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Compression stockings, also known as compression socks or support stockings, have gained popularity for their numerous health benefits and applications. These specialized garments apply gentle pressure to the legs, aiding in blood circulation and providing relief from various conditions. Whether you’re an athlete, someone who spends long hours on your feet, or has specific medical needs, understanding the benefits and types of compression stockings is crucial for choosing the right pair that suits your needs.

Understanding Compression Stockings

This comprehensive guide covers the benefits, types, and everything you need to know about choosing the perfect pair of compression stockings for your needs.

Why Use Compression Stockings?

Compression stockings have become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to their wide range of benefits. Providing gentle pressure to your legs helps to improve circulation problems like varicose veins, edema, and deep vein thrombosis. They can also reduce leg aches, swelling, and fatigue, making them particularly popular among athletes and people with physically demanding jobs. Compression stockings are also commonly used as a preventative measure during pregnancy or after surgery.

Choosing the Right Type of Compression Stockings

Numerous compression stockings are available, each designed to cater to specific needs and preferences. Here’s a quick breakdown to help you choose:

  • Graduated Compression Stockings: These stockings provide the highest compression at the ankle, gradually decreasing towards the top. They come in various lengths and often require professional fitting.
  • Anti-Embolism Stockings (TED Hose): These stockings prevent blood clots, typically following surgery. Their compression is fitted for individuals with limited mobility or on bed rest.
  • Non-Medical Support Hosiery: These offer light compression and are available over the counter. They’re ideal for those not requiring medical-grade compression but seeking relief from mild leg discomfort.

Getting the Right Fit

The right fit is crucial to ensure your compression stockings work effectively. The best way to get a proper fit is by visiting a podiatry foot clinic, like Feet In Motion in Hamilton, where a professional can measure your legs and recommend the best stockings. Some factors to consider when fitting compression stockings include:

  • Length (knee-high, thigh-high, or pantyhose)
  • Compression level (measured in mmHg; choose according to your specific needs)
  • Material (nylon, spandex, cotton, or a blend)

Caring for Your Compression Stockings

Maintaining your stockings’ elasticity and compression level is essential by washing them regularly. Hand washing in lukewarm water and mild soap is recommended. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s care instructions for the best results.

Considering Orthotic Shoes or Insoles

If you need additional foot support or have specific foot conditions, consider wearing orthotic shoes or insoles. You can find orthotic shoes in Mississauga and Hamilton to accommodate your compression stockings and offer improved foot comfort and support for various conditions.


Compression stockings are a practical and versatile solution for many leg and circulation issues. Understanding the benefits and how to choose the right pair is essential to get the most out of your compression stockings. By visiting a podiatry foot clinic and considering options like orthotic shoes, you take steps towards improved overall foot health and a more comfortable, active lifestyle.