The Newest (and Driest) Technology in Compression Socks

sweaty feetOur feet are the second sweatiest part of our body next to our armpits. The 250,000 sweat glands found on each foot can generate between half a cup and a cup of perspiration per day, depending on our level of activity. Unless this moisture is wicked away, our feet will become soggy and the skin soft and damp. Mushy skin becomes damaged a lot faster than dry skin. This is why 100% cotton socks are not a good choice. Cotton appears in a lot of less expensive socks. It absorbs more moisture than many other fibers, but loses all of its insulating ability when saturated, takes forever to dry, and will sag and bunch when wet. Socks which contain high percentages of cotton should be avoided.

Our socks take extreme wear and tear from our daily activities. They protect our feet from blisters and all the abuse we can deal out. Thus as we don (put on) our socks each day their job is to manage moisture and keep our feet dry. Their second job is to give enough padding to keep our feet warm or cool depending on conditions and our activity, and protect our feet from blisters.

Socks and the yarns which are used to knit them are probably one of the least thought about issues of our time. However, if our feet are not happy, we are not happy. The right socks make us feel good. Our manufacturers spend a lot of time and money on research looking for the best yarns to use to knit compression socks and compression stockings to make them both durable and effective. So let’s take some time to consider the yarns used to knit them.

Nylon and polyester are extremely durable. When a sock wears out the nylon is the last threads seen which are holding those favorite socks together. These synthetic, non-porous materials absorb very little water, dry quickly, and help give socks form and structure. Nylon and polyester themselves do not move moisture, but manufacturers apply a variety of coatings to the fibers to wick moisture away from our feet. (Dry feet are less susceptible to bacteria and fungus.) Examples of polyester and nylon socks are the Sigvaris Recovery SockSigvaris Performance SockTherafirm Core-Spun Knee High and Therafirm Core-Spun Cushioned Knee High, and the Sigvaris Performanace Sleeve.

Polyamide is a term often seen in socks. They are the basic fiber forming substances for nylon fiber. Polyamide was developed in the United States about 1935 and first used in stockings about 1940. Nylon fiber is fine, highly elastic, easy to wash, quick to dry and retains its shape well.

Acrylic is another commonly used synthetic material. It closely approximates the plushness of wool, while offering the increased durability of a synthetic. Other materials used include Lycra Spandex or Elasthan, which provide the hugging elastic. Please note that neither Spandex nor Elasthan contain rubber! In fact there are only a very few socks from our manufacturers that do contain rubber. All garments contain Spandex or Elasthan to give the support socks or support stockings the stretch. An example of socks with acrylic, nylon and Elasthan are the Therafirm Core-Spun.

Natural fibers would seem to be a good choice, but some have drawbacks. Cotton, as we have already discussed, is not a good choice. Wool manages moisture well, and wicks moisture away from your feet. Wool provides good padding and warmth, and can absorb up to a third of its weight in water without feeling damp or losing much of its insulating ability. Something you may not have known…wool regulates temperature well keeping feet cool as well as warm. However, wool is also less durable than most synthetic materials, and does not hold its shape well. So that we may have the best of both worlds (natural fibers and man made fibers) our manufacturers are now creating blends of fine wool, nylon, and spandex. Examples of the mix of fine Australian Merino Wool, nylon, and spandex mix are the Sigvaris Merino Wool and the Sigvaris Thermoregulating Wool .

Now last, but by no means least is a patented, intimate blend of synthetic and natural fibers that accelerates the water release rate of wet fabric. Dri-Release® is a micro blend performance yarn that feels like cotton. Rather than just spreading moisture across its surface, Dri-Release® actually pushes moisture to the outside of a garment, releasing water and perspiration. Tests show it dries four times faster than cotton and faster than any other performance fabric on the market. Dri-Release® is the preferred performance fabric for athletes all over the world. The unparalleled performance and moisture transferring qualities of Dri-Release® help these many athletes perform at the top of their game every time. One of the socks we have previously mentioned, Sigvaris Recovery Sock, is an example of a sock containing the Dri-Release® yarn.

In conclusion if shopping for what many of us call support hose, compression hosiery, support socks and many other names, a garment with high contents of synthetic fibers will tend to give us longer wear, provide wicking action to remove moisture from our feet and provide ample padding. Top of this list of synthetic fibers is the new yarn which was developed Optimar called Dri-Release®. It is the very same yarn used in socks worn in bicycle races and triathlons by well know athletes. Socks containing wool are also a good choice because it is  thermo regulating, moisture wicking, insulating, breathable, and durable. 


Happy Activities,

Vanda
SupportHosePlus.com

Compression Helping Athletes from www.SupportHosePlus.com

We frequently receive emails from our wonderful customers sharing their life experiences with us and often times how our products have benefited them and changed their lives. Last week I received an email from Mel thanking us for helping him and with his permission I would like to share it with you.

Hi Vanda,

    I just wanted to drop a note to you about how my compression socks have greatly reduced the swelling and eliminated the leg pain I have been suffering from for years. I have been power-lifting for about 20 years. About four years ago my legs started swelling and aching after heavy workouts. Like most of my power-lifting friends, I just ignored the pain and the obvious symptoms that something was wrong with the circulation in my legs. To a power-lifter, pain just meant you were building power and is just a “natural” part of the process. A year and a half after the swelling started, the veins at my ankles started to become more visible and swollen and I started noticing that the skin tones below my knees were changing to red and even purple in areas. Eventually, the swelling would not go away completely even on days I didn’t lift heavy-the damage was done.
    Three weeks ago, I decided I had to do something about it. The swelling and pain in my legs wasImage getting so bad that I was finding it difficult to do everyday activities. I called Support Hose Plus and spoke with one of the Certified Fitters. She was very knowledgeable about the problems that I was experiencing and fit me in my first pair of Sigvaris Performance socks. I received my order in two days (amazingly fast service), started wearing my new compression socks immediately to see if they would help with the swelling and discomfort of the aching legs. All I can say is that I am simply amazed at the results. My legs are once again the right color, the spider veins at my ankles are all but gone and I have not had any leg pain for over two weeks! I have since purchased three more pair and again received them in two days (it almost seems like you shipped my order before I even placed it). To the Certified Fitter, thank you for being so helpful and knowledgeable and for getting me into my first pair of compression socks. You have changed my life! I will wear them from now on and am recommending them to all my friends and those with leg problems.

Thanks Again,

Mel
Dallas, TX

Thank you for your feed back Mel. Here is the link to the Sigvaris Performance Sock. (This is now called the Sigvaris Motion High Tech.) It is a 20-30mmHg compression sock.
We love to hear from everyone. If you would like to share your experiences with us feel free to scroll to the bottom of this blog entry, you can leave a comment as a guest.

Vanda

Venous Insufficiency and You

It has been a very long time since we have discussed the major diagnosis of people who wear compression hosiery or compression socks … Venous Insufficiency. I thought it might be a good time to revisit this malady, its causes and treatment.

One of the first signs you may experience in venous insufficiency is tired, heavy legs, discoloration or swelling. You may experience minor pain. These symptoms may be the result of insufficient blood flowing back to the heart. As the blood pools or congests in the legs, the veins become insufficient. They expand to accommodate the volume of blood in the lower leg and even appear to meander. Up to 13 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).

Competent Vein

Competent Vein

Most leg problems are caused by age, obesity, sedate lifestyle, standing or sitting for long periods of time, past surgeries, pregnancy, or heredity. You must remember the heart is a one-way pump. The heart pumps blood from the heart through the arteries to the various parts of the body. The veins have the arduous task to return the blood to the heart along with waste and metabolic residue. The movement of the blood toward the heart can be a challenge. Gravity forces the veins to work harder to return the blood to the heart. The veins have little one way valves that work with the leg muscles to pump the blood back to the heart.  In a normal vein, one way valves are located ever 2 – 5 cm to aid in the proximal flow toward the heart. When calf muscles relax, the valves close to prevent blood from flowing backward into the lower part of the veins. These valves are fragile and can be easily damaged. The contraction and relaxation of the calf muscles work as a “secondary pump” to move the blood. Many things can happen that interrupts this blood flow. The valves in the veins may be injured

Contraction of the calf muscle

Relaxation of the calf muscle

Relaxation of the calf muscle

so they do not close completely and allow the blood to remain in the lower leg. Fortunately, the compression provided by your support stockings or compression socks assists the muscles to close the valve properly and to pump the blood back to the heart. When blood remains in the lower extremities, it does not pick up the waste products of cellular metabolism and transport them to the liver for detoxification and to the kidneys for disposal. These waste products remain in the lower extremity and when a small scratch occurs it may not heal and it can become a deep wound or even cellulitis.

The moral to this story is you need to get exercise to make those calf muscles pump (you might want to consider walking or a stationary exercise pedal and wear your compression stockings or support socks. If you are in the very early stages of venous insufficiency, a mild medical compression (15-20mmHg) may be adequate. Something like the Mediven forMen or the pretty Mediven Sheer and Soft. If you have moderate Venous Insufficiency, you might consider in a 20-30mmHg compression Jobst forMen  or the new women’s Jobst soSoft and if your Venous Insufficiency has progressed further, you might consider, upon your physician’s recommendation, 30-40 mmHg the Sigvaris Sea Island Cotton  or Juzo Dynamic (Varin).

If you have venous insufficiency, and have experienced the difference a pair of support hose or support socks can make in your daily life, please scroll to the bottom and leave a comment as a guest.

Thanks!
Vanda

Wear the Right Socks or Stockings with the Right Shoes

Socks are high on the list of everyday items we take for granted. Socks can make a huge difference in the health and comfort of everyday life. Socks and stockings can make a difference to not only to those with venous insufficiency, but also to those with diabetes and arthritis. People who wear the wrong socks can develop blisters, infections, and a bundle of assorted other maladies of the foot. Compression socks and stockings have many properties to keep the foot healthy; including increasing the circulation and keeping the feet dry. All have moisture–wicking ability. They wick the moisture from the inside of the sock to the outside to keep the foot nice and dry. Many socks have extra padding and cushioning which decreases shear and friction to the foot.

There has been a great misconception that cotton socks were best for the feet, but several studies have shown that although the cotton absorbs the moisture well, cotton does not wick the moisture away from the foot. Cotton when wet, looses its cushion, stretches out, and wrinkles causing blisters. More durable synthetic blended fibers wick moisture away from the foot and maintain the cushioning affect.

No other part of the body has more sweat glands per square inch than the feet. Wet feet can lead to maceration, sometimes skin that experiences long periods of maceration becomes vulnerable to fungal and bacterial infection. As opportunistic organisms affect the area, it may become itchy or develop a foul odor. What’s more, because the skin is so much softer, it’s also more susceptible to injury from rubbing or friction. The solution is to keep the feet dry.

Jobst Mens CasualWool is an excellent fiber to regulate moisture as well as temperature. Synthetic fibers has very good insulation qualities as well as its ability to absorb moisture. There are many other products which are used in the wicking and anti-fungal and antibacterial properties of socks. Among them are silver. Even in ancient times these silver was used as anti-fungal and antibacterial materials. Silver is woven into the garments and does not wash out.

SigvarisHighTech


Along with the myth of wearing cotton socks, we have the myth of wearing white socks. It was thought that the dyes used in the garment could leach and harm already compromised feet. While white socks do allow those who have diabetes or neuropathy to keep a closer eye on their feet, the dyes of today are greatly improved.

The fit of stockings and socks can and is most important. Loose fitting socks as well as socks that fit too tight can be equally detrimental. Loose fitting socks in shoes can cause wrinkles and sores. If you have shoes that were fit with thin socks, don’t try to switch to a thicker sock thinking you can give your feet a treat. This can make the shoe fit to tightly and decrease circulation.

Care of the legs is equally important as care of the feet. Good circulation in the legs is critical to healthy legs and feet. Compression stockings help in control of venous insufficiency. The stockings increase the blood flow by assisting the venous valves and help decrease edema.

So wear the right socks or stockings with the right shoes.

Remember, support socks and support stockings can make great stocking stuffers.

Hang the Stockings by the Chimney with Care and

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS

Welcome to the Holidays from SupportHosePlus.com

Welcome to the Holiday season once again. We would like to take this chance to thank all of you for your patronage. It has been a pleasure to provide you with the highest quality in products to meet your compression stocking needs. Thank you for referring us to all of your friends and family. It is important to us knowing that we are able to make your shopping experience pleasant and informative.

It has been a great year at Support Hose Plus with us being able to bring in many new products. Including; a new athletic Performance Sock from Sigvaris, the new Mediven for Men, which helps to supply support to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the new Mediven Comfort, the new patterned Jewel stocking from Sigvaris, the new soft Opaque from Sigvaris, the addition of Diamond Patterned, open-toe and navy colors to the Jobst UltraSheer support hose line and the addition of new fall and winter colors in the Juzo Soft line in the next few weeks. Many of these new products came about by your suggestions. Thank you and keep those product requests coming.

In the upcoming year we are looking forward to bringing you our new website which will include many new products that we hope will more extensively fulfill your compression needs.

Every year I like to share one of my favorite fall recipes. Below you will find one of my favorite stuffed pork chops with apples which are still very good this time of the year.

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and may God bless you.

Brent, Aaron, Vanda and Rod Lancour
and all of the Support Hose Plus team

 

 

Apple and Herb Stuffed Pork Chops

 

Apple Herb Stuffed Pork Chops from SupportHoseStore.com4 Thick Strips of Bacon -Diced
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Apples –Peeled and Diced
1 Yellow Onion –Peeled and Diced
1 Small Fennel Bulb –Cleaned and Diced
½ Tablespoon Grated Ginger
½ Tablespoon Chopped Garlic
½ Cup Panko or Non-toasted Plain Dried Bread Crumbs
½ Cup Chicken Stock or Broth
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
¼ Cup Sugar
½ Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
½ Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Thyme
½ Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Rosemary
½ Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Sage

6 Thick Cut Pork Loin Chops Bone-in about 1½ inches thick seasoned with Salt and Pepper

For the Stuffing:

Peel and dice the apples. Remove and discard the top and core of the fennel, then dice the fennel.  Sauté the bacon in butter over medium heat until cooked but not crisp. Next, add the apples, onions, fennel, ginger and garlic. Cook over low heat until soft. Remove from heat and fold in the remaining ingredients. This stuffing is best if prepared a day in advance and refrigerated.

Pork Chops:

Turn your pork chops onto their end and cut a full pocket in the side all the way to the bone. Stuff each chop with ½ cup of stuffing. Cook at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Rotate pan and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature next to the bone measures 145-150 degrees F. This is great served with some nice herb crusted roasted potatoes and sautéed green beans.