How to Put on Compression Socks

Figuring out how to put on compression socks is the hardest part of wearing them, since they’re designed to be quite fitted. It’s especially tricky if you have thin compression socks like pantyhose. If you’re struggling to figure out how to put on thin pantyhose, try wearing rubber gloves while you pull them on. If you’re trying to figure out how to put on compression socks without aggravating skin irritation, apply a bit of cornstarch powder to your legs to help the socks slide on. A nifty tool called a stocking donner also can help you slide on your socks smoothly.

Watch our video on how to put on your compression socks:

Your doctor may tell you to wear compression stockings if you are at risk of a blood clot or have issues with blood flow. They also help with varicose veins and swelling around the ankles. You can wear compression stockings as a preventive measure when taking a long flight, too. Because compression stockings are stretchy and have a tight fit, it is important to put on compression stockings the right way. Here are some tips on donning and doffing the socks.

Putting On Compression Stockings

Put your hand through the top of the stocking. Grab the foot and heel. Turn the stocking inside out with the heel facing you. Step into the foot of the stocking. Pull it close to your heel. Unfold the stocking, smoothing it out into a single layer of fabric. Pull it up to two fingers lower than knee-high.

Removing Compression Stockings

Slide your fingers into the band, just below your knee. Gently pull the fabric down to your heel. You may find it easier to roll the fabric as you go. Pull downward to get the sock off your heel.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Putting on Your Compression Socks
  1. Slip your arm into the sock until your fingers reach the toes. Your palm should be resting in the sock's heel.
  2. Starting at the cuff, fold the sock over towards your hand until it meets the heel. Make sure to fold the sock onto itself.
  3. With the sock still inverted, pull it firmly onto your foot. Make sure your toes are securely in the toe pocket. Starting with the cuff, gradually roll the sock up.
  4. Adjust so that your heel is properly positioned in the heel pocket and the cuff sits below the knee. Make sure the cuff is not pulled up too high and do not fold the cuff over.


  • VIM & VIGR

    Hi Carolyn! You might find that our cotton or moisture-wick nylon socks are easiest to put on – they have quite a bit of stretch. Hope that helps!

  • Carolyn CROUCH

    I have rheumatoid arthritis in my hands and feet. I need to wear compression socks but find the action of putting them on to be painful as well as challenging. Must of your socks are cotton. Would nylon be easier to put on for my situation?

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