Best Running Compression Socks
Many runners think that soreness and aching lower leg muscles are part of the price you have to pay for progress. In some cases, they are. However, we have something for you today that can change the game altogether.
Do you suffer from shin splints? Do tired; achy feet have you down in the dumps? How about numbness or tingling? Of course, you should always consult your doctor first and foremost. You might find, however, that they suggest a pair of really nice running compression socks!
Compression socks for runner provide relief, and protection, from some pretty common injuries. We'll get into the "How?" and "Why?" in the criteria section. We're gonna lay out our top ten and why we love them so much!
Be sure to check out all the great information about the best running compression socks have here for you!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 5 hrs of research
Graduated compression help reduce recovery time
Consistent fit throughout
Constructed from recycled materials
Improves blood flow during longer distance runs
10 Best Running Compression Socks
1. Rockay Vigor
Graduated compression help reduce recovery time
Consistent fit throughout
Constructed from recycled materials
Improves blood flow during longer distance runs
Limited color choices
The new kid on the scene, Rockay, seems to be making a name for itself through quality designs, environmental responsibility, durability, and knowing what works and what doesn't for runners. Their new line includes Vigor, a compression sock specifically designed for distance running.
They also come in multi-packs. It is a great option for anybody who's either just starting or might be working on a budget.
If you are, keep on reading. Let's lay out everything you need to know about these combo packs!Read more
Overall, the comfort lasts throughout a run with these. The compression applied is spot on, as long as you pay attention to get the correct size. We didn't find any areas of the socks that squeezed in a way that was just too much. The fit is consistent from top to bottom.
Vigor also sports midfoot compression, that Rockay tends to design into most of their socks, which provides really solid arch support. This is perfect for those who need it and an added bonus for those who like it but don't necessarily depend on it.
In all, these do effectively improve the blood flow in the lower legs, which can help to greatly reduce overall recovery time from long distances. It also does a great job with extending the time before fatigue starts to kick in.
100% Organic Merino Wool
Mostly arch compression
Rockay is rockin' the racing scene. Their new eco-friendly line of running compression socks go above and beyond our wildest expectations.
Not only will these stand the test of time... they'll take you to the finish line again and again while they do it! Keep reading to find out precisely what you're going to love about these and why they're probably the perfect pair for you.Read more
There's something special about a company that places so much stock in their clothing. From the manufacturing process to the shipment, Rockay tries to bring quality to the table. They're doing an excellent job of it, too!
The best thing, in our opinion, is their eco-friendly design. They are made with recycled materials, leading to less damage being done. They're also anti-blister for your comfort. The ride is unbelievable thanks to the arch, which offers compression all along your sole.
On top of this, they also provide a lifetime warranty. You can have your running compression socks replaced at any point with no questions asked. Any brand that stands by their product to the fullest extent deserves at least a second look. This one is one of the best compression socks for running.
So, go check them out. We're sure you're going to love them as much as we do.
3. CEP Progressive+
Helps prevent blisters
Doesn't compress toes
CEP is a brand known for its hand in the athletic world. They have running compression socks that appeal to most runners- and this is just one of them! We're talking about their Progressive+ line today, which is every bit as great as it sounds.
Not only are they highly appealing for the minimalist styles they offer, but they also put a helluva lot of thought into the design. They're also knee-high. That's a super appealing feature if you struggle with shin splints on the regular!
Enough teasers, though. Click that button below to get the full scoop!Read more
These running compression socks are absolutely a fantastic pair. You'll find a comfortable ride, ergonomic fit that delivers compression throughout your entire foot and calf. It gives you an extra length of material normally taken up by a calf sleeve. That's a pretty good deal!
They have a pretty cool design, too. Not a huge point of concern but it's certainly a nice touch. Any company that puts effort into the image of their products is going to put some care into their designs, as well. This one is one of the men's running compression socks.
Graduated compression is also a feature we love. It allows for better compression- moving everything up, and down, like a slinky, Weird way to think about it, but it's right on point. They got a big thumbs up!
4. Injinji Ultra Compression OTC
Coolmax Xtralife technology
Individual toe sleeves
Mesh paneling on upper
Design may cause discomfort
The Injini 2.0 ankle sock is a great option for those looking for graduated compression sock focused solely on their feet. It features an ideal design with individual toe segments for better alignment. This causes an increase in comfort and reduces friction.Read more
This 5 toe anatomical design of running compression socks also gives you a more superior grip. A padded heel provides extra support, especially when you are running downhill. It provides a lot of post-workout support and relief!
The Injini 2.0 Over the Calf Compression sock provides graduated compression to speed up blood circulation and bring about pain relief. The highest level of compression is around the midfoot.
It is an effective fighter against plantar fasciitis and ankle pain. You also get a good deal of compressive support for the calf muscles.
Multiple styles available
Fabric reportedly rough
Runs a size small
Ringing in the next entry on our list is Zensah. We're thoroughly pleased with their overall design, although there may be a flaw or two (you'll have to read below to find out!). Zensah is a fairly trusted brand when it comes to goods in this industry. This line of garments is absolutely no exception!
From their color selection to their knee-high design, they do have it all! Keep reading to find out what we love... and what we didn't love all that much.Read more
First and foremost, they blew it out of the water as far as designs go. Athleisure is taking the market by storm, and most people want to be on top of their game- both on and off the field. You'll find the exact match to any gym-wear you have.
These running compression socks are also designed to have temperature regulation. This means that your legs and feet aren't in danger of overheating during workouts. Their arch design is what got us going, however.
The arch is made with ultra-zone ribbing. They also feature elastic bands around your feet to give you a better fit. This improves their ability to circulate your blood and keep it all flowing in the right direction.
It is reported that they run small... but that means you should order a size up!
6. CEP 2.0 Night Run
Multiple colors available
Increases blood pressure by 40%
Sizes may run small
Neon colors only
These running compression socks are quite the sight, to be frank! CEP put out this line to bring more visibility to runners. They rank lower on our list than CEP's other pair because of their rather eccentric feel.
The electric colors offered will increase your safety during runs. For some, they could even be part of a fashion statement!Read more
Although this is another entry by CEP, they're different from the previous by far. These running compression socks are technically the revised version of the Progressive+ line but they also are explicitly marketed for visibility.
The drawback is the kooky colors which may not appeal to some people. We do recommend them if you're going to be running outside during low-vision hours. There is nothing better you can do for yourself than to increase your visibility!
We're fairly impressed with the design. CEP does some stellar work!
7. Sockwell Elevation
31% Merino Wool
Issues with the overall fit
Want to elevate yourself to the next level? Then it's time to check in with Sockwell and their Elevation line. These running compression socks are bound to please almost anybody's feet! They're snug, ergonomic, and pretty dang comfy to boot.
There's a lot of reasons to give them a look-see, but we'll go over our favorites below.Read more
Sockwell has certainly done a swell job here. We're fairly impressed by the Elevation compression socks. There are a couple of things to keep an eye out for, but nothing major! We'll talk about that at the very end.
One thing to keep in mind is the fabric used in their construction. Merino wool, nylon, rayon, and spandex are all blended into a lovely material. Customers are pretty happy across the board with this combination, and we have to agree. They also feature four different zones of compression!
There are a few things that we want to warn you about, however. Some customers reported that they shrunk in the wash. They might be best to air-dry because of this. They also seem to be on the shorter side so longer legs may not get the best effects.
8. Vitalsox Drysat
Now, these running compression socks are a pair that look like a dream. The professional vibes that Vitalsox gives off tickle us pink. They've taken great care in designing clothing that is not only supremely comfortable but fashionable to boot.
This is a pretty solid design, folks!Read more
Vitalsox is a more "luxurious" brand as far as running compression socks go. They take great care in their image and aesthetic. Their garments are made in Italy... which is pretty dang cool. These running compression socks promise never to outsource to other countries for cheaper labor. That's not only ethically sound but a huge indicator of quality!
They're also designed to embrace your heel in a compressive hold. This is excellent for those who may suffer specifically from problems with their heels. It's also highly supportive of your plantar fasciia, a crucial part of your foot.
9. U Performance Run
Some products faulty
Mesh is always a lovely material to see featured in running-related clothing. It's highly breathable and allows sweat to evaporate away quickly. Moisture-wicking material combined with mesh produces impressive results.
.... And those amazing results have brought us the 2XU Performance Run socks. If you have any issues with particularly sweaty feet (gross, but it happens), this is the pair you've been waiting for. There are a host of other lovely features, but you'll have to read more to find out!Read more
2XU comes in almost last... but keep in mind that these running compression socks are the best products on the market. That means that our 2XU entry is going to blow pretty much everybody else out of the water- guaranteed! We know our stuff, guys.
These running compression socks are machine washable, although you probably don't want to put them in the dryer as they may shrink. Chaffing, another huge issue facing runners is also not a problem. They're anti-chafe!
The kicker? They also feature UPF50+ which helps protect you from the sun. The only downsides are reportedly different lengths arriving. The company is very quick to resolve any problems brought up, however!
10. CW-X Conditioning
Lovely soft color
Only offers light compression
Temperature regulation? Check. Beautiful design? They have it down. Safety in mind? You betcha! Of course, we're talking about the Conditioning Wear design by CW-X. These running compression socks are a perfect option for anybody who not only rocks the treadmill at home but also likes to hit the pavement from time to time.Read more
Let's get down to the nitty-gritty. You know that there are a couple of flaws already- but honestly, this is a stellar design even with the one or two problems we have our eye on.
Overall, this is an excellent choice. The safety neon provides invaluable. There is nothing worth more than your life- and running outside with low visibility is no joke. You have to be prepared. The neon green it comes in is a lovely shade that is easy on the eyes while still offering beacon cars can see.
They've also included a lovely elastic toebox. This allows your toes a little more "wiggle room"! It also keeps the material pretty tight to your foot even with that wiggle room. Can't beat that! Comfort at it's finest, folks.
CW-X reports that their design is medically sound and tested for quality. It shows by all of the big names, like Medi, who helped them during the creation process.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
You would expect compression to be one of the elements we took into account. As a result, it was the first piece of criteria used to evaluate all of the designs in our line up.
Compression is of utmost importance because of the relief it brings. It reduces swelling, increases blood flow, and provides near-immediate results. Compression is used in so many different treatment methods. Most doctors prescribe a wrap for general sprains and injuries.
It does this by pushing your blood back up through your body. Your extremities are the first place to look for problems with blood flow because of their position about your heart. The further away something is, the longer the trip back. It's the same idea when you get frostbite- the first part of you to feel the effects are your toes and fingers.
Keeping your blood flowing is unquestionably essential- especially for athletes! Compression isn't just about easing pain and cramps (although it does that, too, no doubt!). It's also about encouraging your veins to do a better job and to keep things moving as they should.
Your veins have to exert extra pressure to get blood down to your feet... and then when it starts flowing back up the socks act as a booster to shoot it on up to your heart. It's that easy!
So, if you suffer from cramping feet, or plantar fasciitis, this is the ultimate cure for sore feet. That's why we crafted this list for you today!
Do you know what the only thing worse than a product that doesn't work? A product that wears out before it's time. Durability is a crucial aspect to take into account. You need to know that they aren't going to wear out on you just before your big race, for example.
While wearing out isn't quite as important when you're just working out at home, it is super important for those who do some of their workouts outside the home. Having them wear out when you're out and about means having to deal with them being uncomfortable and damaged. It can also cause blisters if the material has become too thin.
There are quite a few factors used in determining how durable.
You can rest assured that we've selected highly durable products which will stand up to the test. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the life you manage to squeeze out of them!
Comfort is obviously super important for anything that you are going to be wearing for long periods of time, and even more so for anything you are going to be running in. After all, they're the material between you and the shoe. You're feeling the immediate effects of your movements through your running compression socks.
We specifically looked for cushioned options, which give you an additional form of support. There are quite a few thin ones, however, since some people prefer them. If your sneakers are of high enough quality, it may not matter so much. Everybody has their tastes, however, and a snug fit may suit you.
Padded heels are also an excellent addition. They lessen your chances of developing heel-related pain, one of the most common complaints of runners. The added compression only aids you further! A well-padded heel is worth its weight in gold.
Remember that if the sock is too thick, it may overcrowd the shoe and cause even more compression. It can be detrimental to overall foot health and your ability to continue your workout.
Cushioned socks also offer a benefit for people who are between sizes. Adding that extra material can secure your foot in the sneaker. Prefer to move to the size down? Thinness aids in your comfort in that case.
Efficacy is the best determiner of success. It's the only one. A design is only as good as how effective it is. The best tool you have is the reviews of those who have some first-hand experience.
Combing through reviews to find out exactly where a product has gone wrong gives us a great idea of how effective it's going to be.
We made sure to figure out which products are all hype and no hope. Companies can talk a big talk about how great their designs are... but it's easy to spot the flaws. People are great at finding them, after all, when their health is so deeply involved!
Efficacy can also be determined by looking into the claims and science behind the product. As we said, the hype is one thing, but the proof is another. Many companies will put down claims about the technology used in manufacturing. Take careful consideration when you look over these things.
Some things to ask are: "Is this backed by science? Is it just a bunch of gibberish? Do they have studies to prove it?" While there are many who put down ridiculous claims (or fun terms to fool you!), there are just as many brands that care. The ones that talk about the studies are the real deal. It's even better if they mention that real physicians had a hand in the design!
And, lastly, we come to breathability. There is little more critical to running compression socks in general than breathability. You need to make sure that airflow is circulating throughout your activities. The build-up of sweat can cause quite a few problems; blisters, chaffing, irritated skin... you name it!
There are a few different materials in particular that we keep an eye out for in these products. Cotton is a huge one- everybody knows how great it is for t-shirts in the summer! It is a fantastic fabric for getting that airflow moving. Silk, wool, nylon, rayon, and wool can be great, as well, but you have to be careful about the quality. Merino wool is the best quality for footwear, in our opinion!
Aside from the materials used in production, we also take into account the overall design. When you're creating sportswear, it's crucial to have sweat-wicking properties (that's what makes clothing breathable!). You'll notice that all of the featured garments on our list will be sweat-wicking for that reason.
Remember that in clothing which causes compression, there is a much higher risk of sweat buildup. You're keeping everything constricted for a purpose... but if you're wearing something low-quality that purpose is null and void.
Make sure that you always look for three things: sweat-wicking, cotton or rayon-based fabric,
Compression socks aren't just for athletes. Nurses can see a lot of benefits, alongside anybody who stands on their feet all day. If you're buying yourself a pair, consider getting a second as a gift for the nurse or retail employee in your life!
Trust us- a gift like that goes a long way. It shows how much you care and how much you think about their needs.
While most of them are entirely safe to use, sometimes these specific garments can be too tight. That can cause a cut off of circulation- which is the opposite of what you're trying to do here.
If you ever feel like they're too tight, they probably are. Take great care to make sure you're not causing damage when you're trying to prevent it.
Other Factors to Consider
Even though you don't see socks, you still want to feel stylish. Style is a secondary consideration when it comes to our judgment... but it is something we think about. There are infinite palettes in the world, and taste in clothing is entirely subjective. Because of this, we selected a wide range of products which have entirely different styles for the most part.
We're reasonably sure that you'll end up finding a style that you love! From kooky designs to sleek minimalism, there's hardly one that we didn't find for you.
When you're running, you want to know that every step is going to be as soft as the last. Shin splints are caused by extreme "trauma" to the muscles around your shins. When you're running hard without the right type of footwear, you're very much at risk for developing them.
What happens is the muscles, as mentioned, become engorged and irritated. It puts pressure on your shin, and every step can feel excruciating if you've done a bad enough job on yourself.
Anyway, the ride just refers to your overall run and how it feels when each foot hits the ground. Running compression socks play a huge role in this- they're the material touching your feet directly, after all!
Padded heels and extra cushioning can help prevent irritated muscles and other pesky problems. Look for those qualities if you have issues with shin splints specifically. They'll help you quite a bit!
At the end of the day, the only person who knows what's best for you is... you! We've given you a whole slew of information designed to keep you entirely up to date. Our research and hours spent combing through all the data available are all to help you make the best decision for yourself.
We recommend sitting down and thinking about what you want out of the running compression socks you buy. Are you going to use them for extreme activity? Do you run marathons? Are you pretty new to this whole exercise thing?
All of these questions will help you figure out what your budget is, and what you're looking for. It's important to remember that high price tags come with high quality... but they aren't necessarily the best choice for a newbie.
It can be pretty overwhelming when you're snooping around the market trying to sniff out the best stuff you can find. A lot of in-depth research is required, and it generally takes general knowledge of the products to determine the best fit.
Let us save you the research. You know we know what we're talking about- you wouldn't have read this far if you didn't! Thanks for sticking around and keeping yourself up to date with the best information around. Make sure to stay tuned for more exciting information and a whole host of reviews you need on the products you want.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do they work at all?
Absolutely! There are so many studies that have been done to prove the effectiveness of them. Compression is just an excellent tool for healing overall. There's a reason why doctors prescribe unique wraps when you sprain your wrist or ankle.
Having extra support in the form of compression will improve your overall foot health. You need to take care of your feet; after all, they are your method of mobility.
q: How long can I wear them for?
As long as you'd like! Generally, it's recommended that you don't wear them all the time unless you've been directed differently by a doctor. Most people don't need to use them all the time.
Plus, the less abuse and use you put them through the longer they'll last!
q: Which materials should I watch out for?
There are a few different ones that can be irritating to the skin. Some people have cotton allergies, and others may be sensitive to lycra. In general, you want to watch out for the material list of any product. It goes especially for the ones you're going to use during exercise.
Having a rash or another type of reaction can seriously put a damper on your day and a wrench in your athletic plans.
q: Who benefits the most from using them?
Pretty much, everybody! It's especially important, however, for athletes that are into long-distance running. Heavy weightlifting can cause extra strain, too, and should be taken into consideration. Any time you're putting an extreme source of strain on your feet, you want to add a layer of compression.
q: How should I take care of them?
Always check the directions that the running compression socks come with. You want to follow them to a "t" to ensure longevity! A product is only as durable as the care put into maintaining it.
Hypoallergenic is an excellent quality to look for, too. These designs always last a little bit longer because you don't have to wash them quite as often. Of course, running compression socks are one of those articles of clothing you really can't get away with wearing time and time again.