Compression socks apply mild pressure onto your legs to stimulate blood flow from the legs to the heart. These socks reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling of the legs and are used for various conditions like varicose veins, thrombosis, and even general comfort.
Compression socks are functional because they apply mild and bearable pressure to the legs and ankles, regulating blood flow towards the heart by making the arteries responsible for taking the oxygen-rich blood to the muscles tend to relax, making the blood flow smoothly and efficiently.
They reduce the veins’ diameter, which increases the blood velocity and blood flow by boosting the veins and shooting the blood back to the heart. Wearing compression socks prevents the blood from flowing heavily into the legs’ veins, which prevents the legs from getting tired.
These socks or stockings reduce the swelling in the ankles and feet, thereby preventing the onset of issues like varicose veins, thrombosis, and much more. Wearing compression stockings may not always prevent issues like thrombosis and varicose veins but may happen to someone who already has this issue. Wearing the socks will offer you excellent support in keeping the blood flow maintained, which is good for overall health, thus keeping many other symptoms and problems at bay.
Benefits Of Compression Socks
Typical benefits of compression socks include:
- Improve blood circulation in the legs
- Reduce swelling of the legs
- Reduce fatigue in the legs
- Promote lymphatic drainage
- Provide support to veins
- Control light headedness issues, especially when one stands
- Avoid venous ulcers
- Avoid night cramps
- Prevent restless legs
- Prevent you from developing vein thrombosis
Best Compression Socks You Can Buy Online
Below are some compression socks based on different factors. You can choose the ideal one for you.
Best Compression Socks Under A Budget
Sb Sox Lite Compression Socks (15-20mmhg) for Men & Women
These compression socks offer improved blood circulation with their graduation compression technology. Made with a lightweight material that is both breathable and durable, these socks last long while offering optimum support, comfort, and overall relief from aches and circulation issues. Sb Sox Lite is available in two different colours and sizes and is ideal if you are someone who stays on their feet for extended periods. With so great a budget, these socks offer the best comfort and perks for everyone, including athletes, runners, people who hike, aeroplane travellers, and even plain office workers.
Best Compression Socks For Runners
Swiftwick- ASPIRE TWELVE Running Socks, Men & Women | Knee High Compression Fit Socks
These socks by Switfwick are known to offer the best sweat management as they feature a lightweight fiber called Olefin that dries moisture quickly, keeping your feet dry and free from any blisters even during your long adventures.
It has a thin upper and a mesh footbed that is designed very thinly for the sole purpose of offering the best breathability and comfort along with keeping your feet cool.
Another striking feature of these socks is the solid and firm support offered by hugging the calves and feet firmly to reduce fatigue and any aches allowing you to perform for longer hours comfortably. The socks also have a Y heel design that offers a snug fit which keeps the foot in place and prevents slipping.
Best Overall Compression Socks
Sockwell Chevron Compression Socks – Women’s
Sockwell Chevron Socks are the best when it comes to choosing a type based on the overall performance. They are suitable for long-distance travel, running, to reduce swelling, increase the blood flow, and just for basic comfort while being seated for long periods. The gradient compression levels are the highest in the ankle area and gradually reduce while moving upward, making the blood flow easily toward the heart and offering maximum circulation. Mild compression levels are ideal for everyday wear and long hours of exercising, traveling, or standing on feet during work hours, etc.
Sockwell socks feature spandex material along with their special fibre that offers both thermoregulation and durability. These socks offer a snug fit throughout the day and prevent slipping of the feet. Turn welt tops, and seam-free toe closure area offers a very clean look that reduces irritation and also minimizes friction. Spandex bands are knitted in the arch area of the feet, offering additional support and comfort.
Best Compression Socks For Standing All Day
Sockwell Women’s Circulator Graduated Compression Socks – Azalea
Sockwell Circulator Graduated Compression Socks are ideal for everyday wear, including long travels and flights where an individual has to sit for extended hours. These socks work best when offering graduate compression levels between 15 to 20 mmHg and offer benefits reducing foot swelling, reducing fatigue, improving blood circulation, and eliminating any aches. These socks are ideal and recommended for nurses, pregnant mothers, runners, and sporty people.
Sock Circulator Compression socks have a sock length that fits the entire feet with the Accu-fit technology featuring spandex material that ensures proper fitting throughout the day. A seamless toe closure area along with the non-abrasive material along with the light cushion offers ultimate comfort. These socks are available in all sizes and are perfect for everyone.
Best Compression Socks For Men
2XU Men’s Compression Performance Run Socks
2XU Compression Socks are specially designed for men that apply graduated compression throughout the calf and foot area, offering increased circulation and fast recovery in case of any injuries and swelling. These socks feature a padded footbed that offers high cushioning for comfort along with the toe area that is vented for breathability. 2XU offers ideal compression along with comfort, especially for runners and maintaining their performance.
Best Compression Socks For Women
Women’s Athletic Compression Run Socks – CEP Tall Socks for Performance
Women’s Athletic Compression Socks for running are composed of 15% of spandex material along with 85% polyamide. These socks offer a comfortable and snug fit for athletes to enhance their performance while reducing any aching and swelling that occurs. This design is ideal for travelling, nursing, marathon training, going for hikes, playing sports like basketball, cycling, and long runs. CEP socks offer graduated compression, which fuels the muscles for added endurance and high performance without restricting the toes and avoiding rubbing the foot against the socks.
The padded cushioning and seamless toe closure area protect against blisters, while the knit design offers improved airflow to avoid sweating.
The double-layer anti-blister socks that are designed to absorb friction by making the inner and outer layer of the skin interact with each other to avoid skin abrasion. Wrightsock is ideal for runners and offers complete moisture absorption keeping the feet dry and cool. The wicking of two layers offers added comfort keeping the air trapped between the layers acting as a good insulation from both hot and cold.
Types Of Compression Socks
There are three main types of these stockings usually used:
- Graduated compression stockings
- Anti-embolism stocking
- Non-medical support stocking
Graduated Compression Stocking
In these stockings, the compression level is the highest in the ankle area and tends to reduce further towards the upper part of the leg. These socks increase mobility and for medical reasons and may require a professional fitting. Such stockings that end just below the knee area help prevent blood buildup in the lower legs, thus preventing swelling. Other types of socks that extend up to the thigh help reduce the buildup of blood in the entire portion and are said to be effective in preventing issues like orthostatic hypotension.
Anti-embolism stockings are specifically for people who are not mobile. These socks prevent the onset of deep vein thrombosis, and they are similar to graduated compression socks but offer varying compression levels at different parts of the leg.
Non-Medical Support Socks
The non-medical socks don’t usually require a prescription. They offer reduced compression to legs providing relief from aching and tired legs. These stockings provide the same compression level throughout their length and apply less pressure than the other stocking types.
Different Compression Levels Of Socks
When choosing the right compression socks, the compression levels need to be kept in mind. The socks range from mild to extra rough compression levels.
- Mild compression: The levels of this compression type range from 15- 20 mmHg; these socks offer a soft kind of relief for people who suffer from moderate kinds of varicose veins, minor swelling, aching, and fatigue issues.
- Moderate compression: The compression levels range from 20-30 mmHg. This type of socks offers relief from mild to severe kinds of varicose veins, ulcers, lymphatic edema, and other issues.
- Firm compression: The compression levels range from 30- 40 mmHg. These levels are ideal for treating post-thrombotic syndrome and recovering from an ulcer.
How To Use Compression Socks?
There are a few things to keep in mind when wearing compression socks, such as when to wear them. It is ideal for wearing the socks first thing in the morning before you get out of bed and lower your legs. Sleeping in a horizontal position because you mean lying in bed tends to make the veins function effectively compared to when a person is standing or sitting. When you are in a vertical position, either standing or sitting, gravity kicks into gear, making the blood flow differently and pool in the lower leg area. It is one reason why people usually report no issues in their calves and ankles in the morning. The legs tend to get swollen during the day as time progresses. So put on your socks first thing in the morning keeps the valves in just the perfect position to support the flow of blood healthily.
Side Effects Of Compression Socks
There are specific side effects of wearing compression socks, and you need to check daily for any changes in the skin, such as redness or any irritation. Such changes can indicate that:
- You are not wearing the socks properly
- You may have an infection
- You might be allergic to the material of the socks
- Your socks don’t fit well
Thus, it is essential to get appropriately prescribed for these socks to make sure they fit well and are the right type for you to avoid having any long-term issues, which can also cause infection or severe allergy.
Certain studies have shown that very high compression socks can lead to nerve damage or breaking of the skin in some severe cases. For people who suffer from impaired arterial flow issues, the use of compression socks can worsen issues like ischemia and cause problems in the oxygenated blood’s blood flow.
How To Choose The Right Size?
Choosing the right size for yourself is essential so you will feel comfortable wearing the socks for extended periods and can take advantage of the benefits these socks offer. Below are a few tips for choosing just the perfect size for you.
Measure your legs first thing in the morning before you leave the bed and lower them.
If you are looking for thigh-high stockings, take measurements by standing up and measuring the thighs starting from under the buttocks and then measure the distance between the floor and your buttocks.
For knee-length socks, measure the calves’ broadest part and the narrowest part when it comes to your ankles. Then measure while sitting on the bed with your legs on the floor by making a 90-degree angle. Take measurements starting from the knee to the base of each leg.
By taking these measurements, you will learn how to choose just the right size for yourself as it will give you a good idea about the size of your thighs and how much space your legs need when flexed, etc.
How To Take Care Of Compression Stockings?
Taking care of compression stockings isn’t that much of a hassle. However, doing so will make them last longer and also offer optimum benefits.
- Instead of using a washing machine, always prefer to hand-wash them.
- Always use mild or cold water to wash.
- Please don’t put your stockings in a dryer. Let them air dry naturally by hanging them outside.
- Only use detergent or soap. Try to avoid fabric softeners.
The bottom line is compression socks are ideal for promoting blood flow and offering comfort by applying pressure to the legs and ankles. However, if you are someone who is prescribed these socks to treat any condition like venous thrombosis or varicose veins, then make sure properly fitted socks and follow the instructions given by your doctor, including how to wear them and how long to wear them to avoid any skin damage or in worse cases, vein damage.