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The Best Compression Socks of 2024

Compression socks can be a helpful recovery tool for cyclists, runners, and athletes in general. Here are our favorites from brands like CEP, 2XU, and more.

GJ-BG-Compression-socks-group-photoThe best compression socks tested head to head; (Photo: Will Porter)
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When you think of compression socks, your mind probably jumps straight to that one pharmacy aisle with a weird mixture of first-aid, orthotic insoles, and bandages. The best compression socks, though, are actually a boon for runners, cyclists, and athletes of all kinds, not just nurses and folks boarding overnight flights. 

Sure, you’ll find them next to the Ace bandages and Dr. Scholl’s gellies at your local Rite Aid, but those aren’t the only options. Many brands make performance and recovery-oriented socks these days, from sock specialists like Bombas or Swiftwick to compression experts like 2XU or CEP.  We even found a pair from a stylish running brand that provides much more support than your average Hanes crew sock. 

These socks can help athletes reduce pain and fatigue, improve recovery time, and keep their lymphatic system functioning at its peak. In short, they’ll keep you performing your best, day in and day out, whether you’re running mile after mile on your local trails or optimizing your training while traveling for work. 

We’ve divided this list into categories to help you find the option for your needs and budget. If you’re in a rush, head straight to our comparison chart, buyer’s guide, and FAQ at the end of this article. For a more detailed look at our favorites, read on. 

The Best Compression Socks of 2024


Best Overall Compression Socks

2XU Compression Socks for Recovery

Specs

  • Size options S (M3.5 – 5.5 shoe, 11.7-14.5” calf), M1 (M6-8 shoe, 12.5-14.5” calf), M2 (M6-8 shoe, 15-17” calf), L1 (M9-12 shoe, 14-15.75” calf), L2 (M9-12 shoe, 16-19” calf), XL (M12.5-14 shoe, 17-19.75” calf)
  • Compression level options 25-28mmHG
  • Materials 80% microfiber nylon, 20% elastane
  • Best use Recovery, travel
Product Badge The Best Compression Socks of 2024

Pros

  • Most comfortable socks we tried
  • Sizes are more specific than other brands
  • Good mix of comfort and performance

Cons

  • Only come in one color
  • Care requires extra effort (no tumble dry)
Best Budget Compression Socks

Enertor Energy Compression and Recovery Socks

Specs

  • Size options S (M3.5-6), M (M6.5-9), L (M9.5-13), XL (M13.5-16)
  • Compression level Not listed
  • Materials Not listed
  • Best use Recovery
The Best Compression Socks of 2024

Pros

  • Good combo of ventilation and comfort
  • Don’t stretch over repeated wears and washes

Cons

  • Some testers questioned the durability
  • Slight lack of information on the website
Best Compression Socks for Running

CEP The Run Compression Tall Socks 4.0

Specs

  • Size options III (12.5 – 15” calf circumference), IV (15.5 – 17.5” calf circumference), V (18 – 20” calf circumference)
  • Compression level 20-30 mmHg
  • Materials 83% polyamide, 17% spandex
  • Best use Running, recovery
The Best Compression Socks of 2024

Pros

  • Sizes are measured by calf size for more accurate compression
  • Comes in a bunch of colors
  • Perfect compression for running

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Sizing is a bit limited
Best Compression Socks for Cycling

Swiftwick Aspire Four

Specs

  • Size options S (M3.5-6), M (M7-9.5), L (M10-11.5), XL (M12-15)
  • Compression level Firm
  • Materials 67% nylon, 28% olefin, 5% spandex
  • Best use Cycling, running
The Best Compression Socks of 2024

Pros

  • Affordable considering the high level of performance
  • Come in multiple cuff heights and colors

Cons

  • Not ideal for those who want a lot of cushioning
  • Could be difficult to put on, especially compared to other cycling socks
Best Compression Socks for Every Activity

Zensah Tech+ Compression Socks

Specs

  • Size options S (M4-6.5), M (M7-9.5), L (M10-12.5), XL (M13+)
  • Compression level Not listed
  • Materials 82% nylon, 18% spandex
  • Best use Running, racquet sports, travel
The Best Compression Socks of 2024

Pros

  • Great for multiple disciplines, plus recovery and travel
  • Feel durable and well-made

Cons

  • Care requires extra effort
Best of the Rest

Feetures Graduated Compression Light Cushion Knee High

Specs

  • Size options M (M6-8.5), L (M9-12), XL (M12.5-15.5)
  • Compression level 15-20mmHg
  • Materials 85% nylon, 15% spandex
  • Best use Running
The Best Compression Socks of 2024

Pros

  • Size options: M (M6-8.5), L (M9-12), XL (M12.5-15.5)
  • Compression level: 15-20mmHg
  • Materials: 85% nylon, 15% spandex
  • Best use: Running

Cons

  • Lightweight design makes us question durability

Bombas Performance Compression Socks

Specs

  • Size options M (M6-9), L (M9.5-13), XL (M13.5-16)
  • Compression level 20-30mmHg
  • Materials 71% polyester, 10% nylon 10% Supima cotton 9% elastane
  • Best use Recovery, travel
The Best Compression Socks of 2024

Pros

  • Optimal compression range for workouts and recovery
  • Soft to the touch
  • Very comfortable in post-workout and everyday scenarios

Cons

  • Soft, plush material may not be as breathable as others
  • Will rip if you pull on them too hard

Sockwell Elevate Crew

Specs

  • Size options M/L (M7-10), L/XL (M10.5-13)
  • Compression level Moderate (15-20mmHg)
  • Materials 32% merino wool, 31% rayon from bamboo, 32% stretch nylon, 5% spandex
  • Best use Running, hiking
The Best Compression Socks of 2024

Pros

  • Very comfortable on the foot
  • Merino wool is exceptionally durable, moisture-wicking, and temperature regulating

Cons

  • Stretched a bit at the top after a few wears

District Vision Performance Cordura Socks

Specs

  • Size options S (M5-9.5), L (M10-13)
  • Compression level Not listed
  • Materials 55% cotton, 43% nylon, 2% polyurethane
  • Best use Running, cycling, general fitness
The Best Compression Socks of 2024

Pros

  • Great compression around the foot and ankle
  • Cordura makes them exceptionally durable

Cons

  • Tall for a crew sock, which some may not like

Compression Socks Comparision Chart

ProductPriceSize OptionsCompression LevelMaterialsBest Use






2XU Compression Socks for Recovery






$40












S (M3.5 – 5.5 shoe, 11.7-14.5” calf), M1 (M6-8 shoe, 12.5-14.5” calf), M2 (M6-8 shoe, 15-17” calf), L1 (M9-12 shoe, 14-15.75” calf), L2 (M9-12 shoe, 16-19” calf), XL (M12.5-14 shoe, 17-19.75” calf)






25-28 mmhg
80% microfiber nylon, 20% elastane





Recovery, travel
Enertor Energy Compression and Recovery$27S (M3.5-6), M (M6.5-9), L (M9.5-13), XL (M13.5-16)Graduated compression based on sizeNot listedRecovery






CEP The Run Compression Socks 4.0






$60






III (12.5 – 15” calf circumference), IV (15.5 – 17.5” calf circumference), V (18 – 20” calf circumference)






20-30 mmHg
83% polyamide, 17% spandexRunning, recovery






Swiftwick Aspire Four






$19






S (M3.5-6), M (M7-9.5), L (M10-11.5), XL (M12-15)






Firm












67% nylon, 28% olefin, 5% spandex












Cycling, running






Zensah Tech+ Compression






$50






S (M4-6.5), M (M7-9.5), L (M10-12.5), XL (M13+)






N/A






82% nylon, 18% spandex






Running, racquet sports, travel






Feetures Graduated Compression Light Cushion






$40






M (M6-8.5), L (M9-12), XL (M12.5-15.5)






15-20mmHg






85% nylon, 15% spandex
Running






Bombas Performance Cushion 






$36






M (M6-9), L (M9.5-13), XL (M13.5-16)






20-30mmHg






71% polyester, 10% nylon 10% Supima cotton 9% elastane






Recovery, travel






Sockwell Elevate Crew






$25






S (M3.5-6), M (M6.5-9), L (M9.5-13), XL (M13.5-16)






Moderate (15-20mmHg)






32% merino wool, 31% rayon from bamboo, 32% stretch nylon, 5% spandex






Running, hiking






District Vision Performance Cordura






$30






S (M5-9.5), L (M10-13)






N/A






55% cotton, 43% nylon, 2% polyurethane






Running, cycling, hiking
GJ-BG-CEP compression socks
Knee-high models often offer various stages of compression; (photo/Will Porter)

How We Tested the Best Compression Socks

In order to get comprehensive results and develop detailed insights, the GearJunkie team tested a wide variety of compression socks. We tested primarily through road and trail running and subsequent recovery but also tested them by cycling, hiking, and in everyday situations. And don’t worry, we put them all through the washing machine, not only for hygiene reasons but also to see how they hold up after a hot wash and tumble dry. 

When considering which styles and designs work best, lead tester Will Porter thinks the actual compression level of the sock is the most important factor, regardless of their intended use. He has a past littered with knee and ankle problems, so finding a pair that provides adequate support and optimal blood flow is the name of the game. 

Why You Should Trust Us

Our lead tester, Will Porter, has run various races in the past few years, ranging from a trail half marathon at Joshua Tree to the 2023 Boston Marathon. Currently, he’s balancing ultramarathon training with riding his bike just enough to go on a couple of bikepacking trips in the coming months. 

Most of his runs are done on the trails that zig-zag throughout the Boise foothills, with road runs, track workouts, and cross-country mountain bike rides mixed in. While he was testing these socks, he was also putting in serious miles with half a dozen running insoles and various running shoes to the test. He’s always been a big fan of compression — he bought his first pair of compression socks well over a decade ago and hasn’t turned back. 

Will has been on the gear beat for four years now, testing and writing about everything from gravel bikes to bikepacking tents to GPS watches. He’s probably gotten hands-on with over 50 pairs of running shoes and is always on the hunt for the latest and greatest tech in the business. 

GJ-BG-Compression-socks
The author unwinds in the Bombas Performance Compression Socks; (photo/Will Porter)

Buyer’s Guide: How To Choose the Best Compression Socks

Finding the right compression socks for your needs isn’t easy. There are various different styles and design features that serve different needs. Also, the sizing needs to be dialed in to ensure you get the desired amount of compression.


While these socks are a great recovery tool, you may want to add more weapons to your recovery arsenal. If you want to check out some other recovery gear, take a look at our list of the best massage guns.

Compression Level

Compression is measured in mmHg (millimeters of mercury), a unit not often used outside of medical circles. Compression socks come in a range of mmHgs, from medical-grade socks for those with chronic illnesses to less intense socks geared toward athletes looking for enhanced recovery. 

Not all of the socks on our list are categorized this way, but knowing basic ranges and compression levels can help you find the right option for you. For example, 10-20 mmHg, as you’ll find in the Feetures Graduated Compression Light Cushion Knee High, is considered light compression, while anything over 20 mmHg, like the 2XU Compression Socks for Recovery, is considered moderate to high compression. 

GJ-BG-compression-socks-crew
Crew-height styles can be more comfortable in warm weather; (photo/Will Porter)

Size Options

Some of these socks are sized like any old regular sock — small, medium, large, and so on. These sizes generally provide a range of shoe sizes they’ll fit, so be sure to check the size chart before buying. Other brands make more specific sizes, allowing you to dial in the perfect fit for your foot size. Buying compression socks that are too big for you can negate some of the benefits, so we recommend paying close attention to the size you’re buying. 

Best Use

We tested socks designed for athletes, not for medical purposes, so we recommend consulting a doctor if you are interested in buying socks to help curb the symptoms of a chronic condition. That said, we tested a huge range of socks, most of which fall within the 10-30 mmHg range. Most brands, like CEP with the CEP The Run Compression Tall Socks 4.0, will highlight what they made their socks for in the product description — be it running and other physical activity, travel, or recovery. Technically, any compression can be used in a few different situations, so the decision on how you want to use the socks is up to you. The biggest difference between intended uses will be materials, cushioning, and performance, i.e. moisture-wicking, cotton vs. poly, thick or thin.

Why wear compression socks? 

Improved Blood Circulation

Just about every benefit attributed to compression socks stems from their ability to improve blood circulation in your legs. The gentle compression keeps your lymphatic system working, even while staying off your feet after a hard workout. This means that your leg muscles can more efficiently transport blood back to your heart, where it is replenished with oxygen and nutrients and then sent back to clear out lactic acid and other waste that results from a hard physical effort. 

Reduced Swelling

Compression helps your body move blood from your legs up to your heart and back again, an essential mechanism for reducing swelling and inflammation after a workout. Keeping your blood pumping results in more oxygenated blood reaching your muscles and more lactic acid and waste being cycled out, helping limit your body’s inflammatory response. 

GJ-BG-compression-socks-2xu
Compression socks provide a gentle squeeze that can help increase blood flow; (photo/Will Porter)

Prevent Blood Clots

Another trickle-down benefit. Since your body moves blood more quickly and efficiently, compression can help prevent deep vein thrombosis. This is why you see these socks worn on airplanes and other places where folks are seated for long periods of time with lower-than-usual blood circulation.

FAQ

What do compression socks do?

Compression socks use graduated compression to keep blood pumping toward the heart, enhancing your body’s ability to recover and move freshly oxygenated blood through the body. 

How is compression measured? 

Medically, compression is measured in mmHg (millimeters of mercury). Not all compression socks designed for athletes are measured this way, though. Some simply will use the term compression to differentiate between standard athletic socks.
While most socks we tested only come in one compression level, there are four classes that you might encounter while searching for the best socks for you. Read here for a detailed explanation by the German company Medi, owner of CEP and other brands.

Compression classPressure in mmHg


I (very low compression)
18–21


II (low compression)


23–32


III (moderate compression)


34–46


IV (high compression)


> 49
What are the benefits of compression socks?

The compression from these socks can improve your body’s recovery time, ease the pain that comes from a hard workout, and keep your body fresh for the workouts to come. 

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