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Compression stockings (or socks) are known to help people suffering from certain leg problems, injuries or those at risk for blood clots in the legs. Sitting on airplane for long flights or spending time waiting in luggage and security lines can cause added discomfort to those with medical issues, so compression socks can be a necessary travel item. These socks come in snazzy styles and colors or traditional designs that look like stockings, but remember that the higher the compression, the tighter the socks will be. Here are the eight best compression socks.
Best Overall: Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks for Men and Women
For a sock that has comfort and the right amount of support, Physix Gear Sport’s compression socks are a top choice. The sleek, black socks have a futuristic, blue design pattern on the heal that is double-stitched for added support. They're made of washable Lycra fabric that won’t lose its form and have 20 to 30 mmHg of compression. The breathable material won’t slip, reduces inflammation and provides relief from sore muscles. They are slightly thicker than a dress sock, but they do not pinch the skin. And in addition to wearing them on long flights, they are comfortable for jobs that require people to be on their feet all day.
Best Styles: NewZill Compression Socks
Like fun, colorful socks? Take a look at the NewZill compression socks. The company offers eight different colors, including bright rainbow stripes, hearts and polka dots that make them easy to spot in the sock drawer. The socks are also very functional and have a patented Clima-Pro system to help keep them breathable and odor-free. The socks prevent cramping, fatigue and swelling for those long journeys. Made of thick, warm material, the socks have 20 to 30 mm/Hg of compression and make great gifts for frequent travelers or anyone with leg pain. Amazon buyers noted that although the socks provide support, they do not pinch or leave marks.
Best for Lower Legs: SB SOX Compression Foot Sleeves
Travelers suffering from plantar fasciitis or other foot or heel pain should consider wearing the SB SOX Compression Foot Sleeves. The FDA-registered compression foot sleeves are said to help with better oxygen flow, thus reducing lactic acid build-up and allowing for better muscle recovery. The socks leave the toes and upper ankle exposed, and can easily fit into shoes without feeling too bulky. They are made with anti-odor and anti-static fabric that is both breathable and lightweight, and available in nine different colors such as pink, purple, navy or gray. Before ordering, be sure to measure your arc size to ensure a proper fit.
Best for More Compression: Compression Socks 30-40mmHg
If you need a significant amount of compression when you travel, but prefer the look of a sock (versus an old-fashioned stocking), then Compression Z might be for you. These socks have 30 to 40 mm/Hg, so they will compress more than some others, but also fit tighter. Some Amazon buyers have suggested getting a size larger than usual because they can be snug, but they provide the needed support some travelers require. After a few washes, the Compression Z socks keep their shape and will not slide down when using them. The socks come in plain black, white or with geometric designs in bright pink and blue.
Best Odor Reducer: VitalSox Italian Graduated Compression Socks
The socks are made with 70 percent Silver Drystat, a unique, patented material that builds silver ions right into fibers to inhibit the growth of bacteria. This helps to keep the socks smelling fresh and keeps them dry, but they also have a patented gradual (lighter) compression for maximum blood circulation that was developed by Italian-based company Arcos Srl. The four-way stretch system ensures a comfortable fit, with elasticized bands that cradle ankles and foot arches. The fabric is soft against the skin and they come in seven different colors ranging from classic white to lime green or hot orange; they're a popular choice among athletes and travelers. These socks have 12 to 20 mm/HG of compression.
Best Traditional: Jobst Medical Legware
For effective relief without all the style at a reasonable price, the Jobst Medical Legware stockings are top notch. The closed toe design allows for some wiggle room, so you don’t feel too constricted, and they come in several styles depending on what part your legs you need to target (knee, thigh or waist high). They are made with covered spandex yarn that’s soft to touch and also have reinforced heels for added support. Amazon buyers highly recommend them for comfort and pain relief. The stockings are available in a classic nude color – so they aren’t the most fashionable. The socks provide 20 to 30mm/Hg of compression.
Best Multiset: Lifortune
If you’re constantly misplacing compression socks or just need a larger set for longer trips, the eight-pack set by Lifortune is a perfect option. The simple set includes eight, knee-high black socks (or the multi-variety pack includes tan and white socks as well) that are made from 85 percent nylon, 10 percent polyester and five percent elastane. The fabric has is moisture-wicking properties to prevent against foot fungal infections. They also help reduce swelling and cramping in the foot, ankle, and calf and helps relieve varicose and spider veins. Amazon buyers noted that after several washes the socks maintained their quality.
Best Maternity Socks: MadeMother Maternity Compression Stockings
If you’re pregnant, the Maternity Compression Stockings from MadeMother can help relieve leg stress due to traveling and carrying pregnancy weight. Many mothers report swollen legs, feet, restless feet and just general leg pain when pregnant, so traveling, walking and sitting for long periods can add to the discomfort. The stockings are designed to fit during all stages of pregnancy and can aid in providing medical-grade graduated compression pressure. The socks provide 30 to 35 mmHG to the ankle, 20 to 26 mmHG to the legs and 16 to 21 mmHG by the knee. They are made of nylon, are nude in color and have an open-toe design.