Tips and Tricks: Compression Socks!
We took our time bringing in compression socks, because we wanted to offer styles that worked well and were safe. Graduated compression styles have a scientifically designed snugger fit, tighter at the ankles and less as they go up the leg. The way these socks compress muscles, veins and arteries at the feet and ankles increases arterial pressure, encouraging more blood to return to the heart and not pool in the feet. That’s some straight up science!
Even though we love science, none of us are professional scientists (yet!), but luckily the compression brands we carry have plenty of them. Therafirm, Sockwell and CEP are all amazingly designed graduated compression brands, each of them designed for different lifestyle needs. Therafirm’s Preggers styles are graduated compression tights designed to energise and support the tired legs and feet associated with pregnancy. CEP is designed for sports, maximising performance and recovery after competition or working out. Sockwell has socks that maximise fun and health, with gorgeous designs and smartly built socks. Even Dahlgren and Injinji have compression styles with the same smart sports and lifestyle designing that defines their brands.
There’s a trick to putting compression socks on correctly, though. As you might have noticed, compression socks are tight and can be hard to put on. There’s a reason for that. Just yanking them on won’t distribute that smartly designed sock correctly and will prevent the sock from giving you the benefit of proper graduated compression. Plus, for styles with higher compression, it can be unhealthy, since they are designed to be worn with the fabric evenly distributed up the leg. CEP has a fun little video on YouTube showing the basics of putting on compression socks and Therafirm’s Preggers has some great tips on their website for donning compression styles.
This simple little trick just takes a minute or so extra but is worth every second. For folks who prefer a photo reference, we got you covered after the jump!
First, put your hand inside the sock and grab the heel from the inside. While still holding the heel, turn the body of the sock inside out, to where you're gripping. The heel area makes kind of a little “ear.”
Now open up the sock and put the foot on, up to the heel.
With the foot in place you can ease the sock up your leg a bit at a time; either by pinching and pulling small sections up, starting at the ankle, or by gathering the body of the sock and gently working it up the leg. The pinch and pull approach lets you deal with just one layer, instead of an entire handful of bunched up sock, allowing you to more properly and easily distribute the fabric of the leg. If you gather the sock, as shown here, you'll need to go back and make sure that everything is distributed properly.
Now that you’re all en-socked, take a second to check: Is the body of the sock twisted and are the toes straight? CEP’s arcing stripes and the little plus sign on the back of Sockwell compression styles are a guide to proper alignment. A twisted up sock is uncomfortable, imagine how much more uncomfortable a twisted up compression sock would be! Taking a second to check everything now saves you annoyance and discomfort later. Running your hands over the body of the sock, make sure it is evenly distributed. The Sockwell styles in particular like to bunch at the ankle, so pinch and pull that extra fabric up, distributing it along your leg.
The last thing to do is enjoy the hugging comfort of a perfectly placed compression sock!
So, whether you stand a lot, sit a lot or work out hard, graduated compression socks can help refresh, recover and relax tired legs and feet. Just remember to take that extra minute to put them on so that their benefits can truly benefit you.