Socks are not exactly the first thing that springs to mind when people think about well-designed clothing items. That said, socks have served their purpose well for the thousands of years that humanity has been using them. Far from the foot wraps used by ancient civilizations, today’s socks are made of modern fabrics and have specialised features that make them essential for various activities such as exercising, exploring the great outdoors, and working in an office setting. So, how are compression socks different from normal socks??
One of the more recent additions to everyday sock features is graduated compression. This feature enables compression sock wearers to enjoy beneficial health effects that regular socks simply couldn’t offer. But are compression socks really all that innovative or worth investing in? Read on to learn what differentiates compression socks from other kinds of socks, and why you would choose one type over another.
What Exactly Are “Regular” Socks?
Generally speaking, the term “sock” refers to any article of clothing that is designed to go over one’s feet. The socks that we know of today can come in various lengths. Some socks can be small enough to just cover one’s toes and heel and look good in a pair of casual ballet flats. Other socks can rise past one’s ankles, knees, or even reach the calves.
Modern socks can also be made of different materials. These can range from common fabrics like cotton and sophisticated materials like silk to highly engineered synthetic fibers that lend various desirable properties to the socks.
What Are Compression Socks?
Compression socks are a subset of your everyday socks. What sets them apart from regular socks is that they offer added compression around the legs, which is a property that can promote better blood circulation. There are two main types of compression socks: medical-grade and consumer-grade socks.
Medical-grade compression socks, as the name implies, are medical implements and offer higher levels of compression. They’re mainly used in medical facilities to relieve the symptoms of venous disorders and to prevent the progression of said conditions. Thus, they can only be administered with the guidance and according to the exact instructions of a health professional.
Consumer-grade compression socks, on the other hand, offer lower levels of compression. They’re not treated as medical implements, and as such, they can be bought and worn without a medical prescription. According to avid users, the best compression socks for everyday use can boost blood circulation, support the veins, and reduce one’s chances of developing venous disorders, among others.
Which Are Better: Regular Socks or Compression Socks?
The Benefits of Modern Regular Socks
In the current age, socks are considered to be a basic part of a person’s everyday outfit. However, these essential garments are not necessarily only used as simple foot covers anymore. In fact, many brands have started updating their products with all sorts of new technologies. These innovations enable their socks to wick away moisture, prevent the development of odor, and keep a consistent temperature, among other features.
The Benefits of Wearing Compression Socks
While the above properties of regular socks can offer their wearers obvious benefits, the added pressure provided by compression socks appeals more to people who want to lead healthier lives. Many consumers, then, try to look for everyday compression socks with all the bells and whistles to complement their outfits and provide support to their feet as they go about their tasks for the day.
If you live an active lifestyle, for example, compression socks can help you better perform during your workout routines or sports of choice. These garments have a better chance of staying in place as they offer extra pressure where it matters, which means they’re less likely to shift even if you move around a lot. Some people have also reported that wearing compression socks helps them feel more energized during physical activities and shortens their post-workout recovery process.
Even if you’re living a sedentary lifestyle, wearing compression socks still offers several health benefits. If you tend to sit or stand for long periods, for example, blood can pool in your legs and cause extra strain on your blood vessels. Over time, this can make you prone to venous disorders like varicose and spider veins. Wearing consumer-grade compression socks can provide added support to your blood vessels and promote proper blood circulation. These benefits can help delay the development of said vein disorders.
Which Kinds of Socks Should You Use?
The best socks to use every day are the ones that fit you well and have the properties that complement your usual activities. With this in mind, regular socks will do the trick for most people. That said, it can be helpful to consider consumer-grade compression socks as a specialized subset of your everyday socks. The added compression that you can get from wearing these socks will adequately support your feet inside and out and offer long-term health benefits that your future self will be thankful for.
Rather than getting only one type of socks, why not stock both regular and compression socks in your drawer? That way, you’ll be sure to have the perfect pair on hand, no matter what you’ve got planned for the day ahead.
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