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    When and When Should You Not Wear Compression Socks

    In this article, we will explore key considerations to help you determine if compression socks are suitable for your needs.

    jUNE 9, 2023   |    3 Mins Read


    While commonly associated with medical conditions such as deep vein thrombosis or varicose veins, compression socks have also found a place in the athletic and travel realms. With their wide range of applications, it's important to understand when and why you should consider wearing compression socks. 

    Whether you're an athlete looking to enhance performance, someone who frequently travels long distances, or seeking relief from specific leg conditions, understanding the benefits and appropriate usage of compression socks will guide you in making an informed decision.

    How Compression Socks Work?

    Compression socks work by exerting gentle and controlled pressure on the legs, strategically applying the highest pressure at the ankles and gradually decreasing it as they extend up the leg. This unique feature, known as "graduated compression," plays a vital role in improving blood flow and addressing various leg-related issues.

    The primary purpose of compression socks is to enhance circulation by promoting the efficient movement of blood from the legs back to the heart. The gentle pressure exerted by these socks helps to prevent blood pooling, a condition where blood accumulates in the lower extremities, leading to discomfort and swelling. 

    By exerting pressure on the veins, compression socks assist in maintaining optimal blood flow, effectively combating the force of gravity and encouraging blood to move upwards. This improved circulation achieved through compression socks offers a range of benefits. 

    Here are the key health benefits of compression socks:

    • Improved Blood Circulation and Venous Return
    • Reduction of Leg Swelling and Edema
    • Prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
    • Alleviation of Leg Pain and Fatigue
    • Reduction of Risk for Varicose Veins
    • Improved Athletic Performance

    When to Wear Compression Socks?

    Knowing when to wear compression socks is essential to maximize their effectiveness. While general guidelines suggest wearing compression socks throughout the day, there are specific situations where they prove particularly beneficial.

    Expert tip:

    You should wear compression socks when you have a condition that causes poor blood flow in your legs, such as deep vein thrombosis or varicose veins, or during long-distance travel or working long hours on your feet.

    During Long Flights or Travel

    Compression socks are highly recommended during long flights or travel, as prolonged immobility can lead to blood pooling, swelling, and even DVT. Wearing compression socks during air travel can help maintain healthy blood flow and reduce the risk of developing travel-related leg issues.

    A scientific study of 2006, updated last 2021, has proven that wearing compression socks or stockings can alleviate the risk of DVT during flights that last more than 5 hours, even if a person is not showing any symptoms. Furthermore, such socks may also help alleviate leg swelling, unease, and blood clots from forming near the surface of the skin.

    During Pregnancy

    Pregnant women often experience swollen legs and feet due to increased pressure on the veins caused by the growing uterus. Compression socks provide excellent support during pregnancy, relieving discomfort, reducing swelling, and minimizing the risk of developing varicose veins.

    A study in 2022 indicated that compression stockings were useful in preventing swelling in the legs of pregnant women. The women had a positive outlook towards wearing them, with the majority not experiencing any discomfort. Additionally, all of them reported feeling an improvement in leg symptoms and expressed interest in wearing compression stockings again.

    For Athletes and Sports Activities

    Athletes and individuals engaged in sports activities can greatly benefit from wearing compression socks. These socks provide compression to the muscles, reducing muscle vibration and damage during high-impact movements. Additionally, leg compression sleeve aids in muscle recovery by enhancing circulation, helping athletes perform better, and reducing post-workout fatigue.

    A small study in 2009 found that male runners who wore below-knee compression socks experienced reduced muscle soreness and showed significant improvement in their running performance.

    For Who Stand All Day at Work

    Standing for long periods of time can be extremely tiring and uncomfortable. Compression socks for standing all day can offer relief by providing light, consistent pressure to the feet and legs, reducing strain on the muscles and joints.

    A study conducted in 2021 suggests that wearing compression socks can improve balance reactions and increase the excitement of the spinal cord while walking. The socks work by enhancing sensory feedback during physical activity, which leads to improved neural excitability and performance. The socks, particularly those around the calf, can dynamically adjust the excitement of the spinal cord during walking.

    Medical Conditions that Benefit from Compression Socks

    Compression socks offer relief and support for various medical conditions. 

    Here are some common conditions where wearing compression socks can be advantageous:

    • Varicose Veins: Medical compression socks help alleviate symptoms associated with varicose veins by improving blood circulation and reducing venous pressure.
    • Lymphedema: Individuals with lymphedema, a condition characterized by swelling due to a compromised lymphatic system, can find relief by wearing compression socks. The gentle pressure promotes lymphatic flow, reducing swelling and discomfort.
    • Diabetes: Diabetic individuals often experience poor circulation, which can lead to foot ulcers and other complications. Compression socks can enhance blood flow, aid in wound healing, and reduce the risk of developing diabetic foot problems.

    Who is Not Recommended to Wear Compression Socks?

    While compression socks are generally safe, people with certain medical conditions should not use them without consulting a doctor. 

    • Those with peripheral arterial disease, congestive heart failure, or thrombosis should not wear compression socks without the approval of their doctor. 
    • People with advanced kidney disease.
    • Those with severe edema or lymphedema should not wear compression socks, as they may further restrict the circulation and worsen the condition. 
    • People with skin issues such as eczema, cuts, or blisters in the area where the sock will be worn should avoid wearing compression socks until the issue has cleared up. 

    Expert tip:

    It is important to prioritize the health and integrity of your skin, especially if you have preexisting conditions or sensitivities. If you are uncertain whether compression socks are suitable for you, it is always wise to consult with a medical professional, such as a doctor, before incorporating them into your routine, particularly for extended periods or during long trips.

    Best Compression Socks

    At Koprez, we create innovative yet comfortable compression socks designed for everyone. Our high-performance compression garments are crafted from microfiber fabric, which is breathable and moisture-wicking to keep your feet cool and dry during strenuous activities.

    Our socks offer a multitude of benefits including:

    1. Improved blood circulation to reduce soreness and fatigue
    2. Enhanced oxygen delivery for improved energy and performance
    3. Increased comfort with a snug yet non-binding fit
    4. Reduced risk of injury and muscle cramping
    5. Protection against swelling and inflammation
    6. Quicker recovery time after workouts

    Whether you are an athlete looking to improve your performance or just want to feel your best every day, Koprez compression socks are a great choice. So go ahead and try them for yourself to experience the comfort and benefits of compression garments!


    • Clarke, M. J., Broderick, C., Hopewell, S., Juszczak, E., & Eisinga, A. (2021). Compression stockings for preventing deep vein thrombosis in airline passengers. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 4(4), CD004002. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858

    • Kemmler, Wolfgang & Stengel, Simon & Köckritz, Christina & Mayhew, Jerry & Wassermann, Alfred & Zapf, Jürgen. (2009). Effect of Compression Stockings on Running Performance in Men Runners. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research / National Strength & Conditioning Association. 23. 101-5. 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31818eaef3.

    • Saliba-Júnior, O. A., Rollo, H. A., Saliba, O., & Sobreira, M. L. (2022). Positive perception and efficacy of compression stockings for prevention of lower limb edema in pregnant women. Journal vascular brasileiro, 21, e20210101. https://doi.org/10.1590/1677-5449.210101

    • Sun, Y., Munro, B. & Zehr, E.P. (2021). Compression socks enhance sensory feedback to improve standing balance reactions and reflex control of walking. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil 13, 61. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13102-021-00284-2


    Claire Evans worked as the content marketing manager at Koprez. Claire combined a background of writing and editing, marketing, and patient education to best serve consumers, fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and anyone who relies on the Koprez brand for helpful information.

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