Compression socks are designed to improve blood circulation, which is why they’re a staple for runners and fitness fanatics. By squeezing the walls of the veins in your legs, compression socks help the blood make its way up to your heart, which improves oxygen and helps speed up the recovery process. Compression socks also help improve the flow of lymph fluids, which prevents swelling and achiness. The benefits of increased blood flow and lymph fluids make for better workouts and faster recovery, but compression socks aren’t only for athletes.
These snug socks are great for anyone who has limited mobility, whether that’s at your office job or during long stretches of travel. Sitting for long periods of time means the blood in your legs has to work harder against gravity to make its way back to your heart. Compression socks help move the blood along faster, so you don’t end up with swollen feet at the end of a long work or travel day.
Compression socks come in varying strengths depending on the kind of activity you’ll be doing. All compression socks are measured in mmHg, or millimeters of mercury. The higher the number, the more compression you’ll feel against your veins. Below, we’ve listed our top picks for compression socks that will enhance your workouts and keep the blood flow in your legs moving both during and after activity.
Bombas Men’s Compression Socks
These compression socks are super soft and comfortable to wear all day long. They’re a mild compression strength (15–20 mmHg) and somehow priced very affordable without sacrificing quality.
CEP Progressive+ Compression Run Socks 2.0
CEP has been making compression socks before they became cool, which means they’ve had plenty of years to perfect the art of socks. They’re extremely durable and hold up well even after years of continual use.
Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks
Made in Italy, these compression socks are a favorite of elite athletes for their high performance and anatomical fit, which prevents chafing and blisters. They’re designed with gradual compression, meaning that the greatest amount of compression is in the ankle and decreases as you move up the calf.
Vim & Vigr Merino Wool Compression Socks
These merino wool socks are made with a 200-needle count for flexibility and comfort. At a 15-20 mmHg compression level, the support is moderate, which makes it great for everyday wear. The wool allows your feet to breathe and doesn’t itch in the slightest. It dries more quickly than cotton and compresses easily without feeling too tight.
New Balance Reflective Compression Run Socks
These compression socks feature a reflective design, which makes it ideal for wearing during low light runs. The mesh panels in the sock allow your feet to breathe during long-distance workouts, and New Balance’s dry wicking fabric repels sweat. These are a great pick for the late night or early morning runner, as they offer superior performance and visibility.
Sockwell Men’s Elevation Firm Graduated Compression Socks
These are a great pick for everyday wear. They feature firm compression with 20-30mmHG of support to maintain pressure without squeezing the life out of your feet. With an ultra-light cushion sole, they’re comfortable while remaining strong and durable.
SB Sox Lite Compression Socks
These fun socks prove that compression socks don’t have to be boring. They come in a variety of colors and designs that do what you expect compression socks to do without looking too medical. At $9.95, they’re also one of the more affordable options on this list, along with the most fashionable.
Bauerfeind Sports Compression Socks
Bauerfeind’s compression socks offer a gentle compression designed to reduce muscle vibrations in the calf and an ankle taping zone for improved body awareness. Made in Germany, these socks are a great companion in match sports and racket sports like basketball, baseball, tennis, and soccer.
Balega Silver Antimicrobial No-Show Compression-Fit Running Socks
Balega makes some of the best running socks on the market, and these no-show compression-fit socks are no exception. They feature a contoured fit, excellent heel support, and a seamless toe box to minimize friction and prevent blisters. They do a great job at keeping feet clean and dry while also providing a strong compression to support your feet without constricting movement.
Swiftwick Aspire Twelve
These thin, lightweight compression socks are the minimalist’s version of a supportive compression sock. Despite their thin appearance, they’re surprisingly durable and provide even support throughout the entire calf to minimize swelling and increase performance. They don’t feel restrictive and offer a seamless fit at a great value.
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