Compression gear is continually evolving and is incorporating the newest designs and trends every day. The introduction of zippered compression socks is now relatively older but was an instant success as soon as it was launched. A zippered version of the compression socks is now mainstream, and almost all the leading brands have zippered models for sale.
Zippered compression socks offer convenience in addition to the inherent qualities and benefits of the regular compression hosiery. Most of the modern designs boast a pinch-resistant zipper that makes it extremely simple to put on the hose.
How do they work?
Compression socks work by applying pressure on the wearer’s limbs. The elastic material in the fabric creates a tension that squeezes the limb gently when you put it on. Naturally, the appropriate size to apply a precise amount of pressure is therefore essential as well. The next question that comes to your mind is that even if the hosiery do apply a calculated amount of pressure on the leg, what can be the possible use of it?
The answer lies in the fact that swelling, edema, and soreness of the legs is associated with poor circulation and accumulation of fluid in the blood vessels of the feet and ankles. The pressure applied by the compression hose pushes the stagnant blood out of the blood vessels and thus allows fresh blood to take its place.
Benefits of wearing
Compression garments are not only a remedy for feet swelling, but doctors and medical professionals also prescribe compression wear for several leg disorders. Some of the most cherished benefits of the compression socks include:
Improve cardio-vascular functioning
By developing a pressure gradient on the wearer’s lower extremities, the compression hosiery squeeze the legs and prevent any pooling of the blood. This eliminates the leading cause of edema, swelling, and heaviness symptoms. The heart pumps fresh blood towards the legs, and the compression stockings prevent its accumulation in ankles and feet.
Lymphedema is a type of edema in which the cause of swelling is not the blood, but it’s the lymph fluid. In some patients, lymph fluid may leak the network of lymph vessels (and capillaries) and can cause swelling. Such swelling is known as lymphedema. Compression hosiery are high in reducing this kind of swelling as well.
Boost an athlete’s performance
Compression stockings and compression sleeves can boost an athlete’s performance and enable them to give it their best. Compression garments provide support, flexibility, and strength to the muscles to optimize the performance of sports players, fitness enthusiasts, and professional competitors.
Recovering from muscle fatigue and strain
Strength recovery can be critical for professional athletes. Muscle fatigue after strenuous activity is a natural response from the body and can be challenging to control for the athletes.
The moderate level of compression has a range of about 20 mmHg to 30 mm Hg. It is ideal for managing and reducing the risks of further progression of the disease. Although some illnesses may need a higher compression level (up to 40 mm Hg) as well. Varicose veins, spider veins, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), unwanted blood clotting, leg ulcers, and other venous insufficiency symptoms are controllable with the regular use of compression socks. Chronic venous disorders patients may have to regularly wear a compression garment for the rest of their life to control the disease.
Patients recovering from surgery can utilize compression socks as a healing garment. For leg ulcers, varicose veins, and surgical treatment of venous disorders, compression stockings act as a kind of wound care. Even if the surgery is not directly related to the legs, the post-surgical rehabilitation clinics recommend compression hosiery to improve blood circulation in legs, feet, and ankles.
Reduce swelling due to traveling
Long road trips and flights that last hours can have a devastating effect on your legs. Continuous traveling with little to no rest can cause edema and may even further amplify existing swelling in the limbs. Compression stockings can alleviate such soreness and travel swelling in the feet.
Zippered vs. Regular
Zippered socks brandish a durable zip attached with almost similar compression socks. Like the regular ones, they are usually made with the same material as nylon, elastane, spandex, and augmented cotton and wool. Compression socks with zipping allow a smoother wearing process and reduce the time to put on and take off the socks.
Comfort, size, and feel
Zippered compression garments are similar to a regular hose with the difference of addition of the zip. However, does that make the compression sock behave any differently? Is there any difference in comfort, feel, and size between the zippered pair of hosiery and regular compression stockings? The answer to those questions is not straightforward and may vary with different manufacturers.
Vendors try their best to keep the sock as comfortable with the zip as it is without one. The sizes and lengths are usually the same, and there is no particular size chart for the zippered socks. Similarly, they are also available in a variety of configurations, namely open-toe, closed-toe, and sleeves. As far as the lengths are concerned, the zippered compression hoses can be knee-high and even thigh-high as well.
The feel of the zippered socks is slightly different in the sense that the zip and its track press against the skin surface and doesn’t necessarily have to be uncomfortable. Some poor quality hosiery may have some flaws in the zip incorporation, and the zip can dig inside the skin, causing slight pain.
Another noticeable difference that you can feel in the case of zippered socks is that they have a slight variation in the gradient and compression level. Interestingly many brands have socks that have different compression levels altogether. This means that the compression ranges may vary slightly as compared to the regular compression socks.
Why choose zippered
Compression socks with zips can have several advantages over the regular ones. The reason they have captured a fixed spot on the counters and online is that they offer the same features of the regular compression socks, plus some additional benefits like:
Today’s fast pace of life is rapidly cutting the time that we should spend on ourselves and our well-being. Although regular compression stockings do not take a lot of time to put on and take off, zippered compression socks can even further reduce a long time. If you work in shifts or are always on a busy schedule, zippered compression socks can help you get ready in no time.
Ultra easy to wear
With the zip option, you no longer have to wrestle with the socks or stuff your feet in them forcefully. The simple wear process involves the following easy steps:
Slide your foot into the hose, toe-first gently till it the foot is entirely inside the tube.
With one hand, try to close the sleeves of the sock in the calf region and, with the other hand, pull the zip upward smoothly.
After the zip is closed, check if the sock fits the leg entirely by running the hand on the hose. Make sure there are no folds, extra or loose fabric at any point.
As you can see, the zipped sock is relatively comfortable to wear and take off, thus minimizing strain and frustration. This can be a life-saver for regular compression socks users and elders who are in nursing homes.
Less chance of damaging the fabric
Zippered compression socks are less likely to get damaged because you do not have to force your foot inside the hose. The zip prolongs the life of compression socks by reducing the possibility of damage to the garment. You cannot risk any cuts or holes in the stockings when you can quickly wear the hose and simply zip it up.
Drawbacks of choosing the zippered option
The zippered design of the compression hose is an innovative one. However, the inclusion of the zip and its track must be flawless, to retain all the properties of regular socks. The position, stitching, and the placement of zipping are crucial for the integrity of the hose and the pressure gradient it is supposed to develop on the leg.
One of the most common issues associated with zippered socks is that it can press against the skin and can cause discomfort. In low-quality, for instance, the zipper can leave indentations and marks. It can even cause itchiness, irritation, and in extreme cases, the zip can bite into the skin and cut it. Premium stockings, however, have a special protection flap made of soft fabric or plastic material. That protects the user’s skin from the zipper itself and makes the zipping/unzipping process completely safe and harmless.
The second problem that you can face with zippered socks is that the zip can accidentally suck in your hair or even skin. Although the probability of this is shallow, people with more body hair often complain about their hair getting pulled in a while zipping. The reason that this hair problem can be painful and frequent is that the compression socks are tightly gripped your limb and are skin tight. When the zipper is running close to the skin surface, it can easily take the hair on the skin surface along with it.
Most of the zippered socks come with a soft fabric lining on the inside of the zip track. This additional layer of fiber protects the wearer’s skin, and you do not feel the zipper itself. These hose have high-quality zippers that have a long life and don’t reduce the durability of the hose. Zippered stockings keep the sock firmly together and in place, especially when you are moving.
Another potential hitch with them is that if you break the zip or damage its track, you have ruined the whole hose. The zipper can render the entire sock useless if it doesn’t work correctly. You need to take extra care while pulling the zipper when putting on and taking off the socks.
How to avoid all these risks?
The only way to avoid all these inherited problems of the zippered socks is to buy quality products with positive reviews and ratings. You can assess the performance of the zippered socks after wearing them for a long time. Thus user reviews can be helpful for you in determining which brand you should choose from the list.
Who can use it?
Men and women of all ages can wear compression socks with zips. These are becoming more and more famous because of the ease of putting on and taking them off. With these benefits and the growing demand for these types of socks, they are now an essential variant by many leading manufacturers and stores.
As explained earlier, the addition of zipping does not usually have any change in the feel, support, and comfort of the sock. However, the zippered design can be most useful for some individuals, including:
Chronic swelling and edema patients
Patients suffering from chronic edema and swelling due to venous disease, nature of work, or any other reason have to live with this condition for the rest of their lives. In some extreme cases of chronic edema and chronic venous disease, their health is incurable with medication or any surgery. The only option left for such individuals is to fight, control, and learn to minimize their condition.
That not only involves regular and strict use of compression garments (with periodic consultation with their doctor) but also changes in diet and lifestyle. Regular users need to wear them daily and may have to take them off and put them back on in the day as well. That can be a tedious exercise and can take plenty of time as well. Zippered socks come in handy in these situations as the considerably decrease the putting on and taking off time. In addition to that, they are convenient to wear as well. That is why regular wearers prefer hose with the zip option.
Bed Bound patients
Patients that are fighting a disease that can restrict their movement. Fractures, or injuries that make one bed-ridden and post-surgical recovery patients are bed-ridden and have limited motions.
The movement can cause pain and discomfort, and in some conditions, they are advised by the medics not to move at all. Such patients can face difficulty wearing regular socks or need the assistance of a nurse, a friend, or a family member to put on and take off the hose. Zippered socks can be a life-saver in such situations and can be a big help to the caretaker or medical staff as well.
Pregnant ladies, Overweight individuals, and elders
Ladies that are pregnant and especially the ones in later stages of pregnancy also find it difficult to stretch and bend to wear compression socks. Zippered hose help out the pregnant ladies and ease the wearing process. Socks with zips let the ladies put them on and off with minimum effort and stretching in their third trimesters.
Obesity can also restrict movement and is another cause of swollen feet and ankles as well. Overweight individuals struggle to touch their toes, let alone wear compression stockings. Zippered compression socks can help out such people and enable them to wear socks quickly and every day.
Elders and seniors also have a similar issue. They may even face arthritis, edema, and other problems that can restrict their movement. Age can also make it difficult for them to complete their day to day tasks. Many elders living in senior citizen homes need constant care, and that includes assistance in wearing their clothes, shoes, and compression hosiery. Compression stockings with zippered design can make it convenient for the nurses and helpers to entertain elders and look after their needs. It can reduce their workload as well as give elders the chance to wear the compression stockings themselves.
People with more massive and healthier calf muscles
Calf muscles are a group of muscles in the back of the lower leg, extend from the heel to the end of the knee. These muscles are of significant clinical importance and can become a host for specific venous and circulatory issues. Most of the time, the swollen calf can be idiopathic cramps. Still, they can sometimes be symptoms of some other disease like Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), injury, dependent edema, varicose veins, and other circulatory disorders.
Since the pressure gradient that the compression socks develop around the leg involves the calf muscles, they must be covered by the garment entirely. People with healthier legs and larger calf muscles can struggle to put on regular compression hosiery. They can thus use the zippered option to wear the stockings comfortably.
Zippered compression socks are getting more and more popular because of the convenience they offer to the wearers. Some people prefer them when they are traveling only. At the same time, some athletes and runners keep a zippered compression socks pair in their backpacks for exercising. These zippered socks possess all the features of traditional compression stockings and combine them with the easy zip feature to make the product a definite win.