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The 10 Best Compression Socks to Improve Circulation and Put a Spring in Your Step

Say goodbye to soreness and swelling.

best compression socks

It’s no secret: As we age, our bodies need a little help with certain things. Limbs and muscles that bounced back from intense exercise need a little more time. Circulation starts to be a concern. Things bloat. And while compression socks have a tough reputation—chunky, unsexy, geriatric-looking—you would be amazed at the effects they can have on all of the above. 

As someone who flies often for work, I used to think that a general feeling of stiffness and malaise was par for the course after a long flight. But after a recent journey from Boston to Namibia wearing a pair of compression socks, I became an immediate convert: I landed at my destination with zero soreness, zero swelling, and, dare I say, a spring in my step!

There’s a reason why compression socks are preferred by frequent flyers, healthcare professionals, elite athletes, and anyone always on their feet throughout the day: they have real benefits. The pressure they apply gently keeps circulation moving in the legs, which can aid in athletic recovery and prevents old blood from pooling if you’re sitting still for a prolonged time (such as flights to Namibia). They also help prevent serious medical issues, such as painful blood clots and deep vein thrombosis. Once you try your first pair, I can say with near-certainty that you, too, will become a convert. 

We’ve been researching and testing the best compression socks out there, and are pleased to say that finding an effective pair that doesn’t have a geriatric look is in fact, as easy as slipping on, well, a sock. Below are some of our favorites. 

Best Cushioned Compression Socks 

Bombas Everyday Compression Socks 

Here’s an option that’s gentle enough to be worn every day and comes in a number of attractive patterns and colors. Just snug enough to feel supportive and with a hint of cushion underfoot for comfort, they’re made from an extra-long staple cotton for fantastic softness, but blended with some synthetic fibers for increased durability and structure. Bombas offers a  faultless compression sock—a great place to start for your first pair.

Material: Supima cotton, polyester, elastane, and nylon.
Compression Level: 15-20 mmHg.

Best Patterned Compression Socks

Crazy Compression Jazzy Navy Socks 

We have to give it to the folks over at Crazy Compression for really throwing caution to the wind with its wide selection of colors and patterns, ranging from mild to wild. This relatively staid offering, however, is the type of thing we wouldn’t mind peeking out from under a pant leg if worn day-to-day. 

Material: Nylon, and spandex.
Compression Level: 15-20 mmHg

Buy Now on Amazon: $25

Best Ankle Compression Socks 

Copper Fit Energy Ankle Compression Socks 

You don’t need to commit to an over-the-calf style to take advantage of the benefits of compression socks. This ankle style helps minimize swelling in your feet, and has cushioned footbeds for added comfort. We also love this pair for its moisture-wicking properties and venting panels for added breathability. If you’ve been known to get painfully swollen feet during workouts, or perhaps on long runs, these are a solid choice.

Material: Nylon and spandex.
Compression Level: 15-20 mmHg.

Buy Now on Copper Fit: $13

Best Seamless-Toe Compression Socks 

Feetures Graduated Compression Light Cushion Knee-High Socks

Nothing ruins the best pair of socks faster than a chafing, bunched-up toe seams. This is not an issue with these well-designed compression socks from Feetures. They feature a unique seamless-toe construction. Plus, the design integrates graduated compression, meaning that they’ll fit beautifully from the first wear. 

Material: Nylon and spandex.
Compression Level: 15-20 mmHg.


Buy Now on Feetures: $40

Best Compression Socks for Large Calves 

Vim & Vigr Graduated Compression Socks

Large-legged gentlemen such as myself know how difficult—and uncomfortable!—it can be to find the right pair of over-the-calf socks. Enter Vim & Vigr, a brand that offers a 21-inch diameter wide-calf option, which will wrap around even the beefiest of calves with ease. 

Material: Nylon.
Compression Level: 20-30 mmHg.

Buy Now on Amazon: $44

Best Everyday Compression Socks

Dr. Segal’s Solid Cotton Energy Socks

Dr. Segal’s compression socks win high marks for how easy they are to put on. No need to struggle with pulling these up and over your calves, dislocating a finger in the process. And this handsome all-black color is a versatile option for everyday wear. It’s the compression sock that doesn’t look like a compression sock. 

Material: Cotton, nylon, and Lycra.
Compression Level: 15-20 mmHg.

Buy Now on Amazon: $40

Best Open-Toe Compression Socks

Vim & Vigr Open-Toe Socks  

Some people prefer the ventilation and comfort of not having constricted toes. If that’s the case, then turn to Vim & Vigr for its range of toe-less options. Your toes will be able to move freely while still offering medium-level compression.

Material: Cotton, nylon, and spandex.
Compression Level: 20-30 mmHg.

Buy Now on Amazon: $42

Best Compression Socks for Arch Support 

Copper Fit Arch Strong Compression Socks 

People with high arches or have athletic routines that are highly demanding on the feet know: having proper arch support can make all the difference. These easy-on, easy-off compression socks feature a targeted band wrapped around the arch of your foot, which will provide added support to improve circulation and reduce fatigue. 

Material: Nylon, spandex, and polyester.
Compression Level: 8-15 mmHg.

Buy Now on Copper Fit: $20

Best Five-Finger Compression Socks 

Injinji OTC Compression Socks

Just as some people prefer the feel of a toe-less sock, some prefer the comfort of a “five-finger” style toe sock. This style uses graduated compression, as well as a patented toe construction to prevent blisters and improve your balance, as well.

Material: Nylon and Lycra.
Compression Level: 11-24 mmHg.

Buy Now on Injinji: $49

Best Compression Socks for Runners 

Swiftwick Aspire Twelve Socks 

This compression sock is specifically designed with long-distance runners in mind: it’s breathable, moisture-wicking, lightweight, and prevents blisters from happening. It’s made from a thinner gauge construction than your typical compression sock, but still has the right amount of constriction to keep circulation moving, which you’ll recover better after pounding the pavement for hours on end. 

Material: Olefin, nylon, and spandex.
Compression Level: 20-30 mmHG.

Buy Now on Swiftwick: $30

What to Consider Before Buying the Best Compression Socks:

Not all compression socks are created equal. Of course, there are the questions of what materials they’re made from, and what they look like aesthetically, but it’s also important to look at the way they function. The degree of pressure that each sock applies can make significant differences in their performance. Here are a few important things to look for when it comes to finding the best compression socks for you. 

Material: Almost all compression socks are made from a blend of synthetic fibers which—as opposed to, say, cotton—are able to hold their shape and provide pressure all-day long without them sagging or loosening up. If sweating is an issue for you, you may want to read closely to see if the compression socks in question have moisture-wicking properties, too.

Compression Level: The compression socks you’ll find on the market today typically fall into one of three categories, all measured in millimeters of mercury, a typical measurement of pressure: less than 20 mmHg is a great place to start, providing the lightest amount of compression; between 20 and 30 mmHg is a step up, a great option for seasoned users of compression socks; and anything over 30 mmHg is typically considered medical grade and should be reserved for advanced users and people seeking the advice of their doctor. 

Style: Compression socks have come a long way from the beige medical-grade ones you’ve seen in nursing homes and hospitals. Ones geared more toward athletic use tend to be sleek enough to give the appearance of a typical knee-high sock. And for the more sartorially adventurous, there are also a great range of patterns and colors out there. All of this being said, just keep in mind that, unless you’re wearing them on long runs for athletic purposes with shorts, you’re typically wearing compression socks under a pant leg or on a dimly-lit long-haul plane ride—so they’ll be safely hidden from view and won’t clash with your fit.

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