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Article: What to know About Compression Socks Before Purchasing

What to know About Compression Socks Before Purchasing

Compression socks provide a variety of benefits. They can help treat health conditions. They can help reduce fatigue in your feet and legs. They can contribute to major quality of life changes and improvements for many people. Before you buy a pair, there are a few things you should probably know about these socks. These five tidbits will best help you learn all about compression socks.

What to know about compression socks

How They Work

Compression socks work by squeezing your legs. That sounds simple enough, but it is important to understand what the compression is doing for you and what it means for wearing the socks.

The value of compression socks comes from how they put pressure on the blood vessels in your legs. This pressure helps to counteract the effects of gravity — ultimately making it easier for your blood vessels to maintain blood flow away from your legs and back to your heart.

It takes a noticeable amount of pressure to gain any benefits from this concept. That means that your compression socks will persistently squeeze your legs. The slight discomfort takes some getting used to, but when you do, you gain several health benefits. Your legs will feel less tired when you are active or through periods of inactivity. Compression socks can help counteract varicose veins, blood clots, heavy legs and more. All of this happens when you have socks that can apply pressure to your legs.

How They Fit

Compression socks come in a number of fits, and each fit provides a different feel and serves a different purpose. You can find compression socks that are ankle-high, shin-high, knee-high and hip-high. Each increase in height extends the severity of the compression socks. 

Higher socks are harder to wear, and they tend to serve more specific health functions. Hip-high compression socks are almost always prescribed by a medical professional.

Shin and knee-high compression socks are popular among athletes. The compression is designed to help with recovery after vigorous exercise. 

For extended periods of sitting (such as on a long flight), knee-high socks are the most common choice. 


Knee-High Compression Socks for Men


Compression Ratings

Compression socks have a compression rating. The rating of the sock tells you its functionality and how it can do the most good. 

Moderate compression is rated between 15 and 20 mmHg. This level of compression is common for flights and travel. It can help with circulation and prevent the development of blood clots in your legs.

Firm compression kicks in at 20 to 30 mmHg. Firm compression is the most common rating you will find at a store and without a prescription. This level of compression can help with varicose veins and chronic fatigue associated with standing or sitting all day.

Extra firm compression ranges from 30 to 40 mmHg. You will need a prescription for this level of compression, and it is usually prescribed for specific health problems, like post-thrombotic syndrome. Each rating can apply to graduated or anti-embolism compression socks.

Common Materials

Compression socks can be made from a number of materials. The two most common are cotton and nylon. Like any other socks, compression socks have pros and cons associated with the material used to make them. Nylon socks are thinner than cotton, but cotton breathes better. Cotton socks are preferable for times of activity. Nylon socks are usually better when sitting or standing still.

How to Wear Them

The last thing you need to know about compression socks is how to wear them. There are no complicated procedures you need to learn. You wear them like any other socks, but there is something to note. Compression socks will squeeze you. It can be difficult to get acclimated to the pressure. Often, the best way to do this is to ease into it. Wear the socks until they become uncomfortable, then take them off. With repeated exposure, you will acclimate to the socks and be able to wear them for support.


  • Compression socks come in different fits and styles.
  • You can get varying compression ratings for your socks.
  • They are made from different materials.
  • Wearing them might require some acclimation.

Now that you know the basics regarding compression socks, you can make an informed decision and buy socks that are right for you. You can find those socks at Dr. Motion. Browse the selection today.


Disclaimer: This article provides information solely for educational purposes, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, and other materials contained herein. This article is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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