Hiking With Compression Socks: A Game-Changer

Good quality hiking boots are the most essential thing for comfortable hikes. Hiking socks also play an important role in comfort during a hike. I will tell you why hikers wear compression socks and how compression socks differ from hiking socks.

Hiking with compression socks is a game-changer because your feet will be more rested. Which proves to be an advantage, especially on longer hikes. Compression socks increase blood circulation throughout the body, reducing the chances of cramps and the feeling of heavy legs.

In the rest of this post, I’ll tell you why it’s a good idea to wear compression socks during and after a hike. I will explain the main differences between compression and hiking socks and which compression socks I recommend you to buy.

Why do hikers wear compression socks?

Compression socks contribute to comfort during sports activities of all kinds. Compression socks are worn by runners, basketball players, football players, and many other professional athletes. Their positive feature is that they stimulate blood circulation from the bottom up. This makes the legs more rested and makes it harder for the legs to cramp, which is often the cause of fatigue and poor hydration.

If you run, play basketball, are a nurse, or have a job that involves a lot of walking. Then I suggest you click on one of the links and read why compression socks are good for you.

The muscles that are most stressed during hiking are the glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves, and shins. Wearing compression socks will put less stress on your calves. Because compression socks reach up to the knees and therefore the calves are the most blood circulated.

Gradient compression socks

You need compression socks if:

  • you go on longer hikes lasting more than 3 hours,
  • your legs tend to be tired already halfway through the hike,
  • you do several hikes, runs, or other physical activities per week,
  • you have problems with varicose veins and your legs swell quickly.

These are all the benefits of compression socks when hiking:

  • your legs are more rested while hiking,
  • the compression socks reach up to the knees, so the hiking shoes don’t rub against the foot and do not cause blisters,
  • compression socks can be worn after the hike to speed up the recovery of your legs and prepare them for the next efforts.

Are hiking socks compression socks?

Hiking socks are not compression socks. Compression socks are more elastic and have increased elasticity from the ankle to the knee so that blood is not retained in the legs but is instead accelerated up the body by the socks.

Compression socks can also be worn for hiking, as the socks are quite similar in construction. Both are much longer than normal socks, are thicker to cushion walking in hiking boots and absorb sweat. Compression socks have the added benefit of promoting blood circulation, allowing more rested legs for longer.

For those who need compression stockings to correct a medical problem, you should speak to your doctor, who will prescribe suitable compression stockings for you. For everyone else who needs compression socks for faster recovery during and after sporting activities, the compression level of 20-30 mmHg is the most suitable. Other levels that are most common are:

  • 8-15 mmHg (mild)
  • 15-20 mmHg (medium), 
  • 20-30 mmHg (firm), 
  • 30-40 mmHg (extra firm) and 
  • 40-50 mmHg.

Which compression socks should you buy and where?

Compression socks can be worn for a variety of sports. They are also suitable for speeding up recovery after a hard workout. If you like to do several different sports, then it is advisable to buy several pairs of compression socks that you can wear for all your sporting activities.

These are compression socks that I think are worth a try.

1. Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks – Best price

Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks are among the most popular compression socks on Amazon. This is mainly due to their price combined with their quality. This product already has more than 67,000 positive user reviews. The socks are designed for use during and after exercise and come in various color combinations with black. They are a great choice for your first pair of compression socks.

Fabric type: 70% Nylon, 30% Spandex

Compression level: 20 to 30 mmHg

Size: S to XXL

Ratings: 4.5 of 81,500+ ratings

Helpful review:I dealt with a blood clot for the first time and was advised to start wearing these as I am on my feet all day everyday at work. So I bought these to try and I will never go back! My feet don’t hurt as much when I get home and I haven’t had a single issue with blood clots since I started wearing them. They have amazing compression yet they are so comfortable and they don’t make my feet stink worse from not being able to breathe in them which is a blessing since I already wear steel toe boots at work! I have also noticed that not only is the fatigue in my legs after work better but I don’t have issues with the swelling anymore either. Takes a few tries to figure out the best way to get them on without struggling but once you do you won’t want to go back. I originally bought 2 pairs to try I now have 5 and have ordered even more so I don’t ever go without!

2. CEP Running Compression Ultralight – Best Race socks

CEP is a brand of compression socks that is very popular among professional and recreational athletes who take their sport seriously. They are suitable for wearing during and after exercise. This model has Ultralight in its name, which is also noticeable when wearing them, as we do not have the feeling of wearing them. Their lightness also makes them suitable for wearing in hot weather.

Fabric type: 60% Polyamide (Nylon), 25% Elastane, 15% Polypropylene

Compression level: 20-30mmHg

Size: 3, 4 and 5

Ratings: 4.4 of 210+ ratings

Helpful review: I purchased two pairs of these and one pair of another brand, made in Italy. These CEP socks are head and shoulders above the Italian ones. I wear these socks because my doctor directed me to do so as part of a treatment for a blood clot in my lower leg. The level of compression is quite “strong”, they appear to very well made, even to the point of the manufacturer specifying which sock is for the left foot and which for the right. I beg to differ with those reviewers who say these are easy to put on and take off: they certainly are _not_ for me and if they are so easy to get on and off why are there dozens of videos on YouTube suggesting/describing ways of doing so? The suggestion to wear rubber gloves (simple Rubber Maid dishwashing gloves work just fine) is one I have followed and I find them infinitely easier to get on and off using these rubber gloves. Also, I find them easier to get on than to get off and, the more I wear them, the more I got the hang of getting them on and off. After the first time doing so, I was totally discouraged and annoyed that I was now going to have to add this hassle to my daily routine. Within a week or so, however, I began to get the hang of it and now it’s not all that much of a bother.

3. Feetures Graduated Compression Light Cushion Knee High – Super Soft and Comfortable

Lightweight compression running socks suitable for men and women. Many will like the fact that they are not so tight, as they have a compression level of 15-20 mmHg, allowing these socks to be worn comfortably throughout the day.

Fabric Type: 87% Nylon, 13% Spandex

Compression level: 15-20 mmHg

Size: S to XL

Ratings: 4.6 of 135+ ratings

Helpful review:I feel obligated to review this very nice support hose. It is made of the best fabric and it really gives excellent support if you start using it before popped out veins. My daughter uses it as a preventive since both my Mom and I have varicose veins. She wears the stockings nearly every day to prevent swelling of her left leg. It really works.
As far as I am concerned, I have many small veins around my ankle area from skiing and it feels really good support there. I also have a popping vein just about at behind my right knee that falls right above the upper part of this support stocking. That is where I really need the support.
I honestly think this is a fine product, but I will explore the brand called Lily Trotters that my daughter thinks might work on account of being softer. My experience was kind of hilarious to the point that my husband suggested asking if there is a zippered version to this support stocking.
I really wish you the best and I have seen my daughter wear these support stockings everyday and they work splendidly for her.

4. 2XU unisex-adult Recovery Compression Sock – Best Post Recovery Socks

Fabric type: 78% nylon, 13% cotton, 9% Lycra®

Compression level: 28 to 33 mmHg

Size: S to L

Ratings: 4.5 of 40+ ratings

These compression socks have graduated compression that promotes blood flow from the ankles up throughout the body. These socks are made to be worn after a hard workout. The major part of the material composition is nylon, which absorbs sweat and breathes well. The smaller part is cotton, which adds to the comfort of the sock.


My name is Gregor and I'm a sports and fashion enthusiast. Like you, I want my clothes to be good quality and comfortable. I hope my articles will help you choose the right underwear for you.

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