The Best Compression Socks for Running

In addition to treating and preventing medical conditions like deep vein thrombosis and varicose veins, compression socks have become increasingly popular with runners in recent years. They have been observed to reduce lactic acid levels, increase muscle stability, improve recovery time, reduce cramping, and improve speed and strength results in athletes of all levels.

Whether your running goal is to wake up the next morning a little less sore, shave a few minutes off your marathon time, or make your high school’s relay team, compression socks can play a powerful role in reaching these goals.

CEP Tall Socks (Men’s and Women’s)

Price: $28.70-$63.00

Why they’re great: German-manufactured CEP Compression socks are considered by many to be some of the most comfortable and high-quality socks on the market. CEP Compression is a division of medi, a company that has a long history of manufacturing medical compression apparel.  

These socks feature an asymmetrical toe box designed to fit the natural shape of the foot. A ribbed pattern in the front of the socks allows air to flow through, keeping you cool. The socks also have a seamless toe for additional comfort. With graduated compression of 20-30mmHg, these compression socks are suitable for a wide variety of physical activities. They come in many colors and offer three sizes to accommodate different body types.

Drawbacks: It is difficult to find critical reviews of these socks, but they are among the more expensive brands on the market.

Specs: 

  • Graduated compression (20-30mmHg)
  • 85% polyamide, 15% spandex
  • HeiQ Smart Temp technology fabric
  • Seamless toe box

Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks

Price: $14.66-$19.95

Why they’re great: Physix Gear Sport specializes in providing quality compression, recovery, and other types of athletic apparel at a competitive price. These socks feature graduated compression of 20-30 mmHG, which is designed to improve circulation, prevent muscle soreness, and minimize common running injuries. The comfortable, breathable fabric wicks away moisture and fights bacteria and fungus.

Their stay-put cuff keeps them from falling down during runs, and their durable construction should hold up over many miles. They are available in various colors and two different unisex sizes.

Drawbacks: Some customers said they would prefer a thicker fabric.

Specs:

  • Graduated compression (20-30 mmHg)
  • Stay-put cuff

2XU VECTR Cushion

Price: $54.95

Why they’re great: 2XU is an Australian company that specializes in manufacturing high-quality compression gear. They are one of the most respected companies in the industry, and they offer a number of different products.

Their VECTR Cushion compression sock is anatomically designed to both the left and right foot to provide a better fit and plantar fascia and arch support. Their 15-20 mmHg graduated compression promotes improved circulation and faster recovery times. The seamless toe construction, mesh ventilation panels, and strategically placed cushioning maximize comfort. They come in six different sizes, making them a great option for a wide range of body types.

Drawbacks: 2XU’s products are some of the most expensive on the market. Also, these socks are only available in two colors: black and white.

Specs:

  • Graduated compression (15-20 mmHg)
  • 88% Nylon/12% Invista LYCRA
  • Separate left and right foot design
  • Seamless toe box

Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks

Price: $24.95-$52.91

Why they’re great: Zensah, a Florida-based company founded in 2004, specializes in compression gear and other athletic apparel. These compression socks are made in Italy from a soft, durable, moisture wicking fabric. They are anatomically designed specifically for the left and right foot, ensuring a proper fit, and the seamless toe box helps prevent blisters.

With graduated compression, they promote improved blood circulation and shorter recovery times. They also include added arch support to increase comfort and reduce fatigue. There are a variety of different colors available, and they come in four different sizes.

Drawbacks: Reviews for these socks are overwhelmingly positive, but some larger runners have complained that the fit was too tight at the top.

Specs:

  • 82% Polyamide/18% Elastane
  • Graduated compression
  • Seamless toe

Physix Gear Low-Cut Stamina Socks

Price: $9.45 (2 pairs)

Why they’re great: If you’re looking for the benefits of compression on your foot and ankle without having to wear long socks that go up to your knees, these low-cut compression socks from Physix Gear are a great option. Their 15-20 mmHg graduated compression promotes better circulation in the foot and ankle, reducing swelling and shortening recovery time.

These socks feature an Achilles tendon protector to maximize comfort, and the moisture wicking fabric helps keep your feet cool. They’re available in a variety of colors and two unisex sizes.

Drawbacks: While they advertise a seamless toe box, the seam actually runs across the top of the toes, which some customers have complained is uncomfortable.

Specs:

  • Graduated compression (15-20 mmHg)
  • Achilles tendon protector
  • Moisture-wicking fabric

SB SOX Compression Foot Sleeves

Price: $14.95-$18.95

Why they’re great: This is a good option for people looking for compression targeting their arches and ankles. A lot of runners have reported that the 20-30 mmHg graduated compression of these foot sleeves has helped them prevent plantar fasciitis, a very common running-related injury. These socks are even FDA-registered as medical grade compression socks.

The open-toe design allows more freedom of movement, and the moisture-wicking fabric keeps your feet dry and fights against odor and bacteria. They are available in a variety of colors and four different sizes, making them suitable for a wide range of body types.

Drawbacks: While many people have been pleased with the plantar fasciitis relief these sleeves have provided, other customers have found them ineffective.

Specs:

  • Graduated compression (20-30 mmHg)
  • FDA-registered, medical grade product
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
  • Open-toe design

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