Compression socks are tighter than average socks. They help reduce swelling and symptoms of vein disease in their wearers. This is because of the compression of your feet and legs, and thus the veins in your feet and legs, blood can more easily fight gravity and flow back up to your heart instead of pooling in your extremities, causing swelling or in extreme cases, blood clots.
Pregnant women, people who work on their feet all day, avid runners, and anyone suffering an injury or afflictions like varicose veins rely on compression socks for comfort and safety. Additionally, people traveling by air for a long period of time find them to be useful in preventing blood clots and deep vein thrombosis.
I am an avid runner, and I have learned through trial and error that compression socks worn during or immediately after a race significantly reduce soreness and swelling.
There are a variety of compression sock styles on the market:
- Full stockings for complete coverage
- Over-the-knee socks for lower leg compression
- Under-the-knee socks for calf and foot compression
- Calf Sleeves for calf only compression
- Ankle socks for foot pain/plantar fasciitis
- Ankle socks with open toes for foot pain/plantar fasciitis
Below are the best compression sock selections in each of those 6 style options. So try them out today, you will be amazed at how a simple item of clothing can so drastically increase your comfort.
Best Full Stocking Compression Socks
- Best Full Stocking Compression Socks
- Over-the-Knee Compression Socks
- Under-the-Knee Compression Socks
- Calf-Sleeve Compression Socks
- Ankle Sock Compression Socks
- Ankle Socks with Open-Toes
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LTHA Thigh High Compression Socks
These socks are open-toed, and reach from the middle of your foot all the way up to your upper thigh, compressing the entire leg. They are made of 77% nylon and 23% spandex. No latex to be seen here, which keeps these socks soft and breathable.
They have a reinforced toe and heel, and the silicone border along the top keeps them in place without feeling uncomfortable or constricting. Available in black and nude, they may be worn as regular tights or as leggings under jogging shorts. These socks are a great option for anyone looking to avoid swelling or blood clots all the way up the leg.
Over-the-Knee Compression Socks
ULYSSE ATHLETICA Compression Socks to Boost Swift Circulation & Stamina
If you are looking to improve blood flow in your lower leg, but aren’t a huge fan of having compression creep all the way up your thigh, these socks will do the trick. They are made of breathable, water-wicking material, so if you plan to wear these while working out you won’t need to worry about trapped sweat or odors.
There is built-in heel padding to keep you comfortable. They come in 6 different color and pattern options, in case you are looking for something whimsical.
Under-the-Knee Compression Socks
Physix Gear Compression Sock for Men & Women
Under-the-knee compressions tend to be the most popular among athletes and medical professionals who are on their feet all day. The reason is that they help prevent swelling that causes discomfort, without being as restrictive as the whole leg or over-the-knee socks which are crucial for vein disorders and for preventing blood clots.
These socks will keep the blood flowing in your lower legs and your feet. They come in 9 different color options, with the shin portion featuring one neutral color, and the toe and heel featuring a bright accent color.
Calf-Sleeve Compression Socks
Blitzu Calf Compression Sleeve Socks or Performance Support
Calf sleeves offer all of the benefits of your under-the-knee socks, without the added compression on your feet. If you are just looking to keep the blood moving in your lower legs, and maybe to prevent shin splints while running, then calf sleeves are a great option. These socks are actually specifically designed to prevent shin splints, while still giving you full foot mobility.
Blitzu has actually been the #1 physician recommended brand for years, so you can feel confident that you are buying a superior product. I recently wore my calf sleeves during a half marathon and was barely sore the following day.
Ankle Sock Compression Socks
ZaTech Plantar Fasciitis Compression Ankle & Arch Support Socks
Fortunately, regular use of compression ankle socks can help curb some of that stabbing pain. These ZaTech socks actually have targeted compression to help those with plantar fasciitis for both the left and right food (which means they are not interchangeable). They also feature breathable mesh zones, which means your feet won’t sweat. They come in 7 fun color options, which means you can take care of yourself while still staying stylish.
Ankle Socks with Open-Toes
SB SOX Compression Sleeves
It also helps provide better oxygen circulation to avoid painful lactic acid buildup in your feet. They can be worn alongside regular socks, or on their own, and come in 9 color options.
Hopefully, this list will help you find the right compression socks for you. Make sure to do some research to determine the best times for you to use them. Compression use can depend heavily on your activity levels, any injuries or afflictions you may suffer, and what you are trying to achieve with this item of clothing. The appropriate use of compression socks can keep you safe, healthy, and pain-free!