Over the past few years, knee-high socks have seen a major revival in popularity. These socks aren't just about making a fashion statement, however. There are actually a number of practical reasons to don compression socks for your next workout. For example, wearing compression socks can help you minimize your risk of injury. And, with the best compression socks, you can prevent the onset of leg fatigue, allowing you to get more out of each workout session.
But as you look for a good pair of compression socks, it's important to remember that they're not all created equal. How can you ensure the best compression gear for your next workout? Enter the ACTIVE Reviews Team. We've tried out some of the best compression socks on the market and are happy to provide a few recommendations.
The ACTIVE Reviews Team is made up of fitness experts that include athletes, coaches, and certified trainers who bring their years of knowledge and experience to each review. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.
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As you look for the best compression socks, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
First, there's the fit. Most compression socks are designed to go up to the knee, but you can also find options that fit thigh-high. There are even full compression tights available. This is really just a matter of comfort and personal preference, so be sure to seek the fit that you like most.
The other important consideration is pressure. Compression socks often come with pressure ratings, given in mmHg. It can take some trial and error to find the pressure level that's right for you, but a good rule of thumb is that you want your compression socks to feel snug without feeling painful. Usually, this means 20-30 mmHg for working out, and 15-20 mmHg if you want compression socks for leisurewear.
For years, copper has been heralded as a safe, natural way to reduce bodily inflammation— copper products are routinely used for arthritic support, for this very reason. The Copper Compression Knee High Support Socks are our pick for best overall compression socks precisely because they include copper-infused fiber to enhance their therapeutic properties.
And that's just for starters. We also love the antimicrobial resistance, which helps you keep these socks odor-free even during a tough workout. The fabrics used are all highly breathable, promoting airflow and regulating body temperature. We'll also note that these socks do a great job of maintaining their elasticity (plus their copper infusion) even after many, many cycles in the washing machine.
For socks specifically designed for women, we recommend the Feetures Graduated Compression Socks. These are anatomically designed to fit snugly, promote circulation, and expedite recovery times. They can even help stave off blisters. These socks fit so well that many women swear they feel custom-tailored.
We'll also note that there's no irritating toe seam and that the iWick fabrics help keep moisture at bay. High-density cushioning offers support and stability without a lot of extra bulk. Finally, take note of the range of color selections here so you can be stylish while you work out.
Bombas has developed a reputation for producing some of the most resilient, high-quality socks in the world. The Bombas Men's Strong Compression Socks are no exception. Made with durable, extra-strong yarn, these socks have a high compression rating, making them a great tool for high-intensity workouts.
Like all Bombas products, these socks also provide strategic cushioning where your feet need it most. The color options, though small in number, are stylish and classic. These socks work well for daily exercise but can also work for men who have jobs that require them to be on their feet all day.
Looking for a compression sock that was designed with runners in mind? Look no further than the MicroPillow Compression Knee-High Running Sock. With light cushioning and naturally breathable mesh construction, these socks are designed to be both cool and supportive while you're moving around. Graduated compression helps stimulate circulation, prevent jiggling, and power your performance.
Also noteworthy is the use of zinc to kill odor-causing bacteria. The foot-specific design lends to the custom-fit feel. Seamless toe construction aids with comfort, while reflective details add visibility for after-hours jogging.
Compression socks aren't just for athletes. They can actually be immensely therapeutic for anyone who deals with circulation issues, including those who live with neuropathy. The Powerlix Compression Socks are expressly designed to help with circulation, and we are happy to recommend them for their excellent level of comfort and support.
Made with a breathable cotton blend, these socks feel lightweight and breezy. At the same time, they are strong and supportive enough to help prevent blisters and other common foot problems. They are specifically marked to relieve maladies such as DVT and spider veins, yet their bright floral patterns make them a bold option for anyone who lives an active lifestyle.
One of the great things about compression wear is that you can usually get some decent stuff without breaking the bank. That's particularly true of Copper Fit Energy Compression Socks, which provide loads of comfort and stability for an incredibly modest price point. In fact, you can get a durable pair of compression socks without breaking the $10 price point.
The Copper Fit Energy Compression Socks deliver full support for your arches and help stimulate blood circulation in your calves. They are fully cushioned, enough so that they still feel soft and supportive even when you wear them all day long. Also note the copper infusion, which not only staves off inflammation but also kills unwanted odors.
Some athletes prefer their compression socks to come toeless. If that's your comfort preference, check out the Copper Joint Compression Sleeve. Even without toe enclosures, these socks offer some strong compression (20-30 mmHg), making them robust enough for intense daily workouts or for all-day wear.
Copper-infused nylon helps alleviate inflammation and provides ample support. Four-way compression is designed to be worn for long periods of time. Also note that these socks are specifically designed to help counter plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and a host of other foot-and-ankle maladies.
You may decide to wear compression socks either because your doctor recommends them, or because you notice certain problems with your feet or legs. Some specific reasons to consider wearing compression socks:
Compression socks are usually rated at either 15-20 mmHG, or 20-30 mmHG. If you want a little extra support and blood flow during leisure time, the 15-20 mmHg rating is usually more than sufficient. If you're looking for something that will support you during more strenuous exercise, including long runs, you may be better off going with the 20-30 mmHG.
Depending on your needs, you may choose to wear your compression socks all day every day, or for just a few hours each day. You should always remove them when you go to sleep unless explicitly told to keep them on by your doctor. Your physician can give you a more personalized recommendation, or you can assess based on your personal comfort level.
You can potentially wear your compression socks all day if needed, though often wearing them for just a few hours is plenty. Talk to your doctor, or simply rely on trial and error to determine what's best for you.