10 Best Compression Socks for Men to Increase Blood Circulation & Comfort

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A quality compression sock should not only fit well but provide much-needed comfort and circulation to your legs when worn for extended periods.

Backed by scientific evidence that compression socks are great for those with chronic venous insufficiency (source), their prevalence has extended far beyond a clinical setting and are now designed for a variety of applications including travel, jogging, plantar fasciitis, and simply casual use.

In this guide, we will review the best compression socks for men in 2021.  Furthermore, we will also look at key features to consider when selecting a sock, how to care for socks and answer some common questions.

Let’s get started:

9 Tips on Finding the Best Compression Socks for Men

1. Intended Use

Compression socks improve blood flow and can, therefore, lessen pain and swelling and reduce the risk of blood clots, making them ideal for the following uses:

  • Comfort: Some people simply find them comfortable. They can help with a variety of things, and if you find yourself stuck at a desk most of the day, sitting cross-legged or standing, compression socks can help your legs and feet feel better.
  • Travel: Flying takes a toll on the circulatory system, and it’s worse the longer you’re in the air. The pressure of landing and taking off is also a stressor. The best compression socks for travel can reduce uncomfortable leg swelling from the knee down and help you avoid blood clots if you’re generally at risk.
  • Sports: There are several competing theories on why compression socks help athletes. The main theory is that compression socks can aid in oxygen delivery to muscles, improve circulation, and speed lactic acid removal. Another says that they decrease muscle vibration on impact, which allegedly reduces soreness. Neither of these theories is definitively proven, but studies show that compression socks do help shorten recovery time and improve performance broadly.
  • Medical Purposes: Perhaps one of the most important uses, compression socks can help reduce the risk of blood clots, especially deep vein thrombosis. DVTs are a specific type of painful blood clot that affects the leg or pelvis and can be life-threatening if it travels to the lungs or heart. Compression socks can also be used after DVT complications to help with some of the lingering discomforts of the condition.  

Note: While socks are a low-cost alternative compared to other treatment options, if your foot pain is severe, you should schedule an appointment with your family physician.

2. Compression Sock Type

There are two types of compression socks: graduated and uniform.

  • Graduated compression socks feature pressure that moves from tightest pressure at the ankles to loosest pressure up the leg. They’re designed for mobility and to meet certain health requirements. Because of their specific nature, they might require professional fitting.
  • Uniform compression socks on the other hand, have a consistent level of pressure throughout. These are most commonly used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts for support, though graduated socks seem to provide more benefits to those groups as well.

3. Compression Level / Compression Rating

Compression level, sometimes labeled as compression rating, is an important consideration for individuals considering compression socks. The amount of pressure exerted on the legs is measured in mmHg (millimeters of mercury) and is indicated on the package.

  • Mild, 8-15mmHg – pain relief and swelling reduction
  • Medium, 15-30 mmHg – helps stop varicose veins
  • Firm, 20-30 mmHg – post-surgery clotting
  • Extra Firm, 30-40 mmHg – severe edema and lymphedema
  • Prescription, over 40 mmHg – prescribed to individuals with serious vein conditions for support

4. Fit/Size

Fit and size are critically important in compression socks. If your compression socks don’t fit properly, they won’t provide the right amount of compression. Depending on the product and manufacturer, sizing will depend on height/weight, the circumference of the ankle and calf, or simply your shoe size.

5. Material

Unlike most men’s socks, compression socks are made from a combination of materials, including cotton, merino wool, polyester, nylon, bamboo rayon, spandex, and rubber. Cotton is extremely breathable and will keep you cool but can be expensive and, on its own, may not provide the necessary elasticity and stretch. Fabricators will often weave in some type of microfiber. Generally, a combination of nylon and polyester, which is easy to clean and stain-resistant, as well as inexpensive – microfiber, is sheer and breathable.

Compression socks used for sports often have spandex and nylon for elasticity that have combined and different weaving patterns to allow for varying compression levels. This is called tension variance and is important in running socks.

6. Color

Compression socks used for medical or support purposes are widely available in common, neutral shades, like white, black, grey, brown, or navy. Running and athletic socks come in a whole host of different shades and patterns. You can wear different styles to coordinate with your outfit if you are out and about.

7. Sock Height/Coverage

Sock height is an important consideration. Most socks are available in many heights, from about two inches below the knee – the most common length – to full leg in some cases. Running socks often extend beyond the knee and are folded down. If wearing the socks isn’t medically necessary, you likely have some choice about where you want the socks to break.

8. Features / Extras

Here are a few extra features that some companies add to compression socks that can help in your decision-making process:

  • Odor Controlling / Antimicrobial Fabric: Some socks are made with microfibers that wick moisture away from your feet and legs, controlling bacteria and odors. This is a great added feature if you use your compression socks for sports, running in hot weather, or live in a warm climate. Silver is also woven into the fabric to add antimicrobial properties – this limits odor and prevents bacterial growth.
  • Zippers: Some compression socks zip up the sides, which allows for a snug fit while making them easy to take on and off. These are ideal for people who are in severe pain or have weak hands and arthritis. If appearance matters to you, zippered socks aren’t the ones you’ll want to wear.
  • Blister Prevention: When socks or shoes are too loose or tight, friction can occur that causes a buildup of fluid beneath the surface of your skin, which then results in a blister. While some compression socks may say that they prevent blisters, the most important thing to know is that the right fit is far more important. Other features that may help in preventing blisters will be flat seams and quality fabrics.

9. Price

Prices can vary from $10-100. A quality pair will provide the support you need for between $15 and $40. If they are medically necessary, your insurance may cover the purchase.

Comparing The Best Men’s Compression Socks

When researching for this article, we spent our time reading countless reviews, guides, product descriptions, etc. before we rounded out our list below.

The table below covers the important features for each sock and how they differ from one another:

  • Award: This is our recommendation on the intended use of the sock.
  • Price Range: Noted by a $ sign – sock prices ranged between $10 and $40 a pair.
  • Cut: How high or low the sock cut is.
  • Rating: Based on several metrics, we give each sock a score (1 to 5) with 5 being the highest.
NAMEBEST FORPRICE RANGECUTRATING
Comrad Companions Knee-High Compression SocksOverall$$$Calf5.0
TSO Compression Sock for TravelLong Flights$$$Calf4.9
Dr. Comfort Compression StockingsSwelling$$$Calf4.8
Comrad Ankle Compression SocksRunning$$Below Ankle4.8
CEP Ortho+ Plantar Fasciitis Heel Compression SleevesPlantar Fasciitis$$$$Above Ankle4.7
Bombas Compression Socks for MenStanding All Day$$Calf4.7
Vitalsox Graduated Compression SocksTravel Socks$$Calf4.7
Sockwell Circulator Compression SocksHiking$$$Calf4.6
SB Sox Compression Foot Sleeve for Plantar FasciitisPlantar Fasciitis$Above Ankle4.5
Actinput Compression Socks with ZipperZipper Closure$Calf4.4

The 10 Best Compression Socks of 2021 Reviewed

1. Comrad Companions Knee-High Compression Socks

Best Features:

  • Reduces blood pooling in your calves and feet
  • Great for casual or athletic use
  • Prevents muscle soreness

Best For:

Anyone who is in search of all day comfort and want the best in graduated compression.

Summary

One of the best compression socks for men will be the Comrad Knee-High Compression Socks. When it comes to features, comfort, and performance, these compression socks have it all.

Sitting at the sweet spot of a graduated compression range between 15-25 mmHg, these socks will be super comfortable while also providing you with some energizing benefits. With the graduated pressure, these socks will work to move blood from the lower parts of your body towards your heart, which will in turn, increase your overall energy.

Whether you are walking around the house or at the office, these socks also have extra cushioning in both the toe and heel for added comfort.

For those looking for versatility in a compression sock, you will be happy to know that these can also withstand intense athletic performance as well.  Able to decrease fatigue by pushing lactic acid away from your muscles, these socks are perfect at increasing performance, and will help to prevent injuries during intense workouts.

Available in a wide range of colors and sizes, most men should have no problem finding the right sock to match their own unique sense of style.

Pros

  • Great for workout and daily use
  • Nice balance graduated compression
  • Should reduce cramping

Cons

  • Pricey (but worth it)

What You Need To Know

Whether you are jogging or sitting around the house, the durability and comfort of these socks is unmatched.  They get the job done exceedingly well and are one of the best men’s compression socks currently available.

2. TSO Compression Sock for Travel

Best Features:

  • No-rub seam in toe area
  • Socks designed for airline passengers
  • Graduated compression technology

Best For:

Anyone looking for increased circulation during the frequent changes of altitude during long flights.

Summary

When it comes to finding the best compression socks for travel, there perhaps is none better than these TSO Compression Socks for Travel.  Designed for long haul and transatlantic flights, these socks improve blood circulation for your feet all day and night. 

As is common for many, when heading towards a cruising altitude of 30,000 feet, swollen feet will quickly occur – which can cause some significant discomfort.  These socks will ease that discomfort.

Now, if you fly regularly, these travel compression socks also make for a great companion on road trips given their comfort.

Beyond the graduated compression top (ranges from 12-18 mmHg), when wearing compression socks like these during long flights, you will love the copper ion fibers that will help to resist both bacteria and odor buildup.

Unlike so many flight socks that are made in China, the TSO Compression Sock for Travel are made in the USA – which ensures a higher level of craftsmanship and quality.

Overall, if you are looking for a travel sock that will reduce both leg and ankle swelling, there perhaps is not a better alternative than these socks for travel.

Pros

  • Provides comfort for long periods
  • Designed specifically for air travel
  • The fabric fights odor

Cons

  • A bit pricey

What You Need To Know

When it comes to adding travel products to your packing list, there perhaps is none that should be ranked higher than these socks.  The graduated compression fabric will make sure that your legs feel great no matter how long the flight.

3. Dr. Comfort Compression Stockings

Best Features:

  • Reduces swelling in feet, ankles, and legs
  • Stays in place throughout the day
  • Non-binding comfort band

Best For:

Men who want to get their swelling in order while traveling or going about their daily activities.

Summary

When it comes to managing swelling in your lower legs and feet, finding the right pair of compression socks can be tricky. Quality compression socks designed for swelling will work in a gradual manner in order to help fight gravity and push the blood up your legs. With this constant pressure applied for prolonged periods, blood doesn’t have a chance to swell or pool at all.

Delivering a moderate 15-20 mmHg compression, the Dr. Comfort compression socks are a perfect choice for men looking to get swelling under control.

Here’s a few other research notes about Dr. Comfort:

  • Dr. Comfort makes a whole line of socks that are perfect for general wear, i.e., that don’t look like compression socks.
  • The graduated compression helps minimize swelling and provide arch support and enhanced blood flow.
  • These Dr. Comfort Compression Socks are available in two neutral colors.
  • The bottom-end price range means you won’t have to break the bank.
  • Great for a variety of leg ailments including swelling, leg fatigue, spider veins, etc.
  • Nylon and spandex provide moisture management and odor control

Pros

  • Reduces swelling
  • Helps with muscle fatigue
  • Selection of colors
  • Great value for the money

Cons

  • Difficult to get on

What You Need To Know

These are simply the best compression socks for swelling. The Dr. Comfort graduated compression socks will help keep that swelling down, whether you’re lounging after exercise or in the middle of a shift on your feet.

4. Bombas Compression Socks for Men

Best Features:

  • Gradient compression throughout the length of the sock
  • Will help reduce circulation problems when standing all day
  • Targeted cushioning

Best For:

Men who are standing for long hours and want some relief for your lower legs.

Summary

When you are standing all day, a quality pair of compression socks can make an impact on your overall leg fatigue and how you feel at the end of the day.

Favored by flight attendants, restaurant workers, factory workers, bank tellers, retail workers, construction workers, and even office workers, these socks fight gravity and push the blood upwards from your toes towards the rest of your body.  This increased blood circulation not only provides relief when standing for extended hours but in some cases, may help improve overall energy due to the increased circulation.

While the performance of these socks is stellar, it’s the details in the sock itself that are remarkable.  Made from an extra-long staple cotton it will feel soft and comfortable against your skin.  A common concern that many have with the inclusion of cotton on compression socks is that it may stretch out with time.  To counteract this, Bombas also includes other materials including polyester, nylon, and spandex that help the sock stay in place and not require readjustment throughout the day.

With strategic cushioning added throughout the sock, these socks provide support where you need it most. 

As great as these socks are, Bombas itself is also a company you will be happy to do business with given their mission.  For every pair of socks that you purchase, they donate one pair to the homeless community – which is pretty cool.

Other noteworthy features for the Bombas Compression Socks:

  • Bombas compression socks are available in a variety of colors and sizes – no shortage of ways to match these with your wardrobe.
  • Supportive enough for mild swelling, traveling, and muscle recovery at the bottom end of our price range.
  • Soft, strategic zone cushioning applies day long compression only where you want it.

Pros

  • A wide variety of colors
  • Nice, thick fabrics
  • Zone cushioning

Cons

  • Fairly thick, which could present some problems for wearers
  • Mid-calf lines aren’t for everyone

What You Need To Know

If you find yourself standing for long periods of time and are looking for comfort, then you should consider these socks. Bombas makes a great compression sock that can be worn both professionally and casually.

5. Comrad Ankle Compression Socks

Best Features:

  • Arch and ankle support

Best For:

One of the best compression socks for running that provides targeted arch compression and support.

Summary

When it comes to finding the perfect compression running socks, experts recommend going with a thin and lightweight material that is designed to help increase performance and comfort.  There is a lot to like about the Comrad Ankle Running Compression Socks.

First the material:

Crafted from SmartSilver antimicrobrial technology these socks will reduce bacteria growth that causes foul odors.  In addition to saving your running shoes from smelling rancid, the thin and lightweight fabric will wick moisture and provide ample oxygen flow to your toes.  Whether you are going for a morning jog or even running in a marathon, the fabric won’t falter under intense performance.

When it comes to color and size options, Comrad offers these socks in four different color choices and sizes.

For additional peace of mind, Comrad stands by their product and offers free returns and exchanges within 30 days of receipt.  Furthermore, if you simply feel that these socks aren’t for you after giving them a few tries, you can get a full refund – no questions asked.

Note: If you are looking for support for your calf muscles, we recommend checking out the Comrad Knee-High Compression Socks Varsity that extend to just below the knee.

Pros

  • Great for marathon running
  • Breathability panels offer great air flow to toes
  • Needs to be a part of your essential running gear

Cons

  • Kinesiology tape may be needed for calf compression

What You Need To Know

If you are looking for a quality pair of compression socks for runners, then it doesn’t get much better than this.  Able to reduce running injuries with its targeted compression and quality fabric, these will quickly become your new favorite piece of gear.

6. CEP Ortho+ Plantar Fasciitis Heel Compression Sleeves

Best Features:

  • Works to reduce morning pain on both heel and arch
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Made in Germany

Best For:

Anyone who is looking for the best compression socks for plantar fasciitis that gradually stretches the plantar fascia ligament to provide pain relief.

Summary

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by a variety of factors.  While the most common include both age and workplace setting (source), plantar fasciitis compression socks can help to provide pain relief that you commonly experience on both the heel and arch of your feet, particularly with pain in the morning when getting out of bed.

Socks for plantar fasciitis, such as the CEP Ortho+ provided targeted compression to increase blood flow and reduce heel pain throughout the day. 

Delivering a moderate 20-30 mmHg compression around the middle of the foot, the CEP Ortho+ heel sleeve will work to increase micro-circulation of your blood for extended periods.

Designed to be worn under your socks, the fabric of this sock is latex-free and contains moisture-wicking material coupled with a breathable fabric to mitigate the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

While not a substitution to a medical-grade night splint, this CEP Ortho+ compression sleeve is a great option for those looking to reduce swelling throughout the day when on your feet for extended periods of time.

Unlike other compression socks reviewed, this plantar fasciitis compress foot sleeve only extends to the ankle area. 

Pros

  • Reduces foot pain all day long
  • Moisture wicking fabric prevents odor
  • Alleviates plantar fasciitis pain

Cons

  • Not a substitution for night splints

What You Need To Know

Plantar fasciitis sufferers dealing with intense heel pain will love these socks by CEP Ortho+ as they are specially designed to provide some quick heel pain relief.

7. Vitalsox Graduated Compression Socks

Best Features:

  • Perfect for world travelers
  • Varying degrees of tightness from toe to calf
  • Reduces chances of swelling or leg pain

Best For:

Anyone looking for a casual travel compression sock that is designed to also control mild plantar fasciitis inflammation.

Summary

One of the most popular compression socks for men is the Vitalsox Travelsox TSS6000. Designed to extend just above the calf, this graduated compression sock has some strong design characteristics that make it a standout offering in our list.

For starters, men loved the proprietary Silver Drystat performance fiber. Not only does this help with moisture control and temperature regulation, but the fabric is recyclable and antimicrobial.

Men with mild plantar fasciitis inflammation like this sock as it provides moderate pressure compression to reduce pain, but it is also closed toe and closed heel, unlike many plantar fasciitis sleeves, making it remain close to your skin without ever moving around or requiring readjustment.

Details in the construction of this sock are also noteworthy. First the footbed of the sock features a soft padding that provides additional protection and comfort for your feet when walking or doing your daily exercises. The ultra flat toe seam also prevents any rubbing or incidental blisters. Lastly, and perhaps the biggest selling point, will be the non-binding cuff that doesn’t need to be constantly pulled up or readjusted.

Given that these socks were designed for travel use, we would be remiss if we didn’t call attention to a few other travel friendly details. Whether you intend on backpacking across Europe, heading to a safari, or simply hiking on the weekends, travelers loved the reliability. This likely has to do with quality of detail that Travelsox employs during the construction process. With each sock inspected for quality in their Italian factory, you can have great confidence in the sock wherever your travels take you.

Here are a few other features in the Travelsox TSS600:

  • Made from silver, Drystat and other synthetic fibers mean moisture is wicked away, and bacteria is reduced.
  • A variety of colors means you can get the moderate compression these socks provide without sacrificing your outfit.
  • Very good for plantar fasciitis, deep vein thrombosis, or just recovery after exercise.
  • Travelsox TSS600 provides graduated compression at the bottom of our price range.

Pros

  • A number of neutral color options
  • Great compression socks for long flights
  • Moderate pressure rating (12-20 mmHg)

Cons

  • Would like to see dressier designs for casual use

What You Need To Know

The Vitalsox Travelsox TSS6000 is a perfect entry into men’s compression socks. Grab a few pairs if you need a bit of extra support or recovery and don’t want to sacrifice your budget or your wardrobe.

8. Sockwell Circulator Compression Socks

Best Features:

  • Reasonable price for hiking compression socks
  • Great for different terrain and trails
  • Smart shape doesn’t slip
  • Naturally moisture-wicking fabric

Best For:

Anyone that wants additional circulation and support from a pair of hiking socks.

Summary

When hiking in the backcountry, finding the right compression level, warmth, and support is crucial. 

Made from a blend of 32% merino wool, 32% stretch nylon, 31% rayon from bamboo, and 5% spandex, these hiking socks are designed for long-distance travel.  Furthermore, this unique blend of fabrics will be both durable and antimicrobrial.  When wearing these with your hiking boots, the socks help draw moisture away from your feet providing additional comfort. 

Furthermore, this sock features Y-heel construction, so when you are on the trail, you don’t have to worry about the sock slipping around in your shoe requiring constant readjustments.

With a moderate compression (15-20 mmHg), they can be worn comfortably all day long.

Other noteworthy features for the Sockwell Circulator Compression Socks:

  • Sockwell makes a whole line of socks that are perfect for general wear, i.e., they don’t look like compression socks.
  • The graduated compression helps minimize swelling and provide arch support and enhanced blood flow.
  • The Sockwell products are available in six different colors, meaning you can wear compression socks wherever and whenever you need to.
  • The bottom-end price range means you won’t have to break the bank.

Pros

  • Selection of colors
  • 32% Merino Wool with enough stretch
  • Cushioned sole

Cons

  • Difficult to get on

What You Need To Know

The Sockwell graduated compression merino wool socks will help keep that swelling down when on the trail. Expect great support for both your feet and calf muscles.

9. SB Sox Compression Foot Sleeve for Plantar Fasciitis

Best Features:

  • Provides arch and ankle support
  • Shock absorption heel
  • Also helps with heel spurs

Best For:

Anyone looking for plantar fasciitis socks that provide great support during exercise or everyday wear.

Summary

While the SB Sox compression foot sleeve, or any sleeve for that matter, won’t treat plantar fasciitis fully, the right pair can help to create compression zones that provide quick relief.

Beyond pain management, these socks also offer great breathability in the toe area by allowing air to flow freely. This will help to reduce odor when this foot sleeve is worn underneath your favorite pair of socks.

What else we like about these socks is that they can work for just about anyone. With sizes ranging from small to x-large (shoe size 3 to 14+), they cover nearly all sizes of feet.

Lastly, should you have pain in the heel area, this plantar fasciitis compression sock provides extra padding along the foot bed.

Here’s a few other noteworthy features for SB Compression Sleeve:

  • The SB Sox compression foot sleeves are low cut, meaning you only get the compression exactly where you need it. You can also wear them with shorts.
  • Socks are made from premium, lightweight fabric to keep your feet dry.
  • Available in lots of colors

Pros

  • Compression only where you need it
  • The lower end of the price range
  • Lots of great colors

Cons

  • The toeless design will take some getting used to
  • Won’t help with upper leg compression needs

What You Need To Know

The SB Sox Compression Sleeves are perfect for offering targeted compression to the arch, lower foot, and heel without breaking the bank.

10. Actinput Compression Socks with Zipper

Best Features:

  • Designed for someone with limited flexibility
  • Four-way stretch fabric
  • Layers underneath socks easily

Best For:

A man who needs compression socks for support and has a hard time getting regular socks on.

Summary

Getting compression grade socks on can be a tricky endeavor for some – especially if you have limited mobility or skew a bit older.  Zippered compression socks are specifically designed to combat this difficulty with their easy-on and easy-off nature. 

As we reviewed a variety of socks, we found the Actinput socks were the best zippered compression socks currently available for a few reasons.

First the zipper is strong.  Unlike so many other cheap compression socks, these won’t break after a few uses. 

Secondly, these socks offer a firm 20-30 mmHg grade compression throughout the length of the sock.  Therefore, if are looking to reduce swelling, varicose veins, relieve aching feet, or simply want to increase blood circulation, you should be pretty happy with the results.

Another nice touch about these socks is the toe hole opening.  Given that these were designed for easy-on and easy-off, the opening at the end makes things a bit easier to manage.

Available in both a black and nude color, these socks can easily be worn discretely under dress pants, paired with shorts, or under your favorite pair of socks.

Here are a few other key takeaways:

  • Zippered socks make taking them on and off a breeze – not the most stylish socks on the planet, though.
  • These Actinput graduated socks are great for the reduction of varicose veins (spider veins) or swelling.
  • While only available in two colors, you could of course wear a thin sock over the top.
  • Open toes allow for free movement of your feet.

Pros

  • Open toe
  • Zippered sides for easy on and off
  • The bottom end of the price range
  • Provides support for your arches

Cons

  • Only available in two colors

What You Need To Know

If your doctor has recommended a compression sock that provides day-long support, you have trouble pulling socks on, and you don’t mind the style, you may want the Actinput compression socks.

5 Tips on How to Put on Compression Socks the EASY Way

When it comes to putting on compression socks, it can be a bit tricky at first.  Therefore, we wanted to share with you a few tips to make it a bit easier and to prevent any holes or tears from forming.

1. Find A Comfortable Spot

Whether you like to sit at the edge of the bed, a nice comfy chair, or on the floor, you will want to first find a place where you can easily reach your feet and provide plenty of leverage when pulling up the sock.

2. Put Your Hand Into The Sock And Turn Inside Out

With your sock in hand, you will want to work your hand down to the foot area of the sock.  Once down at the heel, pinch a bit of the fabric and roll the upper part of the calf band down past the foot so the remaining inside portion of the compression sock is about the same size as a regular casual ankle sock.

3. Apply Baby Powder (Optional)

Some men like to apply talcum powder (baby powder) to their feet to make sliding into the sock a bit easier – however, this step is completely optional.

4. Put The Sock On

Just like a standard pair of casual socks, you will want to slide your feet into the compression sock.

5. Grab The Inside Out Band and Pull Upwards

With your foot working its way into the compression sock you will now need to pull up the upper calf band.  As we covered in step #2, the top half of the compression sock should still be inside out at this point.  As you go to pull the sock upwards, the sock should easily slide on and up your leg.

Bonus Tip: Remember To Cut Your Toe Nails

Compression socks aren’t the cheapest thing in the world.  Therefore, you will want to make sure that you keep your toenails maintained before putting on the socks as a sharp toenail can easily put a hole in the fabric.  If your toenails tend to be pretty sharp, a few quick swipes with a nail file should help to round off any jagged edges.

3 Must-Have Accessories for Compression Socks

Application Aids

Some people that wear compression socks use them to recover from exercise. Others wear them for medical reasons, to support the lower legs and feet. In either case, you may need some help getting your socks on. Whether you’ve got arthritis, weak hands, or are sore from training, application aids can help you get your socks on. Donner gloves are one device that is commonly used to increase the grip. Others include cuffs or handles that help you roll the socks up your legs.

Washing Solution

Compression gear can generally be tossed in the laundry machine, but there are cleaners intended for washing it specifically. It is more gentle than laundry detergent and designed to extend the life of your socks, but you will have to take more time and do extra loads of laundry – consider hand washing to save some headaches.

Orthotic Insoles

If you need compression socks, you may also need orthotic insoles, especially if you have plantar fasciitis. These insoles are prescription and not the same as what you buy at the drugstore. They help to correct issues with the way you walk, stand, or run, and relieve pain due to conditions such as plantar fasciitis, bursitis, arthritis, and flat feet.

Compression Sock FAQs

What are the best compression socks for men?

The best socks for men are the ones that meet your needs. If you’re running or training and want some socks for either during or after your run, consider more casual, sporty-looking socks. Regardless, we always consider graduated socks that adapt the pressure to the area of your leg.

How do compression socks work?

Compression socks help to keep your feet, lower legs, and upper legs supplied with oxygen-rich blood all day long through constant and gradual pressure. The socks are made to keep the blood flowing to areas that need a bit of extra support. This includes helping with varicose veins (spider veins), plantar fasciitis, and more.

How many hours a day should you wear compression socks?

There is no limit to how often you should wear compression socks. Most studies agree that you should not go to bed in them, however. Always consult a physician before adding compression socks to a daily medical regiment.

Can compression socks be harmful?

Yes, but it’s limited to people who have blood circulation issues, to begin with. If you have arterial issues, speak with a doctor before using compression garments.

What level of compression socks do I need?

The best level of compression is the one that works for your specific needs. Graduated compression socks provide differing pressure as they rise up your leg.

Do nurses wear compressions socks?

Absolutely – in fact, nurses are some of the most common users of compression socks. Others include waiters, folks in construction, or really anyone that has to be on their feet for an extended period of time.

Do compression socks raise blood pressure?

Nope, they do not.

How do I choose the right size compression socks?

If you’re getting compression socks for a medical reason, consider working with a professional to get the appropriate size. Otherwise, many companies like physix gear, Anctin, or VitalSox have robust fit guides that can help you. Generally, the process requires you to take measurements of your legs and feet.

Do compression socks really work?

Yes! They can move lactic acid from your legs after exercise and are clinically proven to get pooled blood moving around your legs again. For some, they can be a first step before exploring more costly physical therapy.

What are some home remedies to treat plantar fasciitis?

There are several home remedies for plantar fasciitis. If your pain is mild, then rolling your foot along a tennis ball or a frozen water bottle may be enough to provide relief. For more intense pain, wearing a compression foot sleeve or even night splints have been found to be effective for many.

Compression Socks vs. Four Other Alternatives

Compression Socks

Compression socks are available from a whole host of different retailers and are made to help you recover from exercise or keep blood moving around your body as you work or travel. They are generally inexpensive, and the socks offer a graduated compression that can help varicose veins, plantar fasciitis, and more.

1. Compression Stockings

Compression stockings are almost exclusively custom ordered from your doctor. They tend to be thinner than a compression sock but are designed to apply specific pressure to specific areas. The word stockings is used, but compression stockings are worn by men and women alike.

2. Compression Sleeves

Compression sleeves are often worn on the lower leg during exercise to provide support and prevent shin splints specifically. They are worn after exercise to help your legs recover. Sleeves are almost never worn for medical reasons.

3. Diabetic Socks

Diabetic socks are specifically worn by those who have diabetes in order to keep blood flowing into the foot. Because of higher blood sugar levels, people who suffer from diabetes can often develop neuropathy in their feet. This can cause severe damage, possibly ending in amputation. Diabetic socks help prevent this from occurring.

4. Ace Bandage

Ace bandages are only worn as needed for injury. They provide support to specific areas. In terms of the lower leg, they can be wrapped around the foot, ankle, or knee to provide a bit of extra support when getting over an injury.

Our Criteria for Choosing the Best Men’s Compression Socks

We considered a variety of options to come up with the best compression socks for men, including price, material sock type, and pressure. It’s important to consider your needs, and in particular, the recommendations from your doctor if you need them for medical reasons. Our list is an objective look at the top compression socks currently on the market.

About Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.

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