Best Compression Stockings and Socks Reviewed & Rated
Compression socks are a special article of clothing which put pressure on your legs. They’re different than socks that are tight because they are specifically designed to put pressure on your legs in certain areas without causing pain and discomfort. Doctors prescribe them for a number of health conditions. Vein disease, venous insufficiency, ulcers of the leg, and other such conditions can be life-threatening, or at the very least painful and potentially embarrassing.
Luckily, we've got that all covered with today's topic: a comprehensive list of the best products to meet all of your needs. Whether you're trying to aid blood flow because you're sitting all day in an office, or you're an athlete running your next 5k, we have you covered. Keep reading, folks!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 19 hrs of research
16 - 23 mmHg Graduated Compression
Cushioned Toe and Heel
10 Best Compression Socks
1. Rockay Vigor
16 - 23 mmHg Graduated Compression
Cushioned Toe and Heel
Slightly Complicated Sizing
Athletes who train hard know how important a pair of compression socks can be in ensuring peak level performance and a quicker recovery. Whether you’re a marathon runner, a jogging enthusiast, or even just looking for the right type of compressive gear to wear to work, you’ll be delighted with Rockay’s newly released Vigor, a pair of knee-high socks made to maximize your comfort and health.
The Vigor offers 16 – 23 mmHg of graduated compression which has a host of benefits to anyone participating in athletic activities or just spending a lot of time on their feet. This amount of compression improves circulation, resulting in higher amounts of oxygen being delivered to your muscles, decreases soreness, fatigue, and ultimately speeding up the amount of time you need to recover. It’s also a great choice of socks to wear if you happen to suffer from shin splints, or even if you’re recovering from an injury.
In addition to the compression provided, the Vigor also offers the benefits of top-quality running socks. The ball of the foot and heel are cushioned for increased impact protection, the arch is supported, and the toe is seamless to prevent rubbing or blistering. You’ll also see that finding the right fit is easy enough thanks to the 9 available sizes.
This model features a reflective logo for late-night runs, has breathable mesh zones for a cool and dry wearing experience, and is made from recycled materials that are water-resistant which means less sweat being trapped next to your skin. Unlike most similar products, the Rockay Vigor can be machine washed at 30°C, and even uses an odor-resistant coating that will make maintenance much less of a hassle. As for price, it sells for an average cost, all the while providing you with great value. Plus, as with all Rockay products, you get a lifetime guarantee against tears.
2. Blaze Sleeve
Interwoven Ventilation Zones
Resistant to Odor
Includes Compression Testing Results
Modern, Minimalist Pattern
No Solid Color Options
Polygiene technology and Swisslastic compression testing harmonize perfectly in the Blaze, marrying the idea of real-world can-do, and testing stage results. If there is a single product on the market which can outdo this calf compression sleeve by Rockay, we've yet to see it. Rockay is so convinced of their product's quality that they include the results from the compression testing in the box. But don't take our word for it- order a pair and see for yourself. After all, their excellent customer service will handle any problems which arise for swift, hassle-free returns if you are unsatisfied.
You need the right sort of stress to set you off on the right foot during race day. This is the type of stress which moves adrenaline to all the right places, turning (wo)man to machine. The wrong kind of stress, however, can keep you from the right mindset. A lifetime guarantee means that you can save it for another day: The Rockay Blaze will never let you down, and Rockay is sure of it. From Swisslastic compression testing, a state-of-the-art technique, to Polygiene certification, the Rockay Blaze has been through it all. Now it's your turn to take the Blaze through it all again... And again. And again.
If you're still unsure as to the capabilities of this compression sleeve, let us reassure you that... it actually doesn't matter. Rockay is so convinced of their product's capabilities that they offer a lifetime guarantee. Not only do they consistently produce high-quality running gear for the savvy sportsman, but they also have your back every step of the way even after the purchase. This is no bait and switch, folks. No matter how many races you run, or how many miles you put behind you, Rockay will ensure your absolute success. Don't just run the race- ruin it and smoke the competition.
Although it isn't listed as the "best value" here today, the only reason for this is because we couldn't put the Blaze anywhere else on the list. It deserves the number one spot and is the clear victor according to our rigorous standards. It isn't every day that you come across a seemingly simple article of clothing which both dazzles on display and helps shave seconds off of every run. I think we've driven the point home, however. Now that you understand exactly how the Blaze boosts your game to the next level, the only step left is to order a pair.
3. CEP Progressive+ 2.0
Consistent Graduated Compression
Halo Top Band
Fabric May be Abrasive
The CEP Progressive+ compression socks offer true graduated compression. It has built-in temperature management through the ribbing along the leg. The toebox is elastic, so it doesn’t squeeze your toes. Its simple aesthetic makes it excellent for use at the office or on the ballfield. It’s designed to be form-fitting, to reduce blisters and uncomfortable rubbing, as well as compression.
Some compression socks have compression zones, but the CEP Progressive+ sock has true graduated compression. The pressure decreases as it goes up the leg with no unnatural shifts in pressure. These compression running socks come with a halo top band, which holds it in place just below the knee without squeezing.
This sock bears the highest price tag, but it can be found in the middle-to-high price range. The built-in temperature control and consistent graduated compression, make it worth the price.
4. MudGear Outdoor
Made with Performance Sock Yarn
Padding on Calf & Lower Leg
Heel May Wear Out
Seams May Come Loose
MudGear Compression Socks were built with obstacle course racing in mind, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only use for them. They would be good for any career requiring you to be on your feet all day. They offer support and comfort in a subdued, yet stylish way. These MudGear Socks are lightweight but don’t sacrifice quality and durability.
These socks are made with performance sock yarn, making it more durable than thinner compression socks such as SB SOX. The thicker, more durable yarn is padded in the calf area for more protection. This sock was built for obstacle course racing, so the moisture-wicking ability is superb. It allows the water to drain right out of the sock as you exit the water.
In terms of price, this sock is a little more expensive than the previous entries. However, the excellent wicking material and padding offer comfort and protection on the hardest runs.
5. Sockwell Circulator
4 Compression Zones
May be Hard to Put On
Threads May Come Loose Over Time
Sockwell’s Circulator Compression Socks are made in the United States. They come in a variety of colors, including different stripe patterns. In addition to the swelling reduction properties inherent in compression running socks, this sock absorbs moisture to keep your feet dry. It has temperature regulating properties and light padding to give you a more comfortable day on your feet.
Some compression socks have similar amounts of compression from your toes to your knees. These graduated socks have four zones of compression, so they won’t be pinching your toes.
Everyone has had that one pair of socks with the seam on the toe that irritates your toes. This sock has no toe seam, so say goodbye to toe irritation! These socks are in the low-to-middle price range. They wash well and they are comfortable to wear. If you’re going to be traveling long distances, give these socks a try.
6. Zensah Tech+
200 Needle Count Construction
Ankle Area Compression
Elastic Band Around Foot
May be Hard to Put On
May Be Stiff
Zensah Tech+ Compression socks are built to last with an emphasis on stabilization and comfort to prevent injury and swelling. It sports a seamless toe. It bears an elastic band around the foot for arch support. The graduated compression tapers off as it progresses up the leg to provide appropriate levels of compression. It comes in a variety of colors.
The exclusive Zensah fabric used in these compression running socks is lightweight, durable, and offers the most protection. It also has natural moisture-wicking and thermal regulating properties for the most comfort.
The high needle count used in the construction of this sock guarantees its durability and compression power. The high needle count construction process ensures that the compression is effectively placed.
The Zensah Tech+ rests in the middle-to-high price range. However, it was built to retain compression and has real graduated compression to make it worth the somewhat higher price tag.
7. Sockwell Chevron Graduated
Natural Moisture Management
Non Abrasive Seamless Toe
May Run Small
Heel is Thin
Buying a compression sock is a waste of money if you are unable to wear it. As a result, Sockwell built this sock with maximum comfort and graduated compression in mind. It features a seamless toe, and it has natural moisture and temperature management built in. These graduated compression socks also come in a stylish chevron pattern in a variety of colors.
Sockwell’s Accu-Fit Technology guarantees that this sock will maintain compression while providing the perfect fit. Well-fitting socks reduce your chance of blisters and discomfort as you go about your day.
The Sockwell Chevron Graduated Compression sock is made with Merino wool, stretch nylon, bamboo rayon, and spandex. This powerful combination provides natural moisture management, which makes your sock more comfortable. These graduated compression socks rest in the low-to-middle price range. They look and feel nice, which means you’ll want to wear them. Thus, you’ll reap the numerous health benefits associated with them.
8. Nursemates Wide Calf
Comfortable Heel and Toe Pocket
Fits up to 22” Calf
Variety of Designs
Not for Tall People
Developed especially for medical staff, the Nursemates Wide Calf graduated compression sock is the perfect choice for anyone who needs a bit of extra help during long shifts where their feet and legs tend to swell and become fatigued. Made for a wider calf width, this 12-14mmHg compression sock will fit up to 22” calfs, which is perfect for those with stronger legs.
The model is offered in a number of fun designs, from simple black, to tye dye inspired colorways, polka dots, and even EKG or owl prints. You’re sure to feel great in these, as they’re fun and comfortable, while still doing a great job with helping relieve leg fatigue.
The design was developed with comfort in mind. That’s why you get a heel and toe pocket that won’t cause any discomfort, while you’ll also find that the top band features a comfort welt. The price for a pair of these graduated compression socks is around average compared to other items on the list, making it a good investment, regardless of whether you’re after sensible black, or prefer a more fun-loving style.
9. Vitalsox VT1211 Silver DryStat
Vitalsox Exclusive Silver Drystat
Plantar Ligament & Arch Support
This graduated compression sock from Vitalsox has light padding to maximize your comfort on those long days at work. The compression starts low at the arch of your foot and works its way up your calf for a secure, comfortable fit. These socks are prewashed, so you can put them on right out of the package and start your day.
The Vitalsox VT1211 boasts an exclusive material called Silver Drystat, which is bacterial- and fungal-resistant. Your socks won’t get smelly, even if worn all day. This material also dries quickly.
Gone are the days of straining and groaning as you pull on those stubborn compression socks. The Vitalsox VT1211 stretches in four directions, making them much easier to put on. These socks can be found in the low-, middle-, and high-price ranges. The exclusive material and 4-Way stretch are worth the price but look around for the best deal.
10. Mojo Recovery & Performance
Medical Grade Compression
Reinforced Heel & Toe
May be Hard to Put On
Sizing Runs Small
The Mojo Recovery and Performance is a stylish sock with cushioning and padding in high-impact areas of your feet and legs for maximum results. To prevent tears and rips, the heel and toe are reinforced, but the entire sock is made with a thicker, higher-quality fabric than some other Mojo models. The fabric is soft and gentle on your skin.
Medical grade compression is important if you have vein diseases or blood clots in your legs. If you have a medical condition requiring compression socks, these are built for you.
The Mojo Recovery and Performance is latex-free, so it’s perfect for anyone with a latex allergy. Even with a latex allergy, you can experience the health benefits of socks. The Mojo Recovery and Performance sock is in the middle price range. The latex-free fabric and medical grade compression make this sock reliable and safe, which is a great value.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When we talk about compression levels we are talking about different areas of the compression sock or sleeve. Assessing your situation individually will help you get a better understanding of what type of compression you need. A sock that goes to the knee is going to give the best circulation and support if you have swelling in your legs, feet, and ankles. If arch support and ankle swelling is your problem a shorter sleeve may be your perfect match.
The level of compression effects swelling reduction ability, circulation, pain relief from problems like plantar fasciitis and deep vein thrombosis, and overall energy and support of your legs and feet. Injuries, travel, and everyday activities can cause swelling and pain in your legs and feet. Compression socks keep the blood flowing and will lessen fatigue.
Keep in mind socks should be tight but they should not be painful. If you are wearing socks that are too tight it can lead to a variety of problems. Make sure to always check size charts and take measurements. When you pick your perfect pair, try them on in the morning when your legs are not swollen. It may surprise you how much your legs change throughout a day and trying them on after a long day at work may make it seem as if they don’t fit. Put them on in the morning, let them help with the circulation and swelling and you will see why so many trust compression socks for everyday wear.
So, what are the ratings and what exactly do they mean? What level of compression is right for you? Let’s take a look at the different ratings and how they will support you. There are four levels of compression that are primarily used. They are rated by how much pressure they put on your body. It is important to note, mmHg stands for millimeters of mercury and it measures the level of compression offered.
14 mmHg and Under – This is the lowest level of compression. You would wear this is your pregnant and your legs are feeling fatigued. Overall healthy people would also choose a low level of compression like this.
15 – 20 mmHg – A moderate level of compression, 15 – 20 mmHg offers relief to minor leg swelling. It has also shown to be helpful with deep vein thrombosis on long flights or other activities that involve sitting for long periods of time.
21 – 30 mmHg and 30 mmHg and Up – These are considered medical grade and are used for a variety of problems with swelling, pain, joint placement, and recovery. They help with varicose veins, blood clotting, and edema. Compression socks at this level usually offer graduated compression that is tighter in the foot and looser at the top. This promotes circulation and keeps you feeling great through life’s big adventures.
The most important thing about compression socks is understanding what level of compression is needed. When getting into the medical grade of compression, you may want to discuss your exact needs with a healthcare provider. These socks can make your feet, legs, muscles, and joints feel better than they have for years. They can also help you stay on the go and feel great after arduous flights overseas.
Socks come in many styles, each with unique functionality designed for wear dependent on the level of protection required. Depending on why you need compression socks, you'll want to choose a compression type that will work best for you. If you already wear leggings to work out, wearing compression leggings might be your best option. However, most runners are looking for a sock with graduated compression.
Graduated Compression is to help provide runners pressure on their legs which helps to increase blood flow and oxygen for better performance and will also aid with support and shock absorption. The graduated sock will loosen as it goes up the leg to help with blood flow.
Graduated compression socks are also a good choice for those who want to wear these to work (such as foodservice industry and nursing staff), or those looking for a good pair of travel hosiery.
If, however, you need socks because of a medical issue, you may need to go with more specific products. This type of product comes not only in over-the-calf lengths, but can even be bought as simple socks, thigh-highs and even stockings. If you're not entirely sure which type you need, the best course of action is to ask your doctor for recommendations, but also to go with what feels most effective.
The material from which the sock is made can determine its elasticity and breathability. Different materials are suitable for socks of different purpose – for instance, merino wool is often used in thick winter ones, and cotton makes up most of our everyday ones. When it comes to compression socks, synthetic and cotton can both be found.
Synthetic: Synthetic materials are fibers that are entirely man-made. Some types include spandex, nylon, polyester, and acrylic. Often, socks will be made from a combination of many different types for maximum benefit. The pros of this material are that it is super thin and lightweight, even after getting wet. As a result, they won’t add additional bulk or weight to the feet. They are also breathable and moisture-wicking, allowing the feet to stay fresh and dry by wicking away perspiration to the surface of the fabric, where it can evaporate. Not only does this prevent smell, but it also reduces the growth of bacteria that cause these smells and prevents blisters from forming on the foot. The con is that they do not provide warmth. When wet, their insulation is reduced, and they cannot provide adequate protection against the cold. However, this would not often be a problem – you’re wearing them on the court, after all, not out hiking in the middle of the winter!
Cotton: Cotton can sometimes be found alongside synthetic materials. 100% cotton materials are not good for physical activity because they don’t offer the necessary features to ensure comfort, but when it is used with synthetics, its benefits can shine through. Cotton is a natural fiber – and is one of the most widely produced of their kind, too. It comes from cotton plants and is used in a variety of different products like clothing, curtains, and bedsheets. Most everyday socks are made of the material. The benefit of this material is that it has a soft feel and is elastic. They feel comfortable on the feet and provide adequate warmth for everyday life during spring and autumn. It is also fairly inexpensive. When combined with other fibers, the socks are made stretchy and comfortable. The downside, however, is that it absorbs moisture rather than wicks it away. When doing sports and perspiring, materials with a high cotton content will hold in the moisture and dry very slowly. The result? The perfect conditions for blisters to form, not to mention the discomfort of having sweaty feet throughout the game. In short, we recommend you look for a pair with mostly synthetics and not as much cotton. This way, you can benefit from both types of fibers and get the best of both worlds without much of the downsides.
The support that socks provide should be firm throughout your wear of the socks. This will help maintain even pressure. Long lasting firm support means the material is constructed well and offers the correct control and performance needed in a compression sock.
The correct materials for socks will provide firm support to help prevent common foot and leg problems like plantar fasciitis and help you have proper arch support.
We made sure the items on our list were made from decent materials so that they will last you a long time and provide the correct support you need to help prevent and correct injuries.
The most commonly used material in this type of sock are Lycra and spandex which provide it with the necessary flexibility. These are durable materials which shouldn't retain moisture, so you can usually rely on them to wick sweat away from your feet, preventing bad odors.
Other materials may include cotton, nylon and microfiber, and you can choose from a variety of blends to find the pair that suits your needs the most. If you want something that feels soft to the touch, go with cotton, if you want more stretch, or are concerned about durability, nylon should be your go-to choice. If, however, you're concerned about breathability, you may benefit from a microfiber blend that will allow air to freely circulate, while still giving you all the benefits of natural fibers.
Like any sock, we tend to go through a decent amount depending on how often and how strenuous our workouts or life are. Compression socks are no different. When looking into socks we wanted to make sure that we recommended socks that were going to last you a long time.
Overall, you can expect this type of product to be more expensive than any other regular pair of hosiery, and the price will only go up depending on suitability for medical/athletic use. Other factors that may influence price include brand, reliability, product quality and additional features.
Those who are buying this type of sock for the first time should definitely go with more affordable pairs that don't have too big of a compression level, as wearing this type of sock will definitely need getting used to. However, if you need to wear this type of product because of a medical condition (especially if you need to wear it on a daily basis), investing in a more expensive, higher quality product may be the better option.
A good thing to consider, especially for athletes, is purchasing these in value packs of three or five, where you get a larger number of items at a slightly lower price per item. Not only can this help you save on overall cost, but can also mean lower shipping costs, as well as the possibility to alternate between several pairs, ultimately prolonging their lifespan.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Compression socks aren't just for those with circulation issues or medical conditions, but they also help professional athletes when racing and for post-race recovery.
Longer distance sports, like Ironman races, or even cyclists that average over 80+ miles a day during the road cycle tours, can benefit from the support compression socks provide, as well as the recovery benefits.
Compression socks help reduce swelling in the legs due to medical conditions or physical stress.
Many times, swelling of the legs can reduce blood flow or cause pain, simply from being inflamed.
Anti-inflammatories can help alleviate swelling, along with rest, ice, and elevating the feet and legs. Check with your doctor if you're on other medications, to make sure anti-inflammatories won't interfere with your medication.
Other Factors to Consider
Choosing the right pair of compression socks can be a difficult task, especially if you've never worn them before. Whether it's for your daily run, travel, for work, or all-day use, you will want to invest your hard-earned money in a quality product you won't have to worry about.
The above list features 10 of the highest-rated items of this type currently available for purchase. With a variety of features, amounts of compression, heights and even designs, you'll surely find something that will work best for you. Nonetheless, before committing to a purchase, it's not a bad idea to read the Criteria for Evaluation section above to find out more about what really makes a good sock with compression capabilities.
Here's a quick summary of what you should be looking for:
Frequently Asked Questions
q: I’ve noticed swelling in my ankles lately, should I be wearing compression socks?
If you sit for long periods of time, have varicose veins, history of blood clots or deep vein thrombosis, athletes, and people that are looking for a little extra support may find comfort with a great pair of socks. Increased circulation and support built with foot health in mind is something most people can benefit from. If you have noticed swelling in your ankles, take time to consider why this is happening. Pinpointing the reason can help make an educated decision. Finding yourself sitting more or standing more to be the reason, a compression sleeve or sock may be the perfect answer to minor swelling in your ankles
q: How exactly do compression socks work?
Circulation problems happen for a variety of reason including sitting or standing too much, causing blood to pool in the legs rather than head back to the heart. This pooling can lead to swelling, pain, and fatigue.
These socks squeeze the legs and vein walls, opening them up to help blood flow more easily to the heart. Graduated compression squeezes the ankle and arch more firmly. As you move up a graduated compression sock the compression lessens promoting excellent blood flow.
It is important to note, the fit of your socks is crucial to find out the benefits of wearing them. If you buy socks that are too loose they won’t give the right amount of pressure to help you and you might as well be wearing tube socks. On the other hand, wearing compression socks that are too tight can be dangerous. There isn’t much give to a sock and if it’s too tight you may cut off circulation to your feet and lower leg. You may also cause damage to your skin from it cutting into you. Make sure the fit feels good and you will have great feeling legs and ankles in no time.
q: How do I measure myself for these socks?
This is an excellent question and must be done correctly in order to make sure you receive compression socks that fit appropriately. As stated before, compression socks that are too tight or too loose will be a big problem. Correct measurements will ensure you feel great every day and don’t waste time and money with returns and re-orders.
First, and it is important that you always do this first. Start with the measurement or circumference of your ankle. You want to measure just above the ankle bone, at the smallest part of your ankle. Make sure the measuring tape is straight when wrapped around the ankle and write down the measurement.
Next, you will want to measure your calf. Find the widest part of your calf and wrap the cloth measuring tape around. Here again, you want to make sure the measuring tape is flat and level around the calf. Take note of the measurement and write it down also.
Finally, you will want to measure the length of your calf. To do this you will want to be sitting down with your foot flat on the floor. You will measure from where the bend in your knee is all the way to the floor. Make note of this measurement and write it down.
Now that you have all the measurements you can check out socks and know you are ordering the correct size. Sizing really matters and accurate measurements can make a huge difference. If you are having a hard time, reach out and ask a friend or loved one to help with the measurements to make sure they are correct.
q: Can I sleep in my compression socks?
The answer to this question is not easy. Honestly, the answer really depends on the person. While your feet and legs need time to breathe outside of socks if you aren’t wearing them all day then wearing them through the night may be fine for you. More often than not you would not sleep in your compression socks.
Typically you want to wear socks during times that you are sitting for a long time or standing for an extended period of time. Post-surgery or injury may have different instruction from your doctor in which case you will want to follow what they have told you to do.
q: Will these socks help with my neuropathy?
Unfortunately, you will not find relief from the pain of neuropathy in compression socks. Neuropathy causes damage to the veins, different types affect different nerves. These socks help blood flow back to the heart if you have neuropathy they can interfere with blood flowing back down into the legs and make symptoms worse. Instead of socks, you will want to look for something with more padding. Diabetic socks are wonderful for people suffering from a variety of neuropathy problems.