Smartwool PhD Graduated Compression Socks Review
No, that’s not a typo– Smartwool is in on the compression game too! Compression may not be new, but combining graduated compression with natural merino wool is a step in a new direction.
My first run in these socks was destined to suck. I’d been playing desk jockey all day, it was hours later than I like to run and heavy, wet snow was falling—did I mention it was May?! But I pulled on my PhD, over-the-calf, Graduated Compression socks and head out the door. I could tell these were special socks when I noticed an invigorating, tingling sensation in my calves, while warming-up. A brisk walk turned into a run, which turned into a longer run and eventually became a downright awesome run. What made the difference? I think it was the socks.
I also put them to the test at an all-day, stand and watch sporting event, book ended by two four hour car rides. After 16 hours of potential blood pooling, ankle swelling anti-activity, my feet and ankles felt great and didn’t look bad either.
The 20 – 30 mmHg-graduated compression rating is touted to improve circulation (check), reduce muscle damage, fatigue and swelling (check) and promote faster recovery (check).
I’ll grab these for a run, bike or hike, and, for guys, the PhD Graduated Compression socks are thin enough to wear with dress shoes at the office. They’ll definitely put a spring in your step while the foot top mesh vent zone keeps you cool.
I’m wearing a medium and they fit perfectly, which means most people might want to size up for absolute comfort. I had no gaping at the toe seam, my heel actually fit in the heel pocket and my chicken legs felt supported! I’ve washed and dried them three times and they’ve stayed true to size.
The hard part was what to do when I finally came home from my run. The rest of me was wet and cold, but I was comfortable from my knees down. I changed clothes, but not my socks. Remember, PhD Graduated Compression socks are wool, meaning they are odor-free and still keep you warm if they get damp.
$37.95 for Ultra Light
$39.98 for Light