Compression socks apply mild pressure onto your legs to stimulate blood flow. These socks reduce pain, inflammation and swelling of the legs. They are used for various conditions, such as varicose veins and thrombosis. They are generally comfortable as well.
Compression socks are functional because they apply mild and bearable pressure to the legs and ankles. This helps regulate blood flow towards the heart by allowing the arteries responsible for taking the oxygen-rich blood to the muscles to relax, making the blood flow smoothly and efficiently.
Compression socks 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 helps prevent the legs from getting tired.
These socks or stockings help reduce the swelling in the ankles and feet. This helps prevent the onset of issues like varicose veins, thrombosis and much more. Wearing compression 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:
- Improves blood circulation in the legs
- Reduces swelling of the legs
- Reduces fatigue in the legs
- Promotes lymphatic drainage
- Provides support to the veins
- Controls light headedness issues, especially when one stands
- Avoids venous ulcers
- Avoids night cramps
- Prevents restless legs
- Prevents 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 On A Budget
Sb Sox Lite Compression Socks (15-20mmhg) for Men & Women
These compression socks offer improved blood circulation with their graduated compression technology. They are made with a lightweight material that is both breathable and durable. These socks are built to last while offering optimum support, comfort and overall relief from aches and circulation issues. Sb Sox Lite is available in two different colours and sizes. These socks are ideal for someone who stays on their feet for extended periods. These socks offer the best comfort and perks for everyone, including athletes, runners, people who hike, aeroplane travellers and even 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. 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. It is designed very thinly for the sole purpose of offering the best breathability and comfort while keeping your feet cool.
Another striking feature of these socks is the solid and firm support they offer. They hug the calves and feet firmly. This helps to reduce fatigue and aches which helps you to perform for longer hours quite 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, help reduce swelling, increase the blood flow and basic overall comfort while being seated for long periods. The gradient compression levels are the highest in the ankle area and gradually reduces compression moving up the sock (leg). This makes the blood flow easily toward the heart and offers maximum circulation. Mild compression levels are ideal for everyday wear. They are beneficial during long hours of exercising, traveling, 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. They offer many benefits. Some benefits include; reduce foot swelling, reduce fatigue, improve blood circulation and eliminate aches. These socks are ideal and recommended for nurses, pregnant mothers, runners, travellers and sporty people.
Sock Circulator Compression socks have a sock length that fits the entire foot with the Accu-fit technology. This spandex material ensures proper fitting throughout the day. A seamless toe closure area, with the non-abrasive material, with the light cushion, offers the 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. These socks apply graduated compression throughout the calf and foot area. They offer 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 a vented toe area for breathability. 2XU offers ideal compression along with comfort; especially for runners to help maintain 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 may occur. 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 avoids 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 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 by 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 compression near the upper part of the leg. These socks increase mobility. Some are used for medical reasons and may require a professional fitting. Such stockings end just below the knee area and helps prevent blood buildup in the lower legs, thus preventing swelling. Other types of compression socks extend up to the thigh and help reduce the buildup of blood in the entire portion of the leg. They are recommended and 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. 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, 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 sock 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 to wear the socks first thing in the morning before you get out of bed and lower your legs. Sleeping in a horizontal position tends to make the veins function more effectively compared to standing or sitting. When you are in a vertical position, either standing or sitting, gravity kicks into gear which makes 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. Putting on your socks first thing in the morning keeps the valves in just the perfect position to support the flow of blood more healthily.
Side Effects Of Compression Socks
There are specific side effects of wearing compression socks. You must check daily for any changes in the skin, such as redness or 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. This will ensure 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. In some severe cases people had some breaking of the skin. 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. You want to 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; 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. Take measurements starting from the knee to the base of each leg while sitting on the bed (or chair) with your legs on the floor by making a 90-degree angle.
By taking these measurements, it will help you choose the right size for yourself. 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, following the instructions will help 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 has prescribed socks to treat any condition, like venous thrombosis or varicose veins, please ensure they are properly fitted and follow the instructions given by your doctor. The doctor will include how to wear them and how long to wear them. This will help to avoid any skin damage or in worse cases, vein damage.