7 Myths About Compression Socks and Stockings

If you've never worn compression socks or stockings, you probably have some mistaken ideas about them. There's a lot of misinformation out there. It's time to debunk some long-standing myths.

Myth #1: Compression socks are ugly.

Today, stylish casual and dress compression socks and stockings are available in a variety of fibers like cotton, wool, spandex, and nylon. They come in bright colors, patterns, and prints. You will also find them in three lengths: knee-high, thigh-high, and pantyhose. You can choose from sheer and opaque. The options available are so beautiful and stylish, there's really no visible indication of their medical efficacy. You'll simply feel the benefits as you go through your day. Advances in research and design also mean that today's compression socks offer more performance features. You can buy socks that absorb and wick moisture, have antibacterial, odor-reducing properties, and provide irritation-free flat toe seams.

TRUTH: Compression socks are fashionable. Most don't look like compression at all. 


Myth #2:  Compression socks are only for people with a medical problem.

It's true that compression socks help prevent spider veins and varicose veins, and treat edema, among other chronic venous disorders. And they're a prescription item for people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, phlebitis, and venous leg ulcers. But compression socks are also for everyday wear. They're intended to promote healthy circulation in people engaged in any kind of work or recreation. Anyone with a job that requires sitting or standing for long periods of time, travelers confined to car or plane seats for more than a few hours, and athletes whose sports involve running can benefit from compression. Some people believe compression socks can actually cut off circulation and are therefore dangerous, but properly sized compression socks won't cut off circulation.

TRUTH: Compression socks benefit everyone.



Myth #3: Compression socks are hard to put on and take off.

Today, new technology and materials make compression socks more comfortable and functional. However, there are certain standard techniques that make it easy to put them on and take them off. For example, never bunch them up. Instead, grab the heel pocket and turn the sock inside out. Slide the sock halfway onto your foot. Hold both sides of the top band and pull the sock over your heel and up your calf. Adjust the heel pocket and smooth out any wrinkles. The band should be the width of two fingers from the bend of your knee. In addition, there are several accessories such as donning butlers, special rubber gloves, and roll-on adhesives that are easy to use.

TRUTH: Proper techniques make compression socks easier to put on and take off. 


Myth #4: Compression socks are expensive.

Because compression socks are considered a medical product intended to meet a medical need, they must also meet standards of performance. Compliance with those standards determines what materials are used, the fabric finish, the technique used in weaving, and the level of compression -- all of these things contribute to the cost. Durability, ease of care, and quality assurance are also features of a premium brand like Sigvaris. Sigvaris offers several lines of premium compression socks at various price points, so you can find something affordable.

TRUTH: A wide selection of quality compression socks are affordable.


Myth #5: You shouldn't wear compression socks in the summer.

There's no off-season for healthy legs. In warm or hot weather, you have an increased risk of weakening or damaging the veins in your legs, so you may be putting yourself in danger if you believe that compression socks are too hot for summer wear. What's more, you can choose sheer, breathable compression socks that actually make your legs feel cooler and more comfortable.

TRUTH: The right pair of compression socks will be comfortable in warm weather.


Myth #6: Compression socks are useful for weight loss.

Some people believe that compression socks help you lose weight or remove cellulite. Have you ever heard of "Japanese Slimming Socks?" That's just one iteration of the empty promise that compression socks and stockings, or compression wear of any kind, will help you lose weight. Unfortunately, compression isn't a substitute diet and exercise. Nothing you can wear will help you shed pounds.

TRUTH: Compression socks won’t help you lose weight.


Myth #7: Compression socks can heal injuries.

Compression socks are intended to prevent or slow the progression of venous disorders. They help increase circulation and prevent the formation of blood clots in the lower legs. While they do provide therapeutic support, they can't heal leg injuries.

TRUTH: Compression socks won’t heal injuries.