How Will I Know When to Replace my Socks?

How Will I Know When to Replace my Socks?
Whether you've been wearing compression socks for years, are newly interested in them, or your doctor suggested you begin wearing them—welcome! We're so happy to have you here with us! There is always something new and wonderful to learn about compression therapy, and so many interesting facts to keep up with. If you're here because you're wondering if, when, and how to know when to replace your compression socks, you've found the right place!
We're a little bit crazy about compression, and we love sharing with all of you to help with whatever you need. So, let's dive into all the ways you can tell when it's time for a new pair!

What's Compression Sock Therapy?

Compression socks, compression hose, or pressure stockings, as they are sometimes called—are socks that go over your feet and are pulled to sit at or below the knee. They can come in many different compression levels, called mmHG, which is millimeters of mercury. Millimeters of mercury are used as a unit of pressure, and our blood pressure is also measured in mmHg.
This measurement indicates the compression level placed on the foot and leg. 15-20 mmHG is a low compression level and is readily available to anyone who wishes to wear them. Compression sock therapy helps with tired, achy feet, mild swelling, varicose or spider veins, and tired legs due to long travel, work, sitting, or standing in place.

Signs That Let You Know Replacement is Near or Needed

Investing in compression socks, or general compression garments, is an investment in improving your health. To ensure that you are getting the most benefits from them, you should replace them the moment you notice these signs:
  • Are you finding it easier and easier to put on and remove your compression socks? If they've become even easier to use, it may be a sign they are or have stretched and loosened. Looser compression socks are a sign that they have likely lost the elasticity you need and are no longer applying the correct compression level to your legs and feet. Compression socks must fit snugly to improve circulation and blood flow properly. Do you remember how you probably struggled a bit when first putting them on when you go them? While you are probably better at putting them on now than before, compression socks shouldn't feel like putting on or taking off a standard pair of socks.
  • When wearing your socks, have you begun to notice spots where the material is thin enough to see your skin or toe through it? Are there spots that have been worn from shoes? Worn thin spots can indicate that the fibers of the socks are wearing out.
  • Have you lost or gained any weight? Losing or gaining weight can affect how well or poorly your compression socks fit. When weight fluctuates, it is crucial to remeasure your foot and legs and ensure that you wear the correct size, as the compression does not work correctly when the socks do not fit.
  • Unraveling. Do you notice threads or fibers unraveling from your compression sock? This is another sign that the fabric is wearing out.
  • Do your compression socks no longer stay up? If you find your socks rolling or sliding down your legs, this indicates that the elasticity is lost.
  • Can you see your toes, or is there a hole in the sock? A hole in the sock compromises the compression, and the socks should be replaced as soon as possible.

When to Replace?

The most significant sign is that it is time to replace it when the pressure you are familiar with is no longer there for whatever reason. It would help if you replaced the socks every six months.
My socks don't have any of the above signs. Should I still replace them?
If you have worn your socks for at least six months, it is an excellent time to consider replacing them. Wear and tear naturally happens, and while the sock may look fine on the surface, eventually, the elastics get stretched, and you'll no longer enjoy the benefits from the compression.

How Do I Make My Socks Last Longer?

For compression socks that will improve your health, it is vital to care for them properly.
  1. Wash them as quickly as possible after every time you wear them. This helps prevent odor retention and that they stay fresh and comfortable to wear.
  2. If possible, avoid the washing machine altogether and wash them by hand. We understand, however, that mobility issues and other problems can prevent you from hand washing them, so if a washing machine is necessary, we suggest putting the wash on a cold, delicate cycle and the mildest detergent without scent, then hang them up to dry.
  3. Avoid placing compression socks in the dryer. The heated environment within can damage not only the socks' fibers but the elastics, causing them to lose their compression properties quickly.
  4. If hand washing, use cold water and a very mild detergent. Let the socks soak for 20 to 30 minutes, rinse then hang to dry.
  5. Avoid wringing the socks dry.
  6. Never use chlorine bleach, as it will damage the socks.
  7. Avoid using any softeners.
  8. Avoid using any stain removers or stain treatments.
  9. If in doubt, always check the label or visit your sock's manufacturer's website to see if there are care instructions.
Note: If you wear your compression socks after moisturizing your legs, please remember that oils and lotions for skin care are often harmful to the elastic fibers of your compression sock and can potentially weaken them or break them prematurely. Try moisturizing or applying oils during the night after removing the socks.
With proper care, your compression socks can be your greatest ally for tired, aching feet, sports recovery, various other health issues, and many health benefits. Look out for the signs listed above and follow our tips for care and maintenance, and you'll have no trouble holding on to your favorite pair for as long as you need them!

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