Accessories

The Best Compression Socks for Running: How to Find the Best Pair?

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Runners often face problems such as pain and soreness in the legs and feet. They tend to spend the majority of the time on their feet, and hence, it is only natural for them to struggle with pain. However, you can efficiently deal with this issue by using high-quality compression socks for your tired legs and feet.

For runners, compression socks are a blessing!

What are compression socks?

Compression socks that are specially designed for runners are strong elastic socks. These socks are worn up to the knee and compress the veins and arteries located superficially on the legs. They also compress the muscles of the legs. This helps the blood flow through the legs via the smaller circulatory channels. Blood reaches the heart faster and does not pool into the feet. The socks help in relieving muscle fatigue, pain, and swelling.

People have been using compression socks for ages now. In the field of medical science, bedridden patients and the patients with limited mobility use these socks to enhance the circulation of blood in their legs. In medical terms, compression socks are one of the most viable means to establish a healthy blood circulation.

Scientific benefits of using Compression Therapy

There are many scientific benefits of compression therapy. Take a look:

  • Compression therapy helps in reducing the volume of blood in the lower limbs by 65 percent if you are standing up and about 45 percent if you are lying down.
  • Compression therapy prevents spider and varicose veins that are extremely painful and itchy. The treatment prevents blood flow issues.
  • Compression therapy enhances the pressure on the tissues. This causes the fluids to get re-absorbed in the veins and ultimately prevents swelling or edema.
  • Compression therapy helps the leg ulcers heal faster. The therapy is an excellent option for the people who are suffering from diabetes.
  • In conjunction with cold therapy, the compression therapy arrests tissue damage.
  • Compression therapy is beneficial for the people who remain in the same position for a longer duration of time. For instance, pilots, bedridden patients, sales clerks, etc.

Benefits of compression socks

There are several benefits of compression socks. Let’s look at them one by one.

  • Compression socks are very advantageous for athletes. These socks help in reducing muscle soreness, muscle fatigue after exercise, and swelling on the feet.
  • Compression socks protect the legs and feet from abrasions and scratches.
  • People are well aware of the benefits of compression technology on swelling. Wearing compression socks helps in limiting swelling of legs and feet. These socks are a boon for people who tend to spend their entire day on feet.
  • Compression socks prevent the feet from getting dirty.

Why do runners need compression socks?

Generally, when the runners run, blood tends to pool in their lower legs, as well as feet, due to gravity. This causes circulatory issues in the runners. The pooling of blood in the lower limbs prevents the venous return of the blood to the heart. This ultimately leads to leg cramps and fatigue, preventing a complete recovery of leg muscles after the workout.

Compression socks come into the picture here. These socks apply the required amount of pressure on the muscles of the lower leg. This improves the venous return of the blood to the heart.

On application of pressure on veins, arteries, as well as muscles, the blood is forced through the narrow channels. Thus, more blood returns to the heart against the gravitational forces and less blood pools in the lower limbs which ultimately boosts recovery.

Medical advantages of Compression Therapy for runners

Compression therapy works wonders for the runners as they are always subjected to immense pain. Runners always wear compression socks to limit the amount of ache and pain in their legs.

Here are the medical advantages of compression therapy for the runners. Take a look:

  • Compression socks help in easing the tension in the muscles after a long distance run or a very strenuous workout session.
  • Compression socks help in restoring healthy circulation in the lower limb.
  • Compressions socks help in reducing acid build-up.
  • Compression socks limit the muscle oscillation in runners. Muscle oscillation is the vibration that occurs in the body when the feet of the runner hit the ground again and again while running.

How to Find the Best Pair of Compression Socks for Runners?

Finding the best pair of compression socks is a task enough for the runners. Several brands serve a plethora of options on the platter of the runners.

If you are looking for a pair of the best compression socks for yourself, here are some tips to make an informed purchase:

Understand the gradient compression

As already mentioned, several brands manufacture various kinds of compression socks for runners. Some brands offer compression stockings with graduated compression, i.e., these socks are tight around the ankle and less tight at the knee.

Gradient compression allows the optimum level of compression wherever it is required. The maximum amount of compression is needed around the ankle and not the foot. These socks are designed keeping this thing in mind.

According to leading research, maximum gradient compression helps in establishing a better blood flow. It also offers a quick recovery.

Gradient compression is measured in mmHg or millimeters of Mercury, the same unit used to measure blood pressure.

While buying the compression socks, you must consider the compression gradient. It is mentioned on the product packaging. Brands offer socks with compression gradient ranging from 8 mmHg to 40 mmHg.

Look for compression socks between 18 to 24 mmHg.

Look for the right size

Buy compression socks that are not too tight or too lose. To derive maximum benefit, wear compression socks that are the right size. If you do not remember your exact size, follow the guidelines mentioned below to get the correct measurement:

Length: Look for the socks that cover the entire calf, as well as the shin. The socks should end below your knee joint.

Socks that are too low will not offer enough compression. Also, socks that are too high will irritate the skin at the back of the knee while running.

Measure accurately, the distance between the back of the knee to the floor behind the heel to get the proper measurement of the length. Do not wear your footwear while measuring.

Ankle: To measure the circumference of the ankle, place the tape at the ankle’s narrowest part, above the ankle bone.

Calf: Measure the circumference of the calf.

Arch: You must also measure the arch. The length is measured from the point at the foot’s top to the highest point in your foot arch.

After taking the measurement, compare it with the size chart offered by the brand and select the correct fit.

Choose the right material

Selecting the right material is also an essential factor. You must buy socks that are made up of breathable material. The fabric must be high-performance and should possess moisture-absorbing and cooling properties.

Good fabric is comfortable on the skin and allows the moisture to escape, preventing blister eruption and foul odor.

Look for a color other than white

No rocket science here; white socks tend to get dirty fast. Hence, you must stay away from white.

All brands offer many color options. Choose from the primary colors like navy, black, beige, etc.

Best Compression Socks for Running

Now that you have an idea of what will work best for you, let’s find out the best compression socks for running:

MudGear OCR Compression Socks

Type  Compression socks for running 
Pressure  15 to 20 mmHg 
Price   $29.99 (Check out the latest rates here!)
Fabric  Ultra-breathable, abrasion-resistant fabric 
Best for   Obstacle course racing 

Notable features

  • Protective backing for added durability
  • Best for an intense and rugged environment
  • Breathable fabric
  • Abrasion resistant fabric
  • An added layer of padding

MudGear OCR is one of the best products mentioned in this list. These socks are a perfect pick for obstacle course racing. It is a known fact that a rugged environment is quite demanding. The MudGear OCR compression socks are designed to bear the intense environment. They feature a proactive backing that enhances their durability.

An added layer of padding on the lower leg ensures proper protection from debris and obstacles.

Pressure

Talking about the pressure, these socks offer 15 to 20 mmHg compression. The socks are graduated offering more pressure around the ankle and less pressure around the calf.

Fabric

The socks offer greater breathability as they are made from ultra-breathable fabric. They do not hold moisture and hence, even when wet, they do not feel heavy.

The abrasion resistant fabric keeps bruises and cut at bay and offers a great support in the obstacle course.

Pros  Cons 
Applies constant pressure throughout the leg keeping muscles fatigue at bay and offering better recovery.  Thicker than other options 
Amazing airflow    
A very durable construction for an intense environment   
Apt for the obstacle course and off-road environment   

Why buy Mudgear OCR?

If you’re looking for the best pair of socks for an obstacle course running, then Mudgear OCR socks are the deal breaker for you. These socks come with an added layer of protection for your feet and legs and keep muscle fatigue under control. They are extremely durable and ideal for an intense environment. Since they do not retain moisture, they do not suffocate your legs or feel heavy if when they are wet.

Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks

Type  Compression socks for running 
Pressure   
Price   $31.45 – $68.69 (Check out the latest rates here!)
Fabric  200 needle count construction fabric 
Best for  Support and comfort 

Notable Features

  • Unique graduated compression
  • Lightweight fabric
  • Ultra Zone Ribbing feature
  • 200 Needle count construction
  • Seamless toe

The Zensah Tech+ is an apt option for you if comfort is your prime concern. These compression socks offer a great support while ensuring a greater comfort. The graduated compression restores better circulation.

The seamless toe makes sure that your skin is protected against blister eruption. The toe is further padded to enhance comfort and support.

Pressure

The socks are designed to offer graduated compression. They offer a great support to calves, ankle, as well as shin. The Ultra Ribbing Zone offers added support to ankle and arch and helps to stabilize them.

Fabric

The 200-needle count fabric of Zensah Tech+ ensures a greater breathability. The fabric keeps off the moisture and also regulates the temperature of the leg. It keeps the legs warm.

Pros  Cons 
Comfortable  Socks feel a bit warm 
Offer a great support and stability   
Seamless toe construction   
Graduated compression offers better circulation   
Many color options are available   

Why buy Zensah Tech+?

If you’re looking for compression socks with great stability and comfort, then Zensah Tech+ compression socks can be an ideal choice for you. The wonderful 200-needle fabric is highly breathable and controls the moisture by regulating the temperature of your leg. The Ultra Ribbing Zone protects the sensitive ankle and arch. You can choose between different colors and designs.

Vitalsox VT1211 Compression Socks

Type   Compression socks for running 
Pressure  12 to 20 mmHg 
Price  $12.50 – $38.52 (Check out the latest rates here!)
Fabric  Breathable fabric with fibers infusing silver 
Best for   Planar fasciitis and shin splints 

Notable Features

  • Prevent muscle fatigue and boost recovery
  • Best for planar fasciitis and shin splints
  • Optimum graduated pressure
  • Silver infused fibers

Considered an ideal option for the runners who want to prevent shin splints and planar fasciitis, these compression socks are made from a very high-quality material. They offer a greater arch and ankle support.

Pressure

The socks offer an excellent graduated pressure. The pressure it light at the toe area, more in midfoot and ankle, and then, again light at the calf. The socks offer pressure between 12 to 20 mmHg.

Fabric

Vitalsox VT1211 is touted for the use of the best and the highest-quality fabric. The most noted thing about the fabric is the incorporation of silver in fibers. The fabric is very breathable. The socks dry easily and quickly keeping the microbial and fungal invasions at bay.

Pros  Cons 
Offer a great support at the ankle and arch  Low calf compression 
Very breathable fabric  Not very durable 
Lighter compression making it apt for new users    
Antimicrobial and antifungal    

Why Vitalsox VT1211?

Vitalsox VT1211 compression socks offer great support at two sensitive points – the ankle and the arch. They are made from high-quality breathable fabric which contains traces of silver. They can be easily washed and dried to reduce the chances of microbial or fungal growth. The lighter compression provided by these socks makes them a great choice for new runners. If you’re suffering from painful plantar fasciitis but cannot give up on your passion for running, these compression socks can help you fulfill your dreams!

Physix Gear Support Compression Socks

Type  Compression socks for running 
Pressure  20 to 30 mmHg 
Price  $17 (Check out the latest rates here!)
Fabric  Nylon blend breathable fabric 
Best for  Athletes and professionals 

Notable Features

  • Great for athletes
  • Greater support to ankle, arch, toe, and calf
  • Breathable fabric
  • Non-slip construction
  • Antimicrobial and antifungal

Physix Gear Support socks offer a great relief to tired legs. They improve circulation and reduce swelling. They offer a great support to ankle, arch, toe, as well as calf.

The socks feature stay-put cuff to keep the socks around the calves while running.

Pressure

The socks utilize graduated compression and support the ankle, arch, toe, and calf quite well. They offer compression pressure ranging from 20 to 30 mmHg.

Fabric

The socks are made from nylon blend material and do not entertain bacterial and fungal growth. Moisture-wicking capabilities are amazing.

Pros  Cons 
Great support  Tight at calves 
Antimicrobial and antifungal   
Boost circulation and reduce swelling   
Soothe tired legs   
Anti-slip   
Unisex   
Pocket-friendly   

Why buy Physix Gear Support?

Physix Gear Support compression socks help in improving the blood circular in the legs and keeps tiredness at bay. The stay-put-cuff feature makes sure that the socks don’t keep slipping down the calves. However, some users have reported that the socks are tight around the calves and a bit uncomfortable too. The nylon blend material of these socks is comfortable and skin-friendly. The moisture-wicking capabilities ensure that bacteria and fungi stay out of the user’s zone. It is a unisex product and can be worn by both, men and women. Overall, great compression socks for protecting the ankle, arch, toe, and calf.

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