Best Compression Socks

Product DescriptionOverall Score Buy Now
Best seller
Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks Review

Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks Review

  Some good products do correspond with the price. At this price tag, Zensah Tech+ compression socks gives ...

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$33.58 $49.99

Best value
2 2XU Elite Compression Socks Review

2XU Elite Compression Socks Review

  This is stiffer than many prices of the compression socks that are available in the market. But 2XU ...

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Editor choice
3 CEP Progressive+ Run 2.0 Compression Socks Review

CEP Progressive+ Run 2.0 Compression Socks Review

  Let’s just say that CEP has a medical compression company in its DNA. To put that into good use, CEP has ...

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$37.10 $53.00

Product DescriptionOverall Score Buy Now
PRO Compression Compression Socks Review

PRO Compression Compression Socks Review

  Price tags do come with either added benefits or sacrifices – depending on which way the price tag is ...

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2 CW-X Compression Support Socks Review

CW-X Compression Support Socks Review

  People who need to wear compression gears have individual differences, and so do compression socks. While ...

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3 Nike Elite OTC Compression Socks Review

Nike Elite OTC Compression Socks Review

  It goes without saying that Nike is a well-known brand in the sports industry. They have so many sports ...

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So you are into sports and whatever it is you are passionate about, marathon, triathlon, cycling, (whatever) you want to be the best in it or, at the very least, feel good about doing it.  Sometimes, brute force and sheer determination are all you need to attain your goals, but there are times when you have to be familiar with technologies that goes into training equipment and clothing, like compression gears and socks to help you attain your goals. Compression socks, to the clueless, could easily be dismissed as mere part of a teams’ uniform, a fad, or maybe a whimsical fashion statement.

Compression socks, however, have already gone a long way in terms of acceptance and popularity among those who are familiar with the benefits of compression gears. In fact, that industry now has a number of iterations introduced in these products that even those who may have heard of the benefits that can be derived from using support socks before may now find new terminologies that are alien to them.

To give you a better idea about best compression socks, we have done a bit of testing and here’re some of the things we discovered – starting at the high end of the lot:

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What is there to know about Compression Socks? 

First off, here is what the actual vein specialists say about them:

 

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Level of Compression

Level of Compression
In layman’s term, this loosely translates to “tightness,” as in how tight the compression socks feel (or should be) when you wear them. However, this is measured scientifically in terms of Millimeters of Mercury or mmHg. Pretty much like blood pressures are measured and expressed. Respectable manufacturers put athletic support socks into physical test to determine the level of compression of their products. This may sound crazy, since comfort is another factor an athlete considers when buying sports gears, but one has to understand that “tightness” or compression does not necessarily translate to “discomfort.” That said, compression stockings have certain ranges that are recommended for different kind of physical activities. Why? Because that is how these socks work. They optimize your performance by regulating your blood flow. Athletes are advised to use compression socks within the 15 to 30 mmHg range.
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Compression Gradient

Compression stockings will have different amount of tightness for different purposes. These areas could be your ankle and calf and maybe not your foot. Those properly distributed levels of compression are what would make you realize how comfortable the compression socks actually are once you begin wearing them. Oh, and please don’t forget to observe how quickly you recover from strenous activities with regulated blood flow.

We cannot all be Superman, or have healing legacies like the “Loric kids” but support socks can help us avoid injuries and attain faster recovery.

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Seam Structure

One of the things that we sometimes (or often) overlook is that pesky little thing that we don’t notice at first but end up irritating us big time and chafing on our skin as the competition heats up. Needless to say, it magnifies our discomfort as we head to our “do-or-die” moment in the game. It is a garment flaw that we have to watch out in the seams of our compression gears: cycling shorts, wetsuits, compression stockings, running tights, etc. It may sound unfair but manufacturers of the pricier gears and garments tend to pay more attention to this bit of detail. Their athletic compression socks have as fewer seams as possible and their stitching, while we know that they have to be there somewhere in practically all athletic wears, do not bother us like the others and might as well not be there.

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Breathability

We all know what this means. It is the amount of air that can filter through the support socks or any socks for that matter. Almost instinctively, there are socks that we do not like and will not wear ever again, after having tried it only once, because they are too hot. That is probably because the materials used are not breathable. In competitive sports, you want your socks to be breathable and in specific areas, especially in areas that get warm easily like toe, foot and the heel region. The secret is in the fabric. Fortunately, breathable fabrics are often good in moisture-wicking as well.

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Moisture-Wicking

Athlete or not, we all have an idea on what it feels like when our socks get icky wet, right? It is uncomfortable. Moisture-wicking is the ability of the compression socks to get rid of that wetness by allowing moisture to dry. Compression socks that are mostly made of synthetic materials like polyester, spandex, lycra and elastane do that job very well. Wicking does not happen by repelling water. It happens by enabling the water to evaporate quickly.

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Compression Levels

When you have finally decided to try athletic compression socks, do not just go to a brick and mortar store or an online outlet that sells them to pick one up or buy in random. To serve you well, those socks have compression levels indicated in their packaging materials. Below is a guide on what compression level you will need and should buy – depending on your activities:

 

  • 5-15 mmHg. This is the lowest range of compression available. At this level, your sock will be almost practically of the same tightness or slightly higher than the typical sock. They are comfortable. You can use them for long periods of time. Good for traveling, but do not offer much for recovery of athletes from intense activities. These are lower priced, can be used at work and for moving around a lot on foot but that’s about it.
  • 16-25 mmHg. Classified as moderate, this is the most commonly used compression by athletes. Compared with average athletic socks, this will be obviously tighter. This level of compression is attained thru the use of elaborate construction that places the right amount of tightness where they should be. This is good for running and recovery.
  • 26 – 35 mmHg. The highest level of compression one can get minus the prescription. The best compression socks fall in this range. These socks come with stiff prices because of the way they are built which gives strong and stable compression in many directions. It makes for high performance and high recovery that comes with equally high price tag that may be too much for mere enthusiasts.
  • 35 + mmHg and higher. This level normally comes with a medical prescription. Compression socks in this vicinity may actually benefit some athletes, but we will not encourage its use unless there is medical supervision involved.

 

 

 

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What about the Low End of compression stockings?

 If there is a high-end segment of the market there, inevitably, there will be its opposite end. However, the low end of this market may no longer need further exploring since that would be not that much different from our everyday socks. They may still look like some of those we featured here but they will not offer or give you the same benefits. That is, notwithstanding the claims that may be attached to them by their manufacturers. They just won’t have the same tightness or compression which is the whole point of spending a few extra bucks for them.

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But do support socks really work?

The short answer to this question is: Yes.

The long answer is that the effects would vary from person to person and even that will still depend on the activity those people are engaged in. Suffice it to say that support socks are, for quite a while now, being used for treating health problems like deep vein thrombosis. Athletes are using top rated compression socks for different reasons: for working out, for recovery between workouts and there are those who only use them for injuries.  A study conducted by the Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that the use of compression garments, among other benefits, improves by at least five percent (5%) one’s ability to recover from muscle damage.

In the competitive world of sports, where sometimes a difference of a hundredth of a second or even a thousandth of a second spells the difference between victory and defeat, a 5% improvement may actually mean a whale of an advantage.

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So, how do compression socks work?

Here is a video on the topic:

The simplest answer would be: by increasing the speed by which blood travels within our body. To explain further, the best rated compression socks or garments constricts certain parts of our body where we put them on and therefore causing our blood to move in smaller vessels at higher velocity. That prevents our blood from lingering in areas where they should be just passing by quickly to supply the rest of our body the much needed oxygen, etc. The same fluid movement applies to lactic acid in our body but for different reasons.

Many athletes and readers swear that compression stockings used during and after rigorous workouts lessen, if not totally help them avoid, injuries. Among the things they said they are able to avoid by using recovery socks are the Achilles tendon strains and shin splits. They said this is more pronounced with the use of socks rated from 20 mmHg and up.

Still, regardless of claims and results of studies conducted on the use of compression garments, there are those who buy them simply because it makes them feel: better, more productive, or anything at all.

Others just consider it a matter of preference.