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Compression Socks For Men – Complete Guide (with Pictures!)

Man wearing a classy suit

Compression Socks for Men are a good investment if you have puffy, swollen legs.

man jogging on streets

If you think compression stockings are only for pregnant women, professional athletes, surgical recovery patients, and nurses, you are wrong. Compression hosiery is worn by both men and women to improve blood circulation and prevent foot problems. However, here, we will specifically discuss how men can use compression socks to get favorable results and a positive change in their daily life. 

Swollen feet and ankles can become a nightmare for anyone with a ‘nine to five job’ or shift workers. The worst affected of all of them are men that have physically demanding and challenging work routines. These include warehouses workers, factory workers, and laborers working in the construction and building industries. 

picture of a  swollen feet elevated on a chair

Shift workers and professionals like pilots, athletes, and retailers also have a high risk of dependent edema, swollen feet, and ankles. Although the condition itself is not fatal or highly dangerous to the health of the person, it can cause extreme discomfort, soreness, pain, and difficulty in movement. Sometimes swollen feet and ankles can also be a symptom of some other underlying disease like cardiovascular disease, DVT, and other venous disorders.

There are numerous causes of such a condition. Some of the common reasons include obesity and standing or sitting for long periods. Other causes include hormone changes, injury to feet or ankles, infection, venous issues, lymphatic obstruction, cirrhosis, and undesirable blood clotting.

illustrated picture showing difference between normal veins and varicose veins

Several home remedies and clinical medications can be used to treat and control swollen feet and edema. Some of the conventional treatments include elevating legs, reducing salt intake, reducing body weight, taking short breaks during work to stretch your lower extremities, magnesium supplements, and compression therapy.

picture showing swelling in legs

Compression Therapy

illustrated picture showing comparison of leg with and without compression therapy

Compression therapy is a natural and clinically proven remedy to reduce the symptoms of edema and swollen legs. It is a kind of wound care that can effectively improve blood circulation and support the blood vessels in the feet and ankles.

picture of patient with swollen feet wrapped with bandage

Compression technology is also used to treat swollen feet (and ankles), venous leg ulcers, and varicose veins. Compression therapy is most beneficial for individuals suffering from chronic venous disorders and swollen feet.

Types of Compression Therapies

picture demonstrating types of compression therapy

The two most commonly used types of compression therapies are compression hosiery and compression bandages.

  • Compression Hosiery
    illustrated picture showing types of compression hoisery from smallest size to large size, thigh-high, knee-high

    Compression hosiery includes socks or stockings, sleeves, and shorts. These neatly designed garments are composed of specialized elastic material or fabric tightened to apply a calculated amount of pressure of the feet, ankles, calf muscle, and thighs (in case of thigh-high stockings and pantyhose).

    picture showing three types of compression hoisery, socks, stockings, tights

    Compression stockings are different than regular socks you wear for daily use with your shoes. These are specially designed socks that squeeze your feet and ankles gently. Compression socks are also known as pressure stockings. They are graduated and apply more pressure to your ankles and feet and then gradually reduce this pressure towards the knees.


    picture showing a human leg demonstrating compression graduation decrease going up the leg

    Compression sleeves are also used to reduce feet and ankle swelling. Sleeves are slightly different than the socks as they lack the foot portion and only cover the shin and the calf area. However, both socks and sleeves can run as high as the knee or even thigh. Compression sleeves are also known knee sleeves.


    picture of a man wearing black compression sleeves and white shirt

    Compression hosiery comes in a variety of sizes, lengths, colors, and pressure. Knee-high and thigh-high stockings with 15 – 20 mm Hg compression are the most commonly used ones.

    illustrated picture showing most commonly used compression stockings, knee-high, thigh-high
  • Bandages
    picture of a person wearing compression bandage on feet and feet elevated on cushions, how to use compression bandages, do's and don'ts of compression bandages

    Compression bandages, also known as compression wraps, are used to apply compression to a specific area, usually limbs, ankles, or joints. They provide optimal management of edema, sprains, injuries, varicose veins, swollen extremities, and muscle or tissue damage.


    This kind of bandaging comes with predetermined levels of pressure. These bandages are inexpensive, and you can buy them from any medical store. They are also a part of first aid medical kits.


    illustrated picture showing multicolored compression bandages, pink compression bandage on swollen hand and feet

    These bandages are wrapped with a layered technique and are usually kept on until the swelling has disappeared. Special padding is applied to the bones and joints to ease blood circulation through the affected area.

    picture of a woman wearing white compression bandages on swollen feet

What Can You Achieve with Compression Gear?

GIF showing wearing brown compression sock and zipping it up.

Compression gear works on a simple mechanical principle of the application of pressure to a limb or feet by wrapping an elastic material or garment around it.

picture demonstrating difference between regular and compression socks showing improved blood flow

This simple yet effective principle of compression gear aids the body in moving the blood up the leg against the pull of gravity. This stops the pooling of blood in the lower limbs that can cause heaviness, soreness, and swelling in the feet and ankles.

The pressure applied is gradient; it decreases gradually when you move from bottom to up. This means that the pressure is maximum around the ankles, moderate at the shin and calf region, and is light at the knee and thigh level.

illustrated picture of a feet showing clinically-proven pressure pattern from ankle to upper thigh

This difference in pressure increases blood flow through the veins but at the same time, decreases blood volume. Another effect of this pressure is on the feet and legs tissues, especially the calf tissue. It increases the drainage of fluids, improves movement, and reduces swelling and inflammation. 

picture showing effects of graduated compression stockings on veins, blood flow increased,

The best way to use compression therapy is by consulting your physician. Depending on your symptoms and conditions, your doctor will suggest the type and procedure of the treatment.

Benefits of Using Compression Stockings for Men

GIF for wearing simple black compression socks

Compression socks can bring significant benefits to your lifestyle and improve your general well-being as well. Some of the benefits that men can enjoy by owning and regularly using their favorite compression socks include:

  • Prevent Swelling And Edema
    GIF is showing a patient and doctor. patient lying on bed and doctor is checking his feet.

    Compression socks are high in reducing dependent edema and swelling of feet and ankles. They are also prescribed by clinicians across the globe to control severe fluid accumulation in feet due to any reason.


    picture of man walking with puffy swollen feet on grass

    Although the socks only work on the legs (or lower body of the wearer), they contribute to improving the overall circulation of blood through the entire body. As a result, blood and lymphatic vessels do not retain any fluid in the feet and ankles.

    illustrated picture of venous system in human feet showing healthy impact of compression stockings
  • Get Muscular Support

    Muscles, joints, tendons, and bones all work together for the movement of the human body. Compression socks can provide your muscles and joints with additional support and enhance your mobility in sports as well as in daily work routines.


     pictue of human leg black wearing compression socks

    Compression socks also prevent your joints and movements from getting misaligned and decreases the chances of sprain and injury.

  • An Addition to Your Style

    Men can make compression socks a stylish part of their attire. You can choose unique colors to wear with your work clothes, formal dresses, casual or loungewear, and workout clothing. If you want the right design and colors, they can add to your fashion sense and make you look sleek.

    picture of a working woman wearing skin colored compression stockings before going to work
  • Manage Your Medical Conditions

    Compression socks are highly effective in treating and reducing the effects of edema, venitis, thrombosis, blood clotting, varicose veins, improve lymphatic drainage, and reducing swelling of feet, ankles, and legs.


    picture of a human leg suffering from blood clotting, varicose veins and swelling

    Physicians recommend compression socks and sleeves for mild swelling as well as chronic edema patients. They can also heal plantar fasciitis by improving the circulation and significantly lower the risk of leg ulcers.

    picture of a old chronic edema patient
  • Use Them As A Running Accessory

    Compression socks have now become a regular part of a runners’ kit. They provide excellent support in running. Compression stockings aid the movement of joints and protect from a sprain or other injuries due to the awkward movement of the feet.


    picture of runner

    Furthermore, runners can choose the nylon fabric that is breathable and doesn’t detain sweat. This type of socks is specially made for runners and is also known as runners socks. You can use running socks in trail running, hiking, marathon, and even for a light walk in the park.

    picture of man jogging outdoor
  • Protect Your Feet And Ankles

    Compression hosiery also protects your limbs by adding an extra layer of fabric above your skin. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and nerve damage, you are likely to get cuts, cracks, and infection in your feet.

    picture of a woman wearing compression socks

    These garments also protect you from weather and keep your feet at a comfy temperature. In the summers, you can avoid direct sunlight while in the winters, they prevent your feet from getting cold.

    funny meme about compression stockings, funny simpsons meme
  • Helpful In Post-Surgical Recovery
    picture of an old patient after surgery with and without compression socks, after surgery.

    The origin of compression therapy has its roots in post-surgical rehabilitation. Compression socks are ideal for people who had surgeries that prevent physical movement like hernias, tumors, leg or feet, and other operations performed on the chest and pelvic region.

    picture of a patient in hospital lying on hospital bed.

    Compression socks keep the blood flow through the legs steady and prevent the blood vessels from developing clots despite no (or very less) physical activity.

  • For Overall Comfort And Well-Being

    So guys, even if you are not a pilot, cashier, runner, flight attendant, or recovering from a surgery, do you still need to wear compression socks? The answer is yes. These socks can improve blood circulation and allow natural drainage of toxins like lactic acid from your limbs.

    If you an average man with a healthy routine and a job, these socks can help you feel better from a long day at work and keep you comfortable
    picture of a leg wearing aesthetic black compression socks to improve blood circulation

How To Choose The Right Pair

GIF is showing a funny wizard trying to fix his loose socks.

Compression stockings for men come in a variety of sizes, lengths, colors, and pressure. Compression sleeves are also the same as socks but lack the feet part. Knee-high and thigh high stockings are the most commonly used ones.

picture of various compression stockings for woman, black knee-high for woman

In some cases, your physician may also advise you to wear a specific size and length of compression sock depending on your condition. In that case, you are recommended to follow your doctor’s advice. You can use the socks most of the time and take them off only at night or when having a shower.

picture of a nurse putting on doctor  recommended compression stockings to a patient after surgery

If you are a guy and looking to buy a pair of compression socks, keep in mind the following:

Compression Levels

compression stockings comparission chart

There are different categories of socks according to the pressure they apply on the leg, usually measured in mm Hg. Mm, Hg is a unit of pressure and stands for millimeters of mercury. You must choose the compression according to your condition and symptoms. Here are some guidelines:

  • 10 – 15 mm Hg: This is a very light compression usually used by individuals with minor swelling problems.
  • 15 – 20 mm Hg: This range is typically used to prevent blood clots and when traveling a long distance.
  • 20 – 30 mm Hg: A moderate or medium compression range that is ideal for swelling, pain relief, soreness, varicose veins, edema, post-surgery recovery, and for pregnant mothers. Most of the men prefer and use compression socks with such compression.
  • 30 – 40 mm Hg: This is a high compression range should only be used after a recommendation from your physician for certain conditions like DVT and acute cases of lymphedema.

Other Types

The main types of these socks are graduated compression socks (designed for the clinical purpose), support stockings (for non-medical purposes), and anti-embolism hosiery (to reduce the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis, DVT).

a nurse putting compression socks designed for the clinical purpose, on patient's legs

Old School Basic Black

most popular, most wearable black compression socks

The most popular, trendy, always in color for men in compression socks is the classic black. Black colored socks will never let you down and are wearable with almost any kind of formal or casual attire. If you think black is the color for you, get a pair for yourself today online or from a nearby drugstore.

Measurements

picture of a measurement chart of compression socks with various sizes

The correct fitting of socks is essential for its proper functioning. You should get your feet and legs measured and then choose the size of the socks. Ill-fitted socks cannot effectively keep the fluids from pooling in your feet and can cause discomfort.

Taking care of your feet and legs doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your style. With modern designs, you can prevent swollen feet and look stylish at the same time.