If you suffer from lower leg issues such as plantar fasciitis strains, stress fractures, spider veins, varicose veins, you know firsthand the frustration of dealing with swelling, burning, itching, leg cramps, and fatigue. In this case, if you want to speed up the recovery process, you need to get yourself a pair or two of compression socks. If you’re lucky enough not to suffer from any of these conditions, you may still benefit from compression socks because they can help reduce lactic acid and muscle fatigue, prevent cramps and increase oxygen delivery. Considering that these aren’t your traditional pair of socks, buying the best pair may seem like a complex task. But we’ve done the homework, and rounded off the 5 best pairs available, and ones that your feet will simply love you for!
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Our Top Choice
Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks
Although only founded in 2015, Physix Gear Sport has already earned over 70,000+ customers worldwide, owing mostly to its superior quality of products and unmatched customer service.
Remarkable design. Crafted from 80% nylon and 20% spandex. Available in several different sizes for both men and women. Durable with dual stitching anti-bacterial fabric.
May be tight or some users, so ensure you refer to manufacture size chart.
High / Unisex
Assorted colors available
80% nylon and 20% spandex
Vitalsox Graduated Compression Socks
Vitalsox has been one of the market leaders in technology and graduated compression socks since 1998, and its high quality is what makes it distinct from the competition.
Made entirely from SILVER DRYSTAT combined with quick drying polypropylene and silver to repeal bacteria and fungus. Patented compression technology for 40% faster recovery time.
Customer service maybe hard to get a hold off.
High / Unisex
Drystat/ silver/ polypropylene
CompressionZ Sleeves Compression Sock
CompressionZ is a premium name in the compression gear space and boasts a massive portfolio of products that includes clothing for both men and women.
9 different colors. Relieves pain and discomfort stemming from stress fractures, edema, and plantar fasciitis. Light yet highly effective compression. Anti-odor and anti-static.
May not compress well for slender users
Low / Unisex
Sockwell Women’s Compression Socks
Sockwell is an all-American company that is built with the single purpose of manufacturing the world’s best socks with no compromises.
Offers moderate, graduated compression between 15 and 20 mmHg. Can be ordered in a choice of 18 exciting colors. Made from Nylon, merino wool, bamboo rayon, and spandex.
May not work great for swelling from pregnancy.
High / Women's
Nylon, bamboo rayon, spandex
Nurse Mates Women's Compression Sock
Nurse Mates is an esteemed name when it comes to all things nurses be it scrubs, quality footwear, or accessories.
Between 12 and 14 mmHg of graduated compression. Great to wear across longer periods. crafted from 87% nylon and 13% spandex. Wide assortment of prints available.
Although these socks showcase a great design and compression rate, they are not available for men.
When shopping for the best pair of compression socks, you’ll soon find out that there’s an array of sizes, styles, materials, colors, and compression levels to choose from. Basically, the best pair depends on what you’re trying to achieve, so if it’s a medical issue you’re trying to resolve, you would first speak to your doctor who will suggest the right compression level, and if it’s just to combat regular fatigue from exercise—you just need to know the size you need, compression level that suits you, and the material you’re comfortable getting your legs into. And with our compression socks buying guide, you should well-equipped with the information you need to pick the best pair from our top 5 options, so without further ado, let’s get right to them.
Our Top Choice
The Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks for Men & Women are a great choice for running, nursing, and even when traveling. However, if you’re looking specifically for superior arch support and socks to heal swellings and heel spurs, the Physix Gear Sport Plantar Fasciitis Socks are worth a second look. They are available in six different color variants, and are crafted from Plantar Fasciitis Socks for a highly comfortable fit.
Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks for Men & Women - Available in 6 Sizes & Colors
Founded in 2015, Physic Gear Sport is an all-American and family-owned manufacturer of high quality compression gear. The company’s sole mission is to provide unmatched customer service, so if its returns you’re after or even the occasional free gifts, you will not be disappointed, just like its over 700,000 loyal customers.
The Physix Gear Sport compression socks set the gold standard when it comes to design and durability. The socks can be ordered in a wide assortment of colors and sizes for both men and women, and are crafted from 80% nylon and 20% spandex for superior durability. This pair of socks is easy to wash, and it also retains its compression and vascular toning benefits. Even though they are compression socks, they are easy to put on, and are even double stitched with antibacterial fabric.
Vitalsox Italy-Patented Graduated Compression Socks - Available in 20 Colors & 5 Sizes
The Italians are renowned for their impeccable style and craftsmanship, and Vitalsox reflects these same traits in their expansive lineup of compression gear. The company’s mill tucked away in the Po Valley at the foot of the Alps is where the magic happens, with the help of the some of the world’s most skilled textile makers who produce nothing short of superior quality compression socks.
The Vitalsox knee high compression socks are crafted of long lasting Drystat material coupled with silver to prevent bacteria and fungus while repelling odor and polypropylene for quick drying. They can be ordered in a choice of 20 different colors, and regardless of which one you choose—you get patented compression that maximizes blood circulation, and 40 percent faster recovery time.
Furthermore, and unlike other compression socks in this segment that offer two-way stretch, these compression socks can be stretched four-ways or optimal compression throughout the entire sock. They are washed in chemical-free fabric softener, so are ready to go right out of the box. These socks are suitable for various activities including walking, running standing and sitting.
CompressionZ Foot Sleeves Compression Sock for Men & Women are ankle height and are a great choice if you're looking for relief from several ailments including stress fractures and edema. However, if you are looking for knee high compression, the CompressionZ Compression Socks are an ideal choice. They offer between 20 to 30 mmhg of graduated compression, and they accelerate muscle recovery. Moreover, they are anti-odor and anti-static and are available in a choice of 11 fun colors both for men and women.
CompressionZ Unisex Foot Sleeves Compression Sock for Heel Arch Support and Hiking
If there is one thing compression CompressionZ is acclaimed for, it is its stellar quality regardless of the product you choose. Backed by a wealth of experience, the company aims to listen to customer feedback and then implement it in most of their designs, which is perhaps the biggest reason for their expansive portfolio of products.
The CompressionZ foot sleeves are designed to relieve pain and discomfort that may arise from edema, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendon and simultaneously improves blood circulation. Made from anti-itch, anti-bacterial, and anti-odor material, these compression foot sleeves offer a snug fit and retain their shape even after several washes. They are an ideal choice for athletes, office workers, and even traveling, and are insulated to keep your foot and ankle warm while providing unmatched heel and arch support.
The Sockwell Women’s Moderate Compression Socks offer a moderate level of compression, but are designed for women only. However, if you want all the same great features but in men’s sizes, the Sockwell Men’s Circulator compression socks are a great option. They are available in a choice of seven different colors and two different sizes.
When it comes to compression gear, Sockwell does several things right, most notably designing and manufacturing a wide range of superior quality socks without any compromises, and all in the USA. The company employs state-of-the-art technology and uses soft wool produced by American farmers, and even stands by their products with a quick replacement guarantee should you notice any manufacturer defects.
The Sockwell Women’s Circulator socks are made from a mix of 2% stretch nylon, 32% merino wool, 31% bamboo rayon and 5% spandex, and offer graduated, moderate compression between 15-20 mmHg, making them an ideal choice for daily wear. They feature Accu-fit technology to retain the same fit from the moment to put them on and take them off, and are appointed with an ultra-light cushion sole for a highly comfortable fit. Further, these compression socks are designed to provide unmatched arch support and with an unnoticeable toe enclosure, which also helps maintain a great fit all day long.
The Nurse Mates Women's 12-14mmHg Compression Trouser Sock offer a great level of compression and feature and black and pink ribbon design. If you would like a lighter pair of compression socks, you can’t go wrong with the Nurse Mates EKG Compression Socks. They offer graduated compression between 12 and 14 mmHg, and are outfitted with a comfortable heel and toe pocket and complete with a welt top band.
Nurse Mates Women's 12-14mmHg Compression Trouser Sock - Available in a Vast Range of Colors
Just as the company’s name would suggest, Nurse Mates is an esteemed name when it comes to nurse gear such as scrubs, footwear, and accessories. Today, it has a wide collection of products that are geared towards your workday and for everyday healthy lifestyles.
This pair of Nurse Mates socks offer between 12 and 14 mmHg of graduated compression, and feature a comfortable heel and toe pocket, making them a joy to wear even across longer periods. These knee length compression socks are made form a soft blend of 87% nylon and 13% spandex, and feature a non-binding welt top to provide you with great arch support. They can be ordered in several different sizes and styles, so you can be rest assured that the perfect fit is out there.
Compression socks can aid during work, exercise, recovery, or travel somewhat similar to elevating leg pillows, comfortable fracture boots, and high quality men's leggings! This type of socks isn’t your run-of-the-mill spandex gear or a pair you put on to earn style points, but they are specialized socks that provide relief when you have a leg medical condition, and even when you want to prevent one. They are available in an assortment of enticing colors, designs, materials, so buying the best pair should be easy that’s if you know what to look for, and that’s what we’re about to reveal in our compression socks buying guide.
Compression socks are available across a wide spectrum of prices, but it’s always a good idea to opt for the best quality rather than settle for a pair that will do you no good. Cheap compression socks are also easily available, but what you will get for the most part is knock off varieties that wear out too quickly or exaggerate their compression level. A high-quality pair of compression socks will make you want to want to wear them often owing to their superior comfort, so ultimately you get what you pay for.
Typically, socks that offer lighter compression are often less expensive than those with higher compression, mostly due to the increased amount of thread used combined with the manufacturing process required to boost the compression. And sometimes choosing the expensive option may just be what the doctor recommended. For example, if you suffer from edema (swelling) in the legs, you will need 20-30 mm/Hg of compression to experience the best performance from compression socks, so skimping on the cost for a pair with less compression might simply put your health at risk.
Whatever your reason to buy compression socks, you need to buy a pair that offers the right features to suit your needs. Although it has quite recently garnered a surge of appeal, compression gear has been around for years, but has come a long way since then with high-performing materials and designs to appeal to young and old and everyone in between.
That said, here are a few important features to consider when shopping for the best compression socks.
Level of compression –5 compression levels to choose from— light (8-15 mmHg), moderate (15-20 mmHg), firm (20-30 mmHg), extra firm (30-40 mmHg), and heavy (40-60 mmHg)
Material –common materials used for spandex, nylon, Drystat, silver, and polypropylene
Size –good news is that compression sock manufacturers offer their own sizing chart, which you should follow to a T
Style & color –this is an easy one – just buy one that appeals to you, and trust us you will be spoilt for choice
Warranty –some compression socks are backed by some level of warranty against manufacture defects and not regular wear and tear
Construction and Design
Compression socks are so similar to regular socks that you might not be able to tell them apart from a distance. But just like traditional socks, they can be crafted of several different types of material. The material (s) you choose depends on personal comfort, but common ones are spandex, nylon, Drystat and polypropylene. Some manufacturers even add a tinge of silver to repeal bacteria and fungus and polypropylene for its quick drying properties, which is nice to have you’re buying compression socks for the track. Some higher end manufacturers take it up a few notches by adding merino wool, which is soft, durable, and fast drying. If you need them for medical purposes, then speak to your doctor on which one is best for your issue.
Performance and Ease of Use
Compression socks are easy to use—you simply put them on and voila! No buttons to press and no modes to dial into! But performance depends on the right level of compression, which is why you need to pay attention. Compression is measured in mmHg (millimeters of mercury), and if it’s more than 20 mmHg, then its best to consult your doctor for the best advice. Basically, the higher the compression level, the tighter the compression, so let’s briefly break it down for you. Light or mild (8-15 mmHg) compression socks are a great choice for relieving minor aches and pains, and can help you maintain energetic and healthy legs. They also great for those who stand/sit for long periods of time so whether you’re a nurse or a pilot, this level of compression is should be a good fit.
Moving up a step is moderate compression (15-20 mmHg), which provides great relief from moderate spider and varicose veins, and swelling in the ankles, feet, and legs. Furthermore, they are also useful during pregnancy, and for individuals who do long traveling and marathon runners. You should only buy firm (20-30 mmHg) and extra firm (30-40 mmHg) and heavy (40-60 mmHg) compression socks when recommended by a doctor because they are used to treat more serious conditions such as varicose veins, serious edema, manage ulcers, and also prevent or relieve chronic venous insufficiencies. You may come across the term “graduated compression” often, which simply means those particular socks provide the greatest deal of compression at the ankle, making them a great choice to promote circulation in your legs such as when you have blood clots.
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