Compression stockings are used to improve blood circulation in the legs. This involves exerting gentle pressure so that blood circulates upward and thus avoids swelling or clots caused by an injury or surgical intervention. Many people suffer from these problems and find relief in these products.

Compression stockings are also used to improve athletic performance and prevent injuries. In this article we will see how products are used, the types of compression stockings that are available on the market today, how to wear them, and the care they require to keep them in good working order.

Key Facts

  • Compression stockings originated as a health care product, but they have become useful to many athletes.
  • The main function of compression stockings is to improve blood circulation in the legs.
  • They can prevent fatigue, relieve pain and promote muscle recovery, among many other benefits.

Our Selection: The Best Compression Stockings on the U.S. Market

In the following article we will take a look at the most popular compression stockings on the market. We will show you some high-quality products that have the best possible reputation and have received great reviews from buyers. These are versatile products, as although they are usually used for sports activities, they can also be used to combat ailments related to poor blood circulation.

Best Footless Compression Stockings

This Amazon’s Choice model compression sock by Kingbridal is highly rated by shoppers and comes in tan or black so they can be used for both athletes or people with circulation problems. They are also footless, stopping at the ankle so your entire feet can stay cool and comfortable in your favorite socks and athletic shoes while playing your favorite sports.

Best Full Foot Compression Stockings

No products found.

This Amazon Best Seller with an average score of of 4.5 in over 4,000 reviews gives you at least seven (7) pairs of these socks, in endless color and pattern combinations–one for every day of the week. Available in sizes for men and women, there are socks here to make every athlete, nurse, traveler, mail carrier or teacher in your life happy.

Best Thigh-High Compression Stocking

Mojo thigh sleeves come in black, tan, black with lime green and black with red and also come in a variety of sizes including “plus sizes.” They go right up over the knee adding extra support in that injury-prone area and are also recommended for after-exercise recovery comfort.  With an average rating of 4.2 stars, these thigh-highs are footless and could be just what you need to jump-start your workout.

Best Zipper-Close Compression Socks

These toeless, zipper-close compression socks feature graduated compression and are great for those who sit or stand all day at work, long trips anyone looking for relief from swelling legs.  The zipper close takes the difficulty out of putting these socks on, which can be critical for pregnant women, the elderly or those recovering from an injury.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Compression Stockings

Now let’s find the answers to the most common questions when looking for compression stockings that best suit our needs. Let’s look at the benefits of using these special socks, how we can extend their useful life, the fastest way to put on and remove them, and how to choose the right size.

If you are an athlete you need to pay attention to even the smallest detail to get the most out of your natural abilities.
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What exactly are compression stockings?

For about the last 25 years, compression stockings have been used by people with circulatory problems, such as varicose veins, and have recently become popular with athletes. They are specially made socks that exert a gentle pressure on the muscles and produce a significant improvement in circulatory function.

They are used in sports such as athletics, gymnastics, cycling, triathlons and in any sport that is demanding on the leg muscles. It is very common to see professionals wearing compression stockings, but it is becoming popular to see them on amateur athletes as well. Compression stocking and sleeves have become very popular among runners lately.

Who needs compression stockings?

If you are an athlete you need to pay attention to even the smallest detail to get the most out of your natural abilities. This can be achieved with good nutrition, good planning and adequate sports equipment. With the help of compression stockings, improved oxygenation of muscle tissue provides improved performance.

  • Improves Resistance. Our oxygen consumption is lower with the improvement of blood flow. That increases our resistance and thereby improves our performance.
  • Reduces Muscle Aches. Our tissues become more nourished as venous return accelerates.
  • Faster Recovery. There are compression socks designed for after exercise. They reduce inflammation in addition to maintaining the effects discussed above achieved during exercise.
  • Retains Flexibility. The muscles are more flexible and do not stress tendons, something particularly appreciated by people with tendinitis or plantar fasciitis.
  • Reduces Heat Loss. Great for the winter, because when we are out in the cold and rain, these elements can muscle problems.

What types of compression stockings are available?

There are uniform and gradual-type compression. The first puts the same amount of pressure on the entire leg. It is usually used after performing some physical activity, and for shorter periods of time. The second type exerts greater compression on the ankle and facilitates the blood’s return toward the heart. It is used in competition or training to improve an athlete’s performance.

Uniform Compression Gradual Compression
Same compression on ankle and leg More compression on ankle and less on leg
Used following sports activity for 90-120 minutes Improves the performance of athletes while competing or training
Reduces fluid retention and the effects of sore muscles On long trips they keep the leg muscles from swelling
Accelerates the repair of muscle fiber tears

How can you extend the life of compression stockings?

Compression socks do not usually have problems of short durability. Even so, they need specific care to extend their useful life as much as possible and keep them in good condition. It is essential to wash them by hand, with warm water and laundry soap designed for delicate items.

You should rinse the compression stockings without twisting them in lukewarm water. Ideally, hang them to dry outdoors, but never in direct sunlight. It is helpful to have two pairs of compression socks so that one pair is always clean, dry and ready to wear.

Compression stockings will help you achieve better oxygenation of tissues and that provides an increase in performance.
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How do you put on compression stockings?

Putting on compression stockings is not too difficult, even if it seems like it is, as long as you know a few tricks. Online you can find several examples, just by searching Google or YouTube. The socks often come with instructions as well.  For now we will try to explain it in the simplest way possible:

  1. Put the sock in the correct direction.
  2. Place the stocking with your foot into the opening.
  3. Take the upper opening and stretch it up your leg until it is below the knee.
  4. To take off the sock, do this process in reverse.

How do I know what size compression stockings to buy?

It is not easy to figure out what size compression stocking to get, but you need a proper fit if you want to get the right size and not regret a bad choice. In the first place it is necessary to accept that each manufacturer can vary in their sizes with respect to the others, so be sure to look at the size guide. But first you have to measure your leg circumference at the ankle and calf and it’s length.

Shopping Criteria

The purchase of compression stockings requires more attention and research than some other products. We have to be very attentive to understand the fabrics used, the pressure level we need, the proper size, and the sport for which the sock is designed. Let’s look at some of these fundamental points:

Pressure

Depending on how you use the compression stockings, the degree of pressure you need will vary. In the case of serious circulatory problems, where recommend by a doctor, or in some high-intensity sports you might use the 40 mmHg averages, which exert a strong pressure.

As a general rule, for use in training, competitions, recovery, minor ailments or long trips, a lower pressure (from 20 to 30 mmHg) is sufficient. We should bear in mind that too much pressure on our legs could have seriously negative consequences, so remember that more is not always better.

Size

Another of the most important features that you should consider before buying your compression stockings is their size. Once you are clear about the muscles you want to strengthen or protect, you can purchase the most appropriate option out of of the four available. They are the following:

  • Calf Sleeve: From the ankle to the knee.
  • Thigh High: From the ankle to the middle of the thigh above the knee.
  • Sock: Same as the previous one, but includes the foot.
  • Pantyhose: Garment that extends from the toes to the waist.

Sport

Depending on the sport in which you want to participate, you will need to strengthen or protect a specific muscle area, the one that has the most activity during physical exercise. It will not be difficult to figure out the most suitable compression stockings for your chosen sport. Manufacturers list the different sports for which their products are designed.

Fabric

With these types of products, where health is concerned, you should not risk buying compression stockings that are made of low quality material, are defective or do not fulfill the purpose for which you bought them. To avoid disappointments it is better to purchase compression stockings from recognized brands.

In different online markets or in stores you might see knock-off compression stockings at very low prices, but this is likely due to the proportionately low quality of the item. Don’t risk your health just to save a little money.

Summary

Compression stockings have many uses. The first compression stockings were designed to combat ailments related to poor blood circulation. Over time they became part of the lives of people who suffered the consequences of spending long hours standing at work or traveling.

Recently, sports enthusiasts have found out about the advantages and benefits of compression stockings to the muscles if used correctly. That is why we have provided you with the information  you need about compression stockings to make a successful purchase of the correct pair for yourselves. Now you can improve your sports activity and protect yourself against injuries–with compression stockings!

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Why you can trust me?

Avery studied fitness and nutrition at college and currently works as a PE teacher at his local high school. Not only does he love to help out his students increase their fitness performance, but he also writes blogs about sports and fitness in his spare time.