As a postman or postwoman, you’re on your feet all day long! Monday through Saturday you’re walking block after block, carrying a hefty bag, and delivering letters, packages and postcards to houses, apartments, businesses, and more. With little to no rest, except maybe a quick drive to the next part of the city, post office workers often complain of tired, aching, painful feet and legs. Leg and foot pain, varicose veins, spider veins, swollen ankles and feet are all pretty much occupational hazards for postmen. If you’ve already invested in comfortable walking shoes, what more can you do to prevent these symptoms? The answer is simple, but not often known – compression socks!
So – what’s happening with your legs and why do compression socks help?
When you’re on your feet all day, gravity has an enormous effect on the circulation of your blood. As you probably remember from anatomy, blood pumps from your heart into arteries, which carries the fresh, oxygenated blood to all of your extremities. Veins are then supposed to bring the blood back to your heart for fresh oxygen. When we’re standing, our veins have to work a great deal harder to pump that blood from our feet back to our heart. So, as the day wears on and your delivery route continues, your feet and ankles start to swell and your legs begin to feel tired, heavy and sometimes throb with pain. You feel this way because all of the blood pumping through your legs isn’t making it back up to your heart – instead it’s pooling in your veins (thus the spider and varicose veins) and at your ankles (thus the swelling). Graduated compression socks help those veins push blood back up to your heart. These socks gently encourage blood back up the leg, increasing blood circulation and reducing pressure on your veins. So – no more spider and varicose veins, more energy, and less pain.
When choosing a list of recommended socks for mail carriers, we looked for a padded foot bed, breathable fabric, and moisture-wicking qualities. We’re recommending socks with 15-20 mmHg of compression, which is a safe level to start with. If you have very painful varicose veins or sever swelling, consult your doctor to see if a stronger compression level is needed. All of these socks look like socks (surprised?) – they don’t resemble the compression socks you may envision your grandmother wearing.
- Allegro Athletic Copper Sole Sock – This sock works well for men and women. The copper woven into this sock actually kills bacteria on your feet. This actually prevents smelly feet at the end of the day and athlete’s foot.
- Sigvaris Merino Outdoor Sock – Wool sounds like a winter fabric, but it’s actually thermo-regulating – meaning it will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This is a really high quality, durable product that’s great for both men and women.
- Mediven Active Sock – A truly indestructible sock, meant for all day, every day use. Incredibly soft and comfortable – made with a fabric that’s wonderful for sensitive skin.