A year ago, I had deep vein thrombosis. One of the outcomes was weakened circulation. I began have substantial swelling in my ankles and feet. I went after the problem aggressively and quickly learned that a necessary part of the rest of my life is compression socks. Not having any knowledge of brands, I purposely bought three on Amazon and have been wearing them daily for six weeks. The three brands are:
Pembrook "Men’s Compression Socks (6-Pack) – L/XL – Black, Gray, Navy - Graduated Muscle Support, Relief and Recovery" ($5/pair)
Iseasoo "Copper Compression Socks For Men & Women-3 Pairs,15-30mmHg" ($4/pair)
Dr. Scholl's Men's Premium Diabetic and Circulatory Casual Crew Socks [2 Pack] ($5/pair)
My summary observation is that the Pembrook socks are address my needs substantially better than the others. I rated the socks in four categories: Support (especially managing swelling), Comfort, Breathability (management of body heat), and Cost.
Support: Pembrook was 1st; Iseasoo 2nd; Scholl's 3rd. This category is a bit like Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. Pembrook socks go on the feet and legs with moderate effort and stay where they are placed. These are high socks, going up to just below the knee (I am 5'9"). For me, going higher is dangerous. The Pembrooks hug the calf with choking my legs. Even after a full day, they feel good and manage swelling very nicely. The Iseasoo also extend to just below the knee. They are very hard to put on and they feel substantially too tight. They do, however, accomplish my goal for managing swelling. Scholl's only go to mid-calf, which is ok with me. However, they provide substantially less support and feel like relatively loose athletic socks that don't promote compression (of which I have many). I was quite surprised at the apparent lack of compression. I'm not a scientist, but they didn't help me more than regular, and much cheaper, socks.
Comfort: Pembrook was 1st; Scholls was 2nd; Iseasoo 3rd. Pembrook hits the sweet spot for me between compression and comfort. They simply feel great to wear. Scholls is as comfortable as a regular sock, but doesn't do much compressing. Iseasoo was too tight. And even though it's tight, the fabric (which is substantially different than Pembrook) allows it to slip down my legs. It leaves marks on my calves when it doubles over (sometimes) and "eats into my legs. I'm already avoiding wearing them until the others are dirty.
Breathability: Pembrook was 1st; Scholls 2nd; Iseasoo 3rd. Fabric is important! Pembrook is a very breathable cotton/polyester mix. Wearing any long socks in August is likely to create too much warmth. Pembrook was fine and I give it very high marks. Scholls is nearly entirely polyester. However, it is only a mid calf sock with a loose weave so it didn't create much heat-discomfort for me. Iseasoo is "unique copper-infused, breathable, moisture-wicking fabric" which means I don't know what the fabric is. It was definitely uncomfortably hot. I couldn't wait to get them off at the end of the day.
Cost: At between $4 and $5, they are practically all equal. Scholls is cheapest and should be. It didn't provide me with the performance I expected.
Pembrook wins hands down.
Final note: I have some mid-calf white athletic socks (I couldn't find a brand!) that provide substantially better compression, comfort and breathability than Scholls. I can wear them with short pants and not look like a 'dweeb'. I bought them at Costco. I'm going to buy more for warm-day outings (short pants days). I won't buy Scholls again. I'm going to buy another pack of Pembrook. I might buy Iseasoo for winter but would try to find a larger size (although I'm just a medium build).
Main point: Compression socks are SO important for so many people. I hope this review helps with your decisions.