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The Best Compression Socks of 2022

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Editor's Choice Product image of Figs Compression Socks
Best Overall

Figs Compression Socks

Figs were the best that we tested. The nylon/lycra blend makes the socks thin, comfortable, and firm. They also come in several, stylish patterns. Read More

Pros

  • Easy to pull on
  • Thin, comfortable fabric
  • Come in fun patterns and colors

Cons

  • May not fit everyone
2
Editor's Choice Product image of Physix Gear Compression Socks
Best Value

Physix Gear Compression Socks

Physix compression socks are a nylon/spandex blend that offers 20-30 mmHg of compression. The cuffs can be a little tight, though, and the feet loose. Read More

Pros

  • Firm, comfortable compression
  • Great for professional and athletic use

Cons

  • Can feel constrictive on top part of leg
3
Product image of SockWell Graduated Compression Socks
Best for Moderate Compression

SockWell Graduated Compression Socks

These socks offer more moderate compression, which may or may not be what you're looking for. Either way, you'll love the warm merino wool blend. Read More

Pros

  • Excellent moderate compression
  • Come in a variety of patterns and colors
  • Contain merino wool to keep feet warm

Cons

  • Doesn't give as firm a grip as other socks
4
Product image of Smartwool PhD Pro Mountaineer Socks

Smartwool PhD Pro Mountaineer Socks

Lo and behold, a compression sock meant for cold weather. They'll stay warm, comfortable, and tight. Just don't put them in the dryer. Read More

Pros

  • Warm and comfortable
  • Great for cold weather activities

Cons

  • Get pilly when put in the dryer
5
Product image of Vim & Vigr

Vim & Vigr

Unlike others in the market, these socks are meant for everyday wear, not physical activity. They're pretty thin and not too tight. Read More

Pros

  • Gives moderate compression

Cons

  • Toe area can sag during physical activity

Typically, doctors don’t prescribe clothes. But a rare exception is made for compression socks—snug, stretchy socks that gently apply pressure to the feet and calves to improve blood circulation.

Athletes, frequent travelers, and people who spend a lot of time standing find they improve circulation and reduce discomfort.

We tested a bunch of knee-high socks and found the best compression socks are Figs (available at Figs), thanks to their even effectiveness, comfortable material, and variety of colors and patterns. If our top pick isn't your cup of tea, don't worry. We've got plenty of other options.

These are the best compression socks we tested ranked, in order:

  1. Figs
  2. Sockwell
  3. Smartwool
  4. Vim & Vigr
  5. Pro Compression
  6. Physix Gear
  7. SB Sox
  8. Charmking
  9. 2XU
  10. Tommie Copper
  11. Comrad
  12. CEP Socks
  13. Zensah
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Figs are the best compression socks we tried.

Best Overall
Figs Compression Socks

Figs is a direct-to-consumer company that sells gear for medical professionals, including scrubs, lab coats, and compression socks, so we’re not surprised that the brand’s compression socks are the best we tested.

They are easy to pull on and have a grip that provides firm pressure at 20 to 30 mmHg, an amount that is considered medical grade for compression socks,), yet they barely left marks on the skin and felt as great in the evening as they did in the morning. They are made of thin but not flimsy nylon and lycra material that wicks sweat.

Also, Figs look great—you can imagine these socks poking out of a pair of boots just as easily as you can picture them lurking under a pair of scrubs. They come in plain, striped, holiday, and Star Wars patterns—in case that’s something you’re interested in—and have quotes like “100% Awesome” or “Just Go For It” on the soles. Some might find that corny, but it works for these fun and functional socks.

Figs come in men’s and women’s sizes small to large and can accomodate most shoe sizes.

Pros

  • Easy to pull on

  • Thin, comfortable fabric

  • Come in fun patterns and colors

Cons

  • May not fit everyone

Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Physix are great, all-purpose socks at a low price.

Best Value
Physix Gear Compression Socks

The Physix brand is pretty great, particularly for their lower-than-most price. The nylon and spandex moisture wicking fabric offers 20 to 30 mmHg of compression, on par with top pick Figs. This makes them feel nice and tight, but not like they’d cut off circulation. They come in a few different colors, so could work for professional and athletic settings alike.

My main complaint, after comparing them to other brands, is that the actual foot part is a little loose, and the cuff up top is thicker and tighter than other parts of the sock, such as the toe and heel. This prevents them from slipping, but also makes them feel just a little too constrictive around the upper part of the lower leg.

Physix Gear socks come in sizes small to XL and fit men’s shoe sizes 5 to 14 and women’s shoe sizes 5.5 to 12.5.

Pros

  • Firm, comfortable compression

  • Great for professional and athletic use

Cons

  • Can feel constrictive on top part of leg

Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Sockwells have lighter compression than some other socks.

Best for Moderate Compression
SockWell Graduated Compression Socks

One of my best friends from college, who is now a nurse practitioner and works 12-hour hospital shifts, has firsthand (er, foot) experience with compression socks. Her contention: The Sockwell brand is the way to go. “They’re the only kind I buy,” she told me. “I’m sure there are others that are popular, but those are my favorites.”

They are really good. The merino wool, nylon, rayon, and spandex material offers lighter compression (15 to 20 mmHg) than the Figs, which means they feel more like an extra-clingy pair of regular socks than tight, medical-grade socks. Some testers were underwhelmed by their minimal pressure, but if you want a lighter pair of compression socks, Sockwells are a great option. The lighter compression option is most popular, but you can also get the socks in 20 to 30 mmHg and a few different patterns and colors.

Sockwells come in sizes small to XL and fit men’s sizes 7 to 13 and women’s sizes 4 to 11.

Pros

  • Excellent moderate compression

  • Come in a variety of patterns and colors

  • Contain merino wool to keep feet warm

Cons

  • Doesn't give as firm a grip as other socks


Other Compression Socks We Tested

Product image of Smartwool PhD Pro Mountaineer Socks
Smartwool PhD Pro Mountaineer Socks

The primary fiber in Smartwool’s 20 to 30 mmHg compression socks is merino wool, which makes them softer, thicker, and warmer than most other pairs of socks. All testers thought they delivered the right amount of compression, but some didn’t love the texture of the woolen fabric.

Still, their warmth may make these a good option for preventing swollen feet and ankles during cold-weather activities, like skiing, hiking, shoveling snow, or even just walking to work in a colder climate.

Our Smartwool socks got a little pilly after five consecutive wash and dryer cycles, but I don’t think this would have been the case had we air-dried them. (In the name of expedient testing, I put them through several hot-setting drying sessions).

Smartwool wool compression socks come in sizes medium to XL and fit men’s sizes 6 to 11.5 and women’s sizes 7 to 12.5.

Pros

  • Warm and comfortable

  • Great for cold weather activities

Cons

  • Get pilly when put in the dryer

Product image of Vim & Vigr
Vim & Vigr

Vim & Vigr socks, made of nylon and spandex, feel more like a stocking than socks—they’re thin, stretchy, and don’t have a lot of extra padding. They also have only 15 to 20 mmHg level of compression, which meant I felt the squeeze, but it didn’t feel aggressive. The toe area sagged and slipped around a little throughout the day, especially when I was working out, possibly because of the stocking-like material.

If you’re OK with the thin material, they’re a good choice for plane rides and general comfort—but not for physical activity. Vim & Vigr socks are also available in cotton and nylon and several colors and patterns.

Vim & Vigr socks come in sizes small to XL and fit men’s sizes 3.5 to 13.5 and women’s sizes 5 to 15. The socks also have three wide calf options.

Pros

  • Gives moderate compression

Cons

  • Toe area can sag during physical activity

Product image of Pro Compression Marathon Socks
Pro Compression Marathon Socks

Once they’re on the feet, Pro Compression’s 20 to 30 mmHg socks feel really great, with a tight—yet not oppressive—grip that testers loved. “They brought my dead feet back to life,” one tester says. They are also, however, really hard to wrangle into. “Definitely the most difficult socks to put on out of all that I tested,” another tester says. “They were pretty easy to get off, but others were far easier.”

Also, at $50 a pair, they are the most expensive option we tried. They feel fantastic—seriously, once they’re on, I doubt anyone would regret their choice to buy them—but you can get a similar experience with less expensive socks that are also less difficult to pull on.

Pro Compression socks come in sizes XS to XL and fit men’s shoe sizes 5 to 13 and women’s shoe sizes 5 to 14.

Pros

  • Tight yet comfortable grip

Cons

  • Hard to put on

  • Expensive

Product image of SB SOX Compression Socks
SB SOX Compression Socks

These socks have 20 to 30 mmHg of compression, but I thought they felt tighter than other socks with similar numbers. They’re also pretty thick, but somehow don’t offer a ton of support in the arches, so they took up a lot of room in shoes without a tangible benefit.

Still, they had good things to offer—despite being tighter than other socks, they didn’t dig in as much. They also weren’t easy to put on, but they were easier than some other pairs.

SB Sox come in sizes small to XL and fit men’s shoe sizes 6 to 14 and women’s shoe sizes 7 to 13.

Pros

  • Don't dig into the skin despite strong compression

Cons

  • Thick but lack arch support

  • Feel tighter than similar socks

Product image of Charmking Compression Socks for Women & Men
Charmking Compression Socks for Women & Men

Charmking compression socks are the cheapest option we tested —a pack of eight goes for about $30— and it shows. They’re made of a thin material with a white ribbed fabric that showed up beneath the sock’s patterns.

They still work pretty well, though. They offer 15 to 20 mmHg of compression, come in a ton of different colors and patterns, and felt nice, both during my workout and throughout the day. I don’t feel great about their ability to maintain compression after several washes, because they seemed to get thinner and looser after each of our five launderings.

Still, at their price, and the quantity in which you receive them, wearing out faster might not be as much of an issue. On the flipside: You may not want several pairs of compression socks, and since they only come in packs of three or eight, that’s the only option.

Charmking socks come in sizes small to XL and fit men’s shoe sizes 5 to 14 and women’s shoe sizes 5.5 to 14.

Pros

  • Inexpensive

  • Come in plenty of fun designs

Cons

  • Wear out quickly

  • Only come in multipacks

Product image of 2XU Compression Socks for Recovery
2XU Compression Socks for Recovery

2XU’s nylon and elastane socks are tight—the brand doesn’t give a pressure measurement, but I’d guess they’re in the 20 to 30 mmHg range—but still pretty comfy, and hold up well to exercise.

They don’t look great to me—similar to socks you’d wear over shin guards, which is weird if they peek out over a pair of boots. And, at $49 a pair, they are much more expensive than other socks that reside in the same looks and feel range.

2XU socks come in sizes small to XL for men and women and fit most.

Pros

  • Hold up well to exercise

Cons

  • Don't look great

  • More expensive than other socks in the market

Product image of Tommie Copper Core Everyday Over the Calf Compression Sock
Tommie Copper Core Everyday Over the Calf Compression Sock

Tommie Copper socks are made of a soft, luxurious-feeling fabric that makes them easy to slide on and extremely comfortable—for a regular pair of socks. Though they are described as compression socks, Tommie Copper doesn’t list a mmHg measurement on its website, and when I reached out to them, they told me this: “While our products do offer ‘comfortable compression,’ they are not medical compression and are not assigned a ‘medical grade.’”

Which makes sense: My experience with them was fine, but they offered little noticeable compression compared to others. The socks also hit at a weird part of my leg—mid-calf, rather than below the knee, where the brand says they are supposed to reach.

That meant they slipped down during the day, and, if they had offered much compression, probably would have been pretty uncomfortable. They also wouldn’t do much to relieve the pain caused by shin splints.

Tommie Copper socks come in three sizes that fit men’s shoe sizes 6 to 14.5 and women’s shoe sizes 4 to 12.5.

Pros

  • Made of luxurious-feeling material

Cons

  • Offer little tangible compression

  • Can slip down legs during the day

Product image of Comrad Companion Compression Socks
Comrad Companion Compression Socks

I became aware of Comrad compression socks through Karlie Kloss’ Instagram, when the model/TV host/coding entrepreneur posted a photo of her Comrad sock-covered feet hanging out of a window that overlooked the New York City skyline. Effectively influenced, I put in a rush order for some Comrad socks to test out.

Unfortunately, Karlie led me (somewhat) astray. The nylon and spandex knee-high compression socks look cool—they come in a wide array of colors and patterns, like stripes and ombre. But they’re also hard to pull on and felt much tighter than other socks I tried, despite having a light 15 to 25 mmHg measurement.

Comrad socks come in small to large/wide calf and fit men’s shoe sizes 4 to 13 and women’s shoe sizes 4 to 12.

Pros

  • Look cool and come in a lot of colors and patterns

Cons

  • Feel tighter than other socks

  • Hard to pull on and off

Product image of CEP Classic Progressive Run Socks 2.0
CEP Classic Progressive Run Socks 2.0

When you first take the CEP socks out of their package, they look alarmingly tiny—like socks made for a small child or doll. They stretch to fit the feet, but it takes some effort to yank them up over the ankles.

They’re also really tight (rated at 20 to 30 mmHg and made of polyamide and spandex), which became uncomfortable after a few hours. These socks are designed for wear during running, so they’re probably OK to wear for periods of intense physical activity, if that’s what you’re looking for. But for all-day wear, there are better options out there.

CEP socks come in three sizes for men and women that fit most.

Pros

  • Good for short periods of physical activity

Cons

  • Tough to put on

  • Feel uncomfortable after a few hours

Product image of Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks
Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks

Despite their lighter 15 to 20 mmHg compression, the Zensah polyamide and elastane compression socks are difficult to pull on and off, especially after being washed. I felt fine when I wore them, but when I pulled them off, I had large red welts on my calves.

I experienced some kind of skin depression with all the socks I tried, but this was the most extreme—so, similar to the CEP socks, they could be fine for exercise (which is how they are marketed), but aren’t a great bet for all-day wear.

Zensah socks come in sizes small to XL and fit men’s shoe sizes 4 to 13 and women’s shoe sizes 5 to 14.

Pros

  • Socks feel fine once they're on

Cons

  • Difficult to pull on and off

  • Left marks on the skin


How We Tested

The Tester

My name is Sara Hendricks, and I am a staff writer covering “emerging categories” at Reviewed. What does this mean? It involves writing about period underwear, indestructible tights, and Baby Yoda. Even before diving into tests for this piece, I was a proud compression sock enthusiast—my mom once gave me my first pair of Physix for a flight to Paris, and since then, I haven’t taken a long journey without them.

I knew I loved compression socks in general—but was there one brand that could rise above the rest? With the help of Reviewed’s lab, I embarked on some tests to find out.

The Tests

Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Testing involved trying on many different pairs of socks.

For the tests, I wore each pair we ordered for a full day. I started each day by jumping rope for five minutes (using this jump rope ) to gauge how they felt post-workout. Then I went about my day as usual—I walked to work, sat in an office, and walked home—before taking them off and rating them for comfort, style, quality, smell retention, and my overall experience. Next, I washed and dried them, then tried them on again to see how and if the compression was affected by being laundered.

This left us with four top contenders: Figs, Sockwell, Pro Compression, and Smartwool. To settle on our top picks, I had people in the office test out each pair for a few hours, then fill out a survey where they answered similar questions.

What Do Compression Socks Do?

It’s easy to find claims of the benefits of compression socks—especially from the companies that manufacture them. But how true are these claims of increased blood flow, leg and foot comfort, and overall vascular health? To find out, I contacted an impartial expert: Dr. Miguel Cunha, a podiatrist and the founder of Gotham Footcare in New York City.

As it turns out, most of the blood-flow-boosting claims are true. “When worn correctly, compression socks are very beneficial in providing good circulation of the blood flow in the feet and legs,” Cunha says. “The consistent pressure along with the feet and legs [and in response to] movement promotes blood flow up from your ankles through the veins in your legs and back towards your heart.” This, he says, can improve circulation and reduce aches and pains caused by blood flow problems.

Who Should Wear Compression Socks?

According to Cunha, compression socks are great for people who have diagnosed circulation problems such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), varicose veins, blood clots, and diabetes, as well as post-operative patients, pregnant people, people who stand or sit for long periods of time, and athletes in need of additional arch support, like those who run for prolonged periods of time. (Some studies show that compressive clothing such as running socks can prevent plantar fasciitis and slightly improve athletic performance and recovery.)

Cunha prescribes compression socks to people with swelling in their lower extremities and associated pain or discomfort resulting from venous insufficiency, lymphatic damage, and/or injuries, like shin splints. Based on these criteria, compression socks may be worn by almost everyone. But to find the right pair, you need to find the proper amount of compression based on your needs.

How Tight Should Compression Socks Be?

Compression socks come in five levels or types of compression, ranging from under 15 to 50 mmHg, or millimeters of mercury, a unit of measurement used to gauge pressure (the same unit that’s used for measuring blood pressure). Socks are ranked in three medical-grade classes, from level I to III.

Graduated compression socks are ideal for sitting and standing, providing a gradient of compression levels throughout the sock. But for regular compression socks, the higher the number, the greater the compression.

Cunha recommends 15 to 20 mmHg socks for someone who needs mild compression and relief from minor to moderate swelling, aching, and varicose veins, “especially during pregnancy or in people with foot and ankle swelling who travel by plane to help prevent deep vein thrombosis,” he says.
Socks of 20 to 30 mmHg are the most frequently prescribed pressure by physicians, according to Cunha, and are used to provide relief from varicose veins, edema, deep vein thrombosis, and to help recover from vascular surgery.
Socks with 30 to 40 mmHg of pressure are prescribed to provide relief from severe edema, varicose veins, DVTs, and venous stasis ulcers.
Socks of 40 to 50 mmHg have the highest level of compression available and should only be worn under medical supervision,” Cunha says. “This level is typically used to treat chronic venous insufficiency and DVTs.”

All the socks we tested are either 15 to 20 mmHg or 20 to 30 mmHg, according to their manufacturers. You can buy socks with higher compression rates from specialty retailers, but almost all socks that crop up in a casual online search for compression socks are in the 15 to 30 mmHg range.

Meet the tester

Sara Hendricks

Sara Hendricks

Editor

@sarajhendricks

Sara Hendricks is an editor with Reviewed covering health and fitness.

See all of Sara Hendricks's reviews

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