Whether you’re a recreational trail runner looking for some great compression socks, or a more serious runner who needs them for a half- or full marathon, you want to make sure that you’re getting a good product.
Because compression socks are designed to improve blood flow and to lessen pain and swelling in your legs, you want to find socks that are snug-fitting, yet still stretchy enough to gently squeeze your legs. Knowing the highest quality socks out there can help you make the best decision for you in selecting gear.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
CEP Progressive+ Run Compression Socks 2.0
Pro Compression Marathon Socks
Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks
1. 2XU Vectr Cushion Full Length Socks
2XU Vectr Cushion Full Length socks are designed with proprioceptive arch stabilization. Twenty-dollar words aside, they make it easy for you to move freely with little additional thought.
These socks were created to improve your coordination by giving you the maximum amount of cushioning to support forefoot impact, push-off, and heal impact. And the Polygiene permanent antibacterial and anti-odor technology will keep your feet smelling fine after a long run.
The X-LOCK compression technology supports plantar fascia, arch, and ankle to optimize your foot strike.
Finally, you experience the epitome of comfort with these socks, as the 2XU Vectr Cushion Full Length socks have an anti-abrasion seamless toe construction and a mesh panel for ventilation. Thus, you don’t have to worry about getting blisters from these socks or an uncomfortable toe seam.
- Light cushioning without the bulk
- Provides advanced plantar fascia and arch support
- X-LOCK technology locks the foot in place
- Functional, but maybe not the best value for the price and quality
2. Brooks Fanatic Compression Socks
Pretty much every compression sock on the market helps wick moisture away from your skin. The Brooks Fanatic Compression socks, with DriLayer technology, claims to do so 33% quicker than leading competitors. Just as with other technical clothing, good wicking helps regulate your temperature and keeps you dry.
The 12-18mmHg graduated compression will provide comfort while still providing all the benefits of compression, such as enhanced circulation, faster recoveries, reduced fatigue, and an energized feeling in your legs.
The mesh at the upper foot will provide decreased weight and increased ventilation, giving you more support and making your runs more comfortable. Plus, the added heel and toe cushioning will protect the sensitive areas of your feet as you hit the ground on your runs.
- Breathe well and don’t bunch or twist
- Comfortable even for hours of wear
- Thick and warm (great for winter, but not the rest of the year)
- Tend to be more scratchy
- Lack of styles
3. CEP Progressive+ Run Compression Socks 2.0
If you want a pair of compression socks that will give you an added boost of energy as well as keep your feet from stinking up the room after you run, the CEP Progressive+ Run Compression socks 2.0 can give you all of that and more. The anatomically-placed foot paddling will not only improve your coordination and protect you from injury, but will also make your runs more comfortable.
In addition, the odor-reducing silver ions will keep your feet smelling normal even after a long, sweaty run. The targeted compression to the calf, ankle, and mid-foot will accelerate blood flow to the muscles, giving you increased support.
Plus, you don’t have to worry about squeezing the life out of your calf, as the halo top band has a wider, non-restrictive surface area, and the open-pore mesh calf is soft and breathable. Finally, you’ll experience improved Achilles support that will give you protection, reducing injuries.
- Helps to manage the Achilles tendon and prevent muscle cramps
- Mildly padded footbed
- Durable and not too hot
- Can be somewhat challenging to take on and off
- Can shrink after washing
4. Feetures Graduated Compression Light Cushion Knee High Socks
Feetures Graduated Compression Light Cushion Knee High Socks are built around the dual comforts of a seamless toe and iWick fibers that keep you dry and cool. The graduated compression starts off tight around your ankle, and loosens up as you move toward the top, improving circulation throughout your leg while maintaining a high level of comfort.
If you’re looking for cushioned comfort but not a lot of bulk, these socks will give you high-density cushioning in the high impact zones. And you’ll get the advantages of a superior 15-20mmHg of compression at the ankle with an enhanced and comfortable fit throughout the whole sock.
- Padded foot bed
- Reasonably priced
- Good for recovery
- Calf support feels great
- Unusual fitting: too small in the ankle and upper part, yet too big in the foot
- Not as good for running
5. Pro Compression Marathon Socks
The Pro Compression Marathon Socks offer 20-30mmHg graduated compression, which will provide all the benefits of compression socks—increased blood flow, faster recovery, and peak performance—without compromising on comfort. The socks are designed for the ultimate comfort of the runner: the fabric is a poly-nylon blend that makes it easy for your skin to breathe and the smooth seams prevent chafing and irritation.
Unlike other varieties, the compression design isn’t going to alter after lots of washes and wears. These socks are built to last. Not only will you support critical muscles and tendons but you also have lots of color options to select the style that is best for you.
- Feel and look great
- In fact, so comfortable that you might not even feel them when you wear them
- Too tight on the calves for some people
- Others found them too loose
- No specific left foot/right foot cut for better compression
6. SKINS Essential Compression Socks
SKINS Essential Compression socks utilize unique fabrics and flatlock stitching details to help you feel comfortable as you improve your performance. If you want targeted calf muscle support with the maximum comfort, these socks will help to increase blood flow and oxygen delivery to the working muscles, meaning you can train harder and get a better result.
The targeted muscle support is designed to prevent muscle vibration and oscillation. It is these motions that lead to fatigue and injury, so reducing them helps with both endurance and the recovery process. These socks are designed to be breathable as well as temperature- and moisture-regulated, giving you the greatest benefit and comfort in your runs.
- Fit well and effective during run and recovery
- Stays up on the calf all day
- Don’t fit as well for people with skinnier legs
7. Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks
Made in Italy, Zensah Tech+ Compression socks are known for being extra-durable. The graduated compression is tightest around your ankle and lessens at the calf area, making the socks significantly more comfortable. In addition, these socks are designed to stabilize muscles and provide support specifically to the shin and calf area, helping to prevent injury and alleviate shin splints.
You’ll have a perfect fit since the socks are designed specifically for the left and right foot. Likewise, the fabric is comfortable, lightweight, moisture-wicking, and thermally regulating. Finally, you’ll have added arch support to reduce foot fatigue thanks to the ultra-zone ribbing provided by an elastic band that goes around the midfoot.
- Snug, but not a tourniquet
- Durable material that can handle being machine washed
- Easy to forget that they are on
- Can run somewhat small
- Calf compression can run loose, causing the socks to fall down slightly
- Great compression material, but the sock material is lackluster
- Need to be washed after every run
8. Swiftwick ASPIRE Twelve
If you want a knee-high compression sock, ASPIRE Twelve is a good option. If you’re tired of having to find your calf sleeves to pair with your no-show socks, the ASPIRE Twelve will let you kill two birds with one stone. These socks are perfect for long distances when you need some compression in your calves.
They have a light cushion that provides a little bit of support while still giving you plenty of responsiveness. Additionally, the design is breathable and has anti-wick technology that will really keep your feet and calves dry even if you’re running hard.
What we didn’t love about these socks is that they only came in black. First, if you like to have fun colors, they don’t meet that requirement. But, more importantly, black is brutally hot in the summer, especially the farther south that you live. While these compression socks are nice and light, you can definitely feel the sun beating down on them when the weather is warm.
However, in shaded areas or in colder months, these would be perfect because they won’t be so thick that it’s uncomfortable when your body starts to warm up but they’ll still give you some added coverage.
- Great compression
- Don’t have to worry about socks and sleeves
- Perfect for cooler temperatures
- Breathable design
- Lack of color options
- Very hot in the summer