You may be wondering, what is the difference between open toe and closed toe compression socks? In a recent post, we discussed why compression socks have open toes, and how they compare to compression sleeves for gradual compression. In this blog, we will be discussing why you may choose to wear open toe compression socks or closed toe, and what functional differences they may have.
What’s the Difference Between Open Toe vs Closed Toe Compression Stockings?
Besides the obvious hole in the toe, there are a of couple of differences in our open toe compression socks vs. Our closed toe variety.
First, I want to start off by establishing what makes a normal compression sock. Compression socks are knee high garments that gently squeeze the lower leg to prevent blood from pooling. Compression garments utilize something called graduated compression to guide blood safely back up to the heart. Graduated compression in the context of a compression sock entails that the garment is tightest around the ankle and lower leg, and progressively less tight. This prevents blood pooling and swelling in the ankle and legs.
When it comes to gradual compression, an open toe compression sock and a closed toe compression sock function the same. This is because the toe box does not provide and compression, and that is what is eliminated with the open toe.
When to Wear Open Toe Compression Socks
Open Toe compression socks are used during the warmer months. Many individuals who wear compression socks for medical reasons have to wear them year round, for many hours a day. As you can imagine, that gets more difficult in the warmer months. Open toe compression socks not only allow for the feet and toes to breathe while benefitting from compression, but also they allow for sandals and flip-flops to be worn. When worn with jeans or a long skirt, open toe compression socks allow for a more discreet option for your summer compression. Our open toe compression socks are purposely made with light weight fabric to make them most suitable for warmer months.
When to Wear Closed Toe Compression Socks
Closed toe compression socks can be worn year round, and they are the most commonly found form of compression garment. Compression socks can come in a variety of fabrics and patterns. Our compression socks come in cotton, merino wool, nylon, and moisture wick nylon. This makes them easier to wear year round no matter the activity or season.
How to Choose Between Open Toe vs Closed Toe Compression Socks
Choosing between open toe and closed toe compression socks comes down to the activity and your own comfortability. We recommend assessing your personal preferences, how hot your feet get normally, foot width, toe spread, and your given activity.
If you have found yourself cursing the seams in the toes of socks, or if you prefer to have your toes be free, then open toe compression socks may be for you. Open toe compression socks are great for people who may have sensory issues around their toes.
“New Legs & Feet!
Love these socks for how they take the stress off my legs and feet. The seamless toe is great …..no more under toe irritation. Wish more of your socks had that feature. Needless to say all your socks are so colorful and pretty. Very pleased! Thank you for the great products.”
Nancy B Wilborn
Foot Sweating and Hot Weather
Many people prefer open toe compression socks vs closed toe compression socks if they find that their feet get sweaty throughout the day. Open toe compression socks allow for more ventilation than closed toe compression socks, making them easier to wear in warmer and humid conditions. Open toe compression socks also allow for shoe choices, such as flip flops and other sandals. This makes it easier to let the feet breathe throughout the day.
If you find yourself with athletes foot and other infections because of the moisture in your sock, open toe compression socks may be good to help your feet air out and stay dry. Bunions, ingrown toenails, and sores are also cause for discomfort that could be helped by wearing open toe compression socks.
Large Feet and Toes
Many people do not like compression socks with a closed toe because they have wider feet and toes and the toe box of the sock constricts their foot uncomfortably. If you wear wide shoes and have found it difficult to wear socks for extended periods, then open toe compression socks may be for you.
Travel and Leisure Time
Compression socks are a great travel tool to keep your legs feeling refreshed on the way to your destination. They also help to prevent DVT and other blood clot related risks that come with travel. Depending on the location of your travel you may opt for closed toe or open toe socks. If you are hiking and wearing boots, our closed toe merino wool compression socks are for you.
Sitting or Standing All Day
If you are sitting or standing all day, compression is a great idea to prevent blood clots and sluggish and swollen legs. Closed toe compression socks are great for standing all day because they can be more easily be worn with a good pair of running shoes, which can also save your legs.
If you are recovering from surgery and laying down all day, many doctors like open toe compression socks for surgery recovery because they are easier to get on and off. Some people also prefer wearing open toe compression socks to bed if they wear compression socks 24 hours a day.
Finding Best Open Toe and Closed Toe Compression Socks for You
Now that you have decided to try some open toe compression socks, you want to make sure that you get the best open toe compression socks. We recommend looking for style, material, size and strength to help you find your perfect open toe compression socks.
Compression socks are not known for being stylish, that is until VIM & VIGR came on the scene. We are committed to designing stylish compression legwear that you actually want to wear. We have stylish designs for both open and closed toe compression socks, and we release new styles every season to keep you looking your best. When you actually like how your compression socks look, you are much more likely to wear them.
We have four unique fabrics that we use to create our compression socks. So far, our open toe compression socks have been created using our cotton and choice nylon fabrics. This is completely intentional, because we wanted the most breathable fabrics for our open toe compression socks. We figured, these socks will be worn in warm weather, and breathable fabric will just make them all the more comfortable! Our closed toe compression socks also come in these breathable fabrics along with others like merino wool, so you can have a compression sock for every season! Worried about the upkeep of your compression socks? Check out our guide for washing compression socks, no matter the material!
Our compression socks come in 15-20 mmHg, 20-30 mmHg, and 30-40 mmHg. You can read more on compression levels and what they mean here, but compression socks should be tight and supportive, yet still comfortable. Like a supportive hug for your legs.
- 15-20 mmHg: Light support that's ideal for all-day, every day wear. Great for travel, mild to moderate edema, pregnancy, achiness, spider and varicose veins.
- 20-30 mmHg: Moderate to firm support that's commonly recommended for edema, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), lymphedema, pre- and post-surgical applications and moderate varicose veins.
- 30-40 mmHg: Firm support that usually comes as a prescription from a doctor, used for treating conditions such as venous insufficiency, DVT, lymphedema and dysautonomia.
Right now, our open toe compression socks come in 20-30 mmHg, but we are working to expand that offering into other levels.
Compression socks are not a one size fits all. Everyone is different, and we try our best to accommodate these wonderful differences. That is why we offer 6 different sizes for our compression socks including wide calf options for people with larger calves.
Measuring your size is easy and will ensure that you get the most comfortable sock possible. For more guidance on size, make sure to visit our size guide and we will help you find your perfect compression sock!
Hopefully by now, you know if you want open or closed toe compression socks – or maybe both! Both are great options and effectively alleviate swollen legs and other discomforts while still looking stylish. If you are still on the fence, feel free to reach out to us on social media and we will happily pair you with your perfect sock!