When basic workout socks just won’t do, compression socks are your best bet. These socks are designed to serve as a barrier between your foot’s bare skin and your shoe, just like your regular cotton socks from Bombas, but they do so much more than that. They’re great for stimulating blood flow and engaging in your foot, ankle and calf so you can perform your best. This is what makes them popular amongst endurance athletes, marathon runners and those challenging their physical limits. Let’s dive into what compression socks are, what they do, and take a look at some of our favorite pairs available on the web.
What Are Compression Socks?
What exactly are compression socks? Compression socks or “compression stockings” as they’re called in the medical field, are snug-fitting socks that gently squeeze your legs for a tighter fit. They’re worn by folks for a variety of reasons, including comfort, improved performance in sports and even preventing certain medical conditions.
The best compression socks for men are often tight-fitting and conform to the contours of your legs. That said, there are many different types of compression socks, so pay attention to the materials used and overall design of the pair you choose.
What Do Compression Socks Do?
They’re designed to reduce pain or swelling in your legs and feet, improve blood circulation and prevent blood clots. By putting extra pressure on your legs, compression socks help promote better blood flow. Athletes say this also helps curb burnouts and helps them exercise for longer, which is what makes them popular for activities like long distance running.
Copper compression socks are one type of compression sock available. Just like the name suggests, copper compression socks for men are actually infused with real copper, which is an EPA-approved microbial material. In other words, copper socks naturally help eliminate odors. There’s also been a lot of talk about copper offering its own healing and therapeutic benefits, although there hasn’t been enough scientific evidence to back this.
How Tight Are Compression Socks?
Compression socks should fit snugly, but they shouldn’t be so tight you’re persistently uncomfortable or in pain. The compression level for compression socks is measured in mmHg, and most fall inside the range of 12-25 mmHg. The higher the number, the tighter they’ll be.
Whether you’re looking for thigh-high compression socks, ankle compression socks, or generic compression socks, this list has you covered.
1. Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks for Men
BEST RUNNING SOCKS
Looking for a solid pair of compression socks that’ll keep your feet feelin’ fine while you run? Physix has you covered. Made with a mix of 70% nylon and 30% spandex, these compression socks are designed to fit nice and snug without ever feeling too tight or restricted. Great for helping with varicose veins and swelling issues, they come in a range of different styles and colors, so you can mix and match.
2. 8 Pack Copper Knee High Compression Socks (Unisex)
These copper compression socks are definitely a great value. For under $20, you get eight durable socks that are sure to stand up to the elements. Designed to provide a 15-20 mmHg compression, they’re made to help promote better blood flow and help relieve pain instantly. And unlike other socks, these ones feature a smart anti-itch fabric to prevent chafing and causing an itch to scratch. At this price point, it’s hard to find any faults.
3. Bombas Men’s Everyday Compression Sock 3-Pack
Bombas is a favorite brand here at SPY for their super high-quality socks. These are made with a medium level of compression, so they’re not too tight. They’re made to be snug-fitting all day, and keep your feet from getting restless or tired during travel or a long day on your feet. They have a compression level of 15-20 mmHg and are made with durable yarn resistant to wear and tear. The Y-stitched heel forms a comfortable cup around your feet, and is designed to prevent blisters.
4. 3 Pairs Medical & Athletic Compression Socks for Men
When compression is simply not enough, these super stylish socks offer enough flair to help them match any and every workout outfit you can pull together. Sold in packs of three, these socks come in a few different color schemes and feature an extra-strong 20-30 mmHg compression down in the ankle area to help increase oxygen flow and improve circulation. These socks are also designed to help reduce lactic acid buildup, which will definitely come in handy during those long runs.
5. Copper Compression Socks for Men
BEST COPPER SOCKS
Copper compression socks offer all the comforts and benefits of regular generic socks, only, they’re also infused with copper ions, which means they’re able to offer the unique antimicrobial and natural effects of copper. They’re designed to help promote blood flow and help relieve acute pain emanating from your ankles and feet. Each set comes in packs of threes, all available in a range of fun colors.
6. SB SOX Compression Socks
BEST XL SOCKS
When large isn’t large enough, these sturdy SOX socks come in a range of fun colors and offer a solid 20-30mmHg compression with every wear. Designed to provide better oxygen circulation, you’ll probably be surprised by just how soft they feel. Of course, they’re also available in different sizes, but the extra-large option is one of the best we’ve seen.
7. MudGear Premium Compression Socks
BEST FOR PAIN RELIEF
For when you need a pair of compression socks that really hug your legs, these MudGear socks are a must. Made from a hearty mix of nylon, polyester and spandex, they’re designed to fit extra snug so you can do what you do best without having to deal with aches and pains. These socks also feature a smart moisture-wicking technology that helps soak up water and sweat at a much better rate than traditional wool.
8. PRO Compression Marathon Socks
BEST TIGHT SOCKS
These compression socks have a compression level of 20-30 mmHg, which is high, so make sure you like a tight fit before purchase. They’ll provide a ton of support to athletes and folks used to wearing compression socks. They’re built to provide pain relief and encourage blood circulation. They’re also moisture-wicking, and have a wide top cuff for maximum circulation to the rest of your leg. They also come in classic black, as well as a wide variety of fun colors.
9. Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks
BEST FOR SHIN SPLINTS
You know shin splints — the painful reminder you’ve been running too much, or haven’t trained enough for the task at hand. These compression socks are designed to help stabilize the muscles around your shins and calves to help prevent splints and calf cramps before they happen. This happens through enhanced blood flow, among other benefits to wearing compression socks. These socks are also made with a seamless toe for preventing blisters and chafing, and have an anatomical fit for maximum comfort.
10. Copper Fit Energy Unisex Knee High Compression Socks
BEST COPPER SOCKS
These compression socks are copper-infused for odor reduction and are designed to provide support to your arches and ankles specifically. They’re designed to provide the support that comes from snug-fitting compression socks, while being easy to take on and off. They’re also knee high, so you’ve got full coverage.