I’m not a fan of ‘flesh-coloured’ medical undergarments and support stockings. I don’t even like beige pantyhose. To me, none of these items ever look like anyone’s actual skin, and certainly if anyone spots you wearing beige support hose, they’re not going to mistake them for ‘normal’ socks or stockings. They send a very quick visual message that you are sick or geriatric.
Depending on your medical condition, you are going to need different compression strengths and sizes to your support garments, and so that is going to dictate what your options are. In my case, I don’t need a prescription, and only want mild compression – I have neuropathy and issues with orthostatic hypotension – so I’ve had some success finding options in both healthcare stores and athletic/running stores (like the Running Room).
There is an important distinction in the options available at those two venues; if you go to a medically-oriented store, you’re much more likely to find the standard medical beige, black, navy and white colour options. But if you’re willing to explore athletic stores – lo and behold you can find a rainbow of colour options. The socks are the same functionally (all offer a compression strength of about 20-30 mmHg), but are marketed to two different customer bases.
I was able to find these great pink socks at Shoppers Home Healthcare (available in both women’s and men’s sizes), but they were an anomaly. I’m hoping that if they sell well, Sigvaris will offer more colourful options, but in the meantime, sports styles may be the only way to go.
One of the nice things about sports styles is the fact that standard knee-highs are not the only compression choice. Runners also wear something called ‘performance sleeves’ – which are like compression leg warmers – basically footless compression sleeves for your calves. If you don’t require foot compression, or can’t tolerate having your feet covered, or just find full knee socks way too warm in the summer – this is a great compromise, and like running socks, they come in bright and fun colours and don’t look medical at all!