Use a size chart similar to those available at Zensah.com and CompressionSocks.pro to help choose the right size of compression socks. Such charts include men's and women's shoe sizes alongside their equivalent compression sock sizes. If the socks are knee-length, the calf circumference is also taken into account during sizing. Retailers often carry charts that help determine the right size for a pair of compression socks.
Different styles of compression socks offer different compression levels. Light compression is suitable for travelers and for people who often stand at work. Medium compression is suited for people who have moderate leg swelling or varicose veins. Firm compression socks treat more severe varicose veins and help people recover from treatments such as vein stripping. The heaviest levels of compression treat chronic venous diseases and conditions such as primary lymphedema.
Compression socks help to limit leg swelling, but also offer protection from small scratches when running off-road. They offer runners a little extra warmth on cold days without the need for tights. Compression socks have not been shown to definitively improve performance, according to a review at Active.com. Active.com recommends measuring your calves before buying long socks, as they are difficult to put on if they are too small and fall down if they are too big.