How to Improve Circulation With Socks

Updated July 20, 2017

Poor circulation in the feet and legs arises from a group of conditions called peripheral vascular disease. According to ePodiatry, peripheral vascular disease is most commonly caused by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which causes the walls of the veins and arteries to harden and restricts blood flow to the extremities. Poor circulation in the lower extremities can also be caused by decreased mobility. Socks can help improve circulation in your feet in several ways..

Avoid wearing socks with tight-fitting plastic bands, choose socks with loosefitting bands instead. Wearing tight socks can constrict blood flow to the feet and make your circulation worse.

Wear socks when your feet are cold, especially during the winter. Poor circulation can make your feet feel cold, but wearing socks to keep them warm during the day and while in bed helps to keep them warmer. When your feet are warm the blood flows more easily, which can improve the circulation to your feet.

Consult your doctor about whether or not compression stockings would be helpful for you. According to VEIN directory, compression stockings are made of a of a strong material and are graduated from the foot up to the knee or thigh, being tighter at the foot and loosening as they move up the leg. The compression stockings put a squeezing pressure on the leg muscles. The pressure encourages the blood to flow back up to the heart and helps improve circulation.

Purchase compression stockings based on the type, grade and size recommended by your doctor. They come in many different brands, styles and colours.

Wear your compression stockings during the day as prescribed by your doctor, but remove them at night. Since your feet are elevated while you are in bed, it is not necessary to wear the compression stockings, and you can let your feet breathe and rest without restriction.

Wear your compression stockings while exercising and while working if you are required to be on your feet a lot during your shift. Prolonged standing can cause the feet to swell more which can restrict your blood flow more. Wearing the compression stockings during physical activity will help keep the blood flowing in your extremities and help to keep the swelling down.


Regular exercise helps keep your blood flowing and is a key to improving poor circulation.


Consult a doctor before wearing compression stockings. If you have poor circulation in your feet check them often for any injuries, and consult your doctor if you notice any cuts and scrapes that are not healing.

Things You'll Need

  • Loose-fitting socks
  • Compression stockings
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About the Author

Elissa Zubrick has been writing for over 15 years, ranging from poems and short stories to academic papers and articles. She has published on various websites and currently has an Associate of Arts from Central Oregon Community College, looking to further her education and become a Registered Nurse.