We know how vital compression socks are for runners. So, when we came up with our top pick that covers what we feel are the most critical factors.
With that in mind, we chose the Graduated Endurance Socks by Danish Endurance as our overall choice. This selection comprises three main aspects: compression, fit, comfort, and style.
Although there were several underlying factors, we also considered, these were the main ones that we focused on that would benefit a runner.
As always, we have a runner-up, and the compression socks taking that place are the VitalSox VT1211 Graduated Compression Socks. We picked these for similar reasons stated above but felt the graduated compression levels weren’t as high as a regular runner would need. Despite being labeled a runner-up, these socks are very much a close second and are an alternative as the best overall compression socks if you’re not personally fond of our top choice.
I would also recommend checking out the several other compression socks on this list that are the best socks for runners based on individual categories and factors.
|Compression Sock||Reasons||Buy on Amazon|
|Graduated Compression Socks by Danish Endurance||16-21 mmHg Graduated Compression & Comfort||View on Amazon|
|VitalSox Graduated Compression Socks||Snug and tight fit with lighter compression levels||View on Amazon|
Best Running Compression Sock: Danish Endurance Compression Socks
Earlier we gave you the quick rundown on why we chose these compression socks as the best, but it’s time to delve into the details about what is infused into them. The first and probably most important thing to consider is the compression levels. The easiest way to figure this out is to check out the graduated compression pressure that the socks provide. They’re in the 16-21 mmHg range which is the ideal numeric we want to hit if we’re using this for running. It’s a moderate level of compression which should help significantly improve your recovery and blood circulation in your legs. You’ll be able to feel a more significant boost from these pair of socks compared to the lighter options online.
Another element to consider is the fit and comfort. These socks consist of polyamide (nylon), elastane, and lycra which all-in-all provide a lightweight, breathable material that will hug your legs as you take each stride. I would describe the feeling to be snug and cozy.
The last thing I want to touch on these socks is the style. For some people, this aspect may not be as necessary, but I think runners have a sort of aesthetic they like to achieve when they go out for a jog or marathon. The clothes and apparel you wear help boost your confidence and mentality. And let’s be honest, running, in general, is an outlet to achieve that happiness or “feel good” thinking that we crave and how we look is an element of that. The sellers offer a minimalistic sock with several color choices ranging from black, white, neon, and pink with an attractive line design on the sole and minimal branding on the side. So if this sounds like something you can get behind, definitely pick these up.
Best Overall Runner-Up: VitalSox Graduated Compression Socks
If you feel the graduated compression on the Danish Endurance to be too much or too constricting, this sock has a graduated compression level in the 12-20 mmHg range which is much more suitable if you’re looking for lighter compression. It will still be useful for things like recovery, blood circulation, and the massage pressure against the skin, but not as much compared to our top pick.
This sock is still the ideal moderate compression level you want to have when you go out. It will cover your feet and calves and should be able to significantly improve muscle recovery and stimulation after you’re done exercising.
Basing it on comfort and fit as well, it has similar cushy feeling thanks to the unique silver drystat material that makes up the majority of the fiber content in a sock. After some further research into the silver drystat fiber, it supposedly increases efficiency in combating germs and regulating sweat and moisture buildup after a period of intense running. I wasn’t able to see any significant differences but consulting several other Amazon customer experiences; it seems that people have expressed satisfaction in the absence of sweat and less odor after running.
Regarding style, they have a more basic look with minimal design to the top pick but offer many more color combinations, so you can always mix it up if you find yourself getting bored of color or need something to new to match with an outfit.
Best Budget Socks for Women: Dr. Motion Compression Socks
When I first saw these socks, I had a double take. I was wondering what could be wrong with these socks that they are offering many attractive compression socks for a steal of a price. To be exact, you’re getting six pairs of compression socks for around $30 at the time of writing this article.
Here’s what you’re getting with these socks. You’re getting mild compression that is in the 8-15 mmHg bracket which is ideal for people who do light running or jogging and want something they can cycle through every day. Maybe you’re the type of person who is using running as a recreation activity to lose weight and exercise.
Six pairs of compression socks is a fantastic deal; you are one less pair away from having a pair of running socks for every day of the week.
It still has the same benefits to other compression socks such as helping with blood circulation, reduced swelling and being antibacterial. You’re getting all this in each pair of the 6.
The cherry on top is the color and styling options the seller provides. You have several choices to pick from like the minimalist white, black, and brown colors if you prefer a simple, clean look, or if you want to rock some colorful stripe and geometric design while you are out and about.
There are currently 16 options of color combinations to choose from, so if you’re not convinced that these may be for you, I would recommend checking them out on Amazon.
Best Budget Socks for Men: Sooverki Copper Knee High Compression Socks
I love it when sellers bulk sells items; it just makes things cheaper while still providing excellent value items for us. In this case, we’re getting six pairs of compression socks for a competitive price. And despite the cheaper pricing on these socks, you’ll still benefit from all the properties that a compression sock offers.
Each sock boasts a 15-20 mmHg compression level which at that light-moderate compression bracket. This compression is perfect for everyday runners who are interested in doing light exercise to maintain their health. If you prefer to do light running or jogs for cardio purposes, then you’ll be able to cycle through these socks for almost every day of the week.
Something I’d like to add that these pair of socks accomplish is that they are designed to be knee-high socks (as long as you get the right size). You can argue that all the other socks on the list can be knee high if you get a larger size, but this is the only one specifically designed to reach below your kneecap. So if you’re in the market for knee high socks, I don’t think you’re going to get a better deal than this one at the moment.
Best Graduated Compression (Highest): Compression Socks by CompressionZ
If you want heavy-duty compression levels, I believe CompressionZ has got you covered. At 20-30 mmHg graduated compression you’re getting a moderate to the advanced grade level of compression for more symptoms that need something stronger to assist with recovery.
A quick disclaimer:
Higher compression levels do not always mean better recovery. This bracket of compression should be for things like moderate swelling (edema), varicose veins, and more severe swelling. If you’re experiencing any of these types of symptoms, then I would recommend a higher compression level to combat these symptoms, if not, I would go down in compression levels.
These are for the more intense runners who are using a lot of muscle and putting in more energy into their legs. If you’re a long distance runner or a marathon runner or maybe even in track & field, then these are must-buys.
Besides being the strongest in terms of highest graduated compression levels, they also offer an array of colors and designs, which like I said in earlier categories, may be important for some who want to coordinate their running outfits when they go out to meets and competitions, or if you just want to look good when you’re exercising.
One last note on this product is that it’s comfortable and snug fit allows for greater flexibility that doesn’t restrict movement at all. Its lightweight breathable material will be an excellent addition to have when you go out on your run. So despite being one of the stronger socks, it still has the same soft feel you want when wearing a compression sock.
Best Graduated Compression (Medium): Premium Compression Socks by ABD
If you’re looking for a compression sock that’s a step-down, regarding compression level, from the compression socks mentioned above, then this one sitting at 20-25 mmHg is exactly that pair.
These are the performance socks that can be worn by the average runner and the track & field/marathoner enthusiasts. They accommodate recovery for intense workouts to the light jogs and runs to maintain overall health. I’ve found these socks to be in that sweet spot for people who want great comfort and recovery in a pair of socks.
Something I want to applaud the manufacturer for is the construction of the socks themselves. The fiber itself is thicker and more protective compared to other compression socks. When you go out for a run in the fall or winter, and you’re battling the elements, you’ll be thanking yourself for getting a cozier sock to preserve more heat and regulate the temperature in your foot and calves area. Additionally, I appreciate the fact the fit of the sock themselves contour to the shape of my the joints and shapes of my foot, legs, and calves for targeted support and cushion.
Best Fit & Comfort: Blitzu Compression Socks
For our choice of most comfortable compression socks, we have a pair from a company called Blitzu. Despite not being a household name in the athletic apparel industry, they have the quality in their compression socks to become one.
Fit and comfort all come down to two things: design and material. The unique thing about these socks is that the manufacturer incorporates kinesiology tape into the socks along with the compression fabric. This is excellent news, especially for runners, because that added stability and support it provides, also benefits the comfort of the sock itself while running. You get that extra relief and backing from the tape that it creates that overall snug feeling.
Also, you can notice the thickness in the fiber when you put the sock on and press against your skin. This provides the feet and calves this “blanket” that will protect and preserve the heat in the socks. Come fall and winter months, you’ll be able to go out running with this extra layer to keep you bundled and guarded against most harsh winds and snows that might come your way.
You can trust the high-quality grade fibers that were weaved and infused into the sock to be able to accompany you in your run. The material is stretchy yet durable which provides you the flexibility to be able to take your strides confidently without much constriction when bending your knees.
Things to Keep in While Buying
I stress this almost all the time when it comes to buying compression gear online, but always double check for sizing. You want to make sure you differentiate from children sizing and adult sizes.
Another thing to take note of, prioritize what you need when you go on a run. For example, maybe you need compression socks for running every day and don’t have the capital spend, I would go with the best budget socks in that case. Or maybe you have more severe symptoms such as spider veins and larger edemas (swelling) that you need help with recovering; I would go with the highest graduated compression socks available. Think of your goals first, and then pick the socks based on that. If in doubt, just with the best overall picks, they will encapsulate all the elements that you want in a compression sleeve.
The last thing that you need to keep in mind is what compression socks treat. You may have a general idea of what it does, but I’ll give you an extensive list that covers most of the benefits of compression socks.
It helps with things like aches, pains, varicose veins (spider veins), plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis, edema, lymphedema, venous insufficiencies, post-surgical recovery, athletic recovery, and DVT.
I hope this extensive list and buying guide has helped you in some way whether through a product or information in what to look for when purchasing a compression sock for running.