A woman running on a trail, wearing black compression socks and pink shoes.

A Guide to Compression Socks

What are Compression Socks?

Compression socks have become increasingly popular in recent years for their many health benefits, with brands like Bombas and Copper Fit being popular options. These socks are designed to improve blood flow and circulation, reduce swelling and provide support for the legs and feet. They are often worn by athletes, frequent flyers, pregnant women and individuals with medical conditions such as varicose veins or diabetes. In this article, we'll take a closer look at what compression socks are, how they work, and the best options on the market.

Compression socks are specially designed socks that provide graduated pressure to the legs and feet. The pressure is strongest at the ankle, and gradually decreases as it moves up the leg, helping to improve blood flow and circulation. These socks are made from a stretchy, breathable material that fits snugly around the foot and calf, providing support and compression to the leg.

Brands of Compression Socks

There are many different brands of compression socks on the market. Two of the most popular brands of socks are Bombas Performance Socks and Copper Fit Socks. Here are the differences and similarities between the two.

Design and Material

Bombas Performance Socks are made from a blend of polyester, nylon and elastane and feature a seamless toe design, reinforced arch support and mesh ventilation for breathability. They come in a variety of colors and styles, including ankle, crew and knee-high lengths.

Copper Fit Socks are made from a blend of polyester, nylon and spandex, and feature copper-infused fibers that are designed to reduce odor and bacteria. They also have targeted compression zones to support the arch and ankle, and come in a range of sizes and styles, including ankle, crew and knee-high lengths.

Comfort and Fit

Both brands are designed to provide a comfortable, snug fit that stays in place throughout the day. Bombas Performance Socks have a cushioned foot-bed for added comfort, while Copper Fit Socks have a non-slip grip on the bottom to prevent slipping and sliding.

Price

The price of Bombas Performance Socks varies depending on the style and length, but they typically range from $20 to $36 per pair. Copper Fit Socks are generally less expensive, with prices ranging from $12.99 to $30.99 per pair.

Performance

Bombas Performance Socks are designed for athletes and active individuals, with a focus on breathability, moisture-wicking and support. They are a great choice for individuals who need extra support during high-intensity workouts or prolonged periods of standing or walking.

Copper Fit Socks are designed to reduce odor and bacteria, making them a good choice for individuals who struggle with foot odor or fungal infections. They also provide targeted compression to the arch and ankle, which can help to reduce pain and swelling in these areas.

How do Compression Socks Work?

Compression socks work by applying pressure to the veins in the legs and feet, which helps improve blood flow and circulation. This pressure helps to push blood back up towards the heart, reducing the amount of blood that pools in the lower legs and feet.

By improving blood flow, compression socks can help to reduce swelling and inflammation, alleviate pain and discomfort, and prevent the development of blood clots.

Benefits of Wearing Compression Socks

  • Improved circulation and blood flow. Compression socks help to improve blood flow and circulation, reducing the risk of blood clots and other circulatory problems.
  • Reduced swelling and inflammation.¬†Compression socks apply pressure to the legs and feet, helping to reduce swelling and inflammation, and alleviate pain and discomfort.
  • Faster recovery time. Compression socks can help athletes and active individuals to recover more quickly after exercise.
  • Support for medical conditions. Compression socks can provide support and relief for individuals with medical conditions such as varicose veins, lymphedema and diabetes.
  • Protection against injury. Compression socks can help to prevent injury and strain by providing support and stability to the legs and feet.

Drawbacks of Wearing Compression Socks

  • Discomfort. Some people may find compression socks uncomfortable or restrictive, especially if they are not properly fitted.
  • Expense. Compression socks can be expensive, especially if they need to be replaced frequently.
  • Limited use. They are not appropriate for all activities, such as swimming or showering.
  • Skin irritation. Compression socks may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals.
  • Pressure sores. In rare cases, compression socks may cause pressure sores or ulcers if they are not properly fitted, or if worn for extended periods of time.

How to Pick the Best Pair of Compression Socks

When choosing a pair of compression socks, there are several factors to consider. Here are some of the most important things to look for.

Compression Level

Compression socks come in different levels of compression, ranging from mild (8-15 mmHg) to extra firm (30-40 mmHg). The right level of compression depends on your individual needs and preferences, so it's important to consult with your doctor, or a specialist, to determine the appropriate level for you.

Material

Compression socks are made of different materials, including nylon, spandex and cotton. Look for socks that are made of breathable, moisture-wicking material to keep your feet dry and comfortable.

Fit

Compression socks should fit snugly around the foot and calf without being too tight or uncomfortable. You should measure your legs and feet before purchasing a pair of socks to ensure a proper fit.

Style

Compression socks come in a variety of styles, including knee-high, thigh-high, and ankle-length. Choose a style that suits your needs and preferences.

Final Notes

Compression socks are a valuable tool for individuals looking to improve their circulation, reduce swelling, and support their legs and feet. When choosing a pair of compression socks, it's important to consider factors such as material, fit, comfort and performance. Consulting with a doctor or specialist can also be helpful in determining if compression socks are appropriate for your individual needs.