Which compression socks to wear in the summer? The most breathable fabrics and more!

Some of us don’t have the option to go sock-less when the weather heats up. We HAVE to wear compression socks or stockings all year long. So, what are the best options for staying cool and comfortable in compression socks during the summer months? We think fabric choice is the most important decision in selecting summer compression socks and stockings. Here’s what we suggest if you’re looking for breathable socks and stockings for summer:

1. Cotton is a natural fiber that’s ideal for hot Allegro Italian Cotton Socksmonths. It lets air in and quickly wicks away any moisture on your skin. It’s also perfect for anyone who has sensitive skin. A few cotton options to explore:

  • Sigvaris Sea Island Cotton socks for Men and Women are available in 15-20 mmHg and 20-30 mmHg. These Sigvaris socks are great for spring and summer because they are made with a soft and breathable cotton fabric.
  • Allegro Premium Italian Cotton Socks are made of luxurious Italian cotton – imported just for your summer sock needs! Also available in 20-30 mmHg and with an open toe (for your flip flops!)
  • For more stylish cotton options, check out these Vim & Vigr compression socks in camo, argyle, polka dots in a variety of colors in 15-20 mmHg. You can also rock these Vim & Vigr polka dot socks in 20-30 mmHg.

2. Microfiber is another great summer fabric for Therafirm Ease Compression Stockingssocks. It’s soft, stretchy and breathable. It also wicks away moisture from the skin to keep you cool and comfortable. Some people will choose microfiber over cotton because it’s a thinner fabric, which can be better for dress shoes.

  • The Allegro Microfiber collection includes socks, thigh highs, and pantyhose to meet all your compression needs at an affordable price! Choose from 8-15, 15-20 and 20-30 mmHg compression levels. Made from a soft, comfortable fabric.
  • Sigvaris Midtown Microfiber for Men is a collection of men’s knee high socks in 15-20, 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg. These latex-free socks are super stretchy and durable. Looking for stripes? Try Sigvaris Shades for men and women, available in 15-20 and 20-30 mmHg in a variety of striped patterns and heather colors.
  • Sigvaris Soft Opaque for Women is a line of stylish compression wear that comes in a wide variety of colors. It features an advanced moisture management system that keeps legs cool and dry.
  • The EASE Microfiber Collection by Therafirm comes in knee highs, thigh highs and pantyhose in a variety of colors and compression levels. EASE by Therafirm is available in microfiber, opaque and sheer fabrics with a closed or open toe style.

Juzo Silver Knee Highs3. Silver and Copper infused fabrics are another great addition to your summer wardrobe. Silver and copper will eliminate any dangers of stinky, sweaty summer feet because it kills the bacteria around your feet. Additionally, the fibers in these socks have thermodynamic properties so you will stay cooler in the summer.

  • Juzo Silver Socks are the best of the best. Socks are available in anklets, crew length, knee highs, and thigh highs. Compression options range from zero to 30-40 mmHg.
  • Solidea Silver Wave Products are all infused with bacteria-killing silver! Check out the knee highs, anklets and calf sleeves. They’re also very stylish and contain a unique 3D micro massage fabric which is great for relieving fatigue and stimulating lymph flow. Solidea offers micro-massage compression garments as well as sheer stockings.
  • Allegro Athletic Copper Support Socks has copper, (which kills 99.9% of bacteria), embedded in the foot bed. This soft, ribbed sock is made with a heavily padded foot and features a fitted toe to prevent blisters and irritation. This durable sock is affordable and is great for summer runs!

Allegro Sheer Compression Stockings4. Sheer stockings are great for summer! We offer a wide variety of sheer, open toe stockings for those of you who want stockings that are less visible for summertime. Customer favorites for warm, humid climates are:

  • Mediven Sheer and Soft: Available in 4 different compression levels and a wide variety of sizing, both male and female customers love this line of breathable sheers. A customer in Georgia said, “Living in the south, the summer is very hot and humid but I don’t like to go without hose to work. Compression hose are often uncomfortable hot on a humid day but these are terrific. I can’t say enough about the comfort.”
  • Allegro Essential Sheers: Available in 3 compression levels, with many open toe and wide calf options, these stockings are a great affordable option for summer-time wear. Even our customers in Santa Fe are raving about them, “With it being summer, I wanted something I could still wear sandals with. These open-toe stockings are the answer!  And they are sheer…I have had several people comment that they couldn’t even notice I was wearing them.”

Additional Options: The compression experts have been creating their own technologies and materials to keep you cool. Check out these additional, moisture-wicking and skin-cooling fabric options:

  • Mediven Comfort for Women: Medi’s patented Climafresh and Clima-Comfort systems allow for high breathability, reliable temperature control and the prevention of odor formation.
  • Therafirm Ease: Made of high stretch, moisture wicking CoolMax fibers to provide all-day dry, comfortable coolness. Available in knee high, thigh high, and pantyhose. This line is also available with open toes and an even thinner sheer fabric.
  • Go for a run or hit the gym in Jobst Active compression socks, available in black and white. Wear 20-30 mmHg to enhance performance or wear 15-20 mmHg to speed up muscle recovery or help relieve fatigue and swelling after your workout. Now available in full-calf sizes!
  • Core-Spun Patterned Compression Socks come in a variety of stylish patterns in 4 compression levels for men and women. These socks are made with an ultra stretchy fabric and CoolMax polyester to make them nice and cool!

What’s your favorite summer sock?

New EASE Sheers by Therafirm!

A few weeks ago, we got an exciting package in the mail – the newest product line from one of our favorite brands, Therafirm. It was a sneak peak at the new line of EASE Sheers which feature some of the latest technology in knit compression wear. This week, the new line is launching in a variety of colors, styles and compression levels – and we’re excited to finally share our review!

Right out of the package, you can tell that these sheers are different. They’re incredibly smooth and soft to the touch. The 360 degree stretch is obvious with just a gentle pull.

I got a chance to try the 20-30 mmHg pantyhose in Sand. I don’t normally wear this compression level, so I was interested to see how difficult donning them would be. Using the traditional method of donning, I was able to pull the stockings on without too much difficulty. No compression stockings are easy to get on, but these were definitely easier. The extra stretch really helps in getting the stockings up and properly adjusted. The color gives my legs a nice tan, and there is a bit of a shine to the fabric. This gives them a silky look, but might not be appropriate for all occasions. The heel and toe areas are reinforced for durability – as you can see in the picture below.

Sheer Ease Stockings

I especially liked the knit waistband. It’s much smoother than a lot of the stockings on the market. The top of the waistband sits high on the waist so there’s no muffin top to worry about!

All of the stockings – knee high, thigh high and pantyhose – are available in 2 lengths, short and long.  I found them to be incredibly comfortable and perfect for work or a night out!

Sheer EASE Compression Pantyhose

You can try them yourself by purchasing them on our website!

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.