Healthcare workers often spend hours per day on their feet. Although nurses have to spend more time on their feet than most, doctors and technicians also can have exhausting shifts. Some of this fatigue is unavoidable, but many nurses use compression socks to reduce leg pain throughout the day.
Compression socks vary in comfort and effectiveness but can be a crucial part of self-care for nurses. The strongest compression socks offer a full 30-50 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) of pressure, but these socks should only be worn with a doctor’s prescription. For most healthcare professionals, socks with a pressure rating between 15 and 30 mmHg can help with leg pain caused by long working hours.
Even high-pressure compression socks can be comfortable if they are designed well and fit properly. The materials that are used matter too, as manufacturers should carefully construct their socks to be firm yet soft to the touch. Here are our best picks for compression socks.
Physix Gear socks use double-stitched fabric for socks that last longer than most. The material is also breathable and antibacterial, making it an excellent option for long shifts. Most of their socks have 20-30 mmHg of pressure and have careful ankle support to avoid pinching.
Physix Gear makes a wide range of compression socks and even calf sleeves. They’re a great brand to check out if you prefer alternatives to traditional compression knee socks.
Thanks to their seamless toes and heel cushioning, Blitzu socks are some of the most comfortable on the market. The fabric has four-way stretch that allows them to compress the legs properly, ensuring an appropriate fit.
Blitzu socks are also one of the cheaper options on this list. They still offer 20-30 mmHg of pressure, so they don’t compromise on quality or effectiveness.
Vitalsox makes an excellent line of graduated compression socks for men and women. These socks use patented technology to deliver superior compression. The four-way stretch fabric helps the socks fit better and provide compression where needed.
Plus, these socks use quick-drying polypropelene infused with silver, which reduces foot odor. They’re available in a vast range of colors so that they can match your scrubs.
MudGear’s socks are designed for athletes, so they are engineered with maximum moisture-wicking properties. They’re made from nylon, polyester, and spandex to keep them stretchy yet breathable. The soles have antifungal and antibacterial properties to keep them as fresh as possible during long shifts.
MudGear has more calf and toe padding than the other socks on this list, so they provide additional protection from bumps and scrapes. They have 15-20 mmHg, which is sufficient pressure for most healthcare workers.
SB Sox has four different sizes available, making it easy for customers to find a pair that fits them properly. The reinforced and well-cushioned heel makes them an excellent option for healthcare workers who struggle with heel pain.
Despite looking just like regular socks, SB Sox offers a solid 20-30 mmHg of pressure. They’re also available in striped and argyle varieties, making them an excellent choice for fashion-conscious men and women.
Like SB Sox, Go2 socks have an excellent array of colors and patterns available. They use soft fabric and underfoot cushioning and are available with 15-20 or 20-30 mmHg of graduated pressure.
With four sizes available, Go2 socks are a solid choice for all healthcare workers. Plus, they’re available in multi-packs, saving you money.
A-Swift offers the cutest socks on this list, with a range of heart, argyle and striped patterns available in three sizes. They have breathable nylon and spandex, and reinforced heels and toes to provide long-lasting strength.
These socks also have excellent antifungal and antibacterial properties and 20-30 mmHg of pressure. They are also among the cheapest options on this list, so they’re a great brand to try.
Eurosock compression socks have special antibacterial fibers called Silver Drystat that are still soft and stretch well. The blend of Lycra, nylon, and Spandex helps feet stay cool and dry throughout the day.
Eurosock is available in attractive colors and four sizes. These are a popular option for nurses who struggle with sweaty feet but are a great option for anyone.
With 15-20 mmHg of pressure, Sockwell compression socks offer moderate compression in a comfortable design. The light cushioning and seamless toes are great, but the real comfort comes from the blend of rayon, wool, nylon and spandex in the fabric.
Sockwell also makes ankle socks and crew socks, plus special thick socks designed for skiing. If you work in unusually warm or cold environments, then Sockwell’s varieties may be a great fit.
Nurses and other healthcare professionals want a balance of comfort, value, and relief from pain and fatigue. These sock brands are the best options on the market and can hold up through years of use.
Though most brands have very similar sizing, there are slight differences in length and width for each brand. Also, 20-30 mmHg may feel uncomfortable for some users, so don’t hesitate to switch to 15-20 mmHg if needed. You may have to try a few different brands or sizes to find the perfect fit.
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