What Are Compression Socks Made Of?



When our founder launched VIM & VIGR, she wanted to offer a selection of compression socks that reflected a typical sock drawer. Think about your own sock drawer for a minute - there's a good chance that it's full of different fabrics, colors and patterns. Many of us have specific socks for specific occasions. For example, you might have a favorite pair of black socks for work and a more vibrant pair for running.

It's nice to have options, but it can also feel overwhelming when you're just getting started. We often get questions from customers wondering which of our fabrics is best for them. Our response is usually: "It's personal preference!" We've found that people gravitate toward different fabrics based on an array of factors, like how warm or cold you tend to be, what activities are involved in your day-to-day, or what you do for work.

What Material Are Compression Socks Made Of?

Here, we break down our four fabric collections to help you decide which is best for you! It's important to note that all of our socks offer the same quality & levels of compression. The difference is entirely in the way they feel.

Cotton Compression Socks

Comfortable, soft and breathable

Cotton Compression Socks

Our signature cotton compression socks are our most popular fabric option. They are perfect for everyday wear and feel similar to your regular socks. Cotton is a highly breathable fabric, so you won't notice you're wearing knee-high socks. If you usually wear cotton socks, this is a great place to start. You'll find the feel is familiar, but with our socks, you'll be getting all the benefits of true graduated compression.

Nylon Compression Socks

Technical, sleek, bright

Nylon Compression Socks for Men & Women

Our Nylon Collection provides a very different feel than our Cotton Collection, but the same graduated compression technology. When you think of a compression sock, you might think of a flimsy, thin nylon sock. These are made of a similar material, but are woven with high quality fabrics, resulting in a thicker, tighter (yet highly flexible) weave.

Nylon compression socks are favored by runners and athletes for the more sporty look and high-performance feel. They can feel more compressive than our other fabrics, but rest assured, the compression still falls within same listed range. These socks also have a slicker texture, which can make them feel cooler against the skin and slide into shoes easily. 

Merino Wool Compression Socks

All-weather comfort, high-performance and super soft

Merino wool compression socks

Merino wool is truly a wonder fiber. It functions phenomenally in a wide variety of setting and performs brilliantly under varying conditions. A naturally odor-resistant, temperature-regulating, moisture-wicking powerhouse, we consider it one of our premium fabrics. 

That said, it feels very similar to our cotton socks. These are not the thick and scratchy wool socks you remember from your childhood. Instead, they are soft and comfortable, providing all the support of graduated compression plus all of the benefits of sustainably-sourced merino wool.

Our merino wool compression socks are great for staying warm in the winter, hiking, skiing, travel, walking and more!

Moisture-wick Nylon Compression Socks

Lightweight, flexible and easy to put on

Moisture-wick Nylon Compression Socks

Moisture-wick nylon socks do just what their name indicates: they wick moisture away from your skin to keep you cool and dry all day. These are a great option for those who prefer a lighter-weight sock. Just like our nylon socks, our moisture-wick nylon socks and sleeves are cross-woven for breathability, giving them a very different feel than traditional, uncomfortable compression socks. 

These socks are a fantastic choice for summer wear or for working out. If you are concerned about getting the socks on, moisture-wick nylon socks tend to have a bit more flex (but no less compression) and can be easier to pull on and adjust.

Choice Nylon Compression Socks

All new! This spin on our classic Nylon eliminates the toe seam in the toe box of the sock, creating a “seamless” feel, much like our Cotton and Merino Wool Compression Socks. Made with high-quality fabrics and 200-needle count for comfort and style. This different knit provides a softer feel while still utilizing our custom Nylon Blend. Our socks offer moderate-firm compression (20-30 mmHg). 20-30 mmHg is considered medical-grade compression and generally recommended or prescribed by your doctor.

What Material is Best for Compression Socks?

Depends on what you are using them for! Our cotton fabric is by far our most popular fabric, and many people enjoy it's breathable nature for the warmer weather. Merino wool compression socks are great for winter sports and activities, because merino wool is temperature regulating. Nylon is great for everyday wear. Since it has a 4 way stretch, it stays up and comfortable all throughout the day. Moisture wick nylon compression socks are great for warm weather and everyday wear. If your feet tend to sweat then this fabric will wick the moisture right off.

Are Compression Socks Thicker Than Normal Socks?

Some brands of compression socks can be thicker than normal socks, but not ours. Even our merino wool compression socks are know for their ability to comfortable fit into ski boots and tight shoes. Our compression socks are still very durable despite this thin and comfortable weight, as long as you are caring for your compression socks appropriately. Compression socks from VIM & VIGR blend in with your everyday style and allow you to look good and feel great all day. 

Should Compression Socks Feel Tight and Itchy?

To allow the compression socks to take effect, the garment needs to be snug. This is how the gradual compression that guide blood through your legs begins to work. However, compression socks should still be comfortable to wear. They should feel like a gentle hug to your legs.

Some people report an itching sensation when they remove compression socks, this has everything to do with how compression socks work. If you feel this itching in your legs then then double check that your compression socks are sized correctly. Some of the itching sensation can be attributed to blood returning to the skin after a long day of wearing them. If changing your compression socks size does not help, try changing the fabric. Your skin could be irritated by certain materials. If that does not help, we recommend consulting your doctor.

Which Compression Sock Fabric is Right for You?

Hopefully you are beginning to lean toward one or two of the fabrics described above. The next step is to browse our collection and see which designs stand out to you. At VIM & VIGR, being able to add color and style through highly functional legwear is a top priority. We hope you find the best match for you!

Our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee allows you to return or exchange product for up to 30 days after receipt of your order. If you give our socks a try and they don't work for you, we will happily take them back and issue you a full refund. 



    I have been wearing compression hose for over 50 years. I am 85 and have arthritis. I prefer your socks, but have extreme difficulty putting them on. The grip required to pull them over the heel is one of the biggest problems. Which materials will have the most elasticity and some give to be pulled over the heel? Thank You!

  • Dennis Hubbard

    Dr recommended knee high compression hose for my legs. Been using brand with 18% spandex. Believe I have contact dermatitis due to itching response after removing. Want to try some compression with out spandex. Is that something the knee high nylon socks could provide?

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