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What Are Compression Socks Used For?

To give you a better appreciation of these pieces of clothing, here are some facts about compression socks and how they’re different from your regular socks

© Adidas

In the past, socks were treated as merely secondary kinds of garments used for completing an outfit. However, this perspective has changed after pairs with distinctive features designed for various applications were introduced into the market.

The most notable of these modern creations are called compression socks. These feature many differences from the regular pairs of socks you usually wear. To give you a better appreciation of these pieces of clothing, here are some facts about compression socks and how they’re different from your regular socks.

What Are Compression Socks?

As their name implies, compression socks are known for their compressive properties. They apply gentle, constant pressure on the leg and ankle to prevent blood stagnation and stimulate blood flow. They apply maximum compression at the ankle. Thus, they are particularly tight in that area, but less so around the calves and legs.

© Adidas

How Are They Used?

Compression socks were initially used to provide relief for people who suffer from vein disorders. In fact, they were created by engineer Conrad Jobst, who himself had venous ulcers in his legs. But over the years, these socks were discovered to offer various health benefits, which eventually paved the way for them to be used in varying applications. Here are some of them:


Compression socks are often worn by athletes for activities that involve a lot of running. This is because these kinds of socks actually help in reducing the stress to the lower extremities triggered by running. Wearing compression socks also decreases the risk of swelling and clotting, something that most runners suffer from when covering long distances. In addition, they are known to have therapeutic properties that enable athletes to recover from post-exercise soreness faster.

Long Flights

Compression socks promote better blood circulation, which is why many seasoned travelers wear a pair on the day of their flight. These socks stimulate blood flow from the feet to the heart, decreasing the wearer’s chances of developing blood clots and deep vein thrombosis, both of which result from blood pooling in the lower extremities.


Pregnant women often wear compression socks to alleviate the swelling caused by edema. Aside from reducing the pain and discomfort caused by the said condition, these socks are also pretty useful in preventing the formation of spider veins and varicose veins. Wearing compression socks also helps lower the risk of blood clotting and deep vein thrombosis that pregnant women are susceptible to.


Compression socks are often recommended by doctors as a recovery tool after surgery. These are mostly used by patients who won’t be able to stand and move around for a couple of days or weeks.

© Adidas
© Adidas

What Is the Difference Between Compression Socks and Regular Socks?

Many things separate compression socks from your regular ones. First of all, there’s the construction or material. Compression socks are made of nylon, polypropylene, and spandex. Meanwhile, regular socks can be woven from a wide assortment of fabrics including wool, acrylic, and cotton.

Another thing that sets compression socks apart from regular socks is their function. Most regular socks are worn for the sake of fashion or for keeping the feet warm and dry. As mentioned above, they are often used for maintaining good circulation and adequate compression in the feet and legs.

Finally, there’s no room for error when fitting compression socks. This is why the wearer’s exact measurements must be taken before purchasing a pair. So before finalizing your purchase, double-check the socks’ measurements against yours to make sure that the pair can be worn comfortably.


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