Graduated compression socks are a great tool for increasing blood flow to the lower extremities. By gently applying pressure to the legs, compression socks help to fight against gravity to assist the heart in pumping blood back up to the heart. This improved circulation improves recovery times for athletes, reduces swelling in the extremities and lessens the risk of blood clots.
For compression socks to be effective, they need to fit and be taken care of properly. Here, we answer all of your questions on how to get the most from your compression socks.
Finding the Right Fit
Luckily, sizing for compression socks tends to be the same as your everyday socks. So if you know your shoe size, you know your compression sock size. Keep in mind that your compression socks should fit snugly, but not so tight that they are uncomfortable. What’s different, however, is that compression socks come in a variety of different compression levels. The strength of compression socks is measured in mmHg or millimeters of mercury and can range anywhere from 8 to 40.
For most, choosing a medium-range compression level of 15-25 mmHg tends to be the best option. This level of compression is designed for both medical and athletic uses. Most medical compression socks have a rating of 20-30mmHg and thus can be uncomfortable for all-day everyday wear. If you’ve been instructed by your doctor to use compression socks, be sure to clarify what level of compression they recommend for your unique needs.
Putting on Your Compression Socks
Before wearing them for the first time, many people wonder how to put on compression socks. It’s true that they are tighter than regular socks, so they can be a little more difficult to get on. Use these tips to make it easier:
- We recommend sitting somewhere where you can move freely when putting them on, like the edge of your bed or in a comfortable chair.
- Next, put your arm into the sock so that your palm is on the heel of the sock, from there pinch the center of sock between your thumb and palm.
- Turn the sock inside out by pulling it down your arm, stopping at your thumb. Remember, your thumb should still be pinching the toe of the sock.
- Slip your foot into the bottom of the sock and start rolling the sleeve of your sock upwards until it's all the way right-side out.
When to Wear Compression Socks
If you’re wondering how long to wear compression socks, you’re not alone. The short answer is, it depends. The level of compression you choose will affect the length of time they can be worn. Most standard compression socks with an mmHg of 15-25 are mild enough for all-day wear, yet strong enough to help with circulatory issues, ankle injuries, and injury prevention. Sleeping in your compression socks isn’t usually necessary unless instructed by your doctor, because when you lie vertically in bed at night your body isn’t having to fight gravity to keep blood circulating.
How to Wash Compression Socks
To prevent discoloration or shrinking, it’s best to wash compression socks in cold water with like colors. Drying them properly is the most important step for protecting the fibers of the socks and helping your compression socks last as long as possible. The high heat of the dryer can damage the fibers of the socks, causing them to become less effective. For that reason, compression socks should be dried on low heat or the tumble setting.
Choosing the Right Brand
As with any product, picking the right brand will give you the greatest benefit. Lasso’s compression socks feature joint support, and TrueCompression™ technology for better blood flow. Our compression socks have a strength of 15-25 mmHg, making them perfect for all-day use—no matter if you’re wearing them to use on the field or at home. Additionally, Lasso’s compression socks have targeted arch support and extra padding to relieve foot pain associated with many common injuries and conditions such as plantar fasciitis, varicose veins, ankle injuries, and other medical conditions.