The Best Compression Socks for Summer + How to Wear Them

If you enjoy your compression socks for all their health and wellbeing benefits, you probably want to wear them no matter the weather or season. However, some people are concerned that their compression socks might keep them too warm or prevent you from wearing your favorite sandals when the sun is out. 

Fear not, there are solutions to this!  

How can you wear your favorite compression garments in the summer, especially socks and stockings? You can enjoy all the benefits of gradual compression and lighter, happier feet and lower legs thanks to summer compression socks like open toed and lightweight, breathable models, or compression sleeves. 

Read on to find out: 

  • Why “summer compression socks” is not a contradiction in terms; 
  • The benefits of continuing to reach for your favorite pair of compression socks in the summer; 
  • How to wear compression socks in summer and on hot days; 
  • The best options for you. 

Can You Wear Compression Socks in Summer? 

Of course! Summer compression socks are made from lightweight, breathable fabrics such as Nylon or Merino wool, which means that you can still get the benefit of compression without sweating or feeling too hot. 

But that’s not all. We also have alternatives to your classic compression wear, which can be great for tackling hot summer days. Having your legs or ankles swell in hot weather, especially if it’s humid, is a very common summer problem called heat edema. You can avoid it with the help of open toe compression socks if you’d rather wear sandals with your outfit, and you can also wear items like calf sleeves to get the benefit of compression while running in hot weather, for example.  

The Benefits of Compression Socks for Summer 

Apart from heat edema, hot summer days can end up causing swollen legs and feet if you spend a lot of time standing or sitting. Depending on your job or health condition, you may find that compression socks are just what you need to get your blood flowing well and to relieve the aches and pains of edemas. Additionally, being pregnant or exercising a lot in the summer can also cause trouble for your lower limbs. So here’s how you can benefit from compression, depending on the reason you’re experiencing swelling.  

Pregnancy 

Pregnant women experience lots of discomforts depending on how far along they are. With more fluid being produced by their bodies and some inevitable decrease in activity, having swollen legs and feet is one of these. Add to that heat and humidity, and you’ll have a perfect (or terrible!) combination of factors. 

 Wearing compression socks helps reduce the swelling and also prevent cramps, which may also be caused by more likely dehydration and sweating in hot weather. They’ll also help prevent the development of varicose veins in pregnant women 

Travel 

Air and train travel in the summer, when you’re immobile for extended periods of time and the blood pools down to the lower limbs, can cause a lot of discomfort. Not only do your legs and ankles swell, but you may even find it painful. The same goes for long road trips, especially if you don’t take enough breaks to walk off the growing feeling of swelling and pain.  

Adding extra dehydration from summer heat compounds the issue. Wearing compression socks for summer travel keeps your legs feeling cool, less congested, and lighter. 

Work 

There are a few professions that are more likely to lead to swollen legs and feet in the summer, as you spend more time on your feet and you may not even have the benefit of air conditioning or ways to cool yourself. From nurses and teachers, to sales reps standing around all day at an expo, compression wear can make a huge difference in keeping your blood circulating well and preventing swelling and pain.  

 Health 

If you suffer from varicose veins or are recovering from a surgery where you cannot move around freely yet, hot summer days can become a nightmare. Compression socks will sometimes be prescribed by doctors for these conditions, too. 

Additionally, wearing compression socks in the summer can help prevent cuts and grazes, or ulcers, for diabetics. You can enjoy time outdoors without worrying about injuries on your lower limbs, and while also keeping a fresh, lightweight feeling in your legs and avoiding blood clots, or deep vein thrombosis.  

 Sports 

Runners, triathletes, hikers and walkers all enjoy the benefits of wearing compression socks year round. On the one hand, having the extra support for your calf muscles and ankles is really beneficial during a workout. On the other hand, the improved blood flow helps recovery after an effort. 

But, if going for long days out during the hottest time of the year, you may be concerned that compression socks can keep you too warm. This is why summer compression socks are ideal: they can help your legs enjoy all the benefits of compression, while still staying cool and comfortable.   

open toe compression sock

How to Wear Compression Socks in Summer 

In order to make the best choice of compression socks for summer, you need to look out for the best breathable material, or switch up the type of garment you wear. This way, you won’t get too hot or uncomfortable, and you’ll still enjoy graduated compression and an improved blood flow during any activity.  

Choose a Breathable Material 

We recommend picking the most appropriate material for the type of activity you’ll be wearing your socks for. Here’s the benefit of each: 

  • Cotton socks can be breathable and lightweight, and are the most similar to “regular” non-compressive socks. However, cotton doesn’t wick moisture as well as other materials, and can feel quite warm on a hot day; 
  • Nylon compression socks feel tight and flexible at the same time. They are great for running or sport activities, since they are also quite breathable. In the summer, the Nylon feels slick and potentially cooler against your skin; 
  • Merino wool is great for all types of weather thanks to its moisture wicking properties. It’s naturally odor-resistant and manages to be extremely versatile, keeping feet warm and dry in winter and cool and breezy in the summer. This is the fabric of choice for hikers and walkers; 
  • Moisture-wick Nylon combines the sleek, sporty feel of Nylon socks with additional moisture wicking properties to make these compression socks more summer appropriate. Our socks are cross-woven to add extra breathability, too.  

Try Open-Toe Compression Socks 

If you’re hesitant to try summer compression socks because you want to wear open-toed shoes, there’s an answer for that: open-toe compression socks. These socks allow your toes to breathe, which is great if you have any health conditions or injuries on them. 

Additionally, open-toe compression socks let you enjoy sandals all summer long and can be extra pleasant if you do tend to get very sweaty feet. At the same time, they’ll be tight and work their magic on your calf muscles and ankles, preventing swelling and discomfort.  

Consider Compression Sleeves 

As a runner or dancer, you may need the compression benefits directly for your calf muscles, but prefer to keep your feet bare – especially in the summer. Long distance runners reach for compression sleeves which cover them from their ankles to just below the knees, to allow them to wear other performance socks or to change their socks mid-run if needed.  

Sleeves are also great for targeted recovery of your calf muscles and a great way to add a pop of color to your running outfit while you’re wearing them. 

The Best Summer Compression Socks for Men and Women 

Regardless of the reason you’re reaching out for some summer compression socks, you can always rely on a variety of styles and designs from our catalog. Keep your lower legs cool and comfortable in the heat while enjoying the boost in blood flow from lower-pressure, everyday moisture wick Nylon socks. Hike up your favorite trails in Merino wool socks in a wide range of styles. Or reach for open-toe socks or calf sleeves if you need to bare a little more of your lower limbs. 

In all cases, enjoy compression socks for summer without feeling too hot or constrained!  

Shop summer compression socks for men and women online at Vim & Vigr!

Mother and baby with compression socks

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