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If you have plantar fasciitis, you know that the pain it can cause is no joke. This common problem affects 1 in 10 people, who range in activity level from sedentary to athletic.
The good news is that many at-home treatments can help reduce or even eliminate your plantar fasciitis pain. For some people, using compression socks is an effective option.
The compression socks on our list have been broken down by category, but most are multipurpose and, unless indicated, can be worn all day and during sports activity.
How we chose
The compression socks on this list come from trusted manufacturers and get great online reviews.
These socks provide either mild or moderate pressure on the heel, as well as arch support.
If you’re buying compression socks for plantar fasciitis pain, you may prefer ankle socks or sleeves rather than knee-highs, which compress the calf as well as the foot.
We’ve included several of each for you to choose from. We’ve also included socks you can wear during athletic activity and long periods of standing.
When deciding on the best sock or sleeve for you, the first thing to consider is the amount of pressure you want against your heel. These socks come in one of four compression levels. Here are questions to ask and measurements to look for when choosing your compression socks.
How much compression do you need?
|Pressure measured in
millimeters of mercury (mmHg)
Anecdotal evidence indicates that many people with plantar fasciitis find they get significant relief from mild or moderate compression footwear. Even so, you may have to experiment to see which type works best for you.
What size do you need?
In order to get the most benefit from compression socks and sleeves for plantar fasciitis, you must also pay attention to sizing.
Socks that are too tight may do more harm than good. Socks that are too loose won’t provide any benefit.
Will the socks wear comfortably in your shoes?
Other things to consider are the sturdiness of the stitching, thickness of the sock, and sweat-wicking ability.
What are the care instructions for the socks?
Some socks require handwashing. If you know that you’ll throw yours into a washing machine, avoid getting this type because they won’t last long if cared for improperly.
Compression socks range in price from around $10 to $60 or more. Most of the socks on this list are low or moderately priced, in the $15 to $40 range. We’ve indicated cost using the following key:
- $ = $10–$15
- $$ = $16–$25
- $$$ = $26–$45
Sockwell Incline Quarter Compression Socks
If you want all the qualities of the Sockwell Incline knee-high sock in an ankle-height version, you’re in luck. These super-comfortable socks provide the same comfort and features, and they’re good for all day wear.
Users rave about wearing these while hiking and participating in all types of sports, as well as walking or standing for extended periods of time.
Nurse Mates Compression Socks
Most of these knee socks are made from a blend of nylon and spandex. Nurse Mates also offers a few compression socks that are made from a very soft and warm cashmere blend.
They provide mild compression and a slightly firm fit. A wide welt-band at the top is designed to avoid pinching under your knee, even after many hours of wear. Smooth toes and heels also ensure a no-pinch fit.
Plus, these socks are adorable. They come in a wide range of prints and solids that will make you forget you’re wearing compression socks. Users find these easier to pull up than most knee-highs.
Vitalsox Silver DryStat Graduated Compression Socks
Users call these compression socks a model of engineering know-how. They provide moderate compression on the foot and great arch support. Ventilation channels help control moisture and temperature.
Their moisture-wicking polypropylene fabric fights odor, bacteria, and fungus.
They’re quite stretchy, so you shouldn’t have a problem putting them on, but if you do, this how-to video from Vitalsox can help.
Some people with large calves find that these fit too snugly on their legs.
CEP Plantar Fasciitis Sleeve 3.0
These sleeves (toeless socks) are available in a wide range of sizes for men and women. And you can buy them in pairs or individually.
They provide a snug fit and significant arch support. They have slightly thickened, knitted massage zones. These target specific areas of the heel with added pressure to stimulate circulation and decrease pain.
The sleeves are made from polyamide, a moisture-wicking material, plus spandex and polyester.
If you’re looking for compression socks you can wear while running, walking, or participating in other sports, these will fit the bill. They’re designed to keep your foot in an optimal position for pain reduction, plus they’re thin enough to wear under regular socks or athletic shoes.
SB Sox Lite Compression Running Socks
These socks are designed for active people who have minor to moderate plantar fasciitis pain.
They’re made from moisture-wicking nylon and spandex. They provide moderate compression, at 15–20 mmHg, and are available in four sizes.
They also have features that runners appreciate, such as Achilles padding to prevent chafing and a seamless toe to prevent blisters. They also come in lots of fun colors.
Go2 Low Show Ankle Socks
These ankle-height socks provide light compression and are made with material that resists bacteria, odor, and moisture. They also have a special heel tab to help you avoid getting blisters.
Users love that they stay put on their foot during activity and don’t ride down. They also snugly cushion the heel with compression support.
These socks are sized for men and women.
Charmking Compression Socks
These moderate-level compression socks feature a no-slip cuff and reinforced heels and toes. They’re made from durable and synthetic moisture-wicking fabric, and will hold up to hundreds of machine washings.
They’re perfect for running, hiking, tennis, and all-day use. Users of all weights and shoe sizes say these socks fit snugly — but not tightly — above the ankle, and they stay put all day.
Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks
Compression knee socks provide added support to your calf, making them beneficial for alleviating varicose vein pain, leg swelling, and blood clots, as well as plantar fasciitis.
These socks from Physix Gear are great for people who spend significant amounts of time standing or are active. They provide firm compression, at 20–30 mmHg. They’re made from moisture-wicking nylon and spandex, plus have double-stitched seams so they’ll hold up in the wash.
These compression socks get overwhelmingly positive online reviews. Like many compression knee socks, though, they can be hard to pull on.
Shop for Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks online.
Sockwell Incline Knee High Moderate Graduated Compression Sock
Graduated compression socks apply less and less pressure as they go up your leg. For people with plantar fasciitis, this may be a more comfortable choice than snugger knee-highs.
This brand’s socks are comfortable enough to wear all day. They’re made from breathable, soft merino wool, bamboo rayon, nylon, and spandex.
They have graduated, moderate-level compression, plus provide arch support and light cushioning across the sole of the foot. Their toe closure is seamless and won’t start rubbing midday.
Sockwell also has the distinction of receiving the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance. This means the association has evaluated the product for its safety and its benefit to foot health.
Compression socks work by putting pressure on the soles of your feet and, in some cases, your calves. This helps improve blood flow and reduce swelling. They may also decrease inflammation and help reduce pain caused by plantar fasciitis.
Scientific data about the benefits of compression socks for this condition is lacking. But many people find significant relief through their use, especially when combined with other at-home treatments. These might include:
- plantar fasciitis stretches
- shoes designed for plantar fasciitis
- ice applied to the area
- over-the-counter medications that reduce pain or inflammation
Why not sleep in compression socks?
What you shouldn’t do in these socks is sleep.
Unless you get the go-ahead from your doctor, don’t wear compression socks at night. If worn while lying down for long periods of time, they may inhibit blood flow to your foot.
Instead, opt for a night brace, such as this one from BraceAbility, that stretches your fascia by keeping your foot positioned upward.
Anecdotal evidence indicates that compression socks can help people with plantar fasciitis. In order to get the most benefit, it’s important to choose the right size.
Using compression socks alone likely won’t be enough to provide significant pain relief. Try combining compression sock use with other at-home treatments, such as icing, massage, and over-the-counter pain relievers.