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?

Compression Socks for Arthritis

Arthritis causes pain, swelling, stiffness and limited range of motion. There are hundreds of different types of arthritis that can affect men and women of all ages. Here are some tips for managing arthritis and some products that will help prevent and sooth the pain.

First things first, comfortable shoes are a must. Forget the cute flats with the pointy toes and ditch the heels for shoes with arch support. Invest in shoes that provide shock absorption and stability to keep your ankles from rolling. Shoes with an open toe box help to alleviate pressure. You can also use shoe inserts for comfort and protection. If you have arthritis in your ankles, start wearing shoes that protect your heel and prevent you from rolling your foot inward.

A lot of the time, injury can be a factor in developing arthritis. When you sprain your ankle, the ligaments are stretched. Depending on how bad the strain is, the ligament fibers can be damaged or even completely torn. Ankle fractures may also contribute to arthritis. To prevent ankle pain and injury, take it easy instead of pushing yourself. If you are injured, make sure to rest, apply ice, keep the limb elevated and wear compression socks to reduce swelling. If you do not experience swelling, apply heat to relieve soreness.

Wear ankle braces or compression socks to reduce ankle swelling, joint stiffness and pain. If you have swollen, weak or injured ankles, try wearing an ankle brace or wrap. Choose from top of the line ankle braces and wraps by manufacturers like Therafirm, Juzo, Mediven, Solidea and more to find the best product for your condition. If your arthritis makes it hard for you to get your compression stockings on, consider trying the Sigvaris Select Comfort line. These socks are designed for easy donning, which is ideal for those with arthritis or limited hand strength. Sigvaris Select Comfort includes knee highs, thigh highs and pantyhose for men and women in 20-30mmHg and 30-40mmHg compression levels. You can also use the Jobst Stocking Donner to get your socks on without the hassle. This is ideal for those who have a hard time bending at the waist or have a hard time getting the sock on their foot. If you have arthritis in other areas of the body, here are some other awesome products for all types of arthritis. The Therall products are very popular because they use heat to provide soothing relief to painful areas.

Try to walk on flat, even ground instead of gravel or sand to avoid ankle pain or injuries. When you are sitting down, keep your feet flat or use a foot rest. Sitting with your feet pointed behind you or crossing them is bad for your ankles because it puts pressure on them, which can cause stiffness and discomfort. It is important to strengthen your ankles with exercises. Use a resistance band to strengthen your shin and foot muscles, which support your ankles for stability. You can also go for a swim to strengthen your ankle muscles without experiencing as much pain. You can also try The Foot Gym, which incorporates seven exercises in one device for foot, ankle and calf strengthening and rehabilitation. This clever device is designed to help you achieve stronger and more stable feet and ankles.

Resources

Understanding Arthritis

14 Foot Health Tips

Look Up Arthritis Symtoms By Body Part

Arthritis & Your Feet

Products

Shoe Inserts, Foot Braces & Supports

Ankle Braces & Supports

Other Arthritis Products

The Foot Gym

Jobst Stocking Donner

Sigvaris Select Comfort Line – Men & Women

Diabetic Socks

Dr. Comfort Shoes

Stop Snoring and Start Wearing Compression Socks

Did you know that there are a few simple things you can do to stop snoring loudly at night? It’s as easy as wearing compression socks during the day, or changing the position you typically sleep in. If you’re sick and tired of snoring and keeping your loved ones awake, here are some tips to help you sleep better, without modifying your routine much.

Although snoring is a somewhat normal occurrence, your body is trying to tell you something. Most people don’t recognize the symptoms of a sleeping disorder early on to be able to treat it properly. If you often snore loudly when you sleep, it can be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition that occurs when you stop and start breathing while you rest. This may happen hundreds of times a night and can last for 10-20 seconds each time. This prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep, which is why you feel slow or tired the next day, no matter how long you slept the night before.

Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, irregular breathing while sleeping, morning headaches, memory or learning problems, waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat, being unable to concentrate, and feeling tired or have trouble staying awake during the day. Sleep apnea may also be the reason why you feel depressed, irritable or experience mood swings. It is important to understand the difference between snoring and a sleeping disorder to make sure there isn’t a serious problem going on. Sleep apnea can cause diabetes, heart disease, weight gain and even increase your risk of a stroke if left untreated.

Whether you have a sleeping disorder or if you are just a loud snorer, there are tons of things you can do to get a better night’s sleep. Start by wearing compression socks during the day. Those with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) wear compression socks to reduce the how much fluid builds up in their legs during the day. At night, this fluid moves into the neck area, which can lead to sleep apnea and snoring. If you have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom a lot, wearing compression socks will also help to reduce this. Compression stockings are also great to energize tired, achy legs, reduce swelling, improve blood flow and to wear while traveling or exercising. Choose from tons of everyday and dress styles in knee highs, thigh highs and pantyhose options. After a long day of being on your feet, you will love how great your legs feel.

“The Toronto study found that by the end of two weeks, patients with CVI who used compression stockings cut the number of apnea episodes in half while patients who didn’t use the socks showed no change.”

Some quick and easy things you can do to stop snoring is to use a humidifier when you sleep, take a shower or change your sleeping position. Taking a shower helps to open your nasal passages, which eliminates a stuffy nose and helps you breath better. Dry air can lead to snoring, so try using a humidifier to cut down on snoring. One of the best solutions to stop snoring is to change how you sleep.  Start sleeping on your side instead of your back. When you lay on your back it makes it harder to breathe as the airway narrows, which may be the source of your snoring. Use nasal spray before you go to bed to keep your nasal passages open so you can breathe better at night.

A couple of other things you can do for a more long-term solution are to stop smoking and maintaining a healthy weight. Another key factor is to keep a clean house because dust often stirs up allergies and can also lead to snoring. Talk to your doctor to find the best sleeping solution for you. Over 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and most aren’t even aware of it. For more information, check out the resources below.

Resources

What Is Sleep Apnea?

American Sleep Apnea Association

BrightLife Direct – Compression Socks

Click Here If You Are New To Compression

Men’s Health: The No-Snore Sleep Solution

Blog: Sleep Through The Night With Compression Socks

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

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.

Best Socks for Diabetics

SmartKnit Crew SockTaking proper care of your feet is incredibly important to anyone with diabetes. Diabetics often suffer from poor circulation and neuropathy, which can lead to very serious foot problems including infection and in some cases amputation. Finding a sock that will increase circulation, reduce moisture around the foot, and limit the formation of blisters or ulcers should be a priority for diabetics.

When looking for the right diabetic socks, it’s important to consider the following factors:

  • Compression: Light compression socks (8-15 mmHg) will increase the circulation in the legs, helping to energize the legs by bringing fresh oxygenated blood to the feet and ankles. Increased circulation can also help heal minor wounds or muscle injuries on the leg and feet more quickly.
  • White Socks: Diabetics tend to have low nerve sensitivity in their feet, also called neuropathy. This means that if you stub your toe or step on a sharp object during the day, you might not immediately realize you’ve injured your foot or broken the skin.  Wearing white or light colored socks – that will easily show blood – can be incredibly helpful in these situations as you will be quickly alerted when you remove your shoes that you have injured your foot.
  • Moisture-wicking Fabric: A wound on the foot can be extremely dangerous for a diabetic as the body has a much more difficult time fighting infection and healing. By wearing socks that wick away moisture and kill bacteria, diabetics can reduce the chance of infection.  Socks that are woven with silver and copper thread can kill 99% of bacteria on the foot.  Additionally, many diabetic socks are made with moisture-wicking polyester or acrylic fabrics.
  • Seams: Regular socks often have seams at the toe and heel that can irritate sensitive skin by rubbing against it throughout the day. This daily irritation can lead to the formation of blisters or open wounds. To avoid this, only consider seamless socks that minimize pressure points on the foot.

If you’re looking for diabetic socks, with or without compression, be sure to check out our diabetic socks page. There are several types of socks that have low compression and plenty of cushioning to prevent blisters and abrasions. These socks are available in crew, low cut, and knee-high sizes and in a wide range of prices.
By Brita @ BrightLife Direct
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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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Next best thing to barefoot…

I would go barefoot all day if I could.  Sadly, that isn’t practical living and working in a large city.  As a business owner, I’m often in dress shoes and a pair of mild compression dress socks.  But on those days when I don’t need to dress up, you’ll find me wearing crew length SmartKnit diabetic socks and a comfortable pair of shoes.  The closest thing to being barefoot this side of flip flops.

There aren’t any seams in a SmartKnit sock so you don’t feel pressure anywhere on your foot or toes.  The halo top is so comfortable, I can’t even feel where the top of the sock is on my leg.

SmartKnits are also incredibly durable.  I started with 4 pair over 6 months ago.  Each pair is worn almost every week, and then machine washed and dried.  The 4 pair still look and feel like new.

One can spend a lot less on a diabetic sock, but for my money nothing is as comfortable or durable as a SmartKnit.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
Google+