Holiday Gift Guide For Everyone On Your List

The holidays are almost here and it’s time to shop! Save big on end of the year sales and find awesome gifts for everyone on your list. Click the gift boards to learn more or shop the products. Here’s what’s on our wish list this year:

Gifts For Her

Give her the gift of well being this year. From beauty sets to fashion accessories, here are the best products out there to keep her feeling happy, healthy and pampered like a queen:

Holiday gift guide for women

If women’s fashion isn’t your thing, opt to get the woman in your life lotion, body wash, or other toiletries to give her a nice, relaxing girl’s night in. Holiday quick tip: check out makeup or spa gift sets for a quick gift that’s already put together.

If you do know a thing or two about women’s fashion, upgrade her wardrobe with these stylish pieces, all under $50! Pick out some clothes for her next business trip, or stop by the mall and get those earrings she’s been eyeing all month. If you don’t know her size or style, no worries! That’s what gift cards are for 🙂

gift guide for women

Gifts For Him

Men aren’t always thrilled with shopping (especially when it comes to clothes!), so pick out some new stuff for him this holiday season. You can’t go wrong with a good pair of gloves, shoes or a hat in the wintertime. If the man in your life is on his feet a lot, sits all day at a desk or travels often, pick him out a nice pair of compression socks. Shop now and save big on his favorite brands like Jobst, Sigvaris, Medi, Juzo, Therafirm and more!

men's gift guide

From business meetings to family road trips, these are some great gifts he will love and use. Show some personality in the new Core Spun striped compression socks, available in a variety of patterns and compression levels. These stylish striped socks are now an extra 15% off through January 3rd, 2017. Or, opt for a more sophisticated look in Mediven for Men and save an extra 12.5% off until December 11.

For The Traveler

Going somewhere? Whether you’re going on a long road trip or catching a flight, make sure you wear compression socks to protect your legs against fatigue, swelling and blood clots. They help to keep your legs feeling fresh and energized, so you can enjoy your time when you get to your destination.

holiday gift guide for travelers

Even if you are healthy, you are at risk of developing a blood clot or DVT while traveling, especially when flying. Athletes like Serena Williams have suffered from life-threatening blood clots while traveling. Stock up on a variety of styles for you, your friends and family while these comfortable socks are on sale! In need of ideas? Check out our favorite travel socks for everyone on your list.

For the Athlete

Between practice, games and making dinner, athletes have a lot on their plate! It can be tricky to make the time to work out, especially in the winter. Here are some gadgets to help them stay motivated and improve their game this holiday season.

Athlete Gift Guide for Women

Athletic compression socks are designed to enhance performance, speed up muscle recovery after a tough workout, and prevent injury like shin splints. Check out our collection of athletic compression socks for men and women to step your game up this winter! Remember, the sooner you shop, the more you’ll save!

Athlete Gift Guide for Men

For The Teacher

Teachers deserve a break, just like their students! Help them feel refreshed during the holidays with a good book, a nice cup of coffee and a pair of soft, comfortable compression socks. The Sockwell Meta Cushion Compression Socks are perfect for teachers on their feet all day to prevent fatigue and swelling, while keeping your legs and feet feeling fresh and energized.

gift guide for teachers

You can also surprise your favorite teacher with gifts to brighten the classroom after winter break! Pick out a fun mug to help early mornings or school supplies like pens to grade those endless stacks of homework and quizzes. Bring your classroom to life with an inspiring poster or a live plant! For a low-maintenance option, try succulents, they only need to be watered once every two weeks!

For Nurses

Doctors and nurses are constantly worrying about their patients, after all, it’s their job. Switch their focus to some much deserved me-time this holiday season with these nurse-inspired gifts! Give them the gift of comfort with these stylish compression socks for nurses to battle fatigue and tired, achy legs. These soft, comfortable socks keep your legs feeling energized even after a long shift. Top that off with a pair of NurseMates walking shoes and they’re set!

gift guide for nurses

For The Chef

For the professional chef or the foodie fanatic, these gifts will take their cooking to a whole new level. Pick out cooking utensils or a funny apron for them to use their next meal. For the friend or spouse that struggles to cook, you could sign them up for cooking classes to learn how to make quick and simple dishes that everyone will love. Top it off with our softest compression socks yet – the Allegro Premium Milk Socks and it’s a match made in heaven. These socks will give those tired, achy legs life again after that never-ending shift.

gift guide for cooks, waiters, waitresses, bartenders, and other restaurant workers.

SHOP SALES

 

 

Compression Stockings For Large Legs

If you have large legs finding compression stockings that fit well can be a challenge.  For people with cone shaped legs, rolling and sliding is often a problem.  There are solutions for both of these issues.

Large or Thick Legs

Most manufacturers make wide-calf styles designed for customers with larger legs.

The largest knee high available is the Sigvaris Comfort PLUS which comes in 20-30 mmHg and 30-40 mmHg. The X-Large size in this product can fit a calf up to 28″ around and they come in short and long lengths.

Therafirm Core-Spun products are a great option for larger legs. Core-Spun Knee High Socks are available for men and women. The largest size will accommodate a 17 inch ankle with up to a 25.5 inch calf. Core-Spun Thigh Highs are now available in sizes up to XXXL. They will fit an ankle up to 19″ in circumference, and a thigh up to 39.5″. Core-Spun Thigh Highs are designed for men and women, come in three compression levels and two colors: black and white. Sizes XL-XXXL are offered in the 15-20 and 20-30mmHg compressions only. You can see where you’d fit on the size chart below:

Allegro Surgical Weight Knee Highs 20-30mmHg are available in Wide-Calf sizes that fit a calf circumference up to 26 inches and an ankle up to 15.5 inches. The Surgical Thigh High and Allegro Sheer Thigh Highs are sized up to XXX-Large to fit a 15.5 inch ankle and 36 inch thigh. A customer who purchased the Surgical Weight Knee highs said, “This product fit perfectly and I have really big calves… not too tight – comfortable. Wore them all day!” The Allegro products are a great, affordable option for most customers.

Mediven Extra-Wide Calf sizes are available in Medi PlusMedi Comfort,  Mediven for MenMedi Assure and Mediven Forte, 20-30 mmHg and higher. Medi Extra-Wide calf sizes vary by size, so be sure to check the specific size chart for the stocking you want.

Juzo has begun carrying a line of Varin Max products designed for larger legs. Size V will fit an ankle up to 14 inches, a calf up to 26 inches and a thigh up to 37 inches. The Max line is available in 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg in knee highs and thigh highs.

Jobst Full-Calf sizes are designed to fit a calf circumference of 18-24 inches and an ankle up to 14 inches. These sizes are available in Jobst for Men CasualJobst ActiveWearJobst Relief, and Jobst UltraSheer in 15-20, 20-30, and 30-40mmHg. Full-Calf sizes are available in Jobst Opaque 20-30mmHg and higher.

Cone Shaped Legs

When I first heard this term, I thought, “Well, nearly everyone has a cone-shaped leg – the ankle is always smaller than the thigh.” But, that is not the shape we’re speaking of when it comes to socks and stockings. When you measure your legs, most people will find that their knee circumference is smaller than the widest point of the calf. In a cone-shaped leg, the measurements do not decrease at any point as you move up the leg – the calf and knee are about the same measurement.

If your leg is cone-shaped, compression knee highs have a tendency to roll or slide. A sticky silicone top-band will typically solve this problem. Knee highs with silicone top-bands are available in 15-20, 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg.

Both Jobst and Mediven have launched a new design of the silicone top band where they use sticky silicone fibers that are woven through the top band. This creates a more gentle hold against the skin. The Mediven product is called Vitality and Jobst is called SoftFit.

If you still have difficulty keeping the silicone top band in place, using a light adhesive at the band is a great option. It Stays is a water-soluble skin glue that is hypo-allergenic and safe for all compression stockings. It’s available in a 2oz roll-on bottle. A dab or two of It Stays will keep your knee highs and thigh highs up all day.

Must-Have Socks of 2015: Best Sellers

Allegro_horiz_generalWith the end of the year rapidly approaching, it’s time to take a look at our customer favorites this year. Allegro continues to be our most popular brand – with consistently great prices and styles, it’s hard for customers to pass up! Jobst, Medi, Sigvaris and Juzo also make appearances in our best-sellers list.

Check out our best selling socks, armsleeves and braces below!

Best Selling Sheer Compression Lines

  1. Allegro Essential Sheers
  2. Jobst UltraSheer
  3. Medi Sheer & Soft

Best Selling 20-30 mmHg Compression Socks

  1. Allegro Essential – Unisex Cotton Compression Sock 20-30mmHg – # 111
  2. Allegro Essential – Mens Ribbed Support Socks 20-30mmHg – # 102
  3. Allegro Surgical Knee High 20-30 mmHg – # 200/201
  4. Jobst Relief Knee Highs 20-30 mmHg
  5. Medi Assure Knee High 20-30 mmHg

Best Selling Compression Accessory

  1. It Stays – Body Adhesive
  2. Hosiery Mate Revitalizing Washing Solution
  3. Sigvaris Ridged Donning Gloves

Best Selling Diabetic Socks

  1. Jobst Sensifoot
  2. SmartKnit Seamless Diabetic Socks
  3. Juzo 5760 Silver Sole Socks

Best Selling Lymphedema Armsleeves

  1. Jobst Bella Lite Armsleeves
  2. Juzo Soft Armsleeves
  3. Juzo Varin Armsleeves
  4. Mediven Harmony
  5. LympheDivas Stylish Armsleeves

Best Selling Athletic Compression Socks

  1. Allegro Athletic Support Sock in 15-20 and 20-30 mmHg
  2. Allegro Athletic Recovery Sock #387 (15-20mmHg)
  3. Sigvaris Merino Outdoor Sock in 15-20 and 20-30 mmHg
  4. Jobst Active Socks
  5. Sigvaris 401 Athletic Recovery Socks

Best Selling Knee Braces and Supports

  1. Medi Seamless Knit Knee Support
  2. Therall Joint Warming Knee Support
  3. Solidea Silver Compression Knee Support

What were your favorite products from 2015?

The US National Field Hockey Team Wears Compression Socks!

WNT 14_15 poster

The U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team is one of the most hard working teams out there, training twice a day for five days a week. This year, they are utilizing athletic compression socks to get a competitive advantage. These socks provide medical grade compression to help prevent leg and ankle injury, reduce the time it takes to recover and to increase circulation to keep legs feeling energized and fresh.

Dave Hamilton, the USA Field Hockey director for performance science explains that these are not your average socks; “They are individually knitted using measurements obtained from a 3 dimensional scan of both legs.” The idea is to help athletes train more effectively. Unlike most compression socks, the ones the U.S. National Team wear come complete with an electrical stimulation device (firefly) that stimulates the body’s natural calf pump.

Compression garments without all the bells and whistles still give athletes a competitive advantage. Professional sports players like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are widely known for their use of compression garments. Compression socks and sleeves are designed to increase blood flow to enhance performance. For the most part you’ll find that athletes and fitness enthusiasts swear by wearing compression socks post workout to flush out lactic acid from the muscles, which speeds up recovery. Most athletes who use compression for recovery are able to perform at the same level of intensity within a day or two.

Athletic compression socks help athletes reach their full potential without experiencing muscle soreness afterwards. Both the Men’s and Women’s National Field Hockey Teams have been wearing compression socks for years. Compression socks are becoming more and more popular in the sports world with good reason. Whether you want to run farther, train harder or recover faster, athletic compression socks can help you achieve your goals.

SHOP ATHLETIC COMPRESSION SOCKS

Looking for flashy athletic compression socks? Check out BrightLife GoS14_Campaign_Urban_Run_Underpass_RGB-smaller

Best Selling Products of 2014

As another year comes to a close, we tend to look back on the highlights of this past year. Here at BrightLife Direct, we are excited to share some of our major accomplishments of 2014: Our best sellers! Here is a list of all of your favorite products from this past year. Thank you for supporting us, we couldn’t have done it without you all. Happy New Year!!!

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Best Selling Sheer Compression

  1. Allegro Sheer Hosiery
  2. Jobst UltraSheer
  3. Medi Sheer & Soft

Best Selling Compression Sock

  1. Allegro Athletic Support Sock
  2. Allegro Ribbed Support Socks
  3. Therafirm Core-Spun Socks

Best Selling Compression Accessory

  1. It Stays – Body Adhesive
  2. Sigvaris Ridged Donning Gloves
  3. Hosiery Mate Revitalizing Washing Solution

Best Selling Diabetic Socks

  1. Jobst Sensifoot
  2. SmartKnit Seamless
  3. Allegro Pillow Soft Diabetic Socks

Best Selling Lymphedema Combined Armsleeves and Gauntlets

  1. Allegro Armsleeve/Gauntlet Combo
  2. Mediven Harmony Armsleeve & Gauntlet
  3. Sigvaris 912 Advance Armsleeve/Gauntlet Combo

Best Selling Athletic Compression Socks

  1. Allegro Athletic Support Sock
  2. Jobst Active Athletic Socks
  3. Allegro Athletic Copper Support Socks

Best Selling High Compression Socks (30-40 mmhg)

  1. Allegro Surgical Knee High
  2. Jobst Relief Knee Highs
  3. Allegro Men’s Super Support Sock

Professional Athletes Love Compression Arm Sleeves

sports armsleeves

Whether you’ve seen compression arm sleeves worn by professional athletes or by someone working out at the gym, it’s hard not to notice the amount of attention arm sleeves have been getting. We have been surrounded with sports stars like LeBron James, Robert Griffin III, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Johnny Manziel, Allen Iverson, Dwyane Wade and many more who all famously wear compression garments. Although compression sleeves are usually used to treat medical problems or to help heal after an injury, arm sleeves can be worn regularly to help keep you energized by reducing muscle fatigue, improving circulation, increasing performance, providing protection from injury and can even reduce soreness as well.

With tons of pro athletes such as Robert Griffin III regularly using compression arm sleeves, they are starting to make a fashion statement. When asked why he wears an arm sleeve on his left hand (when he throws with his right), the quarterback claims that it’s not about functionality, it’s about feeling good. As more and more people demand to know why he always wears it, RGIII explains the rituals that him and other players have; “You see we [NFL players] do these things because they make us comfortable. Not to be different. Been wearing a sleeve and glove for 10 years.”

Like RGIII, Allen Iverson was introduced to compression arm sleeves because of an injury, but came to like them so much that he continued to wear them! And conveniently enough, it helped to cover up tattoos that are not allowed in the NBA. Clever right? Thanks to LympheDIVAs and LympheDudes, there are now tons of fun, eye-catching and unique patterns of compression arm sleeves and gloves to choose from. Now you can boost your confidence with fresh compression arm sleeves just like the pros.

Yes, arm sleeves can also keep you warm, but did you know that the Core-Sport Gradient Compression Arm Sleeve, along with a lot of other products sold on BrightLife Direct are antimicrobial to protect your body against bacteria and also helps to eliminate odors. The material the sleeves are made out of actually works to kill bacteria. If you have open wounds, recently had surgery or are more prone to infection, choose items that are antimicrobial or that contain silver in them. Silver is known to have medicinal properties that help speed up the healing process. BrightLife offers products with silver-coated fibers for both men and women.

So there you have it! Arm sleeves can help you recover and improve your performance, while making you look great at the same time. So what are you waiting for? Get shopping!

 

Standing Desks: How to Prevent Swollen Ankles

Nearly all of this year’s must-have gift lists include the new wave of lifestyle monitoring devices like the Fitbit or Jawbone Up. The goal of these is to make people more aware of their activity, or lack of activity as it may be for most. For years, doctors have told us that we’re suffering for the “sitting disease” with more than 86% of American workers sitting all day at work – adding up to about 13 hours of sitting per day (this doesn’t include how many hours you clock in bed sleeping). That’s a lot of sedentary activity! Unfortunately, most of us are required to be in front of a computer 8 hours a day – and there’s no way to avoid that. So, more and more companies are giving employees the option of standing desks. These are great for a number of reasons – they can relieve back pain, improve your posture and help you burn more calories during the day. But, there are some unfortunate side effects to the standing desk that some people are realizing.

A writer at Quartz.com recently wrote about “The Huge Hidden Downside to Standing Desks” – swollen ankles or cankles. See the image below of her sad ankles after a day at her new standing desk:

 

Cankles aren’t the only unfortunate side effect to standing desks. We’ve also read articles citing an increase in spider and varicose veins in the legs, as well as leg and foot pain. It makes sense – nurses, waitresses, bartenders, sales people and more (basically anyone who is required to be on their feet all day) have always complained about these issues. Standing puts an incredible amount of pressure on our circulatory system – gravity makes it hard to pump blood back from the feet to the heart which leads to swelling and enlarged veins.

So, to sum this whole thing up – sitting is bad and standing is bad too. What’re we all supposed to do!?

Wear compression socks, of course! If you have the opportunity to use a standing desk, take it. You can get the great health benefits of standing and prevent the side effect by simply wearing support socks or stockings. Compression hosiery relieves the pressure on the circulatory system by promoting healthy circulation. These socks prevent swelling, spider veins and varicose veins. Here are some of our favorites for standing:

Who makes Therafirm, SmartKnit, EASE and Core-Spun?

In the first of our “Meet The Manufacturers” Series we talk with Evan McGill, National Sales Manager for Knit-Rite, Inc.  Knit-Rite owns some of the better known brands in the compression hosiery industry such as Therafirm, SmartKnit, EASE, and Core-Spun, sold on BrightLifeDirect.com, plus Preggers and GoGo sold on BrightLifeGo.com.  When BrightLife Direct was founded in 1999, Therafirm was the first and only brand that we sold.  Both companies have enjoyed rapid growth in the following 15 years.

When and where did the company begin?  

Knit-Rite opened in 1923 in Kansas City, KS, where our corporate headquarters is still based. Knit-Rite was founded by a WWI amputee manufacturing prosthetic socks for amputees. Knit-Rite purchased THERAFIRM in September 2000.

How many people work at Knit Rite?

Right now we employ about 170 people. About half of them work in Kansas City, KS and half work at our THERAFIRM plant in Hamlet, NC. We also have 4 field based sales reps.

Where are your products manufactured?

Our Knit-Rite orthotic and prosthetic products are manufactured in Kansas City, KS and our THERAFIRM compression products are manufactured in Hamlet, NC. Yes, our products are 100% made in the USA!

What’s your best selling product?

Core-Spun has built the biggest notoriety for the company. This is available in a knee high and now a thigh high as well. Many individuals struggle with putting their support hosiery on every day. Core-Spun, a patented innovation by THERAFIRM, solves this issue with the use of stretchy Core-Spun yarns for a sock that is ultra stretchy and therefore easier to put on. Core-Spun yarns are made by twisting fibers around an inner fiber, creating one yarn. This process is used to enhance stretch comfort, strength, and durability. Core-Spun consists of spandex as the “core yarn” with polyester yarns as the “sheath” of twisted yarns around the core. The result is a support sock that is ultra stretchy, easier to put on, and more comfortable to wear. This product is VERY popular!

What’s your hottest new product?

EASE is our hottest new product and we have received great feedback from patients thus far.  EASE is a premium opaque gradient compression line that complements the patented Core-Spun compression socks—both engineered using ultra stretchy yarns for compression garments that are easier to put on and more comfortable to wear. It is made of high stretch, moisture wicking CoolMax fibers and provides dry comfortable coolness. It delivers lab tested true gradient compression to promote better blood flow, prevent mild to moderate swelling, and relieve tired, achy legs and feet.

Besides compression stockings, what else does Knit Rite make?

Knit-Rite’s core business is manufacturing textiles for the orthotic and prosthetic community, which is artificial limbs and braces. We more or less make any textile that could fall into that category including prosthetic socks, shrinkers, various product interfaces, etc.

Has Knit Rite ever made a product that bombed?

Of course not! We’re perfect! 🙂 In all seriousness, we initially launched Core-Spun with one sizing chart, but made adjustments to it after its launch to better fit the modern day population.  Ankle to calf ratio is so important to properly fitting a compression product, so those adjustments were made to accommodate that.

Have you noticed any trends in compression stocking colors?

People want compression to look like any other sock, tight, etc. they would wear. As a society, we are very fashionable and enjoy fashionable colors. With that said, we are seeing trends for various colors outside the normal black, beige, etc.. Our THERAFIRM Light line (10-15mmHg) comes out with seasonal colors 2 times per year. Right now, we have THERAFIRM Light opaque footless tights available in a handful of seasonal colors including Boho Pink and Geranium for Summer 2014!

For athletic wear, what do you sell more of – socks or sleeves?

We actually sell more socks. We make our Core-Sport line in socks, leg sleeves AND arm sleeves. Athletic socks are ideal for your runner and biker. For someone who does triathlons, they tend to prefer leg sleeves because they can wear them during the swim, bike and run portions. Core-Sport has Core-Spun yarns in them, so it will dry quickly, making it ideal for any type of athlete during performance or during recovery.

You travel a lot as a sales manager, what’s your favorite travel sock?

For me, I prefer Core-Spun the most. I wear dress shoes almost daily, so not only is that sock easy to get on and comfortable to wear, but its very comfortable for me in dress shoes. It’s not too thick and not too thin, so it works well for me.

What’s the biggest hurdle or obstacle to getting someone to try compression socks for the first time?

The misconception amongst many people is that compression socks are ugly, hot, hard to get on, and not fashionable. Compression has very much evolved over the years. Products like Core-Spun and EASE are easy to get on, are comfortable to wear and are offered in a wide array of colors. Once someone, whether it’s someone who needs compression for medical reasons OR someone who just wants to energize their legs, understands the benefits of compression and gets the standards “myths” debunked, they are usually very open to trying it and making their legs feel better.

New Core-Spun Thigh Highs

We began selling Core-Spun compression knee highs back in March 2009.  They were an instant success – customers couldn’t stop raving about how stretchy and comfortable these socks were.

See what our customers were saying:Therafirm Core Spun Review Therafirm Core Spun Review Therafirm Core Spun Review

Core-Spun stockings are soft and ultra stretchy, so they’re easier to put on and take off.  The secret is in the yarn.  Knit-Rite, the company behind Core-Spun, wraps fibers of polyester around an inner core of Lycra creating one yarn.  This soft, elastic, and durable yarn is now being knit into thigh high stockings.

Core-Spun Mens Thigh-HighCore-Spun Womens Thigh-High

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Core-Spun Thigh Highs are available in black and white, and in three compression levels, 15-20, 20-30, and 30-40mmHg.  They have a silicone-dot band to keep the stocking comfortably in place.  Designed for both men and women, Core-Spun thigh highs are available in a short and long length.  Sizing is currently limited to Small through X-Large, however, later this year sizing will be available to fit an ankle up to 19” and a calf up to 39.5”.  These will be the largest ready-to-wear sizes available in a compression thigh high.

Core-Spun Thigh High Size Chart

If you need compression above the knee and you want a thicker material that’s easy to put on and take off, try a pair of the new Core-Spun Thigh Highs.

Do you know about the Therafirm brand?

Therafirm is a brand of USA-made compression hosiery that was developed by Parke Davis back in the early 1950’s.  This was about the same time that the iconic “Supp-hose” brand became a household-name.  Therafirm has changed owners several times over the past five decades, and was most recently purchased by Knit-Rite, Inc. in 2000.  BrightLife Direct actually began as an offshoot of Therafirm right before it was purchased.

Located in Kansas City, KS,  Knit-Rite set a goal of modernizing the brand, and improving the quality of it’s products.  Knit-Rite brings almost a century of manufacturing experience to the new Therafirm, and the brand has been ascending ever since.

Knit-Rite invested heavily in people, production capacity, quality control systems, and product development.  In fact, the grand opening of their new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in North Carolina was just this past June.

Ribbon-cutting-at-new-Thera

Therafirm offers an extensive line of support stockings for both men and women.  Their Core-Spun support stockings (which can accommodated calf sizes up to 25 1/2″) and SmartKnit diabetic socks are perennial best-sellers.  BrightLife Direct is very happy to again carry the complete Therafirm line.

Here’s a peek inside their new manufacturing facility.  The most sophisticated (and expensive!) knitting machinery in the world, turning nylon and spandex into compression stockings.

inside therafirm factoryBy: Pete@BrightLife Direct
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