If you have wide calves, you know the struggle of finding socks that fit. Most socks are made too tight and "can cause numbness and tingling in the feet and even skin breakdown," says Nelya Lobkova, DPM, board-certified podiatrist at Step Up Footcare.
Thankfully, there are some great socks for wide calves out there.
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Wider socks are especially helpful because they accommodate a bigger calf muscle as well as swelling caused by lymphedema or other disorders, explains Patrick McEneaney, DPM, owner and CEO of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists.
Here are the best options for your dollar.
The Best Wide-Calf Socks
- Best Overall: Jobst Relief Compression Knee High Medium Support Socks (From $31.28, DiscountSurgical.com)
- Best Budget: IMPRESA Extra Width Socks for Lymphedema (From $19.99, Amazon)
- Best Compression: COMRAD Recycled Cotton Compression Socks (From $86, ComradSocks.com)
- Best for Athletes: Sockwell Full Floral Wide-Calf Socks ($29.95, REI.com)
- Best for Hiking: Sockwell Pulse Firm Compression Socks ($29.95, REI.com)
- Best for People with Diabetes: Therapeutic Diabetic & Wide Calf Socks ($23, AlpacaUnlimited.com)
How We Chose
We tapped two podiatrists for their recommendations and tips on finding the best socks for people with wide calves. Following their recommendations, we narrowed down our top picks based on this criteria:
- Ease of care/wash
1. Best Overall: Jobst Relief Compression Knee High Medium Support Socks
Jobst's Relief Compression Support Socks are perfect for relieving aching legs and foot swelling.
"These socks are moisture-wicking and provide mild compression, 15 to 20 mmHg," Dr. Lobkova says.
Beyond selecting your sock size, you can choose your calf size, length and toe style, making for a customizable experience.
The socks are made of 20 percent spandex, so you don't have to worry about this pair not fitting.
Buy it: DiscountSurgical.com; Price: From $31.28
2. Best on a Budget: IMPRESA Extra Width Socks for Lymphedema
If you're shopping for wide-calf socks that won't break the bank, we recommend IMPRESA's Extra Width Socks. Made of a blend of cotton, nylon and spandex, this pair is comfy, warm and stretchy to accommodate people with wide calves.
Despite having a looser fit, these socks stay up while promoting blood circulation.
Even better? You'll get two pairs for the price of one.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: From $19.99
3. Best Compression Socks: COMRAD Combed Cotton Compression Socks
COMRAD's compression socks offer 15 to 20 mmHg compression and are made of breathable and soft cotton. These socks are stretchy, but they're also tight enough to fit over wide calves.
They are "everyday socks available in medium-wide and large-wide sizes for mild compression," says Dr. Lobkova.
Whether you're traveling or are experiencing swelling, these socks were designed to relieve swelling and aches. Plus, they come in a fun space-dye print.
(Check out our complete list of the best plus-size compression socks.)
Buy it: ComradSocks.com; Price: From $86
4. Best for Athletes: Sockwell Full Floral Wide-Calf Socks
Sockwell's Wide-Calf Socks have full arch support, a reinforced toe and heel area and lightweight cushioned soles to support your feet during exercise. They also feature anti-fatigue technology and reduces soreness, so you can perform your best no matter how long you're playing.
What's more, these socks are made of moisture-wicking fabrics to keep your feet dry all day long.
5. Best for Hiking: Sockwell Pulse Firm Compression Socks
What makes Sockwell's Pulse Firm Compression Socks ideal for hiking is the arch support and reinforced toes and heels, which prevent blistering. Made of merino wool and rayon, these socks are breathable and wick away moisture.
Additionally, they're made with 5 percent spandex to allow enough stretch for people with wide calves.
6. Best for People with Diabetes: Therapeutic Diabetic & Wide Calf Socks
Diabetes socks are designed to keep the feet dry and increase blood circulation, and "these socks offer temperature control without irritating the skin," Dr. Lobkova explains.
They're loose enough to wear at night and comfortable for daily wear. And because they're made of breathable terry loops of alpaca, your feet won't get cold.
They also reduce your risk of blistering, prevent callus build-up and keep funky odors at bay.
Buy it: AlpacaUnlimited.com; Price: $23
What to Look for in Wide-Calf Socks
1. Size and Fit
If you have wider calves, you should choose socks that can fit over your calves comfortably. They should not feel too tight or cut off circulation.
Good-fitting calf socks should also not bunch up near the toes or heels. This indicates that the socks are too big.
Wide-calf socks should be made of stretchy fibers like spandex to fit over your calves comfortably. Also, look for moisture-wicking materials, such as cotton and nylon.
Socks for people with wide calves can cost between $16 and $90. If the socks are made of natural materials, such as cotton and wool, they tend to cost more than nylon and other synthetic blends.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.