Nurses are on their feet, all day, every day—especially travel nurses who are always going. With demanding work, long shifts, and working to get everything done, feet can suffer. Painful feet, swollen ankles, varicose veins, and even blood clots can arise from the stress. So it’s critical to take good care of your feet. A good pair of compression socks can help tremendously.
Compression socks work to alleviate the issues that nurses face being on their feet all day. The tight fabric can assist circulation in the feet and legs and help reduce pain and swelling—immensely important for the busy travel nurse. They also work to increase blood flow and oxygen, not just in your feet and legs, but in your whole body. Next to your nursing shoes, compression socks are one of the best purchases you can make for the longevity of your feet and legs.
How to Pick Compression Socks
No doubt nurses will be familiar with this unit as a measure of blood pressure through millimeters of mercury. Compression socks are categorized in strengths using this same unit—the higher the mmHg, the thicker and tighter the sock. Not including prescription-level, compression socks come in three degrees of strength: mild, medium, and firm.
Mild compression socks provide only a slight level of compression and will have an mmHg of between eight and 15. For busy travel nurses, this may not be strong enough to fight pain and poor circulation.
Medium level compression socks are what most nurses use and measure between 15-20 mmHg. This level of compression should provide a good amount of relief from long periods of standing and walk.
Lastly, a firm-level of compression measures between 20 and 30 mmHg and should be reserved for the most intense workers who need an extreme level of compression support. They can relieve moderate to intense swelling, orthostatic hypotension, and even deep vein thrombosis.
The Best Compression Socks for Nurses in 2021
Now that you know the differences and details of compression socks, you can start shopping for a good pair—or two! Below are a few of our favorites for 2021.
Figs Compression Socks
Figs is renowned for their healthcare attire, and along with their scrubs and shoes, they also make some fantastic compression socks that are functional and very stylish. Whether you’re looking for a simple single color or some socks with snazzy prints, Figs has you covered—literally and figuratively. Figs compression socks are reasonably priced too. A tall pair will run you around $30, while a plain pair of ankle-highs will set you back just $12.
Nurse Mates is known for making great nurse shoes. Their expertise extends into the realm of compression socks too. Their socks run the gamut of plain and professional to quirky and fun, offering nearly 100 options to choose from, including tie-dye, polka dots and stripes. Regardless of your style preference, Nurse Mates has something to fit. Nurse Mates has a huge selection of compression socks, and they start at around $9 per pair and go up to around $35.
Poppy Scrubs Compression Socks
Poppy Scrubs is another clothing company for nurses that you’ve probably heard of. They make incredibly comfortable shirts, scrubs, and, of course, compression socks. Poppy Scrubs doesn’t offer the same selection as Nurse Mates or Figs, but their socks are incredibly high-quality and durable, offering yarn-based compression socks in the firm level of compression. And at around $25 per pair, they’re affordable too!
Keep Your Feet Happy
Whether you’re a travel nurse or one of the at-home heroes, you know all too well how demanding your field is. You’re always on the go, day in and day out, and sometimes your feet can pay the price. Do yourself a favor and invest in a pair of compression socks to keep them happy.
And if you’re a travel nurse that’s on the lookout for your next assignment, don’t hesitate to search for your next position with Stability Healthcare—we’re happy to help you find the perfect position!