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Choosing the Best Compression Socks

by Jessica Hegg August 01, 2019 0 Comments

wearing compression stockings

Whether you’re an athlete, nurse or simply looking to relieve leg pain and swelling, choosing the best compression socks is vital. They are especially effective at improving blood flow, making them a good answer to conditions like deep vein thrombosis. Find the right pair for you by following our in-depth guide, where we cover a range of factors like compression level, coverage, material, and recommendations tailored to your needs.

What to Consider When Choosing your Compression Socks

Find the pair of compression socks that have all the features you’re looking for.

Compression Level


Mild compression can range anywhere between 8 and 15 mmHg and is the best choice for dealing with minor aches and pains on a daily basis. It can be a good option for those who are on their feet all day and looking for a way to fight fatigue. All of our compression socks offer a higher level of compression, but you can try our compression stockings for mild to medium compression benefits.


Medium compression legwear can be another effective way to combat aches and pains, but is also good for several common leg conditions. Ranging from 15 to 20 mmHg, they are good at treating minor to moderate varicose veins and spider veins. They are also an effective solution for swelling in the leg and foot, and are recommended for those traveling long distances in a plane or other cramped space. Compression stockings are your best bet in this case.


Firm compression socks and stockings offer 20 to 30 mmHg, making them the best choice for more severe cases of varicose veins, as well as helping to prevent and treat a range of conditions including Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Our compression socks, ankle compression socks, and compression leg sleeves all offer firm compression.


Prescription compression socks and stockings deliver between 30 and 50 mmHg and are used when treating the most severe leg conditions. While they can be effective in specific cases, most people will benefit more from lower levels of compression. Talk to your doctor if you think prescription socks are the right answer for you.


Getting the right coverage is crucial when seeking compression treatment. Depending on the compression sock you choose, you can find coverage for calves, ankles, arches, toes, or a combination that suits your needs. See our chart above for details on individual products.

Don’t forget that compression socks should never be rolled down or cuffed when too long. Doing so can restrict circulation or stop blood flow completely.


Polyester/Cotton Blend

The polyester and cotton blend used in our compression socks and foot and ankle compression socks is moisture wicking and antibacterial. This makes it ideal for athletes as well as more casual users looking for extended wear without unwanted odor. It is lightweight and breathable, as well as machine washable, ensuring daylong comfort.

And since our polyester/cotton blend comes in 9 colors, it’s easy to find the style that suits you.


The nylon blend used in our compression stockings is ultra soft for comfort, as well as lightweight. It won’t irritate even the most sensitive skin while offering firm graduated compression across the leg.


Our compression leg sleeves feature a spandex blend that is temperature regulating, letting heat escape when you are warm and keeping it in when not. It is lightweight for comfortable wear and is durable enough for extended use.

Our Recommendations for... 

Compression Socks for Running and Athletes

Running and Athletes

The best compression sleeves for thighs and calves should be able to offer powerful therapeutic compression to both athletes and rehab patients alike. Our athletic compression socks offer a lightweight and breathable design that will stay comfortable, even over long hours. Buying multiple pairs is a good idea, but with this sock’s durable and washable fabric, cleaning the same pair on a weekly basis should be no problem at all. Try our compression leg sleeves if you want to focus compression on just the calf and knee.

Compression socks for Nurses


Take advantage of our compression socks to get through long work days. They resist slipping over the course of long hours, with a breathable material that will keep legs cool while relieving sore muscles. They are also durable with a protective sleeve that will keep legs healthy while also standing up to regular wear and tear. 

Compression stockings for Travel

Flying and Travel

Swollen feet and sore ankles can be common during long flights, making it hard to enjoy your vacation. Try our compression stockings for relief from some of the side-effects of extended periods in the car or long-haul flights. They can reduce the risk of blood clots while flying and are effective at treating the symptoms DVT. If you are looking for a bit of extra compression, try our athletic compression socks for an even more dramatic effect.

Compression stockings for Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can be a cosmetic concern for some, but they also come with lasting aches or impeded circulation. Our compression stockings offer graduated compression and a soft material, to relieve pain while staying comfortable. If you’re planning on wearing them all day, a fitted elastic cuff will be needed to keep it in place, while a selection of custom sizes will ensure you get the snug fit you need.

Compression socks for Diabetes


Our athletic compression socks are designed to encourage blood flow throughout the legs, addressing some of the most common symptoms of diabetes. They can help prevent swelling and ease nerve sensitivities, making it easier to stay mobile. Structured cuffs at the top of the sock prevents it from slipping or sliding during use, making it easy to wear throughout the day.

Compression stockings for Pregnant


Carrying extra weight during pregnancy can lead to a variety of symptoms, including ankle pain and swelling. Try our compression stockings to increase blood flow and reduce symptoms. They can also help prevent common conditions associated with pregnancy like spider veins and varicose veins.

Compression sock for Foot Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Foot Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

If you experience chronic pain in the foot or heel, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. Alongside an appropriate stretching regimen, our foot and ankle compression socks can be an effective solution for these symptoms. With a ribbed design for moderate compression, and a structured cuff at the top of the sock to prevent slipping, they offer everything needed for daily treatment.


Frequently Asked Questions

See what other Vive Health shoppers like you are asking!

What benefits do compression socks offer?

Sometimes veins need an extra boost to get blood from your toes back up to your heart. Vive Health compression sleeves incorporate graduated compression which encourages upward blood flow. This will ease foot swelling and alleviate conditions like varicose veins or lymphedema.

What material is best for compression socks?

Nylon and spandex offer the durability and flexibility needed to stay comfortable all day long. These materials are also breathable, which prevents heat buildup during sports or a hard day’s work.

How long should I wear compression socks?

Vive Health compression socks offer mild to moderate compression, which means they are safe to wear for extended periods. This makes them perfect for long sporting events or wearing to the office. Ask your doctor for an in-depth recommendation based on your medical history.

Need More Help?

Get more information on all Vive Health products by talking to our customer service and product specialists. Call between 8:30am and 9pm EST daily at 1-800-487-3808 or email us at

Jessica Hegg
Jessica Hegg

Jessica Hegg is the content manager and at With vast product knowledge and understanding of individual needs, she aims to share valuable information on making smart buying choices, overcoming obstacles and overall improving the quality of life for others. Avid gym-rat and nutrition enthusiast, she’s interested in all things related to staying active and living healthy lifestyle.

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