In the past, I had written a lot of articles about compression socks and stockings but most of them are catered more towards the pretty ladies. Today, in this article I’m going to write about compression socks for men but of course, all the ladies out there are eligible to get more information for their husbands, boyfriends, brothers or even neighbors. Let’s start this article off with some basics about compression socks for men.
What are They?– Compression/Support Socks?
Support socks are also known as compression socks. They are specialized socks that are designed for compression therapy. These socks apply gentle pressure to your legs, ankles, and feet. When worn properly it can help reduce the swelling in the feet and improves blood flow in the lower legs.
Most offers graduated compression, with more pressure at the ankle than the calf. Compression socks wear is called “graduated” because it is meant to apply more pressure in the ankle and foot and gradually decrease the pressure applied up the leg.
Today compression socks are available in different colors, sizes, and styles. Or even funky patterns! Thanks to social media more and more celebrities seen rocking compression socks in style. So if you think it is only for therapeutic purposes well… Think again…
What are Compression Socks Made of?
Compression socks can be knitted from a variety of materials such as spandex, cotton, nylon and natural rubber. The most popular fiber material used today is elastane, lycra, microfibers, nylon, polyamide, silk, and spandex.
Microfibers are the finest of all fibers, synthetic and natural. They can be twice as fine as silk, which is the finest of all-natural fibers known to man. Hosiery and textiles made from microfibers are characterized by a very high thread density, which allows the skin to breathe and regulate temperature easier. They are extremely comfortable and still provides good protection from the elements.
What are the Benefits of Wearing Compression Socks?
With vs Without Compression Wear
Anyone can benefit from wearing compression socks. They are proven useful in improving and accelerating blood circulation to prevent the occurrence of diseases on the lower limbs like:
- Varicose Veins
- Venous Reflux Disease
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
Veins have one-way valves that prevent the backflow of blood and support blood flow in one direction from your extremities and organs back to your heart against the law of nature- gravitational effect. When the vein valves are damaged, they fail to close the vein valves properly, the blood will flow backward causing the blood to clot and pool in the veins. From there on, if not treated properly, it will lead to chronic leg diseases mentioned above.
Other than that, the support from compression therapy increases circulation and provides relief for fatigued muscles, foot pain, and shin splints. They can also help speed up muscle recovery, especially for sports enthusiasts after a workout.
Before you run into the store to get a pair, always ask your doctor for advice to know what is the best compression socks for you.
The Inventor of Compression Socks
Compression socks were invented by engineer Conrad Jobst, who had chronic venous ulcers in his legs. He discovered that when he was in a pool, his legs felt better due to the pressure from the water. He then transferred it into elastic stockings with perfect fit and gradient pressure.
Compression Socks for Men
Compression socks for men serve a guided purpose for the activity they are worn in. For example, men’s running compression socks work to supply your legs with constant blood flow during a run, both long-distance running or sprinting. This helps to ensure that muscles are getting enough oxygen and energy they need to keep going.
For athletes, excessive exercise stress or a damaging workout, like a long run, steep hike, or tempo bike ride, can overburden your veins with tension and restrict circulation. Your bottom half is achy, sore, and even a little swollen.
If you’re a marathon runner who wants maximum comfort in your legs while running but prefers to wear ankle socks with running shoes, try compression sleeves for the calves. These promote constant circulation and fight off unwanted aches as you run long distances but also allow you to have the flexibility of wearing ankle-length socks for your feet. There are also mid-to low-rise compression socks you can wear which will allow you to experience the same circulation benefits from compression technology but in a more concentrated area.
Compression socks benefit those who travel long distances that tend to gravitate towards knee-high socks. They keep the blood flowing during prolonged periods of sitting or if you work a job where you’re on your feet all day, a benefit of compression socks can be preventing soreness and keep you moving and feet fresh throughout each shift.
Basketball players wear compression socks/sleeves to strengthen their ankles and give more stability and better recovery.
Photos of early basketball stars—like Chuck Taylor, who lent his name to the canvas Converse All-Star high-top—showing them in knee-high stockings, often with stripes placed midway (or all the way) down the leg. The increased demand for tall socks suitable for these pastimes stretched the ingenuity of the nation’s hosiery industry. With so many bare, hairy legs suddenly on display around this time, knee-high socks—called “high-risers”—became essential accessories.
Fun fact: As Esquire put in in 1955, shorts “look like the devil unless you wear high-rise socks with them. High-risers are usually eighteen inches, but the rule to follow is, get them up to your kneecaps. You can turn over a cuff or not—it doesn’t matter so long as they don’t end halfway down your calf.”
Compression socks for men can also be worn at the workplace—be it sitting at an office desk or walking around on your feet all day. The work to prevent stiffness and keep legs feeling refreshed.
Yes, you will feel refreshed and ready for that after-work drinks at the pub catching the game! We’re in! (Or the ladies!)
Compression Leg Sleeves
Compression leg sleeves are also known as compression calf tights/tube socks. They are one-size-fits-all socks and are a product of Americans’ simultaneous love of sports, technological innovation, and fashion statements. They are particularly popular for people playing basketball and soccer.
The leg sleeves were invented by the Nelson Knitting Company of Rockford, Illinois, just over 50 years ago, in 1967—the same year that America’s first professional soccer leagues were established.
What is the Difference Between the Two?
Compression/Support socks Vs Tubes
The difference between compression socks and tubes is that the latter is mainly used for intensive training while the compression socks are used for after training. It is not advisable to wear tubes after a workout because there is no compression on the feet, only the calves and because of this your feet will be painful and fluid retention can develop.
Meanwhile, compression socks relieve muscle fatigue and stimulate blood lactate removal that enhances recovery. They improve the drainage of blood and flue which fastens the healing process of injuries such as shin splints, calf, and Achilles tendon problems.
It’s absolutely a matter of preference when it comes to choosing the right pair of compression wear for yourself. Read on!
At the end of the day, it all comes to personal preferences and depending on which sport you play, you can make a considered choice. Except during the recovery period which compression socks are a much better option.
Both compression socks and tube used as a fashion statement in the modern world today. They were seen as street style by Harajuku girls in turn of the millennium in Japan knee-high tube socks emblazoned with colorful athletic stripes turned up in Prada’s Fall 2004 collection. Since then they have been spotted on celebrities like Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Kristen Stewart, and Tyler, the Creator; name-checked in raps by Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar; and reinterpreted for the runway by Stella McCartney, Dries van Noten, and Valentino.
I hate to say this but I told you so, guys!
How to Choose the Right Pair of Compression Socks?- Extra Support
Consider how much support do you need. There are different types and lengths of compression socks. If you only really need comfort in your feet, a low-rise compression sock should be enough. There are also mid-calf compression socks that work great under work clothes because they are subtle and snuggly fit underpants but maximize comfort throughout the day.
Next, FInd out what amount of pressure you need. Medical grade compression socks are rated in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). If you are wearing compression socks for a specific condition it is important to always follow what your doctor prescribes.
When choosing compression sock levels for recreational and leisure purposes is to go towards the lower-compression level range of 15–20 mmHg. This level of compression is usually fit for providing comfort in daily leisure activities and sports recovery. If you are engaging with more high-intensity activities or need to manage mild symptoms of discomfort, the next range of 20–30 mmHg is a safe bet.
Finally, Find the right fit. Your goal is to find something that is comfortable. Look for a fabric that is lightweight and breathable If you’re ordering compression socks online, be sure to follow the size chart online before aimlessly ordering the size you think is right for you. Many size charts will list a shoe size range and may go as far as to list the circumference of your limbs. The most important factor when it comes to finding the right fit for compression socks is your calf measurement. Once you have measured your calf circumference and matched it against the size charts provided, you can then look to your shoe size as a secondary guide to finding the right fit. It is extremely important to wear the right-sized sock in order for that sock to fully carry out its purpose.
Compression socks should fit snuggly around your lower limbs and feet but should not feel as if they are constricting you from moving in any way. The fabric should be breathable and shouldn’t make your skin sweat. Keep comfort as the goal, and any fit that makes you uncomfortable is likely the wrong size and type of sock. So, view details before you hit “add to cart” if you are purchasing online.
The End- Unisex Compression/Support Socks for Men
While the name of the article is quite literal, compression socks are commonly used by millions of people in the world regardless of gender. They are very much a unisex product. Compression socks are not divided into male and female categories since they serve the same purpose. That being said, there are still many compression socks in the market that are catered for men in terms of designs, mainly. I’m sure you can find a pair that makes you look and feel manly when you are rocking in the gym!
I’m ending this article saying that compression socks evolve in time and gone are those days that it is only used for one thing. Now it can be used for medical reasons and be stylish as well.
99 Pairs and I Still Need One…
Now, you can add compression socks to your essentials. What are you waiting for?