Open Toe vs. Closed Toe Compression Stockings

We often have customers ask us – “What’s the difference between open toe and closed toe compression socks?”

The physical appearance of the sock is clear. Open toe compression stockings do not cover the toes – the fabric ends at the ball of the foot. Closed toe compression stockings, of course, cover the toes.

So, why would you choose to wear one over the other? Is closed toe more effective?

The truth is that choosing open toe over closed toe (or vice versa) is simply a style preference. The gradient compression begins at the ankle, so you don’t lose any of the sock’s compression functionality by adjusting the foot.

A few reasons to choose open toe:

  1. Open Toe stockings are great for the summer time.  If you wear compression socks year round, but still want to enjoy flip flops, sandals and peep toe heels and flats, open toe stockings can make that happen!
  2. Long feet: Many customers find that open toe stockings are more comfortable because they have very long feet that don’t necessarily fit comfortably into standard sized socks.
  3. Toe comfort: If you have long toes or toenail problems, open toe socks may be most comfortable.

Customers should NOT buy open toe stockings if they have any swelling in their feet. Open toe compression socks can make the swelling in the foot worse in this situation.

Closed Toe vs Open Toe

What brands carry open toe socks and stockings?

Almost all of the major compression stocking brands carry open toe styles.

  • Allegro: Sheers, Surgical Weight and Microfiber
  • Jobst: Relief, UltraSheer, and Opaque
  • Juzo: Naturally Sheer, Basic, Soft, and Dynamic/Varin
  • Mediven: Assure, Plus, Sheer & Soft, and Forte
  • Sigvaris: Sheer Fashion, Natural Rubber, EverSheer, Soft Opaque, Select Comfort, and Access,
  • Therafirm

Does Medicare pay for compression garments?

We’ve written a number of blog posts on this subject, but with all of the changes taking place in the world of healthcare, thought it was time for an update.

On a positive note, Representative David G. Reichert of Washington state introduced H.R.3877, the Lymphedema Treatment Act on Jan 15th of this year.  The bill would amend title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act (SSA) to cover certain lymphedema compression treatment items as durable medical equipment.  The bill is currently in committee, and has nine cosponsors.  Similar bills were introduced in 2010 (H.R. 4662) and in 2011 (H.R. 2499), but neither passed. Maybe the third time will be the charm.

With regard to compression stockings prescribed for edema (swelling), varicose veins, venous insufficiency, etc. nothing has changed.  Following is a list, updated in July of this past year, of compression garments that are NOT covered by Medicare.

compression garments not covered by medicareBy: Pete@BrightLife Direct

Compression Socks for Golfers

How do your legs feel after 18 holes of golf? After walking anywhere from three to six miles with a heavy bag of clubs, your answer is probably tired, achy, sluggish. So, what can you do to make your day on the course better and prevent tired golf legs? The answer is compression socks!

In 2010, three dozen golfers, both men and women, ranging in skill level, were evaluated wearing SIGVARIS compression socks during a round of golf. After the study,  86% (31 of 36) of the golfers, responded that their legs and/or ankles felt LESS tired and aching at the end of the golf round when wearing the SIGVARIS graduated compression golf sock (Source: Sigvaris).

Why do compression socks help golfers?  When you’re on your feet all day long, your body struggles to push blood from your feet back to your heart. Graduated compression helps enhance blood circulation in your legs, taking pressure off of your circulatory system and making sure fresh, oxygenated blood is getting to your muscles.  The compression also stops the lactic acid build up which causes soreness.

Professional golfers are already realizing the benefits of compression. In recent LPGA and PGA tours, many golfers were wearing knee high compression socks with shorts, skirts and pants.

Brittany Lincicome, one of the longest drivers in women’s golf, is a recent fan of compression socks. She said, “I was unaware of the differences that a graduated compression sock could make in my performance, but my recovery is quicker from my workouts and that allows me to focus on my golf game. SIGVARIS graduated compression socks work wonderfully and make my legs feel energized and lighter.”

So, what kind of compression socks do we recommend for golfers?

  • Sigvaris Cushioned Cotton for Men 15-20 mmHg – the original sock from the Sigvaris study mentioned above. Tested and approved by male golfers!
  • Sigvaris Athletic Recovery Sock 15-20 mmHg –  A unisex sock that features a padded foot, arch support, DriRelease fabric, and mild graduated compression.
  • Allegro Athletic Support Socks 15-20 mmHg – Extremely soft with the added benefit of a padded foot for all day comfort. Customers say: “The first time that I put the Allegro Athletic Support Stockings on, my legs felt wonderful. I use them each time that I play golf and I can walk the course now.”
  • Jobst Sport 20-30 mmHg – Has a padded foot bed, moisture-wicking fabric for warm days, and moderate graduated compression to keep your legs energized.

Are there other socks you would recommend to improve your golf game?