The Best Compression Socks for 2023: The Gear You Need to Reach Your Goals

man wearing compression socks


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.

Why Trust Us?

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.

The Best Compression Socks—Our Favorites

By clicking on the product links in this article, we may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Sponsorships and affiliate commissions help support our research so we can help you find the best products. Read full affiliate disclosure here.

What to Consider When Shopping for Compression Socks?

As you look for the best compression socks, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

Fit

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.

Best Overall Compression Socks – Copper Compression Knee High Support Socks

Copper Compression Knee High Support Socks

Specs

  • Compression level: N/A
  • Materials: Copper-infused fibers
  • Sizes: Small/medium, large/extra large

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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.

What We Like

  • Highly breathable to regulate temperature
  • Odor-resistant
  • Copper-infused fabric has anti-inflammatory effects
  • 4-way stretch construction allows for easy movement
  • Maintain elasticity even after many laundry cycles
  • Anti-wrinkle fabric

What We Don't Like

  • Limited size options
  • Just 1 color (black) available

BUY: Copper Compression Knee High Support Socks

Best Compression Socks for Women – Feetures Graduated Compression Socks

Feetures Graduated Compression Socks

Specs

  • Compression level: 15-20mmHg
  • Materials: iWick fabric
  • Sizes: Small, medium, large

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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.

What We Like

  • Anatomical design creates a custom-like fit
  • High-density cushioning for support and stability
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
  • No toe seams
  • Great for improving circulation and recovery times

What We Don't Like

  • For intense workouts, you may want a slightly higher compression rating
  • No extra-large size options

BUY: Feetures Graduated Compression Socks

Best Compression Socks for Men – Bombas Men's Strong Compression Socks

Bombas Men's Strong Compression Socks

Specs

  • Compression level: 20-30mmHg
  • Materials: Extra-durable yarn
  • Sizes: Medium, large, extra-large

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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.

What We Like

  • Extra-strong yarn
  • Strategic cushioning
  • High-compression rating

What We Don't Like

  • Maybe too snug for leisure wear
  • They look great, but there are only 3 color options to choose from

BUY: Bombas Men's Strong Compression Socks

Best Ankle Compression Socks - Bombas Men's Performance Running Ankle Socks

Bombas Men's Performance Running Ankle Socks

Specs

  • Compression level: N/A
  • Materials: Polyester, cotton, nylon, spandex
  • Sizes: Medium, large, extra large

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Looking for a compression sock that was designed with runners in mind? Look no further than to the Bombas Men's Performance Running Socks. With these ankle compression socks, you'll find the balance you need between lightweight design and supportive cushioning. These socks are designed to hold up well throughout plenty of workouts.

As with other Bombas products, you’ll get plenty of innovative design flourishes. Note the Bombas HexTech, offering breathability as well as moisture-wicking. Strategic zone cushioning and airflow ventilation are also included.

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Moisture wicking
  • Airflow ventilation included
  • Strategic zone cushioning
  • A number of color options

What We Don't Like

  • No small size option
  • No odor-reducing features

BUY: Bombas Men's Performance Running Ankle Socks

Best Compression Socks for Circulation - Sockwell Circulator Compression Socks

Sockwell Circulator Compression Socks

Specs

  • Compression level: 15-20 mmHg (moderate)
  • Materials:Wool, nylon, rayon, spandex
  • Sizes: M/L, L/XL

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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 Sockwell Circulator Compression Socks are expressly designed to help with circulation, and we are happy to recommend them for their overall level of comfort and support.

Made with a breathable wool and polyester 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 provide succor to cranky legs, no matter the season.

What We Like

  • Breathable wool
  • Specifically designed to improve blood circulation
  • Decrease swelling and deliver firm muscle support
  • Soft, cozy feel

What We Don't Like

  • Limited size options
  • No color options
  • Higher price point

BUY: Sockwell Circulator Compression Socks

Best Budget Compression Socks - Copper Fit Energy Compression Socks

Copper Fit Energy Compression Socks

Specs

  • Compression level: N/A
  • Materials: Nylon, spandex, polyester
  • Sizes: Small/medium, large/extra-large, XX-large/XXXL, 4XL-5XL

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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.

What We Like

  • Low price point
  • Copper infusion
  • Lots of size options
  • Odor-resistant

What We Don't Like

  • Limited color options (just black or white)
  • Not exactly stylish, but perfectly functional

BUY: Copper Fit Energy Compression Socks

Best Socks for Travel - Bombas Men's Tri-Block Ankle Socks

Bombas Tri-Block Ankle Socks

Specs

  • Compression level: N/A
  • Materials: Cotton, polyester, rubber
  • Sizes: Medium, large, extra large

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The Bombas Men's Tri-Block Ankle Socks are our pick for travel socks. What exactly does this mean? Simply put, these socks are soft, supportive, breathable, and incredibly comfortable. They'll feel good even if you wear them all day long, including days when you’re in the car, on a plane, or doing a lot of walking.

Not only are they comfortable and stylish, but these socks offer a cushioned footbed for targeted support. Premium cotton resists shrinkage and should last a good long time. Arch support makes these socks a balm for weary travelers who suffer from foot pain.

What We Like

  • Premium, long-lasting cotton
  • Cushioned footbed
  • Arch support
  • Stylish color combinations

What We Don't Like

  • No small size option
  • Not recommended for use during athletics

BUY: Bombas Men's Tri-Block Ankle Socks

Best Open Toe Compression Socks - Copper Joint Compression Sleeve

Copper Joint Compression Sleeve

Specs

  • Compression level: 20-30 mmHg
  • Materials: Nylon
  • Sizes: Small, medium, large, extra-large

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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.

What We Like

  • Copper infusion
  • Great compression and support
  • Durable nylon construction
  • Made for all-day wear

What We Don't Like

  • No color or design options
  • Not everyone will feel as comfortable with the open-toe design

BUY: Copper Joint Compression Sleeve

FAQs About Compression Socks


How do I know I need to wear compression socks?

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:

  • You have poor blood circulation in your legs.
  • You have frequent swelling in your legs or ankles.
  • You have low blood pressure when you stand up after sitting for a long time.
  • You have DVT in your legs.
  • You have pain related to varicose veins.

What strength of compression socks should I get?

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.

Should I wear my compression socks every day?

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.

How many hours a day should I wear compression socks?

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.

About the Author

Josh Hurst

Josh is a journalist and writer whose work has appeared in magazines and local newspapers such as Christianity Today, IMAGE Journal, Relevant Magazine, FLOOD, The Nashville Scene, True Tunes, Rise Up Daily, and Looking Closer with Jeffrey Overstreet. Josh is an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast.

See More from Josh

Josh is a journalist and writer whose work has appeared in magazines and local newspapers such as Christianity Today, IMAGE Journal, Relevant Magazine, FLOOD, The Nashville Scene, True Tunes, Rise Up Daily, and Looking Closer with Jeffrey Overstreet. Josh is an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast.

See More from Josh

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