choices on the market, retailing at $50 per pair. As the name ‘Marathon’ suggests, you can wear these compression socks running, but they’re also great for travel or work.
PRO Compression Marathon socks offer true graduated compression to increase blood flow. Their advanced design also supports critical muscles and tendons.
If you do wear these socks for running or sports, you’ll enjoy improved performance and a faster recovery. And, the blend of nylon, poly, and spandex materials wick moisture away for a comfortable fit that really goes the distance.
Another plus point of these socks is the sheer range of colors and designs. There are 75 distinct options to choose from, as well as three different sizes for optimum comfort.
CEP Progressive+ Compression Run Socks 2.0
Next up are our most expensive option, CEP Progressive+ Compression Run Socks. You can buy these compression socks from Walmart or online for around $50 to $65.
While most socks are unisex, these come as socks for men and socks for women, both of which come in three different sizes.
These are made of polyamide, elastane and polypropylene, with graduated and consistent compression. In fact, CEP’s website offers a six-month guarantee that the compression will last for up to 150 wears.
The design features a halo top-band which helps keep them in place, while ribbing at the front of the sock allows air to flow through and cool your skin. And, like the PRO Compression Marathon socks, although these are designed for runners, they offer comfortable support for travel and work too.
SB SOX Lite Compression Socks
At the other end of the price, scale is the SB Sox Lite socks, which retail at around $10 to $15.
Their low price tag shouldn’t put you off, though, as these socks provide comfort and stay in position throughout multiple wears. They offer graduated compression and are made from spandex and nylon, which helps to wick away moisture from your feet.
SB Sox Lite comes in 11 different colors, but one downside is that there are only two different sizes to choose from – S/M and L/XL. Also, some people find these too long to fit snugly under the knee. This can be problematic as you shouldn’t fold down compression socks. Doing so can make them too tight and cause blood flow problems.
If you’ve worn compression socks before, you might find these thinner and lighter than most pairs, although this can be preferable in summer or humid climates. But, for the price, these are an excellent option for travel, work or sports.
Sockwell Circulator Graduated Compression Socks
Our final pick is the Sockwell Circulator Graduated compression socks, which retail at around $20 to $30, and are made from a combination of merino wool, nylon, bamboo, rayon, and spandex.
These compression socks are rated as being very comfortable thanks to their four zones of graduated moderate compression and a seamless toe. They also wash well and are good for keeping your feet fresh and odor-free.
They are available for men and women separately, with both types coming in two different sizes and a variety of colors. One negative is that these socks aren’t very long, so they are best suited to people with shorter builds. On taller people, they come up to the mid-calf instead of under the knee.
Despite that, these Sockwell Circulator compression socks are recommended on several sites for workers who spend long periods of time on their feet, such as nurses. They’re also the best compression socks for long drives and traveling long distances, such as long-haul flights or an extended road trip.
Your Guide to Choosing Compression Socks
Finding the best socks can be difficult, as you don’t know how comfortable they’re going to be until you put them to the test.
But, with this selection of the most highly recommended options out there, you now know which brands offer the best range, fit, and comfort.
As such, you’ll be better able to find the right compression socks for your needs, whether you plan to use them for sports, work, or to travel in comfort on a long-haul flight.