How to Choose Compression Socks that Best Fit Your Needs

Know how to choose compression socks by checking out a size chart

With so many compression sock brands making claims combined with daunting abbreviations like "mmHg", finding the right sock or sleeve for your wellness needs or finding the right size fit can become a challenge.

At PRO Compression we understand the importance of finding the right compression garment for you. Read on to learn how to reap the full benefits and select the best compression socks and sleeves for you.  

What do compression socks do and how do they work?

Before you buy compression socks online, it’s crucial to learn how compression socks work. At the core of the concept, true graduated compression socks, also called compression stockings or knee-high compression socks, place pressure on veins, increasing blood and fluid circulation so that your heart doesn't have to work as hard.

This improved circulation means that your limbs receive the right nutrients, oxygen, and energy needed to function while reducing swelling and pain. It also means faster recovery! 

What are compression socks used for? 

Compression socks aren't just for the elderly (love you Grandma!) and those with medical conditions. While using compression socks for varicose veins, edema, plantar fasciitis, lymphedema, and neuropathy is widely recommended by doctors* for symptom relief but really, every body benefits from graduated compression! 

PRO Compression has the largest selection of compression socks on the planet, and we're here to help! Still not sure how to use compression? We have more info for you here, read more to learn more...

Compression Socks are Popular with:

  • Runners, cyclists, triathletes, hikers, and Crossfitters

  • Nurses, hospitality servers, and anyone working long shifts on their feet or seated for prolonged periods.

  • Those fighting fatigue and the physical toll traveling takes on the body.

  • Those suffering from leg cramps and restless legs at night.
    (Yep! You can wear compression socks even when you sleep!)

  • Anyone looking to up-level their sock game 🧦💪

Choosing the right compression socks to fit your needs

Popular Compression Socks by Activity 

There are many different types of compression socks. From no-shows and lows, to mids and knee highs, we have you covered! And, while here at HQ love all forms of PRO Compression socks, there are definitely some standout collections that are preferred for certain activities.

Still not sure which sock design to choose? Here are our most popular ones, along with popular uses to help guide you!

Marathon Knee High Compression Socks & Calf Sleeves

  • Compression Level: 20-30 mmHg
  • Material: Breathable, moisture-wicking blend of nylon, spandex, and polyester.
  • Popular uses: Endurance running, walking, nurses and medical professionals, traveling, maternity, soccer, football, roller skating.

 Trainer Low Compression Socks

  • Compression Level: 10-15 mmHg
  • Material: Breathable, moisture-wicking blend of nylon and spandex.
  • Popular uses: Golf, tennis, pickleball, running, gym training

PC Dress Compression Socks

  • Compression Level: 15-25 mmHg
  • Material: Breathable, moisture-wicking blend of nylon, spandex, and polyester.
  • Popular usesProfessional/workplace, travel, daily comfort.


Lifestyle Light Compression Socks

  • Compression Level: 15-25 mmHg
  • Material: Breathable, moisture-wicking blend of nylon, spandex, and polyester.
  • Popular usesProfessional/workplace, travel, daily comfort.


Types of compression socks


If you're really just looking for a comfortable compression sock that hugs your feet (not for calf compression), the Trainer Lows are all you need.

Get a bit more support with mid-calf compression socks like our PC Racers, which work great under work clothes and pants to maximize comfort throughout the day.

What is mmHg and why does it matter?

Also abbreviated as mm Hg, the acronym mmHg stands for millimeters of mercury.

STOP...did you just say MERCURY?! 😱

Yes...and not to worry! We guarantee that all PRO Compression socks are 100% free of mercury! 😉

You can view our socks are by compression rating now, making shopping faster and easier: 

What mmHg refers to the unit of pressure equal to the pressure exerted by a column of mercury. Essentially, it is a measurement of the pressure of any fluid. The higher the pressure of a fluid (in this case, your blood) the more likely it will flow quickly (increases circulation). Basically, your heart works less and our socks do the heavy lifting for your veins.

PRO Tips: Sock Compression Levels

A good rule of thumb to follow when considering compression sock levels is to err on towards the lower-compression level range. Light compression socks are often a favorite for those seeking compression and comfort, simultaneously or are new to the compression game.

For high-intensity activities to mild symptoms of discomfort, be sure to check out our Marathon 20-30 mmHg Compression Socks first*! Luckily, PRO Compression has 100s of stylish designs of compression socks that not only help increase circulation and speed up recovery, they also keep you looking fabulous!

You can find socks between the 15–30 mmHg range to fit most of your compression treatment needs. For specific medical conditions, consult with your doctor on the exact compression level for you.

Finding the Right Fit  

After figuring out the specific function, type and compression level you need from a sock, the final step in how to choose compression socks lies within the fit. Just like how every shoe company may provide a different size and fit for your foot, the same concept goes with compression socks.

When buying compression socks online, be sure to follow the size charts before ordering the size you think is right for you. Many size charts will list a shoe size range and may go as far as to list the circumference of your limbs. The most important factor when it comes to finding the right fit for compression socks is your calf measurement.


Know how to choose compression socks by checking out a size chart.

Once you have measured your calf circumference (see the image above for example of how to properly measure) and matched it against the size charts provided, you can then look to your shoe size as a secondary guide to finding the right fit. And if you happen to have above average-sized calves, not to worry, we offer a range of wide-calf compression socks for our more gifted customers as well.

It is extremely important to wear the right-sized sock in order for that sock to fully carry out its purpose. Compression socks should fit snuggly around your lower limbs and feet but should not feel as if they are constricting you from moving in anyway. The fabric should be breathable and shouldn’t make your skin sweat. Keep comfort as the goal, and any fit that makes you uncomfortable is likely the wrong size or type of sock.

Compression Socks from PRO Compression   

Here at PRO Compression we do everything we can to make the process of choosing the right compression sock easy and simple, plus we have a stellar customer care team ready to help if you have questions!

If you're wondering how to choose compression socks for men and women and which ones are the right fit, we have you covered. First thing's first, there is no difference between men's and women's compression socks here at PRO Compression. We have size charts on every page to help you find the right fit. 

Feel free to contact us for further questions regarding your specific needs. We’ll find the right compression socks to fit your purpose so you can gain the best benefits from wearing compression socks. 

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*Citation(s): CMAJ - 2014 Jul 8; 186(10): E391–E398
*Always consult your personal physician to see if compression products are right for you.