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 is now designed for a variety of applications including travel, jogging, plantar fasciitis, and simply casual use.

In this guide, we will review the finest compression socks currently available. 

7 Quick Tips on Finding the Perfect Compression Socks

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 compression socks comfortable. They can help alleviate discomfort from sitting at a desk for an extended period, sitting cross-legged, or standing.
  • 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. Compression socks can reduce painful 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 leading theory is that compression socks can aid in oxygen delivery to muscles, improve circulation, and speed lactic acid removal. Another study 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 help shorten recovery time and improve performance broadly.
  • Medical Purposes: 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, you should schedule an appointment with your family physician if your foot pain is severe.

2. Compression Sock Type

There are two types of compression socks: graduated and uniform.  Here’s how they differ from one another:

  • Graduated Compression Socks: Feature pressure that moves from the tightest pressure at the ankles to the 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: Provide a consistent level of pressure throughout. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts most commonly use these for support.

3. Compression Level

Compression level is an important consideration. The 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

Getting the right fit and size are important in compression socks. If your socks don’t fit properly, they won’t perform well. Depending on the product and manufacturer, sizing will depend on height/weight, the circumference of the ankle and calf, or simply your shoe size. So be sure to take accurate measurements when buying.

5. Material

Unlike most men’s socks, compression socks are made from a combination of materials, including cotton, merino wool, polyester, nylon, bamboo rayon, and spandex. Cotton is breathable and will keep you cool but, on its own, may not provide the necessary elasticity. Therefore, most companies will often weave in some type of microfiber. 

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. Sock Height

Most compression socks are available in varying 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.

7. 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: 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 the socks for jogging or simply live in a warm climate. Silver is also woven into the fabric to add antimicrobial properties, limiting odor and preventing 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. 
  • Blister Prevention: Some companies will advertise flat seams and quality fabrics to help prevent blisters.  

The 10 Best Compression Socks of 2021 Reviewed

1. Comrad Companions Knee-High Compression Socks

Key Features:

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

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 are unmatched.  They get the job done exceedingly well and should be at the top of your consideration list.

2. TSO Compression Sock for Travel

Key Features:

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

Summary

When it comes to finding 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 is 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

Key Features:

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

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 are 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 some of 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

Key Features:

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

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 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

Key Features:

  • Arch and ankle 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 antimicrobial 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 its 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 extends 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

Key Features:

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

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 for 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

Key Features:

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

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 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 the 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

Key Features:

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

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 antimicrobial.  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 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

Key Features:

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

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 footbed.

Here are 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

Key Features:

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

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 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.