Types of Compression Boots

Updated February 21, 2017

Compression is used to treat many circulation problems, including oedema, varicose veins and insufficient circulation. There are many different compression treatments available, including compression stockings and boots. Perhaps the most familiar type of compression boot is the air sequential compression device. These can be wrapped around or slipped over the leg and are attached to a pneumatic pump that intermittently inflates and deflates the boot.

Cuff-Type Boot

This type of compression boot doesn't resemble a boot. Instead, it's a cuff, which is wrapped around the calf or foot. It delivers intermittent massage and acts as a pump to improve circulation in the foot and lower leg. This style of boot is relatively small and non-bulky but cannot be used to treat larger areas of the leg.

Sport Boot

This device is shaped more like a boot and may include a cold pack option to provide cold therapy as well as compression. This is common in models intended to treat injuries from sports accidents. Boots of this type may include a grip sole to help the user walk in the boot, but these boots may be very bulky. This type of boot can treat the entire lower leg and foot.


This type of boot covers more of the leg than the cuff-style, but less than the sport-style. The design is a sleeve, made up of several inflatable chambers around the leg. This type commonly includes a section for the foot that does not inflate. This style of boot has been promoted as being more user-friendly than other varieties of compression boot.

Inflatable Stocking

This type of compression boot resembles a compression stocking more than a conventional compression boot. Originally designed for the overweight and elderly, the stocking slips over the leg and is then inflated via a hose from an external pump. It may be a good choice for lower leg swelling and vein problems.

Cardio Compression Boot

Cardio-based compression boots such as Circulator boots provide an additional benefit--they inflate and deflate in time with the wearer's heartbeat. They can be programmed to compress after each heartbeat, or to compress every second or third beat. This type of boot can also treat specific areas of the leg, rather than the whole leg at once.

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About the Author

G.D. Palmer is a freelance writer and illustrator living in Milwaukee, Wis. She has been producing print and Web content for various organizations since 1998 and has been freelancing full-time since 2007. Palmer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and studio art from Beloit College in Beloit, Wis.