If your sock drawer is only filled with ankle, crew, and tube socks — adding compression socks to the mix will vastly improve the quality of your strenuous activities and travel experiences. Compression socks apply pressure to your veins and muscles and air circulation from your feet to your heart. While air travelers frequently sing their praises, especially for long flights, compression socks can prevent soreness during hikes, runs, or other exercise. Below are some of the best pairs you can buy for a wide range of needs.

Best overall: SB SOX Lite Compression Socks (15-20mmHg)

The Right Fit

These pairs are made for athletes, health care professionals, and anyone who spends large points of the day on their feet. Amazon

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Reduce muscle fatigue with this pair of gender-neutral socks that come in two sizes and nearly one dozen different styles. These socks are engineered to support blood circulation without compromising your ease of movement. The antibacterial fabric wicks moisture and contains multiple layers of elastic for a universally comfortable fit.

Best value: Copper Compression Socks For Men & Women 15-20mmHg

Tons of Style Options

You’ll practically never be disrupted by a leg cramp again. Amazon

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These fun socks aren’t only about the looks. They come in packs of three and include copper sewed into the fibers to fight odor. If you’re buying these socks for rigorous activity, they can help prevent injury; if you’re simply looking to accelerate muscle recovery or better support your legs during long days at a desk, they can aid in that area, too. It’s hard to go wrong with a pair that’s built for anyone from cyclists and nurses to pregnant women and frequent travelers.

Most warming: Sockwell Women’s Elevation Firm Graduated Compression Socks

Most Traditional Look

This durable pair is top-notch for thermoregulation. Amazon

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For optimal compression, these socks have a four-zone graduated system to best apply benefits to your calf and feet, reducing swelling and promoting recovery. These socks are recommended for wearers seeking relief for bunions and plantar fasciitis. They’re also cozy and warm thanks to merino wool blend yarns. While the women’s version has a more intricate design and color options, the men’s version is available in neutrals.

Most stylish: Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks for Men & Women 20-30 mmHg


They’re engineered for graduated pressure and ideal for heavy or light activity. Amazon

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These colorful socks don’t skimp on performance. They’re comfortable and constructed to avoid slipping down, and their seams are double-stitched for extra security. This pair directly targets the heel, feet, and calf, and they’re anti-bacterial and moisture-wicking to allow for multiple wears without consistent washing.

Best ankle: CHARMKING Compression Socks for Women & Men Circulation

Prevent Cramping

With a reinforced toe and heel plus no-slip fabric, you’ll be ready to go on your next run. Amazon

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These socks have been described as “miracle workers,” thanks to their exceptional snugness and support for the feet. They’re great options for people who are advised to wear compression socks all the time, as they can work with many shoe types and across seasons. Beyond improving oxygen flow, these seven packs come in a range of colors to fit your personal expression.