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The Best Sports Compression Socks Reviewed

last updated Nov 21, 2019

Compression socks have been around longer than most of us realize. There are cave paintings, from about 7,000 years ago, showing soldiers wearing pain-relieving bandages around their legs. New Stone Age warriors may not have understood the science behind blood circulation, but they figured out how to soothe their exhausted legs.

Fast forward to about 1935. Compression stockings expanded in popularity with the invention and spread of nylon. Nylon has both compressive and stretchy properties. With a bit of Spandex, it becomes easier to put on and remove.

At first, compression stockings were for nurses and other workers who worked on their feet. Standing for long periods can cause venous stasis, where blood pools in the lower legs and can cause problems.

Now, athletes everywhere use compression socks to prevent and treat soreness. We broke down 10 of the most popular brands for you.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 20 hours of research

icon
Rockay Vigor
98.6/100 our score
Breathability
99
Compression
100
Style
96
Support
99
Comfort
99
Rockay Vigor
Why is it better?

Improves blood flow, which helps with faster recovery

Reduces fatigue in the lower legs

Made from recycled materials

Consistent fit throughout

Seamless construction

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Rockay Vigor
Test Winner: Rockay Vigor
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
30
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
8.1k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
7
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Breathability Compression Style Support Comfort By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.6
Breathability
99 %
Compression
100 %
Style
96 %
Support
99 %
Comfort
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (06.12.19)
Amazon Link
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.2
Breathability
97 %
Comfort
97 %
Compression
96 %
Style
97 %
Support
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (06.12.19)
Amazon Link
$29.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.4
Breathability
96 %
Comfort
97 %
Compression
95 %
Style
96 %
Support
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (06.12.19)
Amazon Link
$43.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.6
Breathability
95 %
Comfort
96 %
Compression
95 %
Style
95 %
Support
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (06.12.19)
Amazon Link
$59.95
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Breathability
95 %
Comfort
96 %
Compression
94 %
Style
94 %
Support
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (06.12.19)
Amazon Link
$23.52
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Breathability
95 %
Comfort
93 %
Compression
95 %
Style
94 %
Support
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (06.12.19)
Amazon Link
$26.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Breathability
93 %
Comfort
90 %
Compression
95 %
Style
92 %
Support
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (06.12.19)
Amazon Link
$16.95
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.2
Breathability
94 %
Comfort
93 %
Compression
92 %
Style
92 %
Support
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (06.12.19)
Amazon Link
$13.75
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
Breathability
93 %
Compression
90 %
Style
90 %
Support
94 %
Comfort
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (06.12.19)
Amazon Link
$15.75
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Breathability
89 %
Comfort
90 %
Compression
90 %
Style
90 %
Support
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (06.12.19)
Amazon Link
$14.95

10 Best Sports Compression Socks

1. Rockay Vigor

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.6
Rockay Vigor Compression Socks for sports and running
Amazon Link
Breathability
99
Compression
100
Style
96
Support
99
Comfort
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Improves blood flow, which helps with faster recovery

Reduces fatigue in the lower legs

Made from recycled materials

Consistent fit throughout

Seamless construction

Cons:

Not many color options

Rockay, a comparatively young brand, has been proving its worth with each new release. Their most recent line is no different it seems. Vigor, their newest compression sock We've been told that the design and prototyping stage lasted a while to make sure they had is exactly right. We like the push for perfection, especially when the result is effective.

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The overall design appearance is sleek and seems to focus more on performance rather than flashiness. We are absolutely cool with that! The whole idea behind this type of garment is to assist in improved blood flow throughout the lower legs. This helps with several issues, including reduced fatigue and faster recovery, which Vigor does beautifully.

Overall, the general durability is pretty solid. Like anything else, if you follow the laundering instructions and take care of them, they will last. The sizing seems to be spot on as well. It is worth mentioning that you need to pay close attention when choosing the correct size. The applied compression is most effective when the socks fit correctly. And, if you choose a size that is too small, well it won't be very comfortable.

Speaking of comfort, with the consistent fit throughout, midfoot arch support, and attention to detail when selecting the materials to make these with, the overall comfort will last throughout long workouts and long-distance runs.

2. MudGear Compression Sock

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.2
The MudGear Compression Sock is specifically designed for use during obstacle course racing.
Amazon Link
Breathability
97
Comfort
97
Compression
96
Style
97
Support
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$29.99
Pros:

Max protection

Very breathable

Moisture wicking

Cons:

Slightly thicker than other socks

The MudGear Compression Sock is an extremely hard working sock that is designed to provide maximum performance while you are pushing it to the max. It is specifically designed for use during obstacle course racing, so you know it will stand up to any tests you place upon it.

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The protective backing provides maximum durability. The consistently applied pressure provides a constant level of relief to your calves, ankles and shins.

The MudGear Compression Sock is a very breathable, reactive sock that provides moisture wicking ability. This prevents the sock from overheating. It will stay up while you’re playing, rather than slipping down halfway through. The sock is a little thicker than others on the market.

3. Zensah Tech +

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.4
The Zensah Tech+ offers a higher level of compression around the ankle for sports and athletic applications.
Amazon Link
Breathability
96
Comfort
97
Compression
95
Style
96
Support
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$43.99
Pros:

Very comfortable

High compression level

Anti odor and anti moisture

Cons:

A little tight fitting at the top

The Zensah Tech+ is a high performing sports sock that is perfect for runners. They provide a high level of compression along with an exceptional level of comfort. It provides underfoot covering to help counter the dynamic effects of foot strike.

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The graduated compression offers a higher level of compression around the ankle which is the most vulnerable area for sports and athletic applications. The improved circulation will facilitate faster recovery after you’ve finished your game.

The Zensah Tech+ is a lightweight sock which is anti-odor and anti-moisture. It prevents sweat build-up and you won’t have to deal with the odor problems that are common to many competing compression socks.

4. CEP Men’s Compression sock

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.6
The CEP Men’s Progressive 2.0 provides advanced proprioceptive support to the arch and heel.
Amazon Link
Breathability
95
Comfort
96
Compression
95
Style
95
Support
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$59.95
Pros:

Anatomical foot design

Reflective colors

Medical grade compression

Cons:

Expensive

The CEP Men’s Progressive 2.0 provides you with a great balance of support and range of movement. These are extremely high performing socks that have a lot of technology that has been seamlessly incorporated for results. It is made from 85% polyamide and 15% spandex.

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The anatomical design of the foot dramatically lessens the level of friction produced. It also provides advanced proprioceptive support to the arch and heel.

The CEP Men’s Progressive 2.0 comes in a cool range of colors and patterns, including reflective colors. This is a great sock for avoiding shin splints, soreness and wear and tear. The compression level is not too much to restrict movement but not too little to impede blood circulation.

5. CW-X Conditioning Wear

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
The CW-X Conditioning Wear sports compression sleeve is the ideal sock if you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, ankle or achilles pain.
Amazon Link
Breathability
95
Comfort
96
Compression
94
Style
94
Support
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$23.52
Pros:

Variable 4-way compressive stretch fabric

Targeted compression

Built-in calf and arch web

Cons:

Only partial leg coverage

The CW-X Conditioning Wear sports compression sleeve provides targeted compression to help sports players and athletes to direct compression to specific areas of need. This is the sock for you if you have been suffering with plantar fasciitis, ankle or achilles pain.

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It is constructed from a blend of 90% nylon, and 10% polyurethane. This makes it extremely flexible and responsive. The seamless toe-box prevents abrasion issues. A variable compression 4-way stretch factor makes this a very responsive sleeve.

The CW-X Conditioning Wear sports compression sleeve is a moisture wicking sleeve, which means that it will not over-heat, develop sweat build-up or slip down while you’re playing your game. A very unique built-in calf and provides a high level of support to these areas.

6. Sockwell Circulator

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
The Circulator from Sockwell has the highest compression at the ankle making it an extremely form fitting and responsive sock.
Amazon Link
Breathability
95
Comfort
93
Compression
95
Style
94
Support
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$26.99
Pros:

3 way graduated compression

Thermoregulation

Durable and hard wearing

Cons:

Sizing is not accurate

The Women’s Circulator from Sockwell provides 3 way graduated compression from 15-20 mmHg, with the highest compression at the ankle. This sock is constructed from a very fine grade of merino wool, which makes it amazingly comfortable while also being very strong.

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It features built-in thermoregulation and anti moisture properties. These make the sock extremely form fitting and responsive. The seamless toe and heel are anti abrasive and reinforced for extra support.

The Women’s Circulator delivers a welt top arch support to give you an even greater level of support to the most vulnerable areas of your foot. You can select your sock from an extensive range of colors and designs. This is a very durable and hard wearing sock that can handle any sports application.

7. Mojo Recovery and Performance

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
The Mojo Recovery and Performance elite sock delivers graduated compression, with a focus on the vulnerable ankle and heel.
Amazon Link
Breathability
93
Comfort
90
Compression
95
Style
92
Support
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$16.95
Pros:

Graduated compression

Removes lactic acid

Contours to the foot

Cons:

Top band is too tight

The Mojo Recovery and Performance elite sock delivers graduated compression, with a focus on the vulnerable ankle and heel. This sock has been ergonomically designed to anatomically follow the contours of your foot. That makes this an extremely comfortable sock to wear.

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The balance of compression and flexibility allows for the removal of lactic acid without limiting range of movement. Reinforcement of the toe and heel provide you with an enhanced level of protection while you’re on the court.

The Mojo Recovery and Performance is a lightweight sock that is breathable and airy. It has moisture wicking properties and will also prevent odor build up. This sock will provide a good level of support while you’re playing and will speed up your recovery afterwards.

8. Thirty48 Graduated Compression

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.2
The Thirty48 Graduated Compression sock delivers graduated compression to fast track oxygen and nutrients to the lower leg.
Amazon Link
Breathability
94
Comfort
93
Compression
92
Style
92
Support
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$13.75
Pros:

Anti bacterial nylon

Catalyst AFdesign

Minimal thickness

Cons:

Sock not high enough

The Thirty48 Graduated Compression sock are made from a premium anti bacterial nylon material. They deliver graduated compression to fast track oxygen and nutrients to the lower leg as lactic acid is being removed.

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It features a unique CatalystAF design for enhanced performance and responsiveness. This sock is made from 70% nylon, 20% lycra spandex and 10% anti bacterial nylon. Socks are specifically designed for each foot, providing enhanced performance.

The Thirty48 Graduated Compression has minimal thickness but maximum protection and durability. It will stretch to absorb the unique contours of your foot and will stay tight tight throughout your game, without feeling uncomfortable. You get built in moisture wicking capability and odor resistance to prevent discomfort.

9. Vitalsox VT1211

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
The Vitalsox VT1211 provides a high level of arch support, along with graduated compression to fast track blood supply to the area.
Amazon Link
Breathability
93
Compression
90
Style
90
Support
94
Comfort
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.75
Pros:

Extra arch and heel support

Made in Italy

Drysta fabric

Cons:

Socks a little too long

The Vitalsox VT1211 is an Italian sock which has been used extensively by pro football players for decades. It provides a high level of arch support, along with graduated compression to fast track blood supply to the area.

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This product is constructed from a patented fabric known as Drystat. This is an incredibly responsive fabric that has superior moisture wicking properties. This ensures that you lower legs will remain dry and moisture free for the length of the game.

The Vitalsox VT1211 is lightly padded throughout to provide an even level of support. There is extra support in the arch and heel to offset the impact of heel strike. There is also built-in odor resistance.

10. SB SOX Compression Socks

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
The SB SOX compression socks are affordable and come in a variety of colors and patterns.
Amazon Link
Breathability
89
Comfort
90
Compression
90
Style
90
Support
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$14.95
Pros:

Four different sizes available

Anti-odor and anti-static fabric

Variety of patterns available

Cons:

Prominent seam across the toe

Top band too tight

The SB SOX Compression Sock offers graduated compression in a variety of fun colors and patterns. These socks are ideal for athletes, travelers and everyday wear for those who sit or stand for long hours. The form fitting material will help you maintain joint stability and promote increased circulation in your legs.

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The SB SOX Compression Socks are made from lightweight fabric designed for breathability and comfort with 20-30 mmHg compression. They are moisture wicking and the material is designed to be anti-static and anti-odor, keeping your feet clean and dry. The socks come in four different sizes and incorporate different calf widths and shoe sizes. You are sure to find one that fits your personal style!

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Compression

Compression maximizes recovery.

Performance Compression socks are snug fitting, stretchy socks that squeeze your leg. This encourages and improves circulation and can help fight swelling and discomfort in your feet. Sport compression socks will encourage upward blood flow from the ankles back toward the heart, making it less likely to pool in the feet. The use of compression socks may also assist in reducing the risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and can help alleviate varicose veins.

In athletes, compression socks help ward off injury, speed up recovery and improve race performance. Wearing compression socks during sport activities is believed to aid ability, increase oxygen delivery and blood flow, reduce vibration, jarring and unwanted stress to the muscles and may help prevent shin splints. Some believe the use of compression socks aids in improving balance as well.

Compression socks are not just for athletes and can be worn by anyone who spends a significant amount of time sitting, for example someone who works in an office setting. Those who sit or stand, without moving, for more than two hours at a time are more likely to develop DVT, and could benefit from compression socks. Whether used for athletic purposes or everyday activities, compression socks can provide multiple health benefits to keep your blood flowing and your legs feeling great!

Breathability

Breathability equals comfort.

The breathability of a compression sock is one of the keys to great comfort, especially in warmer weather. There are different types of fabric the socks are made from and each type has their own benefit. Cotton, a natural fiber, is good for those with sensitive skin and quickly wicks away moisture. Microfiber is a soft, stretchy and breathable material that also wicks away moisture. Microfiber is a thinner material than cotton and may be preferred as a result. There are also compression socks infused with silver and copper, which help to eliminate foot odor by killing bacteria around the foot. Sheer compression socks are the thinnest fabric available and are also virtually invisible on the legs.

In addition to the traditional sock style, there are open toe and sleeve variations. The open toe style allows for the ability to still enjoy those warm weather flip-flops or sandals and achieve the benefits of compression. The sleeve style allows for the option to wear an ankle sock, yet still have compression in the lower leg.

No matter which type of material you choose in your compression sock, it will wick away moisture keeping your feet and legs dry and comfortable throughout the day.

Style

Style gives confidence.

Compression socks have come a long way from the traditional kinds used primarily for those recovering from surgery or with their serious medical conditions. Due to their mainstream use by athletes and office workers alike, compression socks now come in a wide variety of colors, designs, shapes and lengths. They are ideal for various activities and people and include options such as waist high, open toe, knee length, mid-calf and ankle.

The versatility of the different styles allows for comfort and support no matter what you are wearing. Sheer tights or waist high are ideal to be worn with dresses, open toe with sandals and the traditional sock style is perfect for running a race or running to the grocery store. The sleeve style is perfect for an athlete that does not need additional support in their foot but still wants the benefit of compression.

With different styles come different types of materials to include everything from thin and sheer to nylon, cotton and wool. There are a variety of colors and patterns available, which can be customized to match your mood, outfit or even your profession. With the different options available, you can be confident there is a style for you and your lifestyle.

Support

Support is the whole point for a compression sock.

Compression socks are designed to provide extra support and are purposely snug fitting on your legs as a result. The length of the sock will help determine the level of compression you receive. The level of pressure on a compression sock is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The pressure levels range from very light (8-15 mmHg) to extra firm (30-40 mmHg), which is typically a level only recommended by a physician. The average user of compression socks will be somewhere in between very light (8-15 mmHg) and firm (20-30 mmHg). Some socks provide graduated compression, meaning a range that has different support levels in the foot and the leg.

Depending on what you are using the compression sock for, running, biking or everyday wear, will determine the amount of pressure you will need as well as your tolerance level for wearing them. The goal of the compression sock is to reduce fatigue in your feet and legs, increase circulation and improve athletic performance! The ideal sock should feel so comfortable, you do not realize you are wearing it.

Comfort

Comfort from compression socks means better performance.

While compression socks are snug fitting, they should not be too tight or they will not give the proper amount of compression. If your socks feel very uncomfortable, cause throbbing in your legs or leave red marks from the elastic, you may want to go up a size. It is also important that the sock is not too long in the foot or it will cause discomfort. Often times, compression socks are sized by a measurement of the calf. If you are not wearing a comfortable, well fitting compression sock, it will likely limit your activity due to unwanted pain and discomfort. To fit property, they should not slide down your legs and they should remain flat and taut. If they do not stop your swelling or are difficult to put on, you may need to find an alternative size. There is nothing worse than having swollen, sore feet and legs which will greatly impede your performance at work or at the gym.

While compression socks have excellent health benefits, to achieve those you must make sure they are in good condition and the proper fit.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
ico Compression
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#2
ico Breathability
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#3
ico Style
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#4
ico Support
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#5
ico Comfort
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expert tips icon
Material

When you choose a pair of socks of course you want a good level of compression, but, the material is equally important. There are so many socks and sleeves offered on the market. Cheap versions are cheap because they have sourced cheap material.

Does this matter if you save money? Yes, it matters. Cheap materials can feel uncomfortable and tend to lack durability, so the performance of the sock will not last long. Go online, do a little research via online review or shopping sites, so that you can find a sock which has good material through reading reviews-comments left by customers.

Brand names

Though brand named products might cost a little more, they have a lot of experience for producing good quality products.

Brand products are tried and tested. You can research brand products online and check out customer reviews and online shop reviews to see which brand offers a product which meets your exact needs.

Other Factors to Consider

Bottom Line

The best compression sock for athletes is the MudGear Compression Sock, which is a very rugged sports performance sock with an enhanced level of protection. While it is a bit thicker than the other socks reviewed, it will hold up under any circumstance you can think of. We also loved the Zensah Tech+, an extremely comfortable sock with a high level of graduated compression. The Zensah Tech+ is lightweight and has excellent anti-odor and moisture wicking properties, making it a top choice for those who may not need the rugged performance of the MudGear. Rounding out our top 3 is the CEP Men’s Progressive 2.0, providing you with medical grade compression and some cool reflective colors. It's anatomical foot design allows for greater support of the arch and heel, while helping to prevent shin splints, making it a good choice for those looking for a more stylish sock.

Traditionally, compression socks were used by medical professionals for patients recovering from surgery or due to serious medical conditions. Currently their versatility allow for use with many different activities including athletics, work and everyday wear. Compression socks come in many shapes, colors and designs allowing for style and comfort while achieving the goal they were set out for. Compression socks are made from different materials which allow for breathability and comfort both in warm and cold climates.

If used correctly, compression socks have many health benefits. They allow for proper blood circulation and encourage the flow of blood from the ankles to the heart making it less likely blood will pool in the feet. This results in reduction of swelling, redness and fatigue while lowering the chances of developing DVT (deep vein thrombosis). A good compression sock will assist in preventing injury, provide stability to the foot and ankle, without compromising mobility.

When choosing your compression socks, doing research online for comparison and expert opinions is the key to making the best choice. You will also want to pay close attention to the sizing of the socks, as they are all different, and choose the right amount of compression for you. Whether you are into running, biking, hiking or using compression socks for everyday use, the perfect sock exists for you. Your feet and legs will thank you!

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How tight is too tight for wearing?

a:

It all depends on the person wearing the compression socks. For example, people have different tolerance levels when it comes to temperature or pain. This also applies to what a person perceives as too tight and what is actually too tight from a medical stand point with wearing compression socks. They should never be painful to wear and if they are, it is a good sign you are wearing a compression that is too strong. The sock should remain taut and smooth while worn.

q: Which materials are best for compression socks?

a:

Compression socks are typically a blend of lycra, spandex, nylon and cotton that are woven in different patterns and thickness. Many of the athletic versions offer antimicrobial properties which prohibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria and fungus.

q: Are compression socks machine washable?

a:

Yes, they are, regardless of which materials are used, if you check out your washing machine, choose a washing cycle which matches the materials you know are used for your socks. This way you will not over wash or under wash or damage a pair of socks. It is recommended to hand wash your compression socks with a mild detergent and roll them in a towel while gently pressing down on them to remove the moisture. Air dry or tumble dry on low heat if needed.

q: Can I wear these socks if I don't have an injury.

a:

Absolutely yes, these socks are very good for aiding to prevent an injury such as a muscle strain during running or other types of exercise. Prevention is always more desirable than actually getting an injury.

q: Do these socks give foot arch support?

a:

Yes, the design for compression socks includes an alternating weave pattern which will target and flow support to the foot arch region. This means that the weaving in the foot arch region is often thicker and has a strategic pattern which will channel support directed toward the foot arch.