How To Put on Compression Socks

woman pulling compression socks over her knee

Tips for Choosing the Best Compression Socks and How to Wear Them

Woman wearing thigh-high compression socks

The choice to wear compression legwear is often purposeful with the ultimate goal to improve, or maintain, the health of the lower limbs. Due to their popularity, support socks for women come in a wide variety of styles with specific compression levels. As you contemplate your options, this overview can guide you on general wear and how to put them on once you make your style choices.

Support Stockings Create Tension

The veins in the legs are the main source of circulatory blood flow for the lower limbs. When something adversely affects the smooth flowing of fluids in the legs and ankles, this can lead to conditions such as poor circulation, ankle or leg swelling, which causes chronic aches and discomfort.

Alternatively, there are some athletic women who have good circulation but want to enjoy the full benefits of what compression socks for women can do for their physical performance or recovery.

As you can see, these are two very different reasons to wear compression socks, and yet both groups of women can reap the benefits. That’s because these socks and stockings are designed for a specific function, and that is to create tension. You could call them tension socks because the material combined with construction gives them a heavier fabric weight than normal socks.

Their weightiness or tension output depends on a designated compression level. Non-medical support hosiery has a compression range of 8-15 mmHG or less. These are styles that can be worn by anyone without needing a doctor’s prescription or recommendation.

Medical-grade compression socks for women are designed to help alleviate severe lower limb conditions. You can find them with 15-20, 20-30 or 30-40 mmHg compression levels. Doctors often prescribe this level of compression as a therapeutic treatment.

woman pulling compression socks over her knee

Guide for Putting On Compression Socks

Whether you’re looking to wear compression socks for swelling, or another medical condition, or seeking quality compression athletic socks that can boost circulation, it’s time to learn how to correctly put them on. This mini tutorial shows you the easiest method for how to put on moderate and graduated compression socks.

Step 1. Pick up the sock and gently glide one hand into the opening. Both your palm and the sock sole should be facing upwards. Continue until the heel of your palm reaches the heel of the sock.

Step 2. Use your other hand to hold the edge of the sock’s opening and slowly pull the sock leg inside out. Make sure that you leave the foot of the sock on your hand.

Step 3. Turn the sock over so that the sole is facing downward. With your fingertips positioned on both sides of the opening, gently slide your foot into the foot of the sock so that it matches sole to sole. Be careful not to grab the opening and pull, this may cause damage to the material.

Step 4. Gradually, peel the sock leg upwards over your heel and up the leg until you have it completely on. Don’t try and force the sock too far. Smooth out any wrinkles to ensure you get the full benefit of compression.

It’s a good idea to practice putting on your compression socks that come with or without zippers before you wear them.

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