Wool Compression Socks: The Pros & Cons


Compression socks are a great way to improve your blood flow. With gentle pressure on your legs, your veins have the support they need to function well. Compression therapy may improve your blood circulation and may help to prevent varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, and other vascular conditions. 

At the same time, compression socks deliver ankle and arch support, which can improve your postural stability. Compression has also been shown to promote faster recovery after workouts and keep your legs energized during long days on your feet. But what sock material is ideal for compression?

At Comrad, we've designed three styles of socks made from three unique materials. Depending on how and when you wear your Comrad socks, you can choose between Merino wool, recycled cotton, or a nylon blend. Better yet, you can try all three. 

Wool Socks: The Pros

Merino wool has been engineered through careful animal husbandry over thousands of years of human history. The resulting material has unique natural fibers that wick sweat and stop odors. Whereas cotton fiber soaks up liquids like a sponge, Merino wool fiber contains pockets of air. Each naturally forming pocket wicks moisture away from your skin, allowing it to evaporate before your socks start to feel wet.

Plus, each wool fiber is naturally coated with lanolin, a waxy substance that repels water and keeps mold, mildew, and bacteria from growing. While some types of wool can be itchy, our high-quality Merino wool blend remains soft and comfy, even after many years. Our wool socks are also washer-safe. 

The fabric is durable, allowing you to wear your wool socks multiple times between each wash. Whenever you hit the trail for a multi-day excursion, you know that you can count on high-performance Merino wool socks to keep you comfortable and dry. 

Merino wool socks come in the ankle and knee-length styles. Knee-high socks have a wider array of medical benefits since they promote blood flow throughout the lower legs. Our knee-length socks apply True Graduated Compression, which means that the socks exert more pressure at the ankle and less at the calf. 

This assists the body, promoting healthy circulation from the feet to the heart. Research suggests that graduated compression can be worn to relieve the symptoms of severe varicose veins and spider veins, aid in athletic recovery, and may help prevent blood clots after surgeries

Benefits of Other Fibers

At Comrad, we also make compression socks out of recycled cotton and nylon. Because these materials do not have the same odor-resistant and antimicrobial properties as wool, we bond silver ions to the thread at a molecular level. 

The use of SmartSilver technology slows the growth of mold, bacteria, and fungus, keeping your socks fresh longer.

Recycled Cotton

Our knee-high cotton socks are super soft and breathable, and they are made with 72 percent recycled cotton. A wider footbed, seamless toe box, and reengineered cuff all allow the sock to contour to the shape of your leg, so it will never pinch. 

These socks work best for a cozy day (or night) with mild weather since they do not dry as quickly as our other products after a workout or rainstorm. 

Manufacturers label compression garments with strength measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). At 15-20 mmHg, our recycled cotton socks offer mild compression strength. This is an ideal compression level to assist with swelling, mild varicose veins, and preventative health. 

Nylon Blend

Our best-selling socks are made from a 91 percent nylon blend. This fabric is moisture-wicking, and it dries in a flash. Nylon socks come in both ankle and knee-high lengths, so you can choose between the total medical coverage of True Graduated Compression and the ease of use of an ankle sock. 

When it comes to compression strength, our knee-length nylon socks give you extra support at the ankle. They occupy the middle ground between mild and medium compression, offering 5 mmHg more pressure than traditional over-the-counter compression socks.

With 20 mmHg at the tightest spot, knee-length Companions can be used to alleviate the symptoms of more serious complaints, such as Post-Thrombotic Syndrome and venous ulcers. Of course, this level of compression will continue giving all the medical benefits of mild compression, as well. 

Caring For Your Socks

Even though cotton, wool, and nylon are very different materials, we recommend the same care method for all of our socks. 

The process is simple:

  1. Wash with cold water and a delicate cycle
  2. Avoid detergents with enzymes and fabric softeners
  3. Air dry

All compression socks contain spandex, which gives the fabric its capacity to exert pressure. This material can stretch and lose elasticity over time, so we recommend doing everything you can to help maintain the integrity of the compression. 

By using a cold wash, avoiding certain chemicals, and keeping your socks out of the dryer, you help to improve the longevity and performance of your socks. 

Which Material Should I Choose?

Customers wear our socks for a range of different activities. Compression socks deliver all-day comfort for standing workers and desk workers. Runners and athletes love the way compression garments help to clear lactic acid buildup after a workout. 

Compression may also reduce the friction that comes from swollen feet rubbing against your shoes during a long walk. Depending on how much support you need, you can swap out our products wearing ankle-length or knee-length socks.

To make it easier for you to choose the right sock, we've provided a list of benefits below. This list is not exhaustive; there are plenty of other ways Comrad socks will impress you! Don't be afraid to mix and match, and try wearing different styles to see which one works best for you. 

Some features that the wool ankle socks offer: preventing ankle swelling, preventing plantar fasciitis and other overuse injuries, preventing blisters, improving postural stability, reducing odors, are moisture wicking, and are easy to pack.

Nylon ankle socks can help with: preventing ankle swelling, preventing plantar fasciitis and other overuse injuries, preventing blisters, improving postural stability, reducing odors, are moisture wicking, fast drying, and are easy to pack.

Cotton knee-high socks offer the following benefits: Are the most comfortable socks for dry conditions, preventing poor circulation, help the symptoms of mild varicose veins and spider veins, preventing swelling, soothing tired muscles, preventing plantar fasciitis and other overuse injuries, preventing blisters, improving postural stability, preventing DVT during pregnancy or long periods of sitting, and promoting recovery after a hard workout.

Wool knee-high socks are: great for hiking and mixed terrain, helps improve blood circulation, reduces the symptoms of varicose veins and spider veins, helps prevent DVT during pregnancy or long periods of sitting, prevents swelling, soothes tired muscles, helps prevent plantar fasciitis and other overuse injuries, prevent blisters, improves postural stability, and promotes recovery after a hard workout.

Nylon knee-high socks offer some of the following features: are fast drying, improve blood circulation, reduce the symptoms of severe varicose veins and spider veins, support healing venous ulcers, prevent mild & moderate swelling, soothe tired muscles, prevent plantar fasciitis and other overuse injuries, prevent blisters, improve postural stability, promote recovery after a hard workout, and reduce the symptoms of DVT & Post-Thrombotic Syndrome.

All of our socks can be worn multiple times between each wash, thanks to the antimicrobial properties of SmartSilver and wool. And, with wide calf sizes, our socks have been engineered to fit everyone. In fact, they're so easy to wear that you may find yourself leaving your old socks in the drawer. Be sure to check out our newest wool styles in our compression sock marketplace

After you order, please leave us a review! Be sure to let us know which fabric and length work best for your favorite activities. 


Compression Socks and Functional Recovery Following Marathon Running |  Journal of Strength and Conditioning ResearchMoisture-wickingGraduated compression stockings | Canadian Medical Association Journal

How long should I wear compression stockings after surgery? | NHS

Merino | Encyclopedia Britannica

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