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5 Ways People Try to Wear Support Socks – But Shouldn’t

Have you ever seen one of those “best of epic fail” videos on YouTube? It’s like I’m back in my childhood, suddenly watching an on-demand, much-more-recent episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos! Some of them are so painful that you can’t look away – and others you just hurt for the poor person who thought filming that activity was a good idea. In any case, let’s take a look at some ways people have tried to wear their support socks – and it didn’t work so well.

When it comes to wearing support socks, it is possible to wear them in an unsafe manner. That's why knowing how to put on and wear your compression socks is so important. #compressionsocks #compressionstockings #supportsocks

How NOT to wear your Support Socks

If you’re reading this and wondering how people can get wearing socks wrong… I used to wonder that, too. Then, I started reading the reviews and comments and emails that people who bought my socks would leave me. And suddenly, I realized what my English 315 professor had meant when she insisted we practice writing insanely simplistic instruction manuals. Y’all, I’d thought socks didn’t need instructions. I was wrong – which is why I wrote the Complete Cute Compression Sock Guide (which you can get for free when you subscribe on the home page).

Anyway, let’s see some support sock fails, shall we?

1. Please don’t be surprised when your support socks are tight.

Have you ever tried on a new shirt, and been disappointed when the manufacturer’s definition of “medium” or “large” was nowhere near the rest of the world’s definition? It’s frustrating when you try something on (that you very reasonably thought would fit) – only to find out that it doesn’t.

But what about when you try on something that you know is going to feel snug? What then? Are you surprised, frustrated, or relieved that it’s as advertised?

Compression and support socks do just that – they compress your leg. They’re tight, y’all. I know it. That’s why I try to make it abundantly clear that they are tight. Even so… the handful of 1-star reviews on Amazon make me think that some folks are shocked that these socks are so tight.

Oh well. That’s part of the reason for the generous return and exchange policy, right?

2. “Knee high socks” don’t go above the knee.

One of my all-time favorite support sock fails is this one:

knee high support socks don't go over your thighs

Yes, compression socks are long. That’s so that you’ve got extra fabric for adjusting them so they feel good – not so that they can cover your knees and beyond.

When people try to wear compression or support socks the wrong way, it doesn't end well. Be sock smart and avoid these 5 common mistakes. Click To Tweet

3. Support socks aren’t meant to be folded over.

Yes, compression socks are long. And a few enterprising souls decided that they could fix that – by simply folding the top part of the socks down. While that works great for regular socks (especially the cute little girls’ church socks!), it kinda backfires with compression socks.


Because support socks are tight. So when you double up the already-tight fabric, well, you’re just making everything even tighter.

So, it’s gonna be too tight – and maybe even hurt.

4. Why would you wear something – or do something – that hurts?

Pain is a fantastic way for our body to learn not to do things that could hurt or kill us. So if your support stockings are too tight… why not buy a lower compression rating and/or a different sized sock?

I get it – I do. It’s hard when there’s only one size available. But that’s why I put together a list of ten of my favorite compression socks – that way, if these don’t fit you, you’ll be able to see some others that should have your size available.

Because wearing something that hurts just sounds… painful. So don’t do it, y’all.

If they hurt, take ’em off. Try again another time – or try a different pair.

5. Yes, they’re long. But they’re adjustable.

Okay, so let’s get back to the fact that all compression socks are long. They are long so that they are adjustable.

compression socks and support socks are long by design so that you can adjust them

Please don’t use scissors to “adjust” them to a better size… especially if sewing isn’t already a hobby of yours.

Those are the 5 most common support stocking fails I’ve seen – have I missed any? I’d love to hear your story, too!

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