Compression Sock Types & What They're For

Compression Sock Types

Therapeutic compression has been around for decades, with that there are many iterations of compression legwear. At Vim & Vigr our goal is to make fashionable compression legwear for all walks of life. We make waist high compression tights, compression sleeves, and compression socks that come in a variety of fabric types.

Woman wearing VIM & VIGR Compression Socks pink

Graduated Compression Stockings

Before we get into compression sock types, let’s talk about what compression is. Compression stockings of all kinds use something called graduated compression. Graduated compression makes it so the garment is tightest at the lower region of the leg by the ankle. Compression gradually lessens up the garment encouraging blood to flow. Blood tends to pool in the ankles and lower leg causing swelling and general discomfort. This swelling is otherwise known as edema and can cause varicose veins among other painful issues.

Anti-Embolism Stocking

Anti- Embolism Stockings are also known as TED Hose. The term “TED hose” stands for “thromboembolic deterrent hose.” Doctors use TED hose with people who are bedridden or mobility impaired, and this is one of the big differences between them and compression socks or stockings. TED hose usually leave the toes open and you are not expected to walk around while wearing them. On the other hand, compression socks have a range of pressure levels and can be worn for an entire day without issue, helping people manage venous conditions or just avoid swollen legs and feet from standing for too long. Both TED hose and compression socks help to prevent conditions like DVT.

Non Medical Support Hosiery

The word hosiery can be misleading in this instance. Hosiery refers to socks and tights for all people. However, what makes something “non-medical” is the compression range. For example, 15-20 mmHg is not considered medical. However, if a doctor prescribes compression, they will prescribe 20-30 mmHg and up, making it medical grade. Non medical compression can still be useful, especially for runners and active people. Medical grade compression socks are recommended for those with a chronic illness.

Compression Sock Styles

Other than personal style, different types of compression legwear can have different uses. There are knee high, thigh high and waist high compression garments, along with compression leg sleeves.

Knee High Compression Socks

Knee high compression socks are a stylish and everyday option for compression. We have them in 15-20 mmHg, 20-30 mmHg, and 30-40 mmHg compression levels. Compression socks are used by nurses, runners, and chronically ill individuals in their day to day life. These compression sock garments are tightest at the ankle and gradually lessening up the calf.

Nurse wearing compression socks

Thigh High Compression Stockings

Thigh high compression entails compression all the way up the leg ending at the calf. This is often recommended for severe varicose veins that travel up the thigh. Many surgeons recommend thigh high compression after surgery as well. This compression is often times still tightest at the ankle. A stylish option for this garment is compression tights. 

Waist High Compression Tights

Speaking of compression tights, let’s talk about waist high compression. Waist high compression is the most intensive compression. However, that does not mean it cannot be comfortable! Our compression tights have a honey comb waist band to help give much needed compression, all while staying comfortable enough to wear all day.

“I'm a former long distance runner that had to quit due to vein issues. Purchased leggings from several different companies ( need 15-20 to walk). Vim&vigr were the ONLY leggings that didn't cut off waist circulation!” -J Worcester

“Excellent product for varicose vein support!

These tights are sturdy and resistant to nicks and tears. They fit perfectly size-wise and provide adequate compression/support. Highly recommend!” - Vladislava Juric

woman wearing waist high compression tights

Compression Leg Sleeves

Finally, there are compression leg sleeves. These are popular amongst runners because they can be paired with their preferred running sock. Compression leg sleeves are also a great option for the summer since your feet are free to wear sandals. Additionally, some customers have reported that they help with restless leg syndrome and neuropathy.

“I have restless leg syndrome, thought I'd try the sleeve. YAY, it helps my legs relax, I can sleep now!!” -Kay Brewster

Compression Sock Materials

On top of offering a variety of compression garments, we offer our compression socks in a variety of fabrics so you can figure out what is most comfortable for you day to day! Our compression socks come in cotton, merino wool, nylon, and  moisture wick nylon.

Our 4 functional fabrics are as follows:


Our 200 needle count cotton blend is soft and made with natural fibers. The flexibility in our cotton fabric allows for our most spunky designs, and many customers report that their feet stay cool while wearing them - even in the summer months!

Merino Wool

We use the highest quality (sustainably sourced) Merino Wool for our socks. This 200 needle count fabric is known for its moisture-wicking and temperature regulating ways. Customers love this fabric for everyday wear, and for outdoor activities!


For the longest time, we have knit our nylon socks on a 400 needle count machine, this left a high quality sleek feel to the sock, and a 4 way stretch that was unmatched. However, it limited our ability to make fun designs, and left a seam in the toe. In 2022, we released another version of our nylon sock called Choice Nylon. This uses the same fabric as our Classic Nylon socks, but leaves a softer feel and allows for more designs. All while eliminating the toe seam as well. We will be keeping our Classic and Choice Nylon around for a while, so let us know which one you like better!

Moisture Wick Nylon

This high-quality nylon is also great for temperature regulation. It uses a different fabric than our Classic Nylon and Choice Nylon socks and is knit on a 400 needle count machine. These socks give the feeling of stockings and are loved by many of our customers! 

Finding your perfect compression sock will take some trial and error. Luckily, we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee and allow free returns if the sock you get isn’t perfect. When choosing a sock, we recommend looking at your lifestyle and health needs. 


3 people wearing compression socks

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