What you should know about compression socks

Compression socks are essential things in the daily life of many people. There are more and more companies investing in the compression socks production and the choices of this item are increasingly ample. Among all the products of various materials, styles and looks, which should you choose for your use? The article will provide you with some necessary knowledge about the popular item.

What is compression socks?

Compression socks, or compression stocking, are a specialized hosiery designed to protect your legs and feet and work against some from minor to serious medical conditions such as venous disorders. Basically, compression socks are pieces of strong elastic garment rather than traditional one, worn around the leg, tight enough to compress the limb. The compression, simple as it may look, can contribute a great deal to reducing venous pressure, improving the blood flow, relieving soreness in your legs and enhancing valve effectiveness.

People wear compression socks in training, especially running for comfort, support and better performance. The item can also help you prevent a number of serious medical conditions. Wearing a pair of compression stocking will keep you away from having blood clots in the lower legs, strengthen your circulation system. 

Who should wear compression socks?

People who should wear compression socks include those having venous disorders, such as edema, phlebitis and thrombosis, getting hints of venous pressure issues, feeling aches or soreness in legs. Trainees, especially runners, should wear compression socks to protect their legs and improve their performance. In fact, a little feel of squeezing will bring about support and safety for runners.

Besides, there are some other specified groups who should stick to a pair of compression socks in daily life. Those include people who have just been out of a surgery, who cannot leave their bed or find it hard to move the legs, whose works require them to stand all day or spend long times on airplanes. Pregnant women are also recommended to wear a pair of compression stocking, for the sake of their circulation system.

10 Best Compression Socks - 2017

Compression socks are often knee-length socks, providing support and assistance where you need it the most. In the list below, we will give you 10 recommended compression socks for both men and women. The list is carefully studied by athletes and amateur runners who have much experience using the socks.

See top 10 compression socks

How to buy a suitable pair of compression socks?

If you are considering buying a pair of compression socks for training, especially running, there are some basic knowledge you should grab right away. There are four levels of compression a pair of socks can offer, clarified according to the pressure they can put on your limb. There are mild compression, moderate compression, firm compression and extra firm compression for you to choose and give a try.

However, we advise you to choose mild compression socks, or else moderate one for training only, since the other two types are often used in medical conditions treatment. A pair of mild compression socks can help relieve the ache and soreness in your legs, minimize fatigue in your limbs after a long time training, standing or sitting, get rid of minor swelling and maintain a pair of healthy, undamaged legs after long training sessions.

A pair of mild compression socks offers 8-15 mmHg, tight enough to grant you some benefits but not too tight so it may choke your veins.

You can buy a pair of socks in stores or the product pages of many sport accessories brands. Amazon is also a great choice, too.

How to determine the right size and height?

To ensure the pair of socks you choose is snug-fit, you have to measure your legs carefully, Measuring for a pair of compression socks include Ankle Measurement, calf measurement, and calf length measurement. Firstly, sit still, keep your leg standing straight and measure around your ankle. The place you should put the measuring tape is the narrowest part of the ankle, just above the ankle bone. The compression socks squeeze tightest at the part, so you have to make sure it is the right figure you get.

Next, find the widest part of your calf and measure around the point to get the largest figure of the socks. Finally, keep your legs at 90-degree angle and measure the distance from the bend of you knee to the floor to get your calf length.

Some brands of compression socks have their own sizing charts. Use the measurements you have got to check with the charts and have your accurate size. You can find those sizing charts on the product page of each brand. We strongly advise you against buying compression socks without brand names, since those products are often not snug-fit and made of the materials which are not different from those of casual socks.

Vitalsox Patented Graduated Compression VT1211

The garment used to make the incredible compression socks is 70% Silver Drystat, 10% Spandex, 10% Lycra and 10% Nylon. The large amount of Silver Drystat, which is actually Quick Drying Polypropylene infused with Silver, explains the socks' ability to control the level of moisture inside, reduce potential appearance of bacteria and fungi and keep your feet free of smell.

Vitalsox VT1211 compression stockings are lightly padded, giving you comfort and support while running. The padding contributes to the cushioning of the running shoes to grant you with luxurious feelings and protection. It is also not too thick, so you can slip into your shoes easily. Don't you ever worry about buying shoes which are bigger than your true size while wearing the compression socks.

The support which Vitalsox VT1211 compression socks give me whenever I put them on is incredible. The compression begins around the midfoot, rather than the ankle like other socks often do. I feel fully protected wearing the socks, giving a large amount of arch support, in my opinion. Many runners have claimed that the products keep them away from common running injuries, namely shin splints or plantar fasciitis.

Those socks are pretty durable, too. In fact, they have 4-way stretch. Vitalsox products can stretch both directions so you can see they have consistent compression throughout the entire sock. The supplier has claimed that they have each pair hand tested in the factory. The socks are also ready to wear when you have just bought it, given the supplier has washed them with fresh scent fabric softener prior to packing and distributing.

The Vitalsox supplier also guarantees that all of their products are 100% made in Italy. The only minus point I see in the item is that the price is a bit high. However, the quality justifies it just well.

2. 2XU compression running socks for women - The most catching ones

Rating: 8,5/10

Summary: 2XU's products are all eye-catching, ideal for ladies who love sports and want their legs to be protected. Once you see a pair of 2XU compression socks, we are sure that you will be completely stunned and cannot look away until you have done with the purchasing.

2XU compression running socks for women

Outstanding is the only word we can use to talk about 2XU's compression socks. The supplier has brought a great large selection of color combination to the market. Getting tired of the dull-looking, focusing only on functions compression socks? 2XU is your ideal choice. Imagine yourself in a pair od hot pink/gray, candy pink/nectarine, fern green/lime green or vibrant blue/canary yellow? Yes, that is the point of the deal.

2XU compression socks also do not fail you when it comes to quality and functions. They are made of high filament yarns, which explains the dryness, moisture control and breathability of the products. The material is also antibacterial and can provide you with UPF50+ sun protection. So rest assured, your lady's feet are cherished by the socks.

Owing to the advanced technology in producing, 2XU compression socks give their users extreme comfort while maintaining the function of enhancing blood circulation, muscle recovery and relieving muscle stiffness after exercising. The pressure offered is consistent, powerful, but not too intense that it may choke your veins.

I have bought a few pairs of 2XU compression socks of various colors and used them not only in training but as a fashion item as well. The sports that need compression socks are ample, namely running, aerobic, cycling and hiking. However, some runners have reported that the material is a bit itchy for them and the top band may dig into their skin and leave marks.

3. Injinji 2.0 - The compression sock with appealing design

Rating: 8/10

Summary: Looking for a pair of compression socks with special designs and promoted functions, Injinji 2.0 is something you should put into consideration. Possessing the unique five-toe anatomical designs, the socks succeed in impressing users and provide them with a high-level grip, boosting blood circulation, muscle recovery and reducing soreness effectively.

Injinji 20 Compression socks

Injinji 2.0 have the stunning designs of five-toe anatomical construction that gives your toes a natural grip, promoting blood circulation not only in your legs or your feets, but even each of your toes. Accordingly, the effect the compression socks brings about is much more enhanced. These socks are constructed to assist in your training and healing after arduous hours of workout.

Injinji 2.0's heels are also slightly padded. Downhill running can result in fatigue and soreness lingering in your limbs. The padding's function is to provide you with comfort, support and to get rid of the ache in your legs and your heels when you perform downhill running or other types of intensive training. The pair of socks is also recommended to be used in hiking, rock climbing and long way jogging, too.

The material used in producing these socks is 75% Polyester, 20% Nylon and 5% Lycra. The large amount of nylon does not make the socks unbreathable, owing to the numerous tiny venting holes in the surface. The compression level of Injinji 2.0 is a bit high: 18-30 mmHg, so it is suitable for intensive training and medical conditions treatment. If you are looking for a pair of compression socks to use in mild training and jogging, it may not be the most favorable choice.

Although the Injinji supplier has made a big leap in designs by providing the five-toe anatomical construction, they failed in supplying the wide range of sock lengths and sizing. Some runners with shorter legs may find Injinji 2.0 a bit long, and have to roll it down to match the length of their feet. It is an unfortunate irritation, though it does not do anything to the overall quality of the socks.

4. CW-X Compression Support Socks - The most supportive ones for runners

Rating: 9/10

Summary: Running for a long time will surely give your legs stiffness and tight muscles, which will escalate into soreness and fatigue. You need to own at least a pair of compression socks to mitigate the issues. CW-X is always a proper choice owing to their reputation and quality, proven through years in the market

CW-X always stands in top five of the most qualified sport facility brands. Their compression socks are of high quality, indeed, and work properly. Their products are made of four-way stretch fabric that efficiently promotes blood circulation and muscle recovery. It would be not a surprise if you find your legs and feet free of pain after using the item in running.

However, which makes CW-X compression socks special is the seamless construction, which is unique in the sea of sameness. Other compression socks, due to their natural grip, often leave lines or marks on your skin, or even painful blisters or hot spots where the seams rub. If the compression socks you are wearing are a too tight, it can even leave injuries.

Another bright side given to you by the CW-X supplier is that the compression socks own a special supportive web integrated under the material. The web supports your calf and arch better, stabilize them as well as the ankle joint. The feature gives CW-X users an all-around protection, reduce the fatigue in and post-workout. The added support is what you can find nowhere other than CW-X.

My own experience with CW-X compression socks is fantastic. The patented compression support is incredible. I believe that I run faster with the socks on and feel no soreness after a long way running. Besides, I also notice that my muscles recover more quickly than usual after the exercise.

However, some people also noted that the fabric is not so durable. In fact, it loosens up over time, in turn, lessen the compression and reduce the effects. That is quite irritable, since the socks have so many features to love.

5. CEP Men’s Progressive+2.0 Run Socks - Best choices for men

Rating: 8/10

Summary: Choosing a pair of compression socks for running is quite difficult sometimes, especially when you are a guy who yearns to train with high intensity and various types of workout. CEP Men's Progressive+2.0 Run Socks is a proper choice, since it gives you exactly what you want from that kind of sport items.

The compression running socks is not tight, according to many runners who have tried it on. The compression these socks give out is just enough to relieve aches and pains from your limb and promote the local blood circulation. Somebody may prefer tightness, but for the sake of your veins, you should only choose a pair of socks of which the compression does not restrict your movements and squeeze your legs too tight.

One new feature of the socks is that it is equipped with a new, dynamic footbed, which gives you comfort and support. The footbeds hold your feet, especially your heels securely and make sure you will not have to suffer unexpected injuries while running. There is also a web of arch support inside the sock, which helps get rid of pain and discomfort caused by plantar fasciitis or other problems.

Your tendons and ligaments are also stabilized and protected during your running session. CEP also offers its customers a wide range of color choices. Since the targeted customers are men, the color is vibrant and sporty, yet not so frilly so you can rest assured that these socks will match perfectly with your sporty outfit. Appearance is never a problem of CEP's products.

Indeed, there are things that I don't like in the products. Although the new footbed is fantastic, some runners find it bunching up over time. CEP Men's Progressive + 2.0 Night Run Socks is fashionable, but its sizing is an issue that you have to pay some attention. You may also consider the CEP Men's Dynamic + Short Socks, since its quality is incredible, too.

6. CEP Women's Dynamic+ No Show Socks - Stunning lady footwear

Rating: 8/10

Summary: CEP's products always prove their reputation not buffing. The CEP Women's Dynamic + No Show Socks is not only good-looking, owning fascinating style and look, but incredible in terms of functioning and breathability. It goes pretty well with all types of women sporty outfit.

The CEP manufacturer has claimed that they had each sock manually tested multiple times prior to packing and distributing. The statement is probably true, since no runner has reported anything bad about the products' material. Their durability is something worth complimenting, owing to the brilliant workmanship and the filament fibers used in those sock's production.

CEP Women's Dynamic + No Show Socks are made of microfiber yarn, which explains the incredible comfort they gave me when I first tried them on. Those socks are snug fitting, padded anatomically to keep you away from blisters. CEP Women's Dynamic + No Show Socks are also well-known for being antibacterial, odor-free. Your feet will be kept dry since the material and designs mean to keep the air around.

Owing to a hydrophilic finish, CEP Women's Dynamic + No Show Socks are also good at heat and moisture management. One more thing that I noticed in the sock is the extra-flat toe seam, which means to prevent pressure points formation.

The color schemes offered by CEP manufacturer are ultimately appealing, too. They are not frilly, you can be sure, but colorful enough to catch all the eyes to your incredible footwear. Some great color combinations can be named are pink/sunset, lime/pink, hawaii blue/green and of course, black/white for classic ladies. You can choose the right pair of socks for your running shoes, which are often stylistic and require much consideration.

7. Shock Doctor SVR Compression Knee High Socks - Best choice for muscles recovery

Rating: 7,5/10

Summary: The socks brought to you by Shock Doctor brand will surprise you by its quality hidden behind the simple look. Focusing on the functions, Shock Doctor SVR Compression Knee High Socks are designed to increase the local blood circulations and give you faster recovery. Your legs will be free of pain and feel much fresher on the next day, instead of being heavy and stiff.

Although the style and look of Shock Doctor SVR Compression Knee High Socks may not satisfy every runner, its quality and functioning are things that can be easily ignored. Owning one of the most efficient construction, Shock Doctor SVR Compression Knee High Socks is what you want for running of all route lengths and levels of intensity.

People who have tried Shock Doctor SVR Compression Knee High Socks claimed that though the compression given by the items is pretty awesome, what really makes them choose the products are their breathability. These socks own a ventilated knit construction, that promotes airflow and moisture management. The air channels created in the socks also manage the heat inside and make your feet always free of odors and sweat.

Thanks to the experienced engineers in the company, Shock Doctor SVR Compression Knee High Socks possess creatively constructed foot, heel and toe areas with additional support and comfort. Your feet will be protected and supported by the socks, together with a good pair of running shoes. Amateur and professional runners all know that cushioning, support and responsiveness are what to expect from a good pair of shoes and compression socks.

Still, the material is a minus point we should point out. Some runners also claimed that the socks loosen up over time and the effects gradually reduce, too, which is such a pity.

8. PTEX PRO Knit Compression Socks - Always needed in your sock drawer

Rating: 9/10

Summary: Thanks to their body mapping compression and targeted padding, the PTEX PRO Knit Compression Socks give their user ultimate comfort and protection. The socks not only aim at keeping you away from soreness and other medical conditions, but also enhancing your performance during exercises. They are also a proper choice for racing and high-intensity running sessions.

Besides other features can be found in other products of all brands such as good at promoting circulation, reducing fatigue and so on, PTEX PRO Knit Compression Socks can also accelerate the recovery times your limbs will take after a workout session. The real experience with the socks is incredible. I mean, what is more incredible than finding what the advertisers say is completely true?

PTEX PRO Knit Compression Socks are also comfortably fit. They give runners a natural grip, not a choking squeeze. Socks which are too tight not only hinder our performance, but also bring unwanted distraction in a workout. It will be such a pity if the pair of compression socks you choose for racing is the main culprit of your failure, won't it?

In terms of breathability, PTEX PRO Knit Compression Socks is quite good at it. The material used in this production is nothing special, just nylon and spandex, but the way they have made those socks with tiny venting holes on the surface is worth complimenting.

However, owing to all the good features above, some runners may find it suitable for using PTEX PRO Knit Compression Socks as a treatment instead of consulting a doctor when they cope with discomfort and minor aching. Remember, if you find any pain, injury or irritation, go to see a doctor for true, professional medical diagnosis. A pair of compression socks, as good as it may be, cannot replace medical treatment if you are coping with a serious condition.

9. Zensah TECH+ COMPRESSION SOCKS - Elite construction for elite runners

Rating: 8.5/10

Summary: Coming from Italy, the reliable hometown of sport supporting items, Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks will not fail you when it comes to promoting blood circulation and oxygen flow. They are extra-durable, ultimately comfortable and give the right level of compression for your legs in training of all intensity.

Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks have impressed many runners in preventing injuries and alleviating shin splints. Owing to their special construction and padding, the socks are of a must-have item in your closet if you are a devoting runner. These socks are something miracle you can find in the way of improving your athletic performance while enjoying the comfort brought about by the same item.

Basically, Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks are pieces of mesh strategically designed for ultimate calf support, while maintaining great breathability. The material used in production is 82% Polyamide and 18% Elastane. By saying it is a "mesh", I mean the surface of these socks are full of tiny venting holes, which do their good job of keeping the airflows work and making sure the feet inside are free of smell and sweat.

The sole unit of Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks takes after one of running shoes, which means it is cushioned, but not as thick as a shoe sole. The part is just lightly padded, but the luxurious cushioning feeling you can find in them may be greater than that of some types of shoes available in the market.

The elite construction of the sock targets at arch and ankle stabilization. The feature will allow you to last longer, especially in marathons, races and long way running. Although the grip brought about by Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks is pretty tight, it is not tight enough to cause distractions. In fact, faster blood plumbing will make you run faster, especially when you can be sure that injuries and fractures are kept away

10. Sockwell Women’s Circulator - Another good choice for ladies

Rating: 7,5/10

Summary: What is a female runner looking for in a pair of compression socks? Quality, function, real effects, indeed. However, the look and material are not able to be ignored. A stylistic lady will never buy a dull-looking pair of socks. Sockwell Women's Circulation is never one of those things.

As I have listed above, there are many types of compression socks for women, which is not only durable, flexible, breathable but stylistic and appealing as well. Sockwell Women's Circulation is not so fashionable, but there is no flaw in its designs. The color schemes are not so various, but enough for a lady to choose some pairs that go well with other stunning items in her sporty closet.

Sockwell Women's Circulation socks offer two levels of compression, which are 15-20 mmHg and 20-30 mmHg, which means you can choose your compression socks a little tighter if you want. Personally, I do not like compression socks which are too tight, but it is up to your choices and preference.

The material used in Sockwell Women's Circulation production is what I love the most in the socks. They are made of wool and bamboo, making them a bit thicker but doing a good job in absorbing foot sweat during running. Polyester can never do such a good job, neither do socks made by the artificial material.

Sockwell Women's Circulation socks have proper cushioning in the sole units, which give users comfort and support. Women's feet, unlike men's, need more caressing and protecting in training, especially running in long ways. If you are a lady seeking for a suitable pair of compression socks, choose the ones with as much cushioning as possible, no matter your running shoes are soft and protective. Sockwell Women's Circulation is a proper choice, considering the feature.

How do compression socks work?

To tell the truth, not all the types of compressions sock you can find in the market can give you the promised effectiveness. Advertisers surely have exaggerated when they say their compression socks can "increase oxygen delivery, decrease lactic acid, prevent cramps, and minimize muscle fatigue". Compression socks are not some divine equipment, they are just supporting items. However, there are indeed some bright sides the item can bring about.

Basically, the mechanism of a compression sock is that it is the tightest at the ankles and gradually become less restraining toward the knees. By doing so, the piece of garment will slightly squeeze your surface veins, arteries and muscles, forcing blood to circulate through narrower channels. As a result, this will enhance the arterial pressure, forcing more blood to return to the heart and less blood to stay stuck in the feet. In a long way running, you will see how much a pair of compression socks can help.

Professor Elmarie Terblanche, from Stellenbosch University in South Africa have done much research to prove the effectiveness of compression stockings in training. Though many people have claimed that they see no improvement in their performance, Pr. Terblanche's real-world research says otherwise. The athletes who run in compression stockings are on average 12 minutes faster, plus less muscle damage than quicker recovery than those who don't.

Chris Solinksy, who once was the American 10,000m record-holder said: “I found I was able to come off the workouts much, much quicker,” He also wears the socks in hard workout and races. According to Solinksy, compared to regular knee-length socks, the compressions ones help him recover more quickly and perform much better.

It is still controversial if the improvements are true, or just personal prejudice, but people who do not believe in the significant effect of those items have no criticism against them.

Ajmol Ali, a PhD in the Sports and Exercise Science Department of Massey University, who trusts nothing but science, said that “If athletes like wearing them, and feel that the garments are helping their performance and/or recovery (whether it is a true effect or simply a placebo effect), then I don’t see any harm in recommending them."

So, the point is, you have to try on a suitable pair of compression socks, runs a field miles and come to the conclusion yourself. If you find it beneficial, just stick to it.


After reading all the stuff above, have you come to any purchasing decision? No review or knowledge brought about by other people can be compared to your real experience. Click on some product pages of various brands mentioned above and buy yourself a pair of compression socks. You will find the incredibility of the items not buffing even a little bit.

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