How Tight Should Compression Socks Be?

How Tight Should Compression Socks Be? 

Our compression socks use graduated compression technology (designed in partnership with vascular surgeons) to help prevent blood from pooling in your lower leg. So, yes, they will feel tight! However, compression socks should always feel comfortable. In this article, we will go over how compression socks should feel, how to tell if compression socks are too tight, signs they aren’t tight enough, indentations, and other common questions! 

How Should Compression Socks Feel?

Compression socks should feel comfortable, like a gentle hug to your legs. Many describe this hug as a “supported” feeling. Compression socks or compression stockings made with graduated compression should feel tightest at the ankle and gradually get looser. Compression socks shouldn’t feel like they are harming circulation, if that is the case you may need to resize or look at the gradient of your compression sock. As always, if you have concerns about wearing compression socks, speak to your doctor to make sure they are a fit for you.


Our compression socks are made with 4 different types of fabric to ensure the most comfortable fit possible. Additionally, our socks come in 6 different sizes, including wide calf varieties. We offer these options so that as many people as possible can enjoy the benefits of compression in comfort. You can find our size chart and fabric types later down in this article.

Pressure Gradients and Tightness

At Vim & Vigr we have three levels of compression: 15-20 mmHg, 20-30 mmHg, and 30-40 mmHg. The mmHg stands for “meters of Mercury” and represents a .measure of how tightly the socks squeeze. Technically, there are two different classifications of this compression: Afnor (Association Française de Normalisation) and RAL (European Union classifications). We will be speaking in term of Afnor, but the classifications are largely similar.

Below is an outline of how both systems break down the level of compression:

Afnor:

  • Class 1: 10-15 mmHg (Very light compression)
  • Class 2: 15-20 mmHg (Light compression)
  • Class 3: 20-36 mmHg (Moderate compression)
  • Class 4: 36+ mmHg (Strong compression)

RAL:

  • Class 1: 18-21 mmHg (Light compression)
  • Class 2: 23-32 mmHg (Moderate compression)
  • Class 3: 34-46 mmHg (Strong compression)
  • Class 4: 49- mmHg (Very strong compression)

Signs your compression socks are too tight

Compression socks offer a gentle hug to the legs to help support circulation. However, in some instances this gentle hug can feel more like a death grip. This is why it is very important to get the correct size of compression sock. Our compression socks come in 6 different sizes, including those of the wide calf variety. This can help to ensure that you get the right fit on the first try. However, signs that compression socks are too tight include: discomfort, red marks on the top of your leg where the band should rest, and swollen legs. Compression socks should fit like a second skin, and feel supportive. If they feel like they are cutting off circulation then something is likely fitted incorrectly.

Consulting your doctor is always the best idea if you have a medical condition. Additionally, measuring your calf to ensure that you are wearing the correct size compression socks can help prevent these discomforts from happening in the first place. When buying compression socks, make sure that there is a good return policy in place so you can test out different sizes and find what is good for your overall leg wellness.

Signs Your Compression Socks Aren’t Tight Enough

Compression socks should feel snug, so if your compression socks slide down, or feel like they are not compressing, then there is a possibility that they need to be resized. The best way to prevent this from happening is taking your measurements before ordering and consulting the size guide. At Vim & Vigr, our compression socks come in 6 different sizes to ensure that the right fit can be attained. 

We advise measuring the circumference of the largest part of your calf to determine if you need wide calf socks. Additionally your foot size plays an important role in your sock size. Our size chart is as follows.

compression sock size chart

Is it Normal for Compression Socks to Leave Indentations?

If a compression sock has intricate designs, you may notice that there are light indentations in your skin, like when you wear tight pants. Those indentations are normal, but can irritate some with more sensitive skin. If you find your skin is irritated by this we would recommend sticking with our striped socks. These indentations should not be painful, and resolve in 15 minutes. Some people feel an “itching” sensation after removing socks, in many cases that is just blood rushing back to places it would usually pool. If compression socks leave behind uncomfortable marks from the band by your knee or the indentations from designs severely irritate your skin, you may need to look into a larger size. All in all, compression socks should be comfortable to wear all day everyday, and if they aren't then the fit may be wrong.

nurse wearing VIM & VIGR Compression Socks

Is it Normal for Compression Socks to Change the Color of Your Skin?

Outside of normal skin color changes, compression socks should not change the color of your skin. Compression socks and compression stockings should fit comfortably and be breathable. If you find your skin getting irritated by standard compression legwear, then you should try to find compression socks made with materials that do not irritate your skin. This is why we make our compression socks from 4 different fabrics: Cotton, Nylon, Merino Wool & Moisture Wick Nylon. 

Our 4 functional fabrics are as follows:

Cotton: 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!

Nylon: 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. Compression socks should make you feel supported and comfortable, not the opposite. When in comes to compression, quality matters. When buying keep in mind that you will be spending hours in these garments so ensuring you get a quality product is key. We may be bias, but we think our socks are the best fashionable compression socks on the market! Not only will your legs feel comfortable, but you will feel comfortable wearing something that reflects your style. Heres what our customers have to say on the fit of our compression garments:

“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 


“Wonderful product! It is tight, but not too tight :)

These socks helped keep my legs in a good shape for the entire day!

The color is matching spring outfit and looks like regular socks instead of some prescription ones. Highly recommend!” -Andrei Koren


“Awesome comfort and fit

No toe seam is good, they are so comfortable, my legs do not ache and I seriously do not want to take them off when time for bed... Well done designers!” - Mike


Shop our Compression Socks and Tights Today! 


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