Compression Socks For Runners: What They Do And Why You Should Try A Pair

compression socks for runners do you need them

Considering compression socks for running? Here’s why runners wear compression socks some of the best pairs to buy.

You’ve been running for years, but nowadays, your legs seem heavier. Veins in your calves are popping out of your skin, and you’re starting to wonder why you’re cramping up on every run.

You might need compression socks, my friend.

Runners often rely on them to get them through a long-distance run, or heck–a long shift on their feet at work. Are you considering compression socks?

We’ll give you the 411 on these tight knee-highs and even recommend some of the best ones.

What Do Compression Socks Actually Do?

So what do compression socks do for you, and why should you wear them? Compression socks are meant to compress the blood vessels in your lower legs so your blood and fluid don’t pool in the lower half of your body.

Compression socks place constant pressure on the legs to prevent the accumulation of fluid in your legs. The compression is said to help your blood circulate better– allowing more oxygen to get to your tissues. These socks create a positive pressure that forces your blood away from your legs.

Compression stockings are designed to apply pressure to your lower legs, which help maintain blood flow and reduce discomfort and swelling. The compression is the tightest around your ankle, and then it eases up as the socks go higher up your leg.


For runners, compression socks provide relief for muscle aches and foot pain. Studies show that compression socks can help reduce muscle damage and even inflammation, especially after a race like a marathon.

Do Compression Socks Help With Running?

Like we mentioned before, compression socks can act as a tremendous post-marathon recovery practice.

There are other reasons a runner may adopt compression socks as part of their regular running routine.

Some of these reasons are:

  • Reduces leg swelling and low leg tiredness during challenging runs.
  • Reduces cramping.
  • Reduces recovery time.
  • It keeps your legs warm during cold running days.
  • Adds a layer of protection on your trail runs.

As you can see, there are several reasons runners trust compression socks to get them through their workouts.

Have you been having some cramping during your runs?

Do you need a better way to recover after a particularly long race?

Maybe compression socks are a fit for you.

Should Runners Wear Compression Socks?

Sure, runners swear by compression socks–but how reliable are they? Are these socks scientifically proven to improve your running recovery game, or is it all just a placebo effect?

Studies regarding the effectiveness of compression socks for runners are mixed and inconclusive. Some studies suggest positive results depending on the length of a runner’s run and their physical capability.

However, it’s hard to ignore that many runners feel that compression socks make a difference. Some runners swear by them, and if they work for that person–who needs scientific evidence to back it up?

How Long Should I Wear Compression Socks?

While we love a good compression sock, we don’t suggest wearing them 24/7. Some people need to wear compression socks during the day if they’re going to be on their feet for the entirety of their workday.

We suggest putting compression socks on in the morning and wearing them all day in this case. You can take them off when you get home or wait until the end of the day.

If you’re using compression socks for running purposes, you can wear a pair during your workout–or afterward for recovery. It all depends on your specific needs and workout routine. As we said, when it comes to using compression socks, everyone is different. You need to find the routine that works best for you.

Best Compression Socks For Runners To Buy

Now it’s time for the most critical part of this article–what kind of compression socks to buy!

When choosing a good pair of compression socks, you should go for knee-high ones to start. Make sure they’re not too long because you don’t want them to bunch in any areas.

Compression socks are meant to feel snug, and they should even be a little difficult to get on. You should choose socks with graduated compression, which means the socks are tighter around your ankle and are gradually loser as you get closer to your knees.

For socks with the best compression rating, you’re going to want to go with 20-30 mm/HG–which is a mid-range compression.

Don’t forget to check the padding around the heels, toes, top of the foot, and the Achilles area. Look for seams that might irritate your foot. You would hate to wear a sock that will drive you crazy or cause a blister during a run.

Try to avoid white socks if you can. They get filthy quickly. Speaking of washing, double-check the socks’ washing instructions. You really shouldn’t use fabric softener on compression socks because it could affect their compression. Putting compression socks in a tumble dryer could also shrink them–so don’t do that either!

We know that your choices can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’ve picked a few of the best socks on the internet.

Calf Compression Socks by Run Forever

Run Forever Compression Socks
via Amazon

Through a dedicated eye for detail, Run Forever Sports has created a premium Leg Compression Sleeve ideal for your everyday needs. Made of durable, high-quality materials and painstakingly measured to ensure an exact fit, these compression socks for runners make absolutely sure you get what you paid for.


Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks

Physix Compression Socks
via Amazon

A durable compression sock designed to last, without compromising quality or comfort. Physix gear compression socks for runners are double-stitched so you’ll feel the immediate comfort. These compression socks will hold up over multiple washing and won’t lose their tightness.


SB SOX Compression Socks

SB SOX Compression Socks
via Amazon

Tired of wasting money on overpriced compression socks that just aren’t sized right? These SB Sox are designed to provide the perfect compression (20-30mmHg), fit smoothly over calves and legs, and cover a wide range of calf circumferences and shoe sizes.


MudGear Premium Compression Socks

Mudgear Compression Socks
via Amazon

Originally designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions of trail running, and military-style obstacle races like Spartan Race and Tough Mudder, these knee-high compression socks are made of extra strong yarns. The durability of this sock also makes it perfect for hiking, mountain biking, trail running, hunting, or any other heavy-duty activity.


That’s all there is to know about the magic of compression socks. If you’ve been experiencing cramping, tiredness, or varicose veins–maybe you should pick up a pair.

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