The 8 Best Compression Socks of 2022

Physix Gear Sport Socks compress your feet and keep them blister-free

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Best Compression Socks

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

Whether you're experiencing poor blood circulation or playing sports, compression socks help circulate blood flow from the feet to the heart while reducing the swelling that may be a result of standing or sitting for too long. Using compression socks can keep people "focused on that part of their body, which is always a good practice,” says Rachel Troesch, NASP-CPT, NASM-certified personal trainer and pilates instructor at Lifetime.

Reviewed & Approved

Physix Gear Socks offer compression, keep feet blister-free, and don't pinch the skin. The SB SOX Compression Socks provides heel enforcement and is an affordable option.

We researched dozens of compression socks and evaluated them for fabric, price, extra features, comfortability, and breathability. Each of the compression socks chosen in this article was determined to be the best of these factors.

Below, you'll find the best compression socks on the market.

Best Overall: Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks

4.9
Physix Gear Sport Physix Gear Compression Socks

Courtesy of Physix Gear

Pros
  • Keeps feet blister-free

  • Cuffs don't pinch skin

  • Comfortable toe area

Cons
  • No extra compression around arch

Physix Gear Compression Socks are our best overall pick because of their overall quality, performance, value, comfort, and durability. Made with a comfortable, highly-breathable, and durable fabric, these socks can be worn all day to help reduce fatigue and swelling in your lower legs. The fabric is also moisture-wicking, which helps keep your feet dry and blister-free.

With just the right amount of support and compression in the heel, foot, calves, and toe areas, they can provide relief for shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and other lower leg ailments. Their stay-put cuffs keep these socks from falling down, without pinching or feeling too stiff.

The Physix Gear socks can be used during exercise or for post-workout recovery. They're designed to hold their level of compression even if you put them in the washing machine, and they're available in two sizes and several colors.

Compression: 20-30 mmHg | Material: Nylon, spandex | Length: Knee-high | Best for: Running

Best Budget: SB SOX Compression Socks

SB SOX Compression Socks

Courtesy of Travel & Leisure

Pros
  • Durable fabric

  • Affordable

  • Reinforced heel

Cons
  • Tight toe area

Whether you need compression socks for exercise, work, or pain relief, the SB SOX Compression Socks provide you with ideal compression and support, all at a lower price than similar socks. These lightweight and durable socks feature a cushioned heel and toe support for additional comfort.

The anti-odor, anti-static, moisture-wicking, and breathable fabric stops the growth of bacteria and fungus, keeping your feet dry and healthy. They’re available in four different sizes so you can get the right fit and amount of support for your personal needs.

Compression: 20-30mmHg | Material: Not listed | Length: Knee-high | Best for: Running, cycling, for work

Best for Running: Vitalsox Compression Socks

Vitalsox Compression Socks

Courtesy of Tripsavvy

Pros
  • Four-way stretch material

  • Quick-drying polypropylene

Cons
  • Not true to size

Vitalsox Compression Socks are a popular choice among runners, but they're also a good option if you're active, pregnant, or dealing with foot or calf pain. They’re lightly padded at the ball and top of the foot, but not too bulky, so you can easily wear them with any athletic or work shoes. The padding provides additional comfort and helps to avoid abrasion and foot stress from impact exercises like running.

The socks’ unique Drystat material controls moisture while also reducing bacteria growth, to reduce your risk of blisters and smelly socks. The compression starts around the midfoot, providing arch support while keeping common injuries, such as plantar fasciitis and shin splints, at bay.

Available in several sizes and multiple colors, there are a variety of options to choose from.

Compression: 12-20 mmHg | Material: Silver DryStat, spandex, lycra, nylon | Length: Knee-high | Best for: Running

Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Bitly Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks

Bitly Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Open-toe design

  • Comfortable fit

  • True to size

Cons
  • No heel cushion

  • Specific compression not listed

If you suffer from or have been prone to plantar fasciitis, you should definitely consider the Bitly Plantar Fasciitis compression socks. By offering targeted compression and support to your arch and ankle, these socks can help ease your arch and heel pain and stimulate healing blood flow to speed your recovery.

The moisture-wicking, breathable fabric promotes temperature regulation, so your feet will stay cool and dry. These socks are available in several different sizes and colors, and a useful size chart can help you decide what socks will fit best.

Compression: Not listed | Material: Nylon | Length: Ankle | Best for: Exercise, lounging

Best for Shin Splints: Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks

Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks

Courtesy Zensah

Pros
  • Graduated compression

  • Anti-irritation seamless design

  • True to size

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Thin and stiff after washing

If you have shin splints, the Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks can relieve pain while improving performance when you wear them before, during, or after a workout. They feature graduated compression to help improve blood circulation and oxygen flow, reduce leg fatigue, and support muscles. Plus, the lightweight material is designed to feel comfortable against your skin.

Moisture-wicking and thermal-regulating, the socks feature a seamless technology that reduces blisters, rubbing, and irritation. They also feature an elastic band around the foot to help support your arches. Runners love the no-slip cuff, which holds the socks in place no matter how fast you’re running.

Compression: Not Listed | Material: Polyamide, elastane | Length: Knee-high | Best for: Running, cycling

Best Colors: CEP Women’s Progressive+ Compression Run Socks

CEP Women's Progressive+ Compression Run Socks

Courtesy of Road Runner Sports

Pros
  • True to size

  • Ribbed pattern for air flow

  • Molds to feet

Cons
  • Material lacks durability

  • Expensive

The CEP Women’s Progressive+ Compression Run Socks feature compressive yarns that wrap around the leg more than 400 times—providing precise compression that promotes recovery and performance. They're most compressive around your calf muscles to increase circulation, reduce muscle soreness, and prevent shin splints and other overuse injuries.

By molding to your feet without restricting your toes, these socks offer a snug, custom fit, while also preventing blisters. They feature a halo top band right below the knee, which keeps your socks in place, and a large selection of colors means you can find one to match your individual style.

Compression: 20-30mmHg | Material: Polyamide, elastane | Length: Knee-high | Best for: Running

Best Ankle Socks: Comrad Ankle Compression Socks

Compression Sock
Pros
  • More comfortable than knee-high

  • Graduated compression

Cons
  • Have to be air-dried

Ankle-high compression socks are usually easier to put on and more comfortable to wear than knee-length ones. The Comrad Ankle Compression Socks also provide many of the same benefits, including reduced swelling and foot pain, along with increased arch support, improving comfort and performance throughout the day.

The socks come in classic colors like Charcoal and Navy and a limited edition pastel palette of Berry and Pear, among other spring-like colors. They're available in sizes S-XL. 

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Compression: Not listed | Material: Nylon, Spandex | Length: Ankle-high | Best for: Exercise, recovery, pregnancy, everyday use

Most Stylish: Comrad Knee-High Compression Socks

Compression Socks
Pros
  • Stylish

  • Graduated compression

  • Lab-tested for quality

Cons
  • Have to be air-dried


Compression socks are often seen as too medical-looking and unattractive, bringing back memories of your grandmother’s compression stockings. They are most definitely looking different today, beginning with the Comrad Ombré Compression Sock. Not only stylish, but they also offer all the features you want in a quality compression sock: increased circulation, pain relief, and reduced swelling and inflammation.

They come in five ombré colors, from Berry to Pear to Sky Blue, and you can find them in sizes Small to Large and in two wide options. Not happy with your pair? Don't stress—you can always return or exchange the socks within 30 days of your purchase.

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Compression: 15-20 mmHg | Material: Nylon, Spandex | Length: Knee-high | Style: Exercise, recovery, pregnancy, everyday use

Final Verdict

The Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks (view at Amazon) are a solid choice if you’re looking for compression socks you can sport all day long. Wearable year-round thanks to their moisture-wicking properties, the knee-high pair addresses a variety of lower leg ailments, thanks to the compression in the heel, foot, calves, and toes. 

What to Look for in Compression Socks

Performance

The key to performance is finding a pair of compression socks that provides the right amount of support to help you achieve your goals. You may want a pair that helps reduce fatigue and prevents injury while you’re exercising, or you might want to use them for recovery, on long flights, or at times when you need extra support. 

“Compression socks help the veins in their effort to circulate blood back to the heart as well as provide a gentle squeeze, which both feels good and does good on a physiologic level,” Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM, FACFAS, a podiatrist at Paragon Podiatry in New York City, says. Know what you’re trying to achieve with compression socks before buying a specific pair.

Pressure Rating

The pressure rating refers to the amount of compression the sock provides to help circulate blood in your legs. How you intend to use your socks will correlate with the pressure rating you need. 

Isaacson recommends looking for one in the 7-15 or 15-21 millimeters of mercury ( mmHg) level, as it will provide adequate pressure for anyone looking for moderate help with circulation. However, compression levels can reach up to 40 millimeters of mercury—a pressure recommended for those recovering from surgery or those suffering from chronic illness.

Fit

“A sock should feel tight but not to the extent that it feels uncomfortable,” Isaacson says. Most socks include a size chart, but further guidance from a doctor may be necessary for those dealing with recovery or illness. 

Isaacson notes that, contrary to popular wisdom, it’s nearly impossible to cut off circulation to the feet via compression stocking, since it would require a level of compression that exceeds one’s blood pressure. You may experience slight discomfort from the pressure, but the chances of further injuring yourself when wearing them are minimal.

Comfort

Find a pair of compression socks that are supportive with adequate pressure. Some feature padding in the feet, which may be important if you’re a runner. Additionally, consider the material—socks made from moisture-wicking fabric, for example, can prevent chafing and blisters. “Almost all commercially available socks today are made of synthetic materials that wick the moisture away from the skin as well as provide a comfortable level of stretch," Isaacson says.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do compression socks work?

    Compression socks work by gently squeezing and massaging your feet and legs, which helps redirect your blood flow back to your heart. With light pressure on the legs, compression socks work to reduce and prevent swelling, pain, and the formation of blood clots.

  • Is it ok to wear compression socks every day?

    For most people, it's safe to wear compression socks every day, as long as you’re wearing the correct size and not allowing them to bunch or fold. "But make sure you don’t leave the same pair of compression socks on for days at a time," Melissa Prestipino, DPT, clinical director of Therapeutics Unlimited, says.

  • How long should you wear compression socks for?

    “Compression socks are safe to wear for an unlimited amount of hours, especially during periods of sitting and when blood flow isn’t actively circulating throughout the legs,” Dr. Prestipino says.

    However, don’t wear them in bed or when going to sleep. “They’re best to be removed before bedtime to avoid skin irritation,” Dr. Prestipino says. “In addition, when you’re at rest, your legs are already in a neutral position to allow improved blood flow.” Speak to your health care professional if you’re not sure when or for how long you should be wearing compression socks.

    You should also replace your compression socks after three to six months of regular wear since the elastic fibers eventually break down and start to lose their effectiveness.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a running coach, certified personal trainer, and fitness writer, Christine Luff has researched and recommended multiple compression socks. Whether you’re traveling or engaging in physical therapy, Luff recommends finding a pair that provides support, comfort, and optimal fit for your needs. The compression socks she recommends are reliable, thoroughly researched, and well-reviewed by those who have tried them.

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5 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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