Compression socks are designed to apply pressure to your lower legs, to help maintain blood flow and reduce discomfort and swelling. They can be used for medical reasons if you have a blood clot, for activity such as running (used to be me) or hiking (now me), for people who sit for most of the day while working (unfortunately me), and for long travel on a plane (love when that’s me) or in a car where you’re not getting up very often (roadtrip me).
I decided to buy a few pairs and try them out. There are so many companies out there selling them and once I googled ‘compression socks’ every single company came up on my social media pages. Ugh. I narrowed it down to 3 companies (after reading a New York Times article about them) and I bought one pair from each- Wellow, Bombas, and Comrad. They were all a little pricey for a pair of socks-average price was $37. I saw cheaper ones and ones that were twice as much so I guess that’s the going rate.
I ordered all three pairs on the same day. The Wellow pair came in less than a week. According to their website “Wellow Compression socks offer a moderate, 18-25 level compression that’s meant to feel like a gentle hug on your legs, and they’re best for lowering your risk for blood clots, recovering from hard workouts, helping with minor injury recovery, reducing leg fatigue, or for muscle support while walking, standing or sitting for long periods.” Okay, I’m ready for the testing to begin. I put them on in the morning, preparing to work from home, since I sit in front of a laptop most of the day. Well minus the loads of laundry I get up to do and other various household chores. They were fairly easy to put on as I was gearing up to struggle since they are compression. They go all the way up to my knees and I actually had to fold them down at the knee because they were laying on my knee uncomfortable. When I folded them down I saw the little “W” embroidered on them so I assumed that they were meant to be folded. They are shockingly comfortable. I was under the impression that they would be cutting off my circulation but I was wrong. They’re super soft and cute and keep my feet warm. So comfortable that I forgot they went all the way up to my knees. I took them for a spin outside the house and they were just as comfy when I was wearing sneakers. They washed really well and kept their shape and compression for the next wear. Very good experience with my first pair of compression socks. Way to go Wellow!
The next pair I tried were the Bombas. They came about a week and a half after I ordered them. There’s not a lot of information about the compression socks specifically on their site but they do offer 2 types of compression-15-20mmHg & 20-30mmHg. I was expecting big things from this brand since they’re all over the TV, radio, and social media. They promote the whole buy one give one and toot that they’re the most comfortable. I’ll be the judge of that thank you very much. I choose a multi color for these socks. They were pretty to look at and I immediately noticed that they were wider at the calf before I even put them on. Speaking of putting them on. It was definitely harder to put these on then the Wellows. They have a tighter band that goes around the arch of your foot so they required a little extra elbow grease to pull up. I didn’t like that feeling at first but I got used to it quickly. I’m sure there’s a reason why they are designed that way. Guess I better look that up. I did order the women’s size but the toe is a little bunched up and loose because the heel is designed to fit snugly so if you pull the sock to make the toe fit better, then the heel will be displaced. Does that make sense? Did you ever fold the toe of your sock under when you put your shoes on cause your socks were too big? That’s what I mean. There are different levels of compression at different parts of the socks. They are comfortable and hug my calves more then the first ones. Be careful walking on bare floors through. I slipped a few times. I wore them with sneakers and even wore them on a hike in Shenandoah National Park and they were comfortable around the calves but there’s that whole toe bunching thing which I wasn’t crazy about. They washed well, but when I put them on another time, I practically broke out into a sweat in order to pull them up. I ultimately gave up and put on a different pair.
And the third pair-Comrad. According to their website, “Compression socks (or compression stockings) are clinically proven, snug-fitting socks designed to gently put a specific level of pressure on your legs. This pressure boosts & improves circulation, which leads to feeling more energized while minimizing the chance of circulation problems, varicose veins, blood clots, inflammation, swelling, & general discomfort”. I got a text about a week after I ordered them stating that there was a delay but no email. After a few days went by without an update I contacted the company and they got back to me very quickly stating that they were in the process of moving to another facility and that was the cause for the delay. The next day the socks were on their way. When they arrived they came in packaging that indicated they were recycled cotton compression socks-love that! I loved the dark purple color too. They were easier to put on then the Bombas and were closer to the fit of the Wellows. I took them on a 7 hour test run on a drive to Maine. My legs felt good after the long drive and they were comfy wearing them with sneakers. They were soft but not as soft as the Wellows. They too washed well and kept their shape and compression.
The Wellows were my favorite because of their softness and the way they felt on my legs. Second were the Comrad socks, and last were the Bombas. I have to say given their extensive marketing, I was disappointed in the Bombas. They were not soft and there was that baggy toe thing but I did like that there were different types of compression for various parts of the leg. All in all a great experience with my first go wearing compression socks. I’ll keep wearing them to see if they make a difference in the way my legs feel.