When you think about what to wear in the summer, you may think about dresses, shorts, and capris to name a few. But, what if you wear compression socks regularly? It may be tempting to take several months off from wearing your compression socks and you might think that it isn’t going to affect your leg health in the long run, however this is false. Any vein specialist will confirm that as the summer heat rises, your veins are even more at risk of further deterioration than during colder months. Taking a break from wearing your compression socks can have very negative consequences and can potentially worsen any vein or lymphatic problems you have.
This is where I come in! As a certified compression therapy fitter, I work with each of my clients to make sure they are comfortable in the right pair of compression socks all year long. So, what are the best options for staying cool and comfortable in compression socks during summertime? In my opinion, fabric choice can make a huge difference in helping you stay comfortable in your compression socks during the warmer months. Secondary, there are many summer-friendly sock styles that are available.
Cotton is a natural fiber that is breathable and can provide you all-day climate comfort. It helps to wick away moisture and is a great option for people with sensitive skin. A few choices are:
- Sigvaris Sea Island Cotton: This material gives a soft, luxurious feel that is comfortable to wear all day and available for both men and women in 15-20mmHg and 20-30mmHg.
- Sigvaris Athletic Recovery Socks: These socks features drirelease that provides moisture wicking and odor control throughout the day. They are available in 15-20mmHg and great for walking, mild athletic activities, and post-workout recovery in the hot summer months.
Microfiber is comfortable fabric that is soft, breathable, and has advanced moisture management to keep your legs cool and dry during the summertime. This is also a thinner fabric then cotton, which can be better paired with dressier footwear. A few of my favourites include:
- Sigvaris Soft Opaque for Women: This material is available in 15-20mmHg, 20-30mmHg, and even 30-40mmHg. The microfiber softness is a perfect option for all day comfort during the summer months.
- Sigvaris Performance Socks: Athletic socks are a great option for the summer months because they usually have the added feature of blended fabrics that provide thermal control to keep your feet cool, dry, and comfortable. These are available in 20-30mmHg for both men and women.
- Sockwell Incline Socks: These are a nice therapeutic sport sock that uses blended fabrics to create a moisture wicking sock which is also breathable and provides odor control. They are available in 15-20mmHg for both men and women.
Sheer compression socks and summer go hand in hand. This is one of the thinnest fabrics you can wear in compression socks and are also less visible on the legs. A client favourite for the Okanagan summer is:
- Sigvaris Eversheer: These fashionable, sheer medical graduated compression hosiery are constructed from double-covered inlay yarns for softness. They also provides excellent breathability and moisture management for added comfort on those hot days. This material is available for women in 15-20mmHg, 20-30mmHg, and 30-40mmHg.
As you can see, there are many kinds of materials that can work in your favour for the summertime. In addition, there are a couple sock styles that are more friendly choices for your summer attire:
Believe it or not, there are compression socks that do not have a closed toe piece. This is great because you wear footwear like sandals or flip-flops and your toes get the luxury of a bit more wiggle room and breathability. These are available for both men and women in 15-20mmHg, 20-30mmHg, and 30-40mmHg.
Compression sleeves give you the benefits of wearing compression, with the freedom to wear whatever you want on your feet. They are also easy to put on, keep your feet very breathable, and are still very light and comfortable. They are great for men and women for things such as summer hikes, gym workouts, running, and available in 15-20mmHg and 20-30mmHg.
So what is the main message here? The warmer months are on their way and this may tempt you to disregard your compression socks, but don’t do it! Keep your legs healthy and let a certified compression therapy fitter help you choose the best compression socks for your optimal summertime!
Katrina Dittmann, BSc. Kin, C-PT
Practicing Kinesiologist, Lead Orthopedic Brace Fitter, Certified Compression Therapy Fitter
Book a FREE compression therapy consultation here