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The Best Compression Socks For Runners Right Now

The Best Compression Socks For Runners

The use of compression garments among athletes has increased significantly in recent years. If you happen to be at the starting line of a recent  marathon, it would be impossible not to notice the high percentage of runners wearing compression socks. Compression socks are being worn by both professional and amateur runners, come in different compression ratings, and can be found in any color scheme imaginable.

Running companies are increasing their marketing efforts in compression garments, especially in endurance athletes such as runners and triathletes The companies claim performance gains and quicker recovery,  thus overall achieving better results. Are compression socks right for you?

What are Compression Stockings

Compression socks were originally developed for the treatment of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) which is a blood clot within the veins. The compression socks were designed to mimic our own muscles which squeeze our blood vessels continually to prevent blood pooling.

In running, compression stockings are thought to increase blood return back to heart which can then pump it quickly to the muscles being used to propel you faster. The increased blood flow also  aims to help increase deep venous velocity, decrease blood pooling in the calf, and combat against muscle soreness after the competition.

Can Compression Socks Improve Performance

Most of the information we have on compression garments come from word of mouth, meaning that when an athlete likes using compression socks they tell everyone they know how great they are. The medical research isn’t as clear as most of the research studies performed are not great studies and leave few high quality articles to pull information from. As found in a recent review of compression socks in the Journal of Sports Rehabilitation the key findings are (1):

  • Two studies, 1 with 2 separate experiments, showed no difference in running performance while wearing compression stockings (2,3).
  • Two studies showed that GCS were effective in improving performance as measured by either maximal work (4) or running performance (5).
  • One study showed that GCS improved maximum running speed (5).
  • One study showed lower ratings of perceived muscle soreness 24 hours after exercise with the use of GCS (2).
  • No differences in the physiological variables of heart rate, oxygen consumption, rating of perceived exertion, or lactate levels were found with the use of GCS

So what does all that mean? Essentially if you like the way compression socks feel, then wear them. There likely is not much of a gain if any, and most people will admit that there may be a placebo effect when using them. In addition if you have had any nagging injuries such as a sprained ankle or Plantar Fasciitis then this may also aid in decreasing the pain signal for those.

A lot of athletes swear by compression socks and there is no downside to wearing them which should at least make you want to consider giving them a try if you are a runner or wanting to be a runner. Plus, most of the companies list below offer a money back guarantee so there is no reason not to give them a try.

How to Put on Compression Socks

The Best Compression Socks

2XU Men's Performance Run Compression Socks

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One of the best-known brands in the compression world that started in Australia/New Zealand. They are one of the most searched and highest reviewed socks in the world. Their socks feature a unique breathability zone from the Shin and to the top of the foot, good comfort by minimizing seams, a footbed with light padding positioned to support the foot while in motion, great durability, moisture-wicking material and an excellent warranty (which is our thing!). This is probably one of the best options for serious athletes looking to compete.

Go2 Compression Socks

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The Go2 compression socks also come with many different color options and a great discount price. Comes with the standard 20-30 mmhg of compression, and extra cushion in the underfoot, and can pass for everyday socks. Comes in 1 and 2 packs and with a 100% customer satisfaction.

Mudgear compression socks for running

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MudGear Compression Socks 

Simple yet stylish design for these compression socks. They are made in the USA from 63% Nylon, 28% Polyester, 9% Spandex built to provide comfort, wick water, and prevent blisters over long miles. They were designed to withstand the abuse during adventure races such at the tough mudder. The Mudgear socks have over a 1,000 positive reviews on Amazon.

Physix gear compression socks for running

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Physix Gear Compression Socks

The Physix gear compression is a great lower price options with over 7,000 reviews on Amazon. Made from quality antibacterial material with stitches placed strategically for comfort. Works great for athletes and non athletes looking to control blood clots. Order more than one due to the low cost and comes with a money back guarantee.

A swift compression socks for running

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A-Swift Compression Socks 

The A-swift compression socks come with lots and lots of color options making them fun and exciting. The claims to aid in better Blood Circulation as strongest compression happens at the ankle, and gradually decreases moving up the leg. Made from both antibacterial and anti fungal material.

compressioz compression socks

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CompressionZ Fun Compression Socks 

As the name suggests the CompressionZ has some of the best design options. Falls on the inexpensive side of the spectrum, has the standard 20-30 mmhg of compression, and will certainly get you noticed on your runs. Claim to hold their shape after many loads of laundry and made from antimicrobial material. Finally, they come with a 30-day money back guarantee.

run forever compression socks

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Run Forever Compression Stockings

The Run Forever compression socks come in 4 colors and slip on easier than most socks. The graduated compression keeps the compression constant from the ankle to the calf. Created with durability in mind with triple stitching to survive races and the washing machine.

CEP compression socks

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CEP Compression Socks 2.0 

Another compressions sock that offer many fun color options. The CEP Compression Run Socks provide a comfortable, functional fit for athletes looking to enhance performance thanks to the medically tuned compression yarns that wrap around the leg over 400 times to provide precise compression down to the millimeter. The socks come with Halo top-band keeping the socks in place during your race. Cep as a company usually does a great job and a company that you can trust.

Works Cited:

  1. Stanek JM. The Effectiveness of Compression Socks for Athletic Performance and Recovery. J Sport Rehabil. 2017 Jan;26(1):109-114. doi: 10.1123/jsr.2015-0048. Epub 2016 Aug 24. PubMed PMID: 27632821.
  2. Ali A, Caine MP, Snow BG. Graduated compression stockings: physiological and perceptual responses during and after exercise. J Sports Sci. 2007;25(4):413–419. –
  3. Ali A, Creasy RH, Edge JA. The effect of graduated compression stockings on running performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(5):1385–1392. –
  4. Ganzit G, Moretti M, Arpaia G. Effect of knee-length elastic graduated compression stockings on aerobic performance in athletes. Med Sport (Roma). 2007;60(4):567– 573 –
  5. Kemmler W, von Stengel S, Kockritz C, Mayhew J, Wassermann A, Zapf J. Effect of compression stockings on running performance in men runners. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(1):101–105. –

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is for educational purposes only. This is not a substitute for a medical appointment. Please refer to your physician before starting any exercise program.