Elastic compression stockings: what are they?

Elastic compression stockings are garments designed for the lower limbs, characterized by an elastic knit that exerts compression on the leg. These garments are designed to apply uneven compression at different points, hence the term “graduated.” Pressure is applied in a decreasing manner from the bottom up, starting from the ankle (where compression is most intense) to the thigh (where it is lightest), to promote venous return and prevent venous stasis. There are three types of compression stockings on the market, often confused under the same name. They are distinguished between:

  1. Compression stockings for medical and therapeutic use;
  2. Preventive elastic stockings, suitable for leisure and work, commonly called “rest stockings.”
  3. Sports elastic socks.

The intended use of these products is determined by their conformation, the degree of compression applied, the materials used, and their aesthetic appearance.