What Are Compression Socks?

Compression socks, also known as stockings, are specially measured and fitted socks that apply pressure to your legs to help your blood vessels work better. They prevent your legs from getting tired and achy, ease swelling in your feet and ankles, and prevent and treat spider and varicose veins. Compression socks come in a variety of sizes, lengths, and colours, and are available with different strengths of compression.

Veins carry non-oxygenated blood back to your heart. Sometimes this system can fatigue or not work properly, and blood can pool in lower leg causing symptoms of fatigue, aching, swelling, varicose veins, and spider veins. Properly fitted compression stockings help give your veins a boost and push the blood back up to your heart.

There are multiple compression levels within your compression stockings: the socks are the tightest around the ankle and gradually get looser up the leg. This forces the blood upwards to improve circulation and promote endurance. Because these stockings keep the blood moving up and down your legs efficiently, it can also prevent the risk of developing blood clots in the legs.

View Our Selection of Performance & Medical Compression Socks

Types of Compression Stockings

There are two main types of compression stockings:

Medical Grade

Medical grade stockings require a prescription from your doctor that includes a diagnosis and a compression level, typically 20-30mmHg. They are tighter stockings, designed to address medical concerns with your legs such as varicose veins, swelling, pregnancy, lymphedema, and so on. These socks are usually covered under extended health benefits. Call your insurance company to ask how many stockings you can order per year, and what your coverage is. Each plan is different. They usually cost around $150.00 per pair for knee highs.

Non-Medical Grade

These socks do not require a medical doctor prescription. Non-medical grade socks are not as tight as the medical grade, but still provide a snug fit that supports the legs. They are usually used for athletics, pregnancies, flights, traveling, and day-to-day use. The average cost is $55.00 per pair for knee highs.

Are Medical Compression Socks Right for Me?

Ask yourself these questions to determine whether medical grade compression socks might be right for you:

  • Are you on your feet for long durations?
  • Are you an athlete?
  • Do you travel a lot, or find your feet and ankles swell on airplanes?
  • Do you sit for long periods of time during the day?
  • Are you noticing that your legs are fatiguing faster than they have in the past?
  • Do you notice when you wake up in the morning you have no swelling, but by the afternoon your ankles and feet are very puffy?
  • Do you see lots of big blue varicose veins or spider veins around your legs, ankles, or feet?
  • Are you currently pregnant?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, medical grade compression stockings may be beneficial for you.

Wearing Compression Stockings

Here are a few things you should know if you’re just getting started with compression stockings:

  • There is a learning curve to putting them on and taking them off—your Chiropodist at Footprint can show you special techniques and tricks to help.
  • Wearing rubber gloves can help get the stockings up easier.
  • You should wear your compression stockings during the day (put them on first thing in the morning), and take them off before going to bed.
  • Always handwash your stockings and hang them to dry. Never put them in the dryer—this will destroy the compression in the sock and they will not last very long.
  • You will need to replace your stockings every 6-12 months.
  • It’s important to have more than one pair of stockings; two or more is preferred. This way you can wear a pair while the other is being washed.

It is always important to consult your family doctor before being measured and ordering compression stocking to ensure you are a good candidate for them. Your doctor will then provide you a prescription with a certain compression level listed. Now, you can visit Footprint Health and Wellness to get properly measured and have your stockings fit to your legs and feet.

Why Choose Footprint Health and Wellness for Your Compression Stockings

Footprint’s Registered Chiropodist, Brittney Wirtz, is a highly-trained foot and ankle specialist—trust your feet, legs, and ankles with no one else. Our Chiropodist ensures that your care comes first and educates each person on why they need compression, how they will work, and what to expect when you first wear them. A proper education session is the key to success with compression, and can help keep your stockings lasting longer. You will need to be properly measured to order a pair of stockings that will fit your legs properly. A few simple measurements around your ankle, calf, and leg length will ensure the best fit.

Footprint uses only quality products, and supports a local Barrie company, Lunatik Athletiks, who guarantee superior quality and customer satisfaction. Lunatik Athletiks offers a wide selection of colourful, stylish, and patterned compression socks so you can change up your look.

Book your next medical or non-medical compression stocking appointment with our Registered Chiropodist, Brittney, today! Don’t wait to have your legs feeling their best.