Compression socks are designed to encourage blood flow from the feet and legs back to the heart, relieving tired legs and providing support. Compression socks are great for everyone from athletes and folks who spend a lot of time on their feet to people who have to sit for long periods. They’re also fantastic to wear when flying! Intended to provide graduated compression, a compression sock is scientifically designed for a snugger fit, starting tighter at the ankles and reducing in compression as they go up the leg.
The way compression 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! But even though you may need compression socks for health or fitness reasons, that doesn’t mean that you have to forgo style. If you’re looking for fashion compression socks, our compression sock options range from crew socks to knee high socksin styles designed for both function and fashion!
Compression Sock Brands
Right now, we offer three different brands of compression socks. Each compression sock brand has their own specialty and we’re always happy to help you find what style will fit your needs.
Just what you need if you want a compression sock with style, Sockwell brand compression socks are the perfect blend of science and looks! With graduated compression ranges from 15-20 mmHg moderate compression to 20-30 mmHg firm compression, Sockwell has a sock for everybody. There are even socks designed especially for metatarsal support, bunion cushioning and plantar fasciitis! Plus, they’re made in the USA, right down to the wool used to knit them!
The combination of toe socks and graduated compression make Injiji’s knee high compression toe socks the perfect match for athletes and runners. Separate toes aid in balance while the arch support and padded heelcreate a total package that enhances circulation, minimises muscle soreness and promotes healing.
Designed especially for folks who are pregnant (though they feel great on everybody), gradient compression tights from Therafirm are made in the USA and offer 10-15 mmHG light graduated compression to soothe tired and swollen legs. These compression tights and compression leggingsalso offer gentle support with tummy panel that can be folded up or down to fit your comfort.
Wearing Compression Socks
For maximum benefits from graduated compression socks, they need to be put on correctly. If you’ve worn compression socks before, you may have noticed that they are tighter than other socks and can be hard to put on. Just yanking a compression sock on won’t properly distribute them correctly and will prevent the sock from giving you the benefit of proper graduated compression. And, with socks that have higher gradient compression, it can be unhealthy to wear them improperly, since they are designed to be worn with the fabric evenly distributed up the leg. We have more information in our Sock Journal post on compression socks, but here is a quick overview of the proper way to put on a compression sock:
- 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.”
- Next, 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 until it is fully in place.
- Once the compression sock is on, run your hands over the body of the sock and make sure it is evenly distributed.
Now that you’re all en-socked, take a second to check: Is the body of the sock twisted and are the toes straight? A twisted up sock is uncomfortable, but even more so when it’s a compression sock! With the right compression sock, worn correctly, you can benefit from a relief from mild to moderate swelling, an increase in circulation and help prevent fatigue in your legs! If you or those you love sit or stand for prolonged periods of time, fly or travel often, or would like some extra support in exercise and recovery, give compression socks a try.