How long should you wear compression socks?

You can find all the information about the best types of compression socks for you on CompressionCarl. So far I didn’t talk a lot about how long you should wear compression socks. In this article I will tell you exactly when to put on and when to remove your compression socks based on your conditions.

My goal is to give you exact advice, and share some tips from top experts of the field. There is so much misleading information on the internet about exactly how long you should wear compression socks, that I felt compelled to write an article that clears up the subject once and for all.

How long should you wear compression socks?

The amount of time you should spend with your compression socks on varies based on what you use them for in the first place. This is an opinion that is shared by several experts, such as the Lafayette Regional Vein and Laser Center. A runner looking for quicker recovery is in a completely different situation than a young backbacker who wants to prevent DVT. Wearing compression socks after a surgery is also different.

If you are wearing the socks for general venous health, it is possible that you don’t even need compression socks. You can contribute a lot to healthy veins by being in good shape, taking at least 10 000 steps and drinking at least eight cups of water each day. If you still notice varicose veins on your legs, consult with a trained physician.

Nurses should wear compression socks from the beginning of their shift until the end.

Other jobs involve sitting in one place for hours on end. Working in front of the computer or driving trucks belong in this category. Walking has an important part in helping the circulatory system. The contraction and expansion of the muscles pushes the walls of the veins together and then releases them, which helps move the blood around. For people in sitting occupations I recommend wearing compression socks during the whole work shift. Standing up sometimes and taking a short walk should do wonders too.

Airline travel

Compression socks are also popular with airline travellers and pilots. The legs are under different pressure on the ground than up in the air, which affects the veins. Small blood cloths might travel in the circulatory system and get stuck inside the veins of larger muscles groups, also called deep veins. This is where the name of the phenomena comes from – deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Compression socks reduce the risk of DVT during long flights. If I travel I already go to the airport wearing my compression socks. If it very hot, or I don’t want to be seen in my hip Physix Gear Sport compression socks, I just go to the restroom after checking in and put my socks on.

The ankles are prone to swelling during long flights. The walls of the veins loose their firmness as a result of the pressure difference, the circulatory system can’t transport the intracellular fluids away. Hence the swollen ankles. Wearing compression socks for the whole duration of the flight prevents the swelling of the ankles.

Recovering from surgery

Compression socks can make a big difference to the cosmetics of your legs after surgery.

Post surgery compression socks reduce the development of blood cloths, not to mention they makes a whole world’s difference in cosmetics after small vein sclerotherapy. Dr. Nicholas Kemp recommends wearing compression socks after vein sclerotherapy of laser vein surgery. Needless to say, that if your physician sees fit, you should keep wearing compression garments during the time you are recovering in bed. Just to be sure, wearing them 1-2 weeks after leaving the hospital, until the final checkup is wise. Once the patient is out of the hospital blood cloths are very rare, but it is better to e safe than sorry. Wear them as much as you can.


Getting rid of venous leg ulcers is a full time job. Wearing compression garments for 24 hours a day is a standard part of a VLU recovery protocol. Stockings and socks designed for this purpose can put anywhere between 30 to 50 mm Hg pressure on your legs. They can hold really tight, which prevents some people from sleeping. If you are one of these people, your physician can recommend alternative recovery devices, such as leg wraps or the Circ-Aid machine.

Runners:competition and recovery

Runners were one of the early adapters of compression socks.

One of the early adopters of compression therapy were runners. Empirical evidence suggests that compression therapy aids runners during competition by lowering their heart rate and raising their lactate threshold. Runners should put on their compression socks before warm-up, and have them on until the end of cool down.

However more runners use compression socks after races to recover faster. There are multiple recovery devices one can use to get regain the freshness of their muscles sooner. The exact time you should put on your compression sock might differ, but as a general rule put them on as soon as you can after the race, and leave them on for at least six hours. You can even leave them on during the night for your sleep.


How long should you wear compression socks? That depends largely on what you use them for. Runners, nurses or patients recovering from surgery all have different needs. As a result, they should wear compression socks for different time lengths. If you have any questions, share it in the comments below.


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