Regular readers of Nurse Focus will no doubt recognize my slight preoccupation with foot care.
I’ve suffered a lot over the years with my feet as a nurse, and only now, (after more than 2 decades), can I positively report that I rarely come home complaining about aches and pains.
This is because I have managed to find the right shoes for me, along with some self-care applied foot care that actually works.
Finally, I also wear compressions socks throughout the day.
If you spend hours on your feet due to your job, (nursing or otherwise), compression socks are definitely worth looking into.
And while I have spoken in-depth about the benefits here, today, I am going to write about some of my favorite socks currently on the market.
What Are the Best Compression Socks for Nurses?
1. BEST SINGLE PAIR: Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks for Men & Women 20-30 mmHg – Athletic Fit (1 Pair)
My top pick if you after a single pair of compression socks to try for the first time is Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks for Men & Women.
These have a 20-30 mmHg rating (see bottom of article for more on this), and are a quality choice for nurses of all foot sizes.
Made of double stitched material for extra durability, these currently enjoy a bestseller status online and have become a popular sock for healthcare workers due to the extra support they provide when standing on your feet all day.
Because these are compression socks they are designed to help alleviate varicose veins and swelling problems from prolonged standing.
They exert compression properties against the heel, toe, and calf area so that blood continues to circulate through your lower leg and feet.
While they don’t win any prizes for fashion and color choices, (see my top pick for style and choice below if these variables are important to you), they work very well and make for a great entryway into wearing compression socks for nursing. Highly recommended.
2. BEST PACK: 7 Pairs Compression Socks for Women and Men – Best Medical, for Running, Athletic, Varicose Veins, Travel.
If you’re looking to jump straight in and buy a multipack of compression socks to wear while nursing, you will not go wrong with these from Charmking.
Made to improve circulation and combat the pain and swelling that can occur during a long shift, this 7 pack of socks means you have one for every day of the week, (not that they have the days written on them 🙂 )
These socks are also a lot more diverse in style when compared to Physix Gear Sport, so you can experiment a little with color.
That being said, your socks should be hidden beneath your scrubs anyway.
The feedback has been great on the Charmking compression socks with thousands of wearers commenting on the increased comfort enjoyed by using them.
If you are hoping to prevent the annoying cramps and fatigue that occurs when standing on your feet all day, these are worth a try.
3. NEWZILL Compression Socks U.S Olympic Fencer Recommend for Men & Women 20-30mmHg
My next pick is another good choice for medical staff. Called the NEWZILL Athletic Fit Compression Socks, they feature a special cuff at the top that is designed to prevent the socks from sliding down.
This is an important addition that is especially handy for nursing staff that is rushing around from place to place for their job.
Due to the compression attributes, you will enjoy increased blood circulation throughout the lower leg and feet, which will, in turn, keep the aches and pains at bay.
What more can I say, if the price and style meet both your wallet and tastes, these are well worth checking out.
4. BEST BUDGET: 3 Pack Copper Compression Socks – Compression Socks Women & Men Circulation – Best for Medical, Running, Athletic
Compression socks are not expensive, however, if you are watching the budget, the best pair to buy is this 3 pack.
Utilizing small traces of copper fibers within the sock, circulation is increased due to its natural properties.
A total of 15-20 mmHg compression is provided as a result, which should help keep your legs feeling healthy throughout a long day.
Over a more long-term basis, the socks will also help to prevent the onset of varicose veins and while also reducing excess fluid retention.
Breathable, moisture-wicking fabric is also a big factor here, meaning you will not sweat profusely due to the tight-fitting nature of the sock.
Suitable for both men and women due to the conservative styling, these are a great pack to buy at such a low price.
5. BEST ANKLE SOCKS: TechWare Pro Ankle Compression Socks for Women & Men-Plantar Fasciitis Socks. Achilles Tendonitis Brace & Foot Arch Support
So far I have only included long-length compression socks as part of my review round-up.
This is mainly due to the fact I have suffered from aching calves over the years and long socks are required to keep the swelling in those areas down.
If, however, you would prefer to wear ankle compression socks, I highly recommend these from Techware.
I have had several colleagues swear by these, and they also enjoy rave reviews online at the moment.
Made with a patent-pending stretch fabric, these slim and short socks are both breathable and durable enough to offer the support you need for long shifts.
They are also said to help those suffering from Plantar Fasciitis pain, with a design that braces the splint area of the foot.
Designed with a flared top for easy dressing, they are also made with a correcting left and right-foot closed-toe shape.
With all this ergonomic design going on, I even want to give them a try. If you do, leave a note in the comment section below to give us your views.
6. BEST FOR CHOICE & STYLE: 6 Pack Copper Compression Socks for Women and Men Circulation-Best Support for Medical, Running, Nursing, Athletic
My final pick is for those of you that really want a wide choice of style and color when it comes to the compression socks you wear.
Coming in a value for money 6-pack and a choice of about 30 styles, these will look great underneath the scrubs pants, (just a shame no one will really see them!)
All the standard features of a compression sock are there of course. Breathable design, with all the right support you need to reduce swelling and increase circulation.
They are designed for anyone from medical staff to runners, to those that suffer from foot-based ailments and have been recommended compression socks by a professional.
If you would like to try wearing compression socks to alleviate the pain of being on your feet all day, while also exhibiting a little bit of style, these are the ones to buy.
What is mmHg & What Should You Go For?
Compression sock strength is measured using mmHg. This is basically the amount of pressure being exerted on the flesh due to the fabric and design of the sock.
Essentially, the higher the mmHg, the tighter the sock. For a frame of reference, the following ratings can be divided as:
Compression socks with an mmHg level rating between 8-15 are considered mild with their compression attributes. If you suffer from leg pain often, it could be that a rating this low will not provide the support and blood circulation levels that you require.
Mild compression socks are not designed to alleviate the pain or the onset of varicose veins.
Medium level compression socks have a higher mmHg measurement of around 15-20. This is the starting range I would recommend for nurses.
With a sock of this level, you should enjoy relief from swelling and the aches associated with long days on your feet. Mild varicose vein problems can be alleviated with medium compression socks too.
Firm compression socks exert a level of compression that you will definitely feel throughout your day. These are normally rated at 20-30 mmHg.
Doctors may prescribe such a sock for those experiencing varicose veins, and more intense swelling. You might also wear a firm compression sock to alleviate the strain of, orthostatic hypotension, and deep vein thrombosis.
Prescription socks that can only be purchased with medical advice are rated an mmHg level of 30 or higher.
These will be extremely tight and will only be worn in situations where serious medical conditions apply. This could be post-surgery healing, severe varicose veins, and other ailments that have required medical attention.
Clearly, this type of sock is rarely appropriate for a working nurse.