The 10 Best Men's Compression Socks
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in October of 2016. If you suffer from any lower leg issues, you may be able to get a measure of relief by wearing a pair of these men's compression socks. They are designed to provide support and can benefit those who suffer from poor circulation, shin splints, swelling, edema, plantar fasciitis, and deep vein thrombosis. Athletes use them to improve their performance during training and recovery, as well. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
February 26, 2020:
Compression socks are great for a range of medical conditions, as well as for athletes and travelers, but they may not be appropriate for those with some circulation issues, nerve damage, or skin infections. Those who have such conditions are encouraged to consult a doctor before choosing a pair.
At this time, we like the Smartwool PhD Pro Mountaineer for their robust construction, a benefit the company is known for, as well as their seamless toe and fun designs. They're on the pricier end of the spectrum, but they're covered by Smartwool's two-year quality guarantee. Another seamless-toe option to consider are the Zensah Tech+, which are unisex and come in colors ranging from plain black to neon yellow. For a budget-friendly alternative to these, we've selected the SB Sox Lite; they aren't seamless, but they are comfortable enough for light use.
Athletes, especially runners, may wish to consider the Mojo Sports Elite as a full-sock alternative to a compression sleeve. They come in plenty of sizes from small to XXXL, so there is one for everyone. And, finally, we've kept the CopperJoint Long. While it's debatable that wearing copper can actually provide any health benefits, the socks themselves offer plenty of compression and are made well, so they're a viable choice, anyway.
Bombas Men's You won't have to worry about bunching with the Bombas Men's. Their strategic cushioning keeps you comfortable but without unnecessary bulk, while the yarn they're crafted from is strong but not overly thick. Plus, for each pair you buy, the company donates one pair of socks to those in need. bombas.com
Benefits Of Wearing Men’s Compression Socks
Blood traveling back to the heart has to work against the force of gravity, which is no easy feat.
There are quite a number of benefits for anyone wearing men’s compression socks. Understanding the benefits of compression socks starts with understanding how they work. Blood travels from the heart down to the feet very easily, as the force of gravity helps the blood move quickly. Blood traveling back to the heart has to work against the force of gravity, which is no easy feat. This process relies heavily on the strength of the heart. Anything that disrupts the flow of blood back to the heart may cause issues in the legs. Circulation problems or a sedentary lifestyle are the two major factors for issues in the leg. Venous insufficiency can also cause issues in the lower leg that result in blood pooling in the feet. These conditions often create many secondary symptoms, which is what compression socks aim to treat.
Compression socks can help with symptoms such as edema, inflammation, fatigue, and general aches. They may reduce the appearance of varicose veins by squeezing the leg tissues and walls of the veins, which makes the job of the heart easier. Compression socks may also help muscles recover from a workout quicker and even be more efficient during workouts. In addition, men’s compression socks can help the tissues receive lymph and help prevent conditions like lymphatic obstruction in many cases. While typically seen as treatment tools, they can be a first line of prophylaxis in many cases, as well. Preventative treatments are usually better than reactionary ones, but the only way to benefit from treatment methods like compression socks is to use them regularly.
Best Uses For Men’s Compression Socks
Virtually anyone can benefit from using compression socks, though there are some groups of people who will obviously find the most benefit from using the socks. Men with certain leg problems like deep vein thrombosis are generally prescribed compression socks by their doctor. This is because up to half of these patients will develop a serious condition called post-thrombotic syndrome. This condition causes swelling and inflammation leading to pain, aches, and even ulcers in the leg. Doctors often recommend compression socks, as they may reduce the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome by as much as 50 percent.
Men with certain leg problems like deep vein thrombosis are generally prescribed compression socks by their doctor.
It does not take having a medical condition to justify using compression socks, however. People who sit behind a desk at work may enjoy compression socks, as they can help with lower leg symptoms that come from sitting too long, such as mild cramps and tingling. While compression socks will help, it is still always a good idea to take regular breaks from sitting.
Men’s compression socks also find great use as clothing for flying. Often marketed as flight socks, compression socks can help reduce circulatory problems in airline passengers. People who fly regularly will get the most benefit from compression socks, as regular exposure to great variations in pressure can affect homeostasis in the body and cause a number of issues. In an extensive review including over 2,500 participants, researchers found that airline passengers who wore compression socks had less swelling in their legs and reported feeling subjectively better than passengers who did not wear the socks.
Athletes can also benefit from men’s compression socks in a big way. Many runners trust compression socks to keep their legs from cramping up during a long run. Some athletes also use them to help reduce pain and shorten recovery time after training. There are many studies that support these claims, too. One such study found that male runners were able to run slightly longer before exhaustion when wearing compression socks. Other small changes found in separate studies include improved cycling ability and jumping performance. The theory behind these improvements is that compression garments keep the muscles from wasting energy moving side to side and therefore promote the most efficient use of the muscles. At the moment this theory is predominantly backed by anecdotal experience, though more promising research appears as time goes on.
Other Ways To Care For The Legs And Promote Circulation
Wearing men’s compression socks can help improve conditions in the legs, but this is only one step of a leg-healthy lifestyle. Age takes its toll on the legs, and the sooner you take steps to reverse any damage, the happier your legs will be. Certain foods can increase circulation in the body. These include iron rich foods, B-vitamins, and green tea. Many essential oils are also beneficial for treating circulation issues, as is elevating the legs. Pooling blood and lymph in the lower extremities leads to a response in the immune system that creates inflammation and makes the legs feel tired. By elevating the legs, it is much easier for the heart to keep the blood renewed. Lying with the feet elevated on pillows when in bed or using an ottoman to rest the legs while watching television are great ways to start incorporating this practice into your daily routine.
By elevating the legs, it is much easier for the heart to keep the blood renewed.
Strengthening the heart is another great way to enhance circulation to the legs. The constant force of gravity requires energy to recirculate blood through extremities, and this can be difficult for an aging heart or someone with a heart condition. To avoid circulatory problems and keep the heart strong for as long as possible, many people add a heart healthy exercise regimen to their life. A doctor, physical therapist, or personal trainer can help you decide which workout is best for you.
Anticoagulant treatment may be a necessary intervention in some extreme cases. Anticoagulants can help prevent complications, like pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis, though they come with their own complications. As the treatment acts to keep the blood from clotting as easily as normal, there is a higher bleeding risk in many people. This may also translate into impaired kidney function, as many medications can collect in the kidneys. Anticoagulant treatment is not right in every case, and doctors will carefully weigh treatment options and risks before deciding on any method.