When you're working long shifts on your feet, compression socks not only relieve your tired and swollen ankles and feet… they also help you prevent dangerous health conditions associated with prolonged standing.
Besides giving you more energy and “bounce” in your step, compression socks can help reduce the risk of blood clots (DVT), relieve edema and varicose vein symptoms and improve your circulation. That's why research shows every nurse should invest in a quality pair compression socks.
My team and I decided to review the the top compression sock brands in the market to help you decide which one is right for you.
The biggest surprise when we started researching and testing compression socks was how many poor brands there are in the market- especially on Amazon! As a matter of fact, some of these socks can cause you more harm than help.
We tested over 15 of the most popular brands on the market to see which provided the most compression, was the most comfortable and had the most accurate sizing
When our product research team tested these socks, five of the 15 brands we tested had improper sizes. The socks were tight and actually cut off the circulation in our legs and feet! This can be as dangerous if not more dangerous than not wearing compression socks at all.
Three of the brands we tested had sizes that were too large and the socks didn’t feel tight enough. There was no noticeable difference between wearing them versus a regular pair of socks.
I thought we were going to have to settle for okay-but-not-great pairs of compression socks, until I stumbled upon a new brand called Primes, which became our number one choice.
The one brand that stood out above all else was a new brand called Primes. The creators were frequent travelers who started taking foot health seriously after hearing about stories of people getting strokes and heart attacks on long flights. The socks worked so well, nurses, doctors and even pilots started wearing them daily during their shifts.
The creators were unhappy with the current compression socks on the market so they worked with foot and vein doctors to design a pair compression socks that relieve swelling and stimulate blood flow while feeling comfortable enough for all-day wear.
It sounds unbelievable, but trying on Primes for the first time felt like walking on clouds. You know that feeling when you stay at a nice hotel and the comforter and pillows just feel nicer and more “luxurious”? Well that’s exactly how my legs and feet felt when I tried slipped on a pair of the Primes Restorative knee-high socks.
The company is based in the USA (unlike many China-based brands on Amazon). I bought a 3-pack of the nude-colored Restorative sock. Shipping was pretty fast and the packaging was high quality. Keep reading for my full review of Primes.
Why I loved it: The first thing I noticed (besides the awesome packaging) was how easy they were to put on. Even though I have larger calves, I didn’t have to struggle and force them on like I did with some of the other brands. They felt tight and snug on my feet, but not so tight it caused discomfort and left a mark. After 15 minutes or so, I forgot I was even wearing them. That’s how comfortable they were! So much better than the other socks I tested that made my legs constantly itchy.
After wearing Primes compression socks for a day (about 15 hours), my legs and feet felt just as fresh as they did in the morning. As an editor sits at a desk all day, my feet are normally sore and swollen by the time I get home.
Thanks to Primes, my feet felt so energized I went for an extra evening walk during sunset. One hidden benefit is these socks make me want to to go out and be active rather than sitting or lying down all the time. They make me feel younger and more fit!
Verdict: If you’re looking for a pair of compression socks that will help your legs and feet feel great, then I highly recommend you grab a pair of Primes. Although they’re more expensive than the brands you’ll find on Amazon or your local CVS, they’re much higher quality and will last longer (the elasticity doesn’t wear out after washing). This means you’ll save money in the long run.
An added bonus is they are infused with anti-microbial copper strands. So you don't have to worry about catching nasty viruses or bacteria (including the current virus going around) when you take your shoes off at the airport.
Plus, they have a 30-day money back guarantee so if you don’t like them for any reason, you can return them and get every single dime back - no questions asked. There’s not many other brands that will offer this.
Right now, Primes is having a special 50% off spring sale so I recommend getting a pair and seeing for yourself. how amazing they are. I would also urge you get a few extra pairs between washes or as gifts for friends and family.
Why we like it: Physix Gear is a solid second choice of compression socks behind Primes. The quality and look of the product is great. The stockings are rated at 20-30 mmHg but I feel like they are less as they do not feel like they provide much compression. However, they still did their job and kept my feet free of swelling after a long day of sitting down.
The only problem I found with Physix (and there's quite a few other people complaining about this too on Amazon reviews) was the band at the top of the sock is very tight. It can leave an indent in your skin if you happen to have bigger calves like I do. But if you have smaller feet and calves, this shouldn't be a huge problem.
Verdict: Our second favorite product, Physix was also high quality and provided the appropriate compression. However, you may not find it as comfortable Primes, especially if you have larger calves because he band at the top can get very tight.
Why we like it: SBSocks is probably the best "budget" brand of compression socks on the market. At only $14.95 per pair, you get the the most bang for your buck. They do a good job of compressing your legs to push the blood back up to your heart.
The only issue I found was these were very tough to get on! It took me a few minutes to pull them up my legs. I struggled to get them on and even had to breaks because my arthritic fingers hurt like hell. But once they were on, they felt pretty comfortable.
Verdict: Overall, I liked SBSox even though they were tough to put on. However, I was concerned about some of the negative reviews online.