How Do You Choose the Right Pair of Compression Socks?

Vein disorders, such as those that afflict one’s legs, are often indications of possible blood circulation problems.
Female legs in white knee socks lying in bed

Unfortunately, they are often overlooked. If left unaddressed, these vein disorders may lead to further complications such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots.

Fortunately, compression socks may be able to help prevent these conditions from occurring. If you are in the market for a pair or two of men’s compression socks but don’t know where to start, read on to learn more about this product and how to pick the best ones for your needs.

Defining Compression Socks

Compression socks aren’t like ordinary pairs of socks, as they do more than provide warmth or prevent blisters. Apart from treating vein disorders, compression socks can also be used to manage leg pain. In fact, these products are used by many top athletes for post-competition recovery.

How do they work, exactly? Essentially, these kinds of socks apply a specific amount of pressure to the legs, thus encouraging blood to circulate more efficiently. This, in turn, allows your leg tissues to acquire and circulate the nutrients that they need. All this can aid in pain relief, improved vein health, and enhanced blood circulation.

Now that you have an idea of how compression socks function, let’s move on to some tips that can help you choose the perfect pair.

Consider the Size

The first thing you need to consider before purchasing a pair of compression socks is size. Compression socks come in an assortment of lengths, with options ranging from knee-length to full-leg stockings. Because they’re designed to assist in active recovery or alleviate the symptoms of vein disorders, it’s important to consider the length and size of your pair of choice. The longer the sock, the larger the compression area.

Find the Right Fit

Compression socks, especially those prescribed by a doctor, are most effective when worn for extended periods. In fact, most prescriptions for compression socks will have patients wear a pair from sun up to sundown. Thus, you’ll want to pick socks that feel comfortable no matter how long you have them on.

When trying on the socks, make sure that it doesn’t bunch up or wrinkle in any way. Any parts that bunch up may cause an unnecessary increase in pressure, making the socks act more like a tourniquet. Hence, stretch the socks out as much as possible and make sure to have the fabric lie flat against the skin. This not only makes for a better and more comfortable fit but also allows the socks to function optimally.

Choose Socks That Suit Your Style

In addition to the health benefits that they offer, these socks are available in a variety of fabrics, patterns, and colors. Are you the type to wear a suit to work? Choose socks that look dressy enough to be worn on their own. Do you dress more casually? There are compression sock styles for everyday looks, too. If you lead an active lifestyle, you can look for stylish high-performance compression socks that are perfect for workouts.

When shopping for a pair or two, choose socks that go best with your everyday attire. If you pick the right ones and wear them correctly, people won’t be able to tell that you have compression socks on. 

Take note that compression socks can be worn on their own or underneath a second pair of socks. If you plan to do this, make sure that the second pair of socks doesn’t bunch up against your compression socks, as this may damage your compression socks and decrease their elasticity over time.

Pick the Right Amount of Pressure

In today’s market, compression socks come in a variety of sizes and pressures, each built for a specific function. The amount of pressure is often measured in mmHg or millimeters of Mercury. Over-the-counter compression socks usually come in at 15-20 mmHg and are good for everyday use and light exercise.

If you need more support than over-the-counter compression socks can provide, you may want to try a pair that can offer 20-30 mmHg of pressure. These types of compression socks require a prescription and are perfect for those who are recovering from post-surgery swelling. These socks are also ideal for serious athletes that constantly push themselves during training.

The highest amount of pressure that compression socks can offer is around 30-40 mmHg, and as such also require a prescription. They are considered to be medical-grade and are designed especially for those suffering from Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), severe post-surgery swelling, and varicose veins.

With these tips, you shouldn’t have a problem choosing the right compression socks for you. Should you have any doubts or concerns, it’s always best to consult a medical professional before buying a pair. If you do receive a prescription that indicates the specific amount of pressure you should get, don’t go up a level unless cleared by your physician. At the end of the day, these products are meant to provide you relief, not make matters worse, so pick wisely.

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