One of the most common complaints people have after working out is muscle soreness. It is important to take care of your body and help your muscles recover faster after every workout. Using a pair of high-quality compression socks can not only help you recover faster but get prepared for your next workout. Here are a few tips on what to look for in the best pair of compression socks for recovery.
- 1 Why You Need Running Recovery
- 2 What Makes a Good Running Compression Sock
- 3 Best Compression Socks for Recovery
- 3.1 Vitalsox Graduated Compression Performance Socks
- 3.2 2XU Women’s Compression Performance Running Socks
- 3.3 Injinji 2.0 Compression Over The Calf Toesocks
- 3.4 CEP Men’s Progressive+ 2.0 Running Socks
- 3.5 Zensah Tech+
- 3.6 CEP Women’s Progressive+ 2.0 Night Run Socks
- 3.7 MoJo Recovery & Performance Sports Sock
- 3.8 Sockwell Men’s Elevation Sock
- 3.9 Physix Gear Sport
- 3.10 SB Sox Compression
- 3.11 Blitzu Running Recovery Compression Sock
- 4 Conclusion
Why You Need Running Recovery
Sore muscles can recover faster after a workout if you wear a compression sock with gradient compression. Because of gravity, the muscles in your legs and feet tend to swell and suffer from bad circulation after exercising. Wearing a compression sock will help reduce the swelling as well as any discomfort or pain that you feel after you exercise.
Graduated compression means you have the most pressure or the tightest part of the sock at your ankle with the pressure gradually decreasing up the sock towards your knee. Professional grade compression socks help to increase circulation giving your muscles the benefit of extra oxygen and preventing the risk of blood clots or DVT.
What Makes a Good Running Compression Sock
When shopping for a compression sock, make sure to look for the specific words “medical grade.” Several styles and brands claim to have the correct compression levels but aren’t marked “medical grade” so you run the risk of not getting the correct tightness or quality that you want for the most relief.
Measured in Millimeters of Mercury, compression levels are abbreviated as mmHg which is the same way that blood pressure is measured. The sock is physically tested for compression that it creates once it is made. There is a range of different compression levels that can be found when you are shopping that range between 15 to 30 mmHg.
Any garment you wear is better with smooth seams that won’t chafe or irritate your skin. When you are wearing a compression sock, you want to look for socks that have the fewest seams possible or that has stitching that is smooth and flat. As with most athletic wear, the seams on the socks should be less noticeable.
If your recovery socks aren’t breathable, you won’t want to wear them. Manufacturers are trying out different materials to increase the breathability of a compression sock especially for your heel, foot, and toes that get the warmest inside your shoe. However, having a compression sock made of a breathable material that is combined with moisture-wicking will increase the price.
A compression sock can become itchy when they do not allow moisture to escape and can start to create an odor. Wicking works by letting the fabric pull the moisture in and then allowing it to quickly evaporate which is called a capillary action. When you have a material that wicks away moisture, you will be able to use the socks on runs, workouts, or during recovery. When buying a compression sock, look for socks made of elastine and polyester blends as well as synthetic materials.
When choosing your recovery socks, you want them to be long enough to end just under your knee and covering your entire shin and calf. The seam will irritate the back of your knee if it is too high and it won’t provide the right compression if they are too short.
Best Compression Socks for Recovery
With the above things in mind, here are 11 of the best compression socks on the market today, listed in no particular order:
Vitalsox Graduated Compression Performance Socks
One of the more popular running compression socks on the market, Vitalsox Compression Performance Socks feature a special fiber called Drystate that controls moisture and lessens the growth of fungi and bacteria. This also helps to control odor by wicking away moisture and keeping bacteria from contacting sweat. They are also lightly padded without having to deal with bulk so you can slip them on easily with a running shoe.
Featuring four-way stretch, these socks are stretched to give you consistent compression and are washed in a chemical-free fabric softener so they are ready to wear right away. True sized to give you the best fit, Vitalsox Compression Performance Socks also include a flat toe seam for better comfort. You will feel the compression start around your mid-foot preventing certain running injuries like shin splints with they’re arch support.
- Include arch support
- Are lightly padded for comfort
- Include moisture control
- A little on the expensive side
- Difficult to get on
2XU Women’s Compression Performance Running Socks
With a fun color selection, the 2XU Women’s compression sock features improved moisture management and airflow. They are designed to provide targeted compression to calves and quads to give you better stability and less muscle fatigue. They feature the only graduated compression technology that increases recovery time and improves your performance.
Made of PWX (Power-Weight-Flex), this signature fabric gives you an unmatched combination of flexibility, lightweight feel, and intense compression. The 2XU Women’s compression sock include a mid-rise waistband for a better fit with a zip pocket in the rear and reflective logos for better visibility. These are a great choice when you need consistent but intense pressure to reduce damage and muscle fatigue when you run.
- Lessens muscle fatigue
- Helps manage moisture issues
- Available in assorted colors
- Material is too itchy for some users
- Has a top band that may dig into your skin
Injinji 2.0 Compression Over The Calf Toesocks
Enhancing circulation, the Injinji compression sock helps to lessen blisters while providing proper toe alignment. These imported socks give you graduated compression from 18 to 30 mmHg while minimizing muscle soreness. Plus, they also include hotspot and blister prevention while they keep your feet comfortable as you pound away on the pavement.
The five-toe anatomical design gives you toes a natural grip while the compression elements lessen muscle soreness in your feet and lower legs. The Injinji compression socks are the perfect choice for those that are tired of achy feet and heels or that do a lot of downhill running. Designed to help you with training, the Injinji compression socks are also great for post-workout healing.
- Features a unique five-toe anatomical design
- Provides correct toe alignment
- Gives you a padded heel for downhill comfort
- Run a little small
- Takes a while to remove and put on
CEP Men’s Progressive+ 2.0 Running Socks
With enough compression to provide relief from your aches and pains, the CEP Men’s Progressive Run Socks feature between 20 to 30 mmHg graduated compression to increase circulation and support muscles. Lessening the start of muscle soreness, these socks are perfect for hospital rounds, factory shifts, and running marathons. The top band sits right below your knee to keep the sock in place while the sock will mold to your feet and not restrict your toes.
With a new dynamic footbed, you get the correct combination of support and comfort while the included arch support lessens discomfort, pain, and fatigue. Protecting and stabilizing ligaments and tendons, the CEP Men’s Run Socks are the perfect socks for any type of runner thanks to the scientifically enhanced materials that provides incredible compression and comfort. The unique knit of the socks increases airflow to cool your skin helping to reduce your body temperature in humid climates.
- Socks don’t restrict your movement
- Includes arch support
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Sizing is inconsistent
- Materials on the heel tends to bunch up
Reducing injuries and shin splints, the Zensah compression sock were designed by athletic trainers to target shin splints. Using v-shaped chevon ribbing found on the front sleeve gives you the same relief as using kinesiology tape. From novice runners to Olympic Athletes, the Zensah compression sock is a favorite with athletics due to their incredible comfort and moisture wicking ability. You stay dry with these lightweight socks even during tough workouts and runs, plus it features anti-odor technology to keep away bad odors.
Leg sleeves help to reduce cramps in your calves, micro tears, injuries, and fatigue while improving muscle stabilization. You also get faster muscle recovery and better circulation improving blood flow and venous return. The Zensah seamless technology makes these socks comfortable against your skin lessening rubbing, irritation, and blisters normally caused by seams.
- Provide true graduated compression
- Great targeted arch and ankle support
- Features anti-slip cuff
- The foot portion tends to run a little large
- Some users find them really hot in warm temperature
CEP Women’s Progressive+ 2.0 Night Run Socks
Perfect for night time runs or low light conditions, the CEP Night Run Socks features reflective silver and high visibility neon accents. These are strategically placed so others can see you on the road when it is dark. Moisture is wicked away with special air channels that keep your skin dry while your legs and feet stay comfortable. Throughout your lower leg, you will feel graduated compression to lessen fatigue while improving power and recovery time.
Targeted 20 to 30 mmHg graduated compression in the mid-foot and ankle increase circulation and support muscles while lessening soreness. The Halo top-band lands fall right under your knee so the socks stay in place and the unique knit keeps your body cool. These are medically designed socks that are created to recirculate and recharge the blood in your feet and legs for the best recovery after exercising.
- Great reflective accents for better visibility
- Features air channels that wick away moisture
- Includes and extra-flat toe seam
- Sizes run tall
- Can be hard to put on
MoJo Recovery & Performance Sports Sock
Featuring graduated compression and a thick material, the MoJo Recovery Sock enhances circulation while reducing the buildup of lactic acid. Promoting recovery, these compression socks fit the tightest at the ankle and gradually decrease in intensity for a pumping effect up the leg. Plus, both feet are indicated so that you get the best fit and compression for each foot.
With a firm stretch and feel, the MoJo Sock helps you to recover faster and are perfect for leg cramps, edema, swelling, and aches in your calves. These unisex socks feature a compression sleeve that is medical grade and designed to deliver oxygen to your muscles. They are also engineered to follow the contours of your foot and include flat seams for less risk of blisters and pressure marks.
- Perfect for athletes
- Enhances circulation
- Reduces blisters and pressure marks
- Can be difficult for some to put on
- Material tens to snag
Sockwell Men’s Elevation Sock
Providing a high level of consistent tension, the Sockwell Men’s Elevation Sock gives you between 20 and 30 mmHg compression to your running hot spots. With this effective defense, you can lessen ankle pain and shin splints. Constructed of merino wool, this responsive sock is very comfortable, flexible, and gives you a good level of mobility.
The Acufit technology uses spandex throughout that sock to make sure the sock retains its form and fit throughout the day. Plus, the sole of Sockwell Sock gives you a nice layer of padding to make each foot strike more comfortable.
- Made of Merino wool
- Features Acufit technology
- Gives you a light layer of padding
- Some users find the sock too tall
Physix Gear Sport
Designed to give you a comfortable and healthy running environment, the Physix Gear Sport is one of the highest rated compression socks on the market. These compression socks are made to last as they are double stitched and use an anti-bacterial fabric that washes well without losing any compression. Perfect for reliving varicose veins and leg swelling issues, the Physix Gear Sport help to wick away moisture rapidly in just a few hours.
Made with careful construction and comfortable material, the Physix Gear Sport feature stay-put cuffs and no stitches so the socks will stay in place without irritation. They are easy to pull on and breath well in very hot weather. Not only are they durable, they also have a very fashionable look and come in an assortment of colors.
- Features moisture wicking
- Machine washable with anti-bacterial material
- Increases your circulation
Can cause your skin to be itchy
SB Sox Compression
One of a kind socks that fit just right, the SB compression sock gives you the perfect compression with a wide variety of circumferences. These are anti-odor, breathable, and lightweight socks that feature a moisture-wicking fabric. A silicone grip gel that gives you a frictionless and soothing fit. With improved circulation, these compression socks reduce the buildup of lactic acid and pain in your knees.
Recommended by trainers and doctors, the SB compression sock gives you relief, comfort, and support without hindering your mobility. Featuring a bottom cuff and no-slip top to comfort while the form-fitting socks and breathable fabric helps you to maintain join stability no matter what you are doing. These compression socks are perfect for athletes, runners, office workers, and anyone that is on their feet all day.
- Uses a fast-drying material
- Features a four-way stretch
- Provides consistent circulation and arch support
- Sizes run large
Blitzu Running Recovery Compression Sock
Providing great support and compression, the Blitzu Sock uses true graduated compression that increases oxygen flow and blood circulation. Furthermore, they also stop swelling, fatigue, and cramping while helping muscle recovery. With a durable compression between 20 and 30 mmHg, these compression socks feature a shock absorption effect that reduces fatigue and swelling instantly.
Created for outdoor activities and everyday use, these one-of-a-kind recovery socks combine the performance of compression fabric with the stability of kinesiology taping that supports your calves, ankle, arches, and heels. The Blitzu Sock are professional grade quality that uses a 360-degree stretch for better durability and flexibility. Specifically made for comfort, these socks will keep you on your feet all day long.
- Available in stylish and fashionable designs
- Provides flexible comfort with a reinforced heel
- Has several sizing options
- Uses a moisture wicking material
- Sizes run small
Tired of muscle soreness after every run or workout? Compression socks can help you recover faster and get ready for your next workout. Consequently, it is important to take care of your body… alleviate any soreness or muscle complaints before they become a more serious issue. Our running injuries guide can help you if you get injured.