Best Compression Socks For Nurses – How to Heal Plantar Fasciitis


Hi there everyone, I would like to talk to you today about another great tool that is available to you in your battle with sore feet/legs, lower back pain and especially Plantar Fasciitis. This item is compression socks which now come in many forms and are no longer just the skin coloured ones that used to be available. They now come in very fashionable styles and colours. This is mainly due to their huge growth in use by athletes, runners and sportsmen and sportswomen. In this post today I’d like to give you an insight as to what compression socks are and what purpose they have. I will also be making some recommendations based on personal experience and a lot of research. So Here is my Best Compression socks for nurses – How to Heal Plantar Fasciitis post, I hope it will be of some benefit to you.

What are Compression socks?

Compression socks can be ankle-high, knee-high or thigh-high. They are elastic socks and stockings and they are designed to compress the entire length of the sock. They compress the lower leg, feet, ankles, calves and shins.

When in use, their aim is to compress the leg to reduce the diameter of the veins in the lower legs. When this reduction takes place it has the effect of increasing the blood flow velocity and makes the valves in the veins of the leg more effective, which in turn makes the arteries work better in the compressed areas.

This aids in reduced venous pressure, enhances circulation and gives great venous wall support. So to sum up in terms that are a little easier to understand. When your arteries, veins and muscles are being compressed and your blood is circulating through a smaller channel the flow of blood back to your heart is measurably improved.(This compression also offers greater protection against developing issues like varicose veins.)

These socks work because of the gradient compression throughout the sock. This means that there are different levels of compression in different areas of the sock. The compression level will be the strongest near the feet and will decrease as the sock heads up the leg. This design pushes the blood flow back up towards the heart. It is also worth noting that these socks can also be acquired with uniform compression, which gives equal compression throughout the sock and used when people are suffering with particular medical conditions such as Edema or other medical conditions.


What to take into account when buying compression socks

When choosing the right compression socks there are many factors to take into consideration – What length, compression grade and what purpose you require them for. The most popular style for nurses and medical staff are the Knee-high compression socks which cover the leg from the toe to just below the knee. This is the style of compression sock that I personally use.

Another factor to consider is the level of compression. (The higher the number of the grade the higher the compression.) These grades are measured by using the “millimeters of mercury” measurement which is a measurement of pressure, (also used in blood pressure measurement.)

Levels of Compression

8 – 15 mmHg – Mild compression – Helps to stop varicose veins forming, reduces swelling and helps to prevent and relieve tired and aching legs.

15 – 20 mmHg – Moderate compression – Gives added protection in preventing varicose/spider veins and helps to prevent DVT (Deep vein thrombosis) which makes them great for long distance travel.

20 – 30 mmHg – Firm Compression – (Medical Grade) Can be used to treat Edema and used after surgery of venous conditions to stop them from recurring.

30 – 40 mmHg – Extra firm compression – (Medical Grade) Provides additional benefits to the other strengths of compression socks and can be used to treat venous ulcers.

I would say that if you are trying to prevent varicose veins and are suffering with tired and aching legs throughout your shift then the 8-15 mmHg or the 15-20 mmHg are the compression socks for you. If your requirements are a bit more medical and you require a stronger compression then you may need one of the higher grade compression socks. A doctor should always be consulted on the use of compression socks especially the higher grade compression socks.


The Benefits of wearing compression socks

There are many benefits to wearing compression socks.
  • Compression socks help injuries like Plantar Fasciitis, shin splints and calf/ankle strains and sprains to heal.
  • They are extremely effective in helping to prevent injuries from occurring especially overuse injuries such as Plantar Fasciitis. They also help with Injuries caused by inflammation. (Caused by diet, lifestyle, too much exercise and medical conditions.)
  • They are great for managing, preventing and treating disease complications such as CVI (Chronic Venous Insufficiency), VTE (Venous Thromboembolism) and Lymphodema/Lymphatic Edema.
  • They are an amazing preventative measure if you suffer with tired and aching legs and will boost the circulation of blood around the body. Also, great in the prevention of varicose veins.

Which compression sock do I use

I personally use a compression sock with a 15 – 20 mmHg grade and wear the Knee-high style. I find that after I got used to them I now no longer pay them much attention. My legs do get a little warm sometimes but the benefits I am receiving from wearing these socks make having slightly warm legs sometimes more than worth it. In combination with wearing the correct shoes, doing my stretching exercises regularly and wearing these socks I have now pretty much got my sore feet, aching legs and lower back pain under control.

It used to be the case that compression socks were not in the least bit attractive and there were not too many to choose from. Well I’m happy to tell you that is no longer the case, there are an abundance to choose from and there are a lot of attractive ones on offer. I find it’s a case of you get what you pay for when it comes to compression socks so I wouldn’t just buy a pair because of the cheapest price. Obviously we all love a bargain but if you want a quality sock that will stand the test of time and fulfill your requirements then the cheapest usually do not last that long,

Check out my Top recommendation for Knee-High Compression socks – Click here – Amazon

Check out my top recommendations for Ankle-High Compression socks – Click here – Amazon


Right Socks, Right Shoes and Right Regime of Stretching

To conclude this post today I would like to just re-visit some points that I have talked about previously. As I’ve mentioned before I have suffered with sore feet, aching legs and lower back pain for around 10 years.

I sought out medical help, but by the time I got to an investigative appointment there was nothing to be found, and so the cycle would continue to the next time my back would lock up. I have suffered with sore feet and aching legs pretty much the whole time I have been nursing and I just put this down to the stresses to the body from our demanding jobs as nurses.

It wasn’t until a friend suggested that there were things I could do to help myself, then acting upon that advice that I started to find some relief from my ailments. I followed my friends advice and looked in to finding the right supportive and cushioned shoes and they had such a result in such a short period that I then started researching other things I could do to help myself. This is when I found out that regularly stretching and also wearing compression socks would help my situation. I started off by wearing the right shoes, then regularly stretching and making sure I managed to rest, relax and recharge of an evening.

By doing all of these things my situation and aches and pains had reduced measurably. Finding the information about compression socks, buying some and wearing them was the final piece in the jigsaw for me and I would now say that the majority of the time now I work pain-free. I do still get slightly tired legs as we do a hard Job and it is a long day but my situation is so much Improved. My husband Peter suffers with Plantar Fasciitis and again since he has started wearing the right shoes, compression socks and regularly stretching his situation has improved greatly.


The important thing if you suffer like I have, is to take action today to help yourself. So please get the right socks, the right shoes and regularly stretch.

I will be adding a detailed review of the best compression socks to the site very soon.

That’s it for today, I hope this has been of some benefit to you, If you have any questions or just need a hand please leave them in the comment box or you can email me at and I will do my best to help.

Happy Nursing



Comfy Shoes For Nurses

14 thoughts on “Best Compression Socks For Nurses – How to Heal Plantar Fasciitis

  1. LearnToEarn Admin Reply

    Emma, you’ve put a lot of effort into providing a thorough and informative post on Compression Socks!

    I’ve learnt a lot from what you have written and it is a lot clearer for me.  Thank you for your detailed explanations that help to put things into perspective when deciding which compression socks are best for which situation.

    I have a question for you, under what conditions would you not wear compression socks, or what ailments in a body would prevent you from using compression socks and would worsen the condition if you did use compression socks?

    Looking forward to your reply.


    • Emma Post authorReply

      Hi Edu, thankyou for your question. It is not wise to use compression socks or stockings if you suffer from Ischaemia, Peripheral Neuropathy, Congestive heart failure, diabetes or Cellulitis. It is also not advisable to wear them if you suffer with some skin conditions or have broken skin, ulcers or sores where the sock will be worn. As I said in the post if you require compression socks or stockings (especially if you need the higher grade) it is always advisable to consult your doctor before using them.

      Thanks Emma

  2. Kelly Elliott Reply

    I didn’t know compression socks could be so cute! I work on my feet all day as a massage therapist and my legs are tied and my caffs are so tight I don’t want anyone to touch them. What would you recommend for someone who has to basically squat all day long? thanks for the great information 

    • Emma Post authorReply

      Hi Kelly, I would recommend that you force yourself to take time out of your day, if only a few minutes at a time, to make sure you are regularly stretching which will release a lot of the tension building up in the muscles and joints of the feet and legs. (I know its easier said than done but stretching can make such a difference) You can check out my recommended stretching exercises here Stretching exercises for nurses – Make a difference today. In relation to which socks I would recommend I would start off with the lowest grade compression sock as I think in your case the compression would be enough if combined with regularly stretching and wearing the right shoe for your feet. If you also need any advice on the correct shoes please check out my nurses shoe review on my site.

      I hope this helps and if you need any more help please leave a comment.

      Good luck and thanks


  3. Dale Reply

    Well, Im not a nurse but foot care for me is so important because I am a diabetic and wear compression socks on the advice of my Dr.  I also don’t mind paying a few extra bucks for something that is going to help my health.  I am going to take a much closer look at these and highly likely I become a customer.

    • Emma Post authorReply

      Hi Dale, I’m really glad you found this information useful. Being Diabetic it is imperative that you monitor the areas of the skin that the compression sock covers for any changes at all and report them to your doctor straight away however small these changes are. You need to be checking for cracks, sores and ulcers. These socks are ok for you as long as you closely monitor these areas of the skin.

      I wish you good health and thanks


  4. Greg Cook Reply

    These socks must be life-savers for people like nurses who are on their feet all day. 

    Would they also be good for people who do a lot of long distance air travel? I have heard that Deep Vein Thrombosis is a problem for some people, which is why it is good to get up and walk around, but these socks must help also.

    My mother suffered from varicose veins years ago, but back then compression socks weren’t available, so she had surgery. Its good that athletes and sports people now use them, they have so many uses.

    Thanks for a great post.

    • Emma Post authorReply

      Hi Gregg and thanks for your question and comments. These socks are the exact thing that should be used for preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis when travelling long distance. Especially for air travel as they prevent the blood from pooling in the lower legs. 

      Sorry to hear your mother had to have surgery for varicose veins, Now that these socks are widely available not so many surgeries have to take place nowadays. The wide use of compression socks by athletes and sports people has really helped to raise awareness of these socks and their benefits and more people use them which is great. The fact that they are now a lot more fashionable and stylish has also helped to increase the amount of people using them. I remember the skin coloured compression socks that my father used to have to wear and they were pretty unsightly. I’m so glad that there is now such a vast and stylish range to choose from.

      Thanks and have a great day


  5. Michele Reply

    Thank goodness, nice attractive, very fashionable compression socks! Yay.

    I have been working in the Health Industry for nearly 20 years and it is a tough job!

    I have always known that we must have very supportive lace up shoes,  so a long time ago I chose the ‘Body shoe’ and I am still wearing them all these years later. Wearing these compression socks can only improve  and add to the benefit of wearing great shoes.

    These can be great for any career, where we find ourselves, standing, walking, for most of our shift, so why not retail staff in department stores, shops, wherever a job keeps us on our feet all day!

    Great post


    • Emma Post authorReply

      Hey Michele, You are completely right in thinking that the wearing of compression socks and a pair of correctly fitting, supportive and cushioned shoes will benefit people in any job where they are on their feet all day whether that be standing or walking. Waiting staff, Nurses, Retail staff, people on patrol all would benefit.

      Thanks for highlighting this important point.


  6. Petra Reply

    I got to this page because I was looking for something to heal plantar fasciitis. I’m pleased to find a page by a nurse, because to me it means that you will give me the best recommendations. Tried and tested so to say. 

    I’ll follow your suggestions with the compression socks (after talking to a GP) and then look for better shoes. I’m already doing stretching exercises so all of this together should make a difference. 

    • Emma Post authorReply

      Hi Petra, I’m glad you found some benefit from the information in this post today. It is always advisable to consult your doctor before using compression socks, I’m glad to hear that you have already incorporated stretching exercises into your routine. If you add the compression socks and make sure to wear shoes that have great support and cushioning I’m sure that you will be able to manage your Plantar Fasciitis effectively. My husband has done all of these things and he suffers a whole lot less now thankfully. He also makes regular use of his massaging foot spa which has helped him a lot as well.

      For some ideas on the right shoes please check out my Best shoes for Nurses Review here Best Nursing Shoes – Skechers Nurses Shoes Review

      Thanks and have a great day


  7. glenda Reply

    Hi Emma, 

    Thanks for this great article on Compression Socks. I enjoyed reading it and I liked how you explained in detailed the many benefits that a compression socks can offer and  pain relief as well. I know how stressful and demanding job every nurses experience and how a compression socks will help relief some of the pains will be a worth point to consider. I’ll glady share this article with my sister cause she does keep on complaining how her feet ache while she’s at work. and She might definitely loved this articles.

    • Emma Post authorReply

      Hi Glenda I’m glad you enjoyed reading the post. You are correct in saying that Nursing is a stressful and demanding Job, but it is also so rewarding. Please do share the details of my site with your sister, If she’s suffering with foot pain as I’m pretty sure there is plenty of advice and tips here that may be of some benefit to her.

      Have a great day


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