If you are on your feet for a prolonged period, it is the ankles that bear the pressure of your weight. Similarly, while in a sports activity, different motions such as twisting and sudden stop apply excessive pressure to ankles. This also applies to people with standing jobs such as medical staff.
This results in ankle and feet swelling, which in some cases, can be chronic. This is why compression therapy is recommended to these people to reduce or get rid of this swelling, pain, or discomfort in an easy way. One of the ways to get this therapy is by using compression socks for ankles.
Compression socks are special outfits that heal by applying positive pressure on your legs. They are not those regular CrossFit socks or tight socks, as they are exclusively designed to apply pressure in a few areas without causing any discomfort or pain.
Medically, these socks aim to boost blood flow from the lower edges. While standing or strolling, the blood in your feet and legs keeps working against gravity to go upward to the heart. Those with circulation problems or living a sedentary lifestyle are at a high risk for blood clots in their legs.
This is where compression socks tend to work by cuddling the tissue in the feet and lower legs to prevent blood from accumulating in your lower edges.
Doctors prescribe them for healing a myriad of health conditions, ranging right from a vein disease to plantar fasciitis. Thus, it is no wonder why the demand for these socks has increased significantly. Today, these socks are famous among nurses, athletes, elders, pregnant women, and patients with ankle or leg condition.
So, are you eager to buy one pair? Well, this post aims to help you in selecting the best pair of compression socks.
Benefits of Compression Socks
Before you go ahead and look for compression socks, it is wise to comprehend what they are made of. At the core of their design, these socks are special products that work to introduce more comfort and boost blood circulation in the legs. The base is compression science, which refers to a synthetic blend of fabrics interlaced to put specific pressure against the limbs and skin it covers.
This pressure works to stimulate maximum blood and fluid circulation in, around to, and from the limbs. As a result, the limbs are likely to get the right nutrients, energy, and oxygen to function well while keeping away the unwanted symptoms of soreness, pain, and swelling.
This working mechanism based on compression can provide a myriad of benefits to both healthy individuals and patients:
- Better blood circulation due to compression that kindles the leg arteries to dilate such that the circulation is boosted even after recovering from exercises
- Less ankle and foot swelling due to improved blood circulation and oxygen provision, which can treat different conditions such as edema
- Prevention of swelling while traveling when continuous hours are spent sitting
- Prevention or healing of varicose veins that can be painful and unappealing
- Better muscle balance, as the right level of compression stabilizes the muscles and decreases the vibration, and consequently, muscle fatigue
- Faster recovery after performing in athletic sports, as the right level of compression combats the impact of gravity on blood flow
- Faster injury recovery considering compression for C in RICE remedy for healing ankle injuries
- Prevention of injuries due to less muscle vibration and its impact such as shin splints
Top 5 Compression Socks for Ankles
Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks for Men & Women 20-30 mmHg – Athletic Fit
Consider these socks if you long for the right balance among quality, durability, comfort, feel, and value. Made using a highly-breathable and lasting mix of nylon and spandex fabric, they can be worn throughout the day or night or both to reduce swelling and fatigue in the lower leg area.
This mix is also moisture-wicking, meaning your feet remain not only dry but free of blisters. You can easily rely upon them in extremely hot weather while participating in a sport as an athlete. Even if you wash them, the compression level does not budge.
With the right blend of support and compression of 20-30 mmHg spanning evenly across the toes, calves, foot, and heels, these socks can relieve the symptoms of shin splints, varicose veins, plantar fasciitis, calf compression, and other lower leg disorders. It is likely to work by restoring your blood circulation!
The stay-put cuffs prevent the socks from dropping down without increasing the feeling of stiffness or pinching. Wearers love to use them during exercise, an adventure, or for boosting recovery from an injury. Above all, they can fit almost any outfit and are easy to put on, a bonus you get, as it can be tough at times to get your feet into.
- Effective compression
- Not too thick or warm but firm
- Natural support and comfort
- Easy to put on
- No odor, moisture, or stiffness
- Attractive designs and different sizes available
- May not suit short legs, wider calves or knees
SB SOX Compression Socks (20-30mmHg) for Men & Women
Consider these compression socks if you are looking for an affordable pair that is sized right. Whether you require them for pain relief, exercise, or work purpose, the compression socks from SB SOX ensure the right mix of compression and support at a price lower than other similar socks.
They are designed to offer an ideal compression level of 20-30mmHg and fit your calves or legs comfortably. For this purpose, they are available in four multiple sizes with a variety of calf circumferences and shoe sizes. They all are designed to ensure premium support, relief from pain and fatigue, and comfort without affecting your mobility.
These lightweight and lasting socks come with a padded heel and toe support to ensure you extra comfort. The anti-wicking, anti-static fabric is breathable and does not emit any odor. Thus, you can easily wear them even if the weather is hot or for extended long hours. It also contributes to joint stability no matter which activity you perform.
The no-slip cuff keeps the socks in place, while you enjoy ankle protection via boosted blood circulation, reinforced toe to prevent blisters, reinforced heel to provide cushion, and arch support to decrease plantar fasciitis. Boosted blood circulation is due to graduation compression technology that offers ideal compression for supporting muscle recovery in legs, feet, ankles, and calves.
- Good compression level
- Great fit
- Support and comfort
- Easy to put on
- No odor, moisture, or germ accumulation
- Different sizes
- Tight banded area
CHARMKING Compression Socks for Women & Men Circulation (3/6/7 Pairs)
The fact that the athletic compression socks from CHARMKING come in a pack of three, six, or seven indicates that you get a highly cost-effective deal as compared to other brands in the market. Each pack comes with socks of different colors although the size you choose remains the same (obviously). You can select from small, medium, large and extra-large sizes. In short, you will always have a pair ready when you are in need.
No matter which color or size you choose, these socks offer between 15-20 mmHg of compression. Their toe and heel parts are reinforced to prevent blisters and provide cushioning, respectively as well as aid in boosting their lifespan. The cuff is non-slippery too.
They are not as low-cut as those from Physix Gear but provide support to the ankle and the upper foot. They peek above your shoes and appear as regular socks due to which it is not easy to tell the difference.
These socks are made to prevent swelling, recover faster from an injury reduce fatigue, soothe legs and feet, boost circulation, and improve performance. To be specific, they help with cramping and reduce the signs of plantar fasciitis. You can expect relief from pulled muscles, heel cup problems, blood pooling, tendonitis, edema, and Achilles too.
The silver fiber fabric takes care of maximum moisture control to retain dry, comfortable feet without blisters. Even multiple washes do not affect the shape of the socks. They help in boosting motion without skin irritation, stress, or abrasion.Find Out More about CHARMKING Compression Socks for Women & Men 15-20 mmHg is Best Graduated Athletic, Running, Flight, Travel, Nurses, Pregnant – Boost Performance, Blood Circulation & Recovery (Multi 01, S/M)
- Snug fit
- Extra firm
- Good compression level
- Good comfort and support
- Super affordable
- Available in different sizes and assorted colors
- Not for wide feet
Bitly Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks for Women & Men
The Bitly compression socks, endorsed by the football legend Tiki Barber, are designed to provide relief to those who have plantar fasciitis or ankle splints. However, this is their specialty. Apart from this problem, the socks are even proving helpful in relieving pain, fatigue, and swelling due to bone spurs, inflammation, and Achilles.
They fit well under standard socks, offer arch and heel support, and boost circulation across the feet. By providing targeted compression and copious support to ankles and arch, these socks relieve arch and heel pain and kindle blood flow for quick healing. For recovery, the credit goes to the lean design and foot as well as ankle compression.
The breathable fabric is moisture-wicking and odor-free that takes care of temperature regulation to keep your feet dry and blister-free. You can wear them the whole day long or throughout the night.
These socks do not constrict much due to which they leave no marks or trigger a feeling of less or lost circulation. You can easily wear them with regular socks over them in sneakers or slip on flip flops, as the toe is open.
- Targeted compression
- Heel and arch support and comfort
- Plantar fasciitis pain relief
- Super affordable
- Available in different colors and sizes
- Thin material
- Tighter feel for some
Iseasoo Store Copper Compression Running Socks for Men & Women 5/10 Pairs
This one is another super-affordable deal that comes with a pack of five or ten socks. Just like other compression socks, these too are light, have cushion support for no blisters and wear-resistance, offer arch compression for stability and pain relief, and are made using breathable materials.
However, what sets them apart is the set of copper ions woven into the 85% cotton ventilated mesh fabric. These ions act as an antibacterial agent to retain the mesh fresh even in the harshest condition. The overall fabric wicks moisture to keep our feet dry and cool.
As copper is a good conductor of electricity, it helps in rejuvenating blood circulation across the legs via its fibers. The credit also goes to the compression technology offering a 15-20 mmHg compression level for both the arch and ankle, which also helps improve oxygen delivery and strengthen muscles and joints for quick recovery and better performance.
The socks also deliver mild squeezing for warmness and keep the blood moving through your legs. They help reduce swelling, cramping and stiffness, blood pooling, pulled muscles, heel cup problems, autoimmune neuropathy, varicose, and Achilles.
Little padding atop the foot and at the ball boosts comfort and removes foot stress and abrasion. The cuffs at the bottom and sides provide a soothing feeling without pinching or compromising ankle support. These socks are not as low-cut as a few other socks but are more convenient than knee-high socks.Find Out More about Copper Compression Running Socks For Men & Women-5/10 Pairs-Fit for Athletic,Travel& Medical
- Snug fit
- Copper for blood circulation
- Good compression on the arch
- Super comfortable
- Mesh ventilation
- Warm in cold
- Super cost-effective
- Only washable by hands
- Not for small feet
Buying Guide For Choosing The Best Compression Socks For Ankles
Compression socks are available in different sizes, lengths, materials, styles, and compression levels. Thus, especially for a beginner, it can be a challenge to select the right pair. To make it easy for beginners, it is recommended to consider the following factors that are likely to help in making an informed decision.
Purpose of wearing a Compression Sock
As the first step, you need to know why you wish to wear compression socks. Is it for better blood circulation, boosted oxygen supply to muscles, and/or retention of muscles’ warmness? Will you wear it for feeling comfortable during long spells of sitting or standing to avoid achy, tired legs?
Is it so that you expect to recover soon from a recent surgery? You may also be going through swelling and pain due to medical conditions such as varicose veins, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, diabetes, or edema.
Regardless of whatever it is, you need to know the purpose so that you can invest in the most suitable pair of compression socks. After all, not all these socks help in handling all these conditions or symptoms.
Finding how to select compression socks involves comprehending how much assistance your limbs require. This is directly proportional to the type or length of socks you choose. If you are a runner or soccer player, an over-the-knee pair is essential so that more portion of your legs can feel relaxed from more coverage and compression.
If the purpose is only about feet comfort, a low-rise pair is fine. There are also mid-calf socks that function well under work clothes, as they snugly fit under the pants, are subtle, and optimize comfort throughout the day.
Knee-high socks stop below the knee’s arch, just past the calf’s curvature. A few pairs stretch to go up to your knee but they are not recommended, as they may slide down and prove to be risky for your medical condition as per the level of compression they deliver.
This is one area where most people end up buying wrong. When it comes to size, several manufacturers have their measuring charts that show how to determine the right size for your feet. These charts showing the sizing systems are based on the kind of compression intended.
For instance, an over-the-knee or knee pair probably will consider your shoe size while a low cut one will consider the calf and ankle circumference and calf length. In short, it is essential to go through the size charts and then select the size.
Choosing the right compression level is the key to choosing the right pair of compression socks. It is exactly what gives you maximum benefit to your ankles, calves, toes, and feet. The right level of compression for you depends on the purpose of wearing compression socks. Following are the different compression levels:
- Light to Moderate (15-20 mmHg, Over-the-Counter): For traveling, work by standing all day long, pregnancy, recreational and leisure purposes, and mild leg swelling
- Moderate (20-30 mmHg, Medical Grade): For frequently heavy or tired leg feeling, moderate swelling, and varicose veins due to pregnancy or some other condition
- Firm (30-40 mmHg, Medical Grade): For moderate edema, moderate to severe varicose veins due to pregnancy or other condition, post vein treatment, ulcer treatment, and lymphedema
- Extra Firm (40-50 mmHg, Medical Grade): For severe varicose veins, lymphedema, edema, severe post thrombotic syndrome, and chronic venous disorders
- Heavy (50-60 mmHg, Medical Grade): For severe post thrombotic syndrome and primary lymphedema
A good rule of thumb is to start with the low compression level, which is for providing comfort during sports recovery and daily leisure tasks. In case of a high-intensity activity or mild symptoms of discomfort, 20 to 30 mmHg is a safe option. The range of 15 – 30 mmHg is ideal for most compression treatment requirements. Still, for specific medical conditions, it is essential to consult with your doctor for choosing the right compression level.
This factor refers to the fit specified in the description of the product, and not size. It encompasses extra padding on the shin or bottom portion, heel support, and split patches for arch support. You can shortlist them as per the impacted areas of pain, discomfort, and swelling and find how many fitted elements are required in the socks.
You should also consider your calf circumference and match it against the size charts and then view the shoe size to find the right fit. The socks should fit comfortably around your feet and lower limbs without constricting your mobility.
Compression socks are designed using different materials, chiefly microfiber woven with lycra, spandex, or cotton. No matter which you choose, the socks should be durable, breathable, and lightweight. There should be no heavy or too firm feel, no wet feel, or no suffocation.
In most socks, these materials ensure durability, breathability, and dryness even in hot summer. Further, they retain compression level or firmness even after being washed. A few of these socks are for a wash in a washing machine, while others demand hand wash.
Will my feet become addicted to ankle compression socks?
This is an interesting question but no research indicates such a dependency.
Is compression truly beneficial?
Many studies have been performed in this area after which professional therapists and doctors agree that there are positive outcomes.
Can compression harm my legs?
No, compression socks will not harm your legs but selecting a wrong or uncomfortable size will. Further, these socks are not for everyone. Those suffering from a peripheral artery or neuropathy disease or skin conditions such as dermatitis should not use compression socks.
Further, to avoid any harm, it is essential to wear these socks properly. You should lay them flat against the skin so that no folding over or wrinkle occurs. Moreover, do not go for folded compression socks, as they can apply much pressure on a specific limb area resulting in an injury.
Does compression last forever in socks?
Well, it depends on how frequently you wear them. A regular user will enjoy compression for around six months. For those using on alternate days only for a casual purpose, compression may last up to a year.
Do compression socks help in improving sports performance?
Compression socks do not help in boosting the speed or increasing the duration of some sports activity. However, they help indirectly by averting muscle pain and inflammation.
Compression socks, if of the right size and compression, can help you beat life-threatening disorders. If only for comfort, it is vital to use a pair with low compression. If you want a pair for healing a medical condition, it is ideal to consult your doctor who can then make it easy for you to choose the right compression as per your purpose.