Compression socks for flying, exercise, and everyday wear

Shop light to moderate compression socks from Bombas, Amazon and beyond.

March 19, 2024, 7:21 AM

Compression socks: what are they and why might you need them?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, compression socks “work most notably to help with venous problems of the legs.” They work by gently squeezing your legs to increase pressure, and can help with circulation and blood flow, swelling, pain and discomfort.

Benefits of compression socks

If you’re taking a long flight – or plan to sit for long periods – compression socks are a good thing to wear to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), according to UCLA Health. They can help prevent blood from pooling, but you should also be mindful of getting in regular movement and seek medical care if DVT is suspected.

But “even people with no physical risk factors can benefit from wearing compression socks on lengthy flights.”

Additionally, “wearing compression stockings is probably the most effective home remedy for varicose veins,” Cleveland Clinic says. For this, you’ll need a medical-grade compression sock that is long enough to reach your varicose veins. Be sure to consult with a doctor if you’re seeking a medical-grade sock.

Compression socks may also be considered to wear during your pregnancy or after a workout.

Shopping for compression socks

Brands like Bombas and Comrad have compression socks for flying, travel, exercise and beyond. Plus, the socks are available in all sorts of colors and patterns – so you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort. Note the millimeters of mercury, or mmHg, to indicate compression levels.

Continue below to shop our picks.

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Compression socks for women


Women's Everyday Compression Socks (15-20mmHg)

These Bombas everyday compression socks have a 4.5-star rating and more than 11,900 reviews. They are designed to relieve sore, achy legs and feature strategic zone cushioning, a seamless toe, "stay-up" technology and Bombas' signature honeycomb arch support. Bombas recommends them for traveling, running, pregnancy or if you're on your feet all day. 

  • $28
  • Bombas

HATCH Maternity 2-Pack Compression Socks

These maternity compression socks were "designed to soothe that swell so you can stay on your toes all day long," according to Hatch's website. They have moderate compression (15-20 mmHg) and are highly rated. 

  • $44
  • Nordstrom

Stripe Knee High Compression Socks

COMRAD aims "to show that everyone can benefit from the power of compression to feel their best and conquer their day, every day," according to Nordstrom's website. The brand sells both everyday compression socks (15-20 mmHg) and medical compression socks (20-30 mmHg). 

  • $28
  • Nordstrom

Sockwell Circulator Compression Socks - Women's

These socks have 4 zones of graduated compression to help minimize swelling and reduce fatigue. They have a reinforced heel, seamless toe closure, ultra-light cushion soles and are ideal for long-distance travel, according to REI's website. They have moderate compression (15-20 mmHg) and are made from 32% merino wool. Plus, they have a 4.7-star rating.

  • $29.95
  • REI

Light Cushion Ski Sock

These ski socks from Halfdays have light compression "to keep you warm and comfy long after your last run." They are made from 60% merino wool, 35% nylon and 5% spandex and are moisture-wicking, odor-resistant and will keep you warm, too. 

  • $29
  • Halfdays

Compression socks for men


VIM & VIGR Cotton 15-20 mmHg Graduated Compression Socks for Women & Men

These therapeutic Vim & Vigr compression socks have graduated compression and can help reduce swelling, alleviate achiness and more. They are ideal for everyday wear. If a doctor prescribes you medical-grade compression socks, the brand also has those available on Amazon (with 30-40 mmHg).

  • $38
  • Amazon

Dickies Men's Light Comfort Compression Over-the-Calf Socks

These Dickie's light compression socks with graduated 8-15 mmHg compression are made with moisture-control to keep your feet try. They are a top bestseller in Amazon's men's crew socks category and have 4.5 stars with more than 13,500 ratings. 

  • $11.98
  • Amazon

CHARMKING Compression Socks for Women & Men Circulation (3 Pairs) 15-20 mmHg

These bestselling women's compression socks (15-20 mmHg) feature 360-degree stretch and are designed to provide "support, comfort and relief without compromising your mobility." They are available in multiple colors and patterns to best suit your wardrobe. 

  • $13.99
  • Amazon

Men's Targeted Compression Performance Calf Sock 3-Pack

Stock up on men's compression socks with this 3-pack from Bombas. They are "designed to keep you cool, dry, and supported—no matter the activity," according to Bombas' website. They have a 4.5-star rating and like the women's socks, they feature honeycomb arch support and strategic cushioning. 

  • $60
  • Bombas