• Top 10 Best Compression Socks for Running in the UK 2021 (2XU, Cep and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Compression Socks for Running in the UK 2021 (2XU, Cep and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Compression Socks for Running in the UK 2021 (2XU, Cep and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Compression Socks for Running in the UK 2021 (2XU, Cep and More) 4
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Top 10 Best Compression Socks for Running in the UK 2021 (2XU, Cep and More)

No longer just something you dig out for a long-haul flight, compression socks are part of a new wave of athletic gear whose philosophy is simple: what you wear during exercise can benefit both your performance and your recovery. Compressing the muscles, arteries and veins in your lower legs or calves boosts blood flow to keep you energised, whilst also flushing out lactic acid to aid in the recovery process and stave off the dreaded DOMS.

However, the world of compression socks can be a bit baffling. Do you go for long or short, men’s or women’s? Do they help shin splints? And what is the ideal amount of mmHg? We’ll answer all these questions and more in our guide, and we’ll also share the 10 best pairs from Amazon, Decathlon and eBay in our ranking so you can focus on reaching that finish line in record time.
  • Last updated: 06-01-2021
  • 2,305 views
Table of Contents

Why Wear Compression Socks and What Are the Benefits?

Why Wear Compression Socks and What Are the Benefits?
Let’s begin with a bit more of an explanation, as it’s useful (and interesting!) to know how compression gear works, and why it may benefit you as a runner.
The idea behind compression socks is that they apply pressure to targeted areas which assist in returning healthy, nutrient-rich blood back to the heart, and increase oxygen delivery to the muscles. This also means your VO2 max (how much oxygen you can utilise during exercise) is increased, improving your endurance.
Why Wear Compression Socks and What Are the Benefits?
There are also allegedly some other desirable side effects, such as the more efficient removal of lactic acid, and less oscillation (muscle vibration) occurring each time your foot impacts the ground. Both of these can lead to a decrease in post-run muscle aches, otherwise known as DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness, which is always welcomed by exercisers!
Some runners claim they work like a charm during the run itself, and some only use them to speed up recovery, so you’ll have to try them out for yourself in a few different ways to see how they can work for you.

How to Choose Compression Socks for Running in the UK – Buying Guide

To really feel the benefits, you don’t want to be buying any old pair of compression socks. They need to fit correctly and exert the right amount of pressure, as well as offer the comfort and support that you need. These requirements will vary from one runner to the next, so check out the guide below to figure out your best fit.

Make Sure You Get the Right Fit: Measure Up and Consider the Target Wearer

Unlike your average gym or running socks, the fit of compression socks needs to be much more exact – after all, their job is to fit snugly and perform as more than just something to cover your feet. Read on for our tips on measuring up correctly and a debrief on men's and women's sizes. 

Take Your Foot and Calf Measurements, and Refer to the Brand’s Sizing

Take Your Foot and Calf Measurements, and Refer to the Brand’s Sizing
First, you’ll need to ensure the socks are the right size for your feet. If they’re too loose they won’t really do their job properly, as no more pressure will be exerted than from your average pair of gym socks. And if they’re too tight, they’ll not only be painful but will render themselves useless by limiting the circulation of the blood whose movement we’re trying to encourage!
Compression sock sizes tend to be listed as small/medium, large/extra large, or a slight variation of this. There should always be a measurement chart supplied by the manufacturer for you to refer to. If there’s not, move on. Your shoe size and calf measurement used in unison will give you your size, so make sure you know both.
To find your calf measurement, grab a tape measure and note the circumference of the widest part of your calf. Some brands will use centimetres and some inches, so perhaps take a note of both and keep them handy. Similarly, the sizing used will also vary from brand to brand, so choose appropriately with your measurements as your guide.

Are Men’s and Women’s Compression Socks That Different? Yes and No!

Are Men’s and Women’s Compression Socks That Different? Yes and No!

There are some running compression socks marketed as women’s, some as men’s, and some as unisex. So is there a difference if you’re using the sizing chart and choosing a pair that fit your measurements? Well, only slightly.


Men’s compression socks are usually a little longer in the foot and have a greater calf length, whereas women’s are designed a little shorter. So really, you could go for whichever suits your body type, or one or the other if you are particularly short, tall, or large-footed. Or, just stick to unisex if you’re unsure!

Go for Socks With the Optimum Pressure Level for Running

Go for Socks With the Optimum Pressure Level for Running
The amount of pressure the socks provide is gauged by millimetres of Mercury, which is the same unit doctors and nurses use when taking your blood pressure. You’ll most likely see its abbreviated form of mmHg on product descriptions, whereby the higher the number, the higher the level of compression the socks will supply.
It is advisable to look for socks that provide around 20 mmHg, plus or minus 5, as this is considered to be the optimum when used for running. You’ll see a “gradient pressure” rather than a single number used because the pressure varies in different parts of the sock, which is how it works most efficiently.
Go for Socks With the Optimum Pressure Level for Running

For example, a 20-30 mmHg sock would imply that the firmest end of the pressure scale exerted on the foot is 30 mmHg, and the 20 mmHg would be the decreased pressure further up the leg. Here are the levels of compression so you can get a better idea of where the numbers stand:

  • Under 15 mmHg: Low/mild compression
  • 15-20 mmHg: Moderate compression
  • 20-30 mmHg: Firm compression
  • Above 30 mmHg: High/extra firm compression

Long Socks Are Preferable, But Short Offer Support for Foot Conditions

Long Socks Are Preferable, But Short Offer Support for Foot Conditions
On the whole, longer compression socks are preferable for running. For a start, they have been designed specifically for athletic activity rather than for flying or medical conditions like some footless or shorter varieties. They can also keep you warm on a bracing morning run, and the warmer the muscles, the less likely you are to get injured.
If you suffer from painful foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis or you want some extra stability on the vulnerable ankle joint when running, opt for a shorter sock as the pressure will be focused on the foot and ankle. You will sacrifice some of the compression for this support, though.

However, if it’s shin splints that ail you, you'll definitely want to go for calf-length compression socks, as they will provide some relief whilst still aiding your recovery and keeping that healthy blood circulating.

Look for the Right Materials: Synthetics and Technical Fabrics Are Best

Look for the Right Materials: Synthetics and Technical Fabrics Are Best
Cotton fibres trap moisture, which, for running, can equal sweat and blisters in summer and chilly feet in winter. So it’s probably best to stick to synthetics or at least a mix, as they are durable, breathable, light, and won’t retain odours. 

A blend of polyester or polyamide and nylon or lycra is best as you’ll get the benefits of a synthetic alongside the elasticity needed to pull them on and off without a struggle.

We’d also recommend looking for athletic fabrics that have been designed to make your life easier when running, such as moisture-wicking, heat-regulating, sweat-wicking and antibacterial. Think about when you run too, as those who lace up their trainers year-round may want to look for thicker fabrics in winter and cooling ones for summer.

Extra Padding and Support Features Can Help Longer Distance or Trail Runners

Extra Padding and Support Features Can Help Longer Distance or Trail Runners
As well as the material they’re constructed from, some compression socks for running have enhancements to make for an even more comfortable and supportive sock that works hard to keep your feet cool, comfy and blister-free.
Look out for ventilated mesh panels to help with breathability or padding on the heels, toes and balls of the feet, all of which will benefit those who run marathons or trails, or suffer from sweaty feet. 

Comfort-boosting cushioning is also a great addition to seek out regardless of your running style, as it will be shock absorbing and anti-chafing.

Consider the Colour of the Socks, Especially if They’ll Be on Show, and How Many Pairs in a Pack

Consider the Colour of the Socks, Especially if They’ll Be on Show, and How Many Pairs in a Pack
You may have noticed a few runners sporting neon or brightly-coloured compression socks when out pounding the pavement or racking up the treadmill miles, the likes of which are readily available online for you to pick and match to your running outfits as you like. 

Those who'd prefer something a little more low-key could stick to a trusty black pair, especially if you tend to wear shorts or run outside in summer. That said, colour will be less of a consideration if you wear long joggers or leggings that will hide them away anyway, allowing you to focus on the pairs’ other merits!

Whichever you choose, it’s worth noting how many pairs each pack contains, and weighing this up next to factors such as the amount of clean pairs you want on hand (or in other words how many times a week you go running/do laundry!), and select accordingly after evaluating the cost alongside your budget.

Top 10 Best Compression Socks for Running in the UK

Now you’re armed with the knowledge you need to choose the right pair of compression socks for your running needs, we’ll introduce our top 10 recommendations based on quality, the most suitable pressure for running, and any extra technical features that won us over.
10

Fit Nation Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks

£9.95

SizingS/M, L/XL
Men’s/Women’sUnisex
Pressure
LengthShort
MaterialsNylon, spandex
Support Features
ColourBlack, white
Pairs in Pack2
9

CepRun Women’s 3.0 Compression Socks

£45.00

SizingS-L, II, III, IV
Men’s/Women’sWomen’s
Pressure20-30 mmHg
LengthLong
MaterialsPolyamide, spandex
Support FeaturesReinforced heel/toe
Colour9 colourways
Pairs in Pack1
8

Aptonia Fresh Compression Socks

£12.99

SizingUK 2-5-11, S-L calf sizes
Men’s/Women’sUnisex
Pressure
LengthLong
MaterialsPolyamide, cotton, elastane
Support FeaturesHeel/toe panels
ColourWhite
Pairs in Pack1
7

RymoraCushioned Graduated Compression Socks

£10.95

SizingUK 3-13
Men’s/Women’sUnisex
Pressure15-20 mmHg
LengthLong
MaterialsPolyamide, elastane, lycra
Support FeaturesAchilles support, cushioning, padded toe/heel
ColourWhite, pink, black or yellow
Pairs in Pack1
6

Danish Endurance Graduated Compression Socks

£11.95

SizingUK 3-5, 6-8
Men’s/Women’sUnisex
Pressure18-21 mmHg
LengthLong
MaterialsPolyamide, elastane, lycra
Support FeaturesAnkle flex, padded footbed
ColourBlack, white or neon
Pairs in Pack1
5

Runderwear Premium Graduated Compression Socks

£30.00

SizingUK 4-13
Men’s/Women’sUnisex
Pressure18.1-28.4 mmHg
LengthLong
MaterialsCotton, polyamide, bamboo, elastane
Support FeaturesPadded heel/toe, ventilated panels
ColourBlack
Pairs in Pack1
4

Calves KelsonCompression Socks/Stockings

£12.99

SizingS/M, L/XL
Men’s/Women’sUnisex
Pressure20-30 mmHg
LengthLong
MaterialsNylon, elastic
Support FeaturesPadded heel/toe, ankle support
Colour7 colourways
Pairs in Pack2
3

2XUWomen’s Performance X Compression Socks

£25.00

SizingXS-XL
Men’s/Women’sWomen’s
Pressure18-25 mmHg
LengthLong
MaterialsPolyester, lycra
Support FeaturesBreathable panels, cushioning, padded toe/heel
ColourPearl blue/fiery coral
Pairs in Pack1
2

Physix Gear Unisex Compression Socks

£13.45

SizingS/M, L/XL, XXL
Men’s/Women’sUnisex
Pressure20-30 mmHg
LengthLong
MaterialsPolyamide, elastane, lycra
Support FeaturesCushioning, padded toe/heel
Colour12 colourways
Pairs in Pack1
1

2XUVectr Light Cushion Full Length Socks

£23.09

SizingS-XXL
Men’s/Women’sUnisex
Pressure15-20 mmHg
LengthLong
MaterialsNylon, lycra
Support FeaturesX-Lock support, cushioning, ventilation panels
ColourBlack, grey, white or pink
Pairs in Pack1

Compare the Best Compression Socks for Running

Image
1
2XU Vectr Light Cushion Full Length Socks 1

2XU

2
Physix Gear  Unisex Compression Socks 1

Physix Gear

3
2XU Women’s Performance X Compression Socks 1

2XU

4
Calves Kelson Compression Socks/Stockings 1

Calves Kelson

5
 Runderwear  Premium Graduated Compression Socks 1

Runderwear

6
Danish Endurance  Graduated Compression Socks 1

Danish Endurance

7
Rymora Cushioned Graduated Compression Socks 1

Rymora

8
Aptonia  Fresh Compression Socks 1

Aptonia

9
Cep Run Women’s 3.0 Compression Socks 1

Cep

10
Fit Nation  Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks 1

Fit Nation

Name

Vectr Light Cushion Full Length Socks

Unisex Compression Socks

Women’s Performance X Compression Socks

Compression Socks/Stockings

Premium Graduated Compression Socks

Graduated Compression Socks

Cushioned Graduated Compression Socks

Fresh Compression Socks

Run Women’s 3.0 Compression Socks

Plantar Fasciitis Compression Socks

Features

Unrivalled Support for Every Runner

High-Performance Pressure on a Budget

A Fabulous Women’s Pair From the Market Leader

A Great Value Firm Pressure Multipack

A High-Pressure Pair That Keep You Cool

Top Quality Socks That'll Get You Noticed

Best Pick for Cushioned Comfort

Affordable and Reliable From a Trusted Brand

The Latest Tech That’s Worth the Splurge

Foot Condition-Specific Compression for Plantar Fasciitis

Price£23.09£13.45£25.00£12.99£30.00£11.95£10.95£12.99£45.00£9.95
SizingS-XXLS/M, L/XL, XXLXS-XLS/M, L/XLUK 4-13UK 3-5, 6-8UK 3-13UK 2-5-11, S-L calf sizesS-L, II, III, IVS/M, L/XL
Men’s/Women’sUnisexUnisexWomen’sUnisexUnisexUnisexUnisexUnisexWomen’sUnisex
Pressure15-20 mmHg20-30 mmHg18-25 mmHg20-30 mmHg18.1-28.4 mmHg18-21 mmHg15-20 mmHg20-30 mmHg
LengthLongLongLongLongLongLongLongLongLongShort
MaterialsNylon, lycraPolyamide, elastane, lycraPolyester, lycraNylon, elasticCotton, polyamide, bamboo, elastanePolyamide, elastane, lycraPolyamide, elastane, lycraPolyamide, cotton, elastanePolyamide, spandexNylon, spandex
Support FeaturesX-Lock support, cushioning, ventilation panelsCushioning, padded toe/heelBreathable panels, cushioning, padded toe/heelPadded heel/toe, ankle supportPadded heel/toe, ventilated panelsAnkle flex, padded footbedAchilles support, cushioning, padded toe/heelHeel/toe panelsReinforced heel/toe
ColourBlack, grey, white or pink12 colourways Pearl blue/fiery coral7 colourwaysBlackBlack, white or neonWhite, pink, black or yellowWhite 9 colourwaysBlack, white
Pairs in Pack1112111112
Link

Level Up the Rest of Your Running Gear

Level Up the Rest of Your Running Gear

Nowadays there are all sorts of technical clothing items and gadgets for running to get excited about, and who doesn't want to make life as a fitness fan easier and more fun? Here are some more ideas to help you level up your running gear. 

Summary

So, the ideal compression socks utilise the best of today’s sports fabrics, support features, and technical extras whilst providing you with the right amount of firm pressure to match your preferences. Hopefully, you’ve learnt a thing or two about the wonders of compression socks and have found a pair amongst our recommendations.

Author: Natasha Dziubajlo

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    The right running leggings can seriously enhance your workout, helping you run comfortably and easily so you can focus on your breath, your gait and – of course – those pretty views. We at mybest can help you choose between fabrics, pocket options, cropped or full-lengths, as well as which waistbands don't fall down!Top sports brands like Puma, Adidas and Reebok offer comfortable, colourful, close-fitting yet breathable options for cold weather and summer alike, all of which feature on our list. Feast your eyes on our top ten pairs of women's running leggings, where you’ll find affordable activewear that will transform your run from chore to cheer! *High kick*
    Sports and fitness
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