Sore Legs and Swollen Ankles? These Compression Socks Are Your New Best Friend

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It’s no secret that tons of runners love compression socks — including the one writing this article. As someone who’s struggled with calf pain and soreness in the past, I’ve found that compression socks keep my legs feeling fresh and energized even many miles into a long run. I’ve also started wearing them on planes and during hot, humid days to prevent swelling in my feet and ankles. And if you’re interested in trying compression socks for the first time, or just looking for a new brand to try, Bombas compression socks are a good place to start.

First, an explanation, in case you’re wondering what compression socks even do in the first place. Basically, they place gentle pressure on the blood vessels in your lower legs, which makes it easier for the blood to get back up to your heart and prevents it from pooling and causing swelling in your lower legs. This is meant to make you more comfortable (no tightness and swelling around your ankles? Yes please) while decreasing the risk of blood clots, also known as deep vein thrombosis. Studies say compression socks can prevent leg swelling during pregnancy and improve athletic performance and recovery, too.

Essentially, compression socks are a cheap and simple way to improve circulation, which is why we’re talking about them today. We’re already fans of Bombas running socks, but the good thing about their compression socks specifically? They offer multiple different kinds, so you can choose the right length and tightness to suit your purposes.

Bombas Women’s Everyday Compression Socks


Bombas everyday compression socks, for example, offer a medium level of pressure, about 15 to 20 mmHg. (Note: mmHg is a measurement of pressure that stands for millimeters of mercury, but don’t worry, mercury was not used in the making of your socks. The measurement originates from the pressure a 1 millimeter-high column of mercury could generate.)

Bombas recommends its everyday compression socks for traveling, running, or standing on your feet all day. Work as a nurse or a teacher with little time for sitting? These socks are the way to go, with Bombas describing them as “just snug enough to feel supportive.”

If you prefer more compression, you might want to try the performance compression socks. They’re the same knee-high length but with 20-30 mmHg of compression, so they’ll feel noticeably tighter than the everyday version. According to Bombas, these socks are designed for exercise — running, cycling, intense training — and include extras like temperature-regulating vents to increase air flow and “Stay-Up Technology” to keep the socks from sagging while you work out.

While knee-high compression socks are (obviously) going to provide the most coverage, you also have options if you prefer a lower height. Bombas compression calf socks reach midway up your calf to specifically target your feet, ankles, and lower calves. The ankle compression socks, meanwhile, reach just above your ankle bone for just a little bit of extra support.

So which compression socks should you choose? It’s all about your personal preference and lifestyle. If you’ve never worn compression socks or stockings before, you might start with the lighter, everyday compression socks to get used to the super-snug sensation. For a shorter version you can easily wear under jeans and leggings, the calf compression socks are a great choice. If you’re looking to up your running and training game, though, the performance socks will give you the most support and comfort.

No matter which pair you choose, slipping on some comfy compression socks will make your sore legs and swollen ankles oh-so-happy, whether you’re heading out for a 5K, getting ready for a long flight, or relaxing during a late-summer heat wave.

Before you go, check out these free yoga videos to level-up your home practice:

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