The 9 Best Compression Socks for Travel of 2021

The latest foot accessories for long-haul flights and safe globetrotting

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

Best Overall: Physix Gear Compression Socks at Amazon

"With graduated compression from the arch to the calf, Physix Gear Compression Socks offer comfortable all-day wear."

Best Budget: Dr. Scholl’s Women’s Travel Knee High Socks at Amazon

"This affordable pair offers light pressure at the ankle that lessens as it travels up the leg."

Best for Men: Vitalsox Compression Graduated Socks at Amazon

"Gents on a search for odorless socks will enjoy adding the Vitalsox Compression Graduated Socks to their sock drawers."

Best for Women: Laite Hebe Compression Socks at Amazon

"These well reviewed socks, which come in a variety of colors, deliver a pressure-gradient design in women’s sizes."

Best for Kids: VANDIMI Little Boys/Girls Outfits Compression Long Sport Soccer Socks Pack at Amazon

"The Vandimi socks offer light compression, in the form of spandex, for kids ages 3 to 13."

Best Ankle Socks: Comrad Ankle Compression Socks at comradsocks.com

"This pick provides targeted compression to needy arches and 360-degree pressure to prevent swelling, blisters, and slippery socks."

Best for Long Flights: Sockwell Women's Elevation Firm Graduated Compression Socks at Amazon

"These socks use four zones of 20-30 mmHg graduated compressio—perfect for all-day wear, such as during long-haul flights."

Best Style: Vim and Vigor Nylon 15-20 mmHg Compression Socks at Amazon

"The socks come in a stunning array of stripes, polka dots, and other patterns in hues to match every style."

Most Philanthropic: Bombas Women’s Strong Compression Sock 3- Pack at bombas.com

"With its practice of one pair purchased, one pair donated, Bombas allows you to give back as you shop."

Pilots on long-haul flights may announce that you’re free to move about the cabin, but your movement is still restricted, so you want to make the most of the limited space you're able to walk around. Compression socks can help because they boost circulation in your legs and minimize swelling. Read on for the best compression socks for travel.

Best Overall: Physix Gear Compression Socks

What We Like
  • Comes in various colors

  • Breathable

What We Don't Like
  • They're thick

With graduated compression from the arch to the calf, Physix Gear Compression Socks offer comfortable all-day wear. Reviewers attested to their ability to don these socks for long days on the job and during lengthy plane travel. The socks come in a variety of double-stitched heel colors for a bit of flare; although, the socks' upper is stitched in basic black or neutral beige that will fit many people’s aesthetics. The socks wear slightly thicker than a dress sock; however, they remain breathable through hours of use. The durable Lycra socks also hold up to washing and won’t lose their 20 to 30 mmHg.

Tested by TripSavvy

The compression socks from Physix Gear Sport have something many other compression socks don’t have: a stylish design. With a choice of nine different color combinations, a stacked ombre pattern on the heel adds a bit of personality without going overboard. The best part: They’re also insanely comfortable.

After 15 minutes of wearing these socks, we really couldn't even tell that they were there. There are no areas that rub uncomfortably against your legs, and there's enough give in the foot so you don’t feel trapped in the sock. After removing these socks, we didn't have any leftover marks from too-tight spots (like we did with the NEWZILL socks that we tested). In fact, we would say that our feet were even less swollen than they were when we put them on. 

We travel often and have done a lot of research about compression socks. These are the best. We would bring these on any trip—and would even consider wearing them around the house. — Erika Owen, Product Tester

Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks

TripSavvy / Erika Owen

Best Budget: Dr. Scholl’s Women’s Travel Knee High Socks

What We Like
  • Machine washable

  • Wicks moisture

What We Don't Like
  • Not as high quality as other options

This affordable pair offers light pressure at the ankle that lessens as it travels up the leg. The 10-15 mmHg compression is likely fitting for short stints on a plane or in the car. If you’ve tried other socks with more pressure, this might be the right pair for you. The cotton-free design helps reduce moisture and lessen odor and irritation.  

Best for Men: Vitalsox Compression Graduated Socks

What We Like
  • Prevents odors

  • All-around support

What We Don't Like
  • Top sock band can be tight

Gents on a search for odorless socks will enjoy adding the Vitalsox Compression Graduated Socks to their sock drawers. These socks use performance Quick Drying Polypropylene infused with silver—an antimicrobial and antifungal powerhouse that resists and stops the growth of these sweat and moisture byproducts. In short, these socks repel odors. This design offers ideal compression.

Tested by TripSavvy

About two hours into our flight to Sweden, we jerked awake only to knock an almost full cup of water onto our seat. Luckily, we were wearing VitalSox Italian Graduated Compression Socks, meaning that any water that ended up on the socks was dry within a minute. 

These compression socks make a good first impression: The design is relatively simple, focused on the foot, and keeping it minimal throughout the calf. You can also clearly see where the compression starts along the mid-foot, based on the direction of the woven pattern. The top of the sock band is a little tight, which can get a bit uncomfortable if you’re prone to swelling. We got relief by occasionally adjusting the sock during our flights. 

The bottom line on these socks: If you’re prone to sweaty feet and foot odor, this option will keep you (and your seatmates) happy. — Erika Owen, Product Tester

VitalSox Italian Graduated Compression Socks

TripSavvy / Erika Owen

Best for Women: Laite Hebe Compression Socks

What We Like
  • Comes in various colors

  • Dries fast

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note packing doesn't have washing instructions

These well-reviewed socks, which come in a variety of eye-catching hues and designs, deliver a pressure-gradient design in women’s sizes. They’re a favorite of lifestyle and travel writer Patrice J. Williams. “After wearing these socks for three years now, I can absolutely see why they’re top-rated,” she says. “Besides being available in tons of colors, which totally fits my style, they’re fitted without being restrictive. These are actually comfortable, and I've worn them on long flights and even sometimes when I'm at home sitting at my desk.” The socks are quick-drying, another convenient quality for travel. “This has come in handy when I've wanted to wash them in a hotel’s sink and hang them to dry. They're ready to go the next day for my flight,” Williams says.

Best for Kids: VANDIMI Little Boys/Girls Outfits Compression Long Sport Soccer Socks Pack

What We Like
  • Multi-purpose

  • Comes in various colors

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note sizes run large

While most kids don’t suffer from the same medical ailments that lead adults to seek out compression socks, they may still benefit from some light compression during long periods of inactivity. The Vandimi socks offer light compression, in the form of spandex, for kids ages 3 to 13.

Best Ankle Socks: Comrad Ankle Compression Socks

Comrad ankle Compression Socks

Courtesy of Comrad

What We Like
  • Comes in various colors

  • Prevents odors

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier than other options

For some, the toe to knee pressure of most compression socks may be too much. These ankle socks provide targeted compression to needy arches and 360-degree pressure to prevent swelling, blisters, and slippery socks. These socks are ideal for long days of walking, thanks especially to the extra padding in the toe and heel and slide-free cuffs that won’t slip and cause blisters. The material includes SmartSilver antimicrobial technology that kills stink-causing bacteria.

Best for Long Flights: Sockwell Women's Elevation Firm Graduated Compression Socks

What We Like
  • Has four zones of compression

  • Breathable

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note their sizing isn't consistent

Sockwell’s sock uses four zones of 20-30 mmHg graduated compression. The brand has earned a fan in lifestyle and travel blogger Lindsey Silberman. “I've worn Sockwell's compression socks for years. I love that they’re super tight but breathable,” she says. They’re available in 10 muted designs that will easily go from plane to meeting.

Best Style: Vim and Vigor Nylon 15-20 mmHg Compression Socks

What We Like
  • Comes in various colors and styles

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier than other options

Vim and Vigor only produce compression socks (as opposed to all sock varieties), so you’re sure to find a quality sock from this company. Travel blogger Sherry Ott, of Ottsworld, wears them exclusively. “Vim & Vigr only does compression socks, but they do them with a twist—they are fashionable!” she says. “They come in different compression levels, fabrics (my favorite is the merino wool for travel), and calf widths. … They by far have the best variety, and I love my many pairs!” The 15-20 mmHg pressure is perfect for travel because it allows for all-day wear. The socks come in a stunning array of stripes, polka dots, and other patterns in hues to match every style.

Most Philanthropic: Bombas Women’s Strong Compression Sock 3- Pack

Bombas Women’s Strong Compression Sock 3- Pack

Courtesy of Bombas

What We Like
  • Comes in various colors

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier than other options

With its practice of one pair purchased, one pair donated, Bombas allows you to give back as you shop. But giving back doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing your socks. These are quality compression socks with moderate pressure perfect for travel, long shifts, and/or pregnancy. The cotton, polyester, nylon blend is durable, and with three pairs to a pack, you’ll be wearing these for a while. The design integrates strategic zone cushioning around your arches—a honeycomb design offers extra support there—and ankles. They come in straight-laces gray, white, and black, or with more fanciful, and even floral, designs.

Final Verdict

We’re fans of Physix Gear Compression Socks (view on Amazon) for their graduated-compression design. They’re well made for all-day wear, particularly during long plane flights or road trips, and remain comfortable throughout.

FAQ

How do I know if my compression socks fit?

Once on, compression socks should lay smoothly against your skin. They should feel snug, but they shouldn’t feel painfully tight. If they hurt or if the band at the top is digging into your skin, you may need a larger size or a better fitting brand.

Why Trust TripSavvy?

Ever since a run-in with swollen feet after a trip to New Zealand five years ago, freelance travel journalist Ashley M. Biggers has worn compression socks on lengthy flights to encourage circulation. As a runner, she’s also donned them for long-distance training runs and marathons.

Article Sources
TripSavvy uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Cleveland Clinic. "What You Should Know About Compression Socks." Oct. 19, 2020.

Was this page helpful?
Continue to 5 of 9 below.
Continue to 9 of 9 below.