Dos and Don'ts of Ames Walker Compression Hosiery

Written by Amber Williams on 3/22/18

The world of compression hosiery can be truly difficult to navigate. With the science behind the medical effectiveness, the differing levels of compression, and the variety of fabrics and styles that are available, anyone can get lost in the information overload! That’s why we are here at Ames Walker- to help you better understand your specific needs, and which specific products will be most beneficial for you. Every customer is different, and we cater to you, as an individual. Even though each customer’s needs and preferences vary, there are a few cut-and-dried rules for compression hosiery etiquette. This article discusses some DOS and DON’TS of the graduated compression hosiery world. Take these principles to heart, and your stockings will feel less like a medical punishment, and more like a lifelong friend.


DO Find the Perfect Fit

First things first, people. Compression hosiery is all about sizing. Size and fit are the foundation on which your journey to better blood flow will begin. There are individual size charts on each product we offer, so be sure to refer to the size chart on your preferred product page when determining which size fits you correctly. 

DON’T Cut Your Circulation Off

Check to ensure the product is not “bunching up” at the ankle area (or behind the knee after you receive them.) If the pressurized material in your compression stockings overlap, it causes a “tourniquet” effect, similar to a rubber band pressing into your legs. This issue can be avoided by taking your measurements as soon as you wake up, checking that specific item’s size chart, and then ordering accordingly. Call us at 1-877-525-7224 if you have questions! Do not ever fold over the top of your compression garment.  This creates a tourniquet effect and can be dangerous.

DO Practice Proper Execution

After you order the correct size, most of the work is done- or so you thought. Now comes the real work! Putting on and taking off compression hosiery can be a real workout, if you don’t have the proper technique down. There are several videos on that show the most effective ways to don and doff your stockings. We also offer a variety of donning aids to help with putting on your compression products! You can browse them by typing the term “donning” in the search bar at the top of our website, when you’re finished reading this article. There’s still plenty to learn!

DO Verify the Compression Level

One of the biggest questions you probably have is, “Which compression level is right for me?” More than likely, you’re here because your doctor noticed a venous related issue at your last visit, and suggested compression hosiery to you as a solution for swelling, aching, discomfort, to help prevent blot clots, and to boost your (already amazing) sense of style. While you will need to consult with your doctor to verify which compression level he thinks is best for you, you can also refer to our guide for a general idea of what each level addresses. See it here:

DON’T Underestimate the “Clark Kents” of the Stocking World

Graduated compression products are not your average wardrobe accessory. While they absolutely can be tastefully worn with virtually any outfit, they are more than a fashion statement or leg warming device. These hosiery items pack a medical punch, aiding in the reduction of swelling, spider and varicose veins, risk of blood clots, feet and leg discomfort, lower body heaviness or hotness, and other venous related ailments. You would never know the difference in a traditional pair of pantyhose, and a highly beneficial pair of graduated compression hose- just by looking! The compression hosiery offering is just as attractive as any other hosiery outlet today. Plus, they offer some “super” perks that others, well- just don’t.

DO Have Fun With Your Shopping Experience

There are so many different textures, styles, materials, patterns, and colors, that you are guaranteed to stumble across something that you will not only benefit from, but will also be delighted to wear! Some of our best selling sheers might be the spice you’re looking for when planning that formal outfit. Or, our bright and energizing sports socks could motivate you to finally get out there and run in the mornings! Practical is not always boring!

DO Wash, Wear, and Repeat

Wash and wear your compression garments the same frequency you would your regular socks and hosiery items. Keep several pairs on hand, so you can alternate your pairs, and make them last longer. A typical pair of compression hose when worn a couple times a week, usually need to be replaced every 4-6 months. Avoid fabric softener when laundering, and use a detergent specifically made for compression garments- like our AW Hosiery Wash. Buy it here:

DON’T Over-Accessorize

Make sure when you are putting on and taking off your hose, that you are not wearing any jewelry that may pick or snag the stockings. Donning gloves are one of the BEST things you can use to help the donning and doffing process to be a little easier. Avoiding snags and rips will lengthen the life span of your hosiery items!

DO Rise and Shine with your Compression Hosiery

It is best to put your compression hose on early in the morning, before swelling occurs. As soon as you wake up, slip on your support hose! This will help optimize the effects of compression hosiery to control the swelling in your legs. Prevention really is the best method!

DO Improvise

If you need a hosiery product that is “larger” in the waist and stomach area, try the maternity styles! Our maternity styles come with a comfortable, extended waist line- meant to fit comfortably on larger bellies. This is why they also work for plus size figures! If you are comfortable in your compression garments, you will enjoy wearing them more.


These Dos and Don’ts will help you in your journey to become a successful Ames Walker customer, and compression hosiery advocate. Armed with this knowledge, and your compression garments, we know you’re on a path to living healthy and happy- so we’ve done our job! If you have further questions or concerns, please call us at 1-877-525-7224 or email us at

  • Ann Gallagher says...

    This advice is all wonderful and good, but, I am guilty of folding over the top of knee highs because you take petites into account.

    On May 08, 2018

  • Sarah Ramsey says...

    Thank you. Very helpful!

    On May 08, 2018

  • Gailene Creager says...

    I had problems with the knee highs even though I order the full calf. I have since discovered the thigh High’s and love them! I only wish I could get a smaller foot to go with the larger size.

    On May 08, 2018

  • Joan witcher says...

    When I order the size by chart and style when I get them they are always to long I need to no how can I get them bellow the knee .

    On May 08, 2018

  • Dianne says...

    A tip…..if someone has a problem getting the silicone to stay secure on their thigh….with a wash cloth that has some rubbing alcohol on the tip of it….
    Rub it over the entire silicone and it does a great job!!!! I think it takes off anything that doesn’t come off when they are
    normally washed 😁 ..
    Whatever happens….NEVER stop making the wheat color /toeless thigh high hose.. I ALWAYS buy them!!👍 Medi .
    Maybe make more hose wo toe in closure/thigh high type.
    And more types of sheer hose to buy👊🏻

    On May 08, 2018

  • Helen M. Swingle says...

    I love the look and feel of your Graduated Compression SHEER style 18 closed toe knee highs but they are way too short in the foot length and cramp my size 9.5 feet. I tried your oped toe style of this knee high but I like something covering my toes and the opening seemed to slide down over my foot. PLEASE make them with a longer foot length.

    On May 08, 2018

  • Kathy Crouch says...

    I have a problem in that I don’t wear shoes or socks except when I’m going somewhere. I figure if I wear the stockings I will fall and bust my tail or something else. What’s a good option? I truly hate anything on my feet inside the house. I much prefer to go barefoot.

    On May 08, 2018

  • Brverly says...

    I have schbergs disease. Is there a particular hose that is best for this condition? I purchased Item 150 L black. The style might be OK for winter but I need something later wait for summer? I think top near the knee is too tight it’s leaving a mark. My measurements are Calf 16 in and ankle 9 and one half in shoe 9 and one half. And our support hose and compression socks the same thing? Thank u

    On May 08, 2018

  • Lorraine says...

    My patient has + 4 pitting edema bill lower extremities. Currently wrapped with ace bandage. Do you have product I could recommend to him?

    On May 08, 2018

  • Margarete Insull says...

    Thank you for your comments. They were most helpful specially the section on circulation.

    On May 08, 2018

  • Jeremy Sarchet says...

    I am a retired psychologist with background in health and marketing. My doctor recommended compression stockings but gave little help.
    I have been greatly impressed by two telephone contacts, your website, and my first order.
    But the sequencing of online, print, and product in our developing relationship has been poor. Phone contacts have been great, but could not cover everything.
    At the very beginning, send this information just received after a month of interaction. Also information from the email received yesterday. With first order of product, give much of tension to overcoming the difficulty of putting the stocking on. (I live alone—when I told my doctor about that she suggested I get somebody to come in every morning and put the stockings on. It was only in the second pair of stockings that I found good hands for installation, and only this morning I was told what I new about the danger of a tourniquet effect, and the importance of putting socks on immediately upon arising.

    You mentioned a free introductory kit, but I have never received that.

    In general, busy doctors often lack in helping patients follow through on prescriptions. Like “get more exercise”. Ice see that you are unique in your product and your insight and human and text aids about
    how to get it optimally used.
    Hey little effort to gets this optimally sequence at introduction would be useful all the way around. By the way, I don’t need to be flooded with daily emails about new product purchases—they could be spaced out to reduce the irritation from too much email.
    Phone me if you’d like to explore this further.
    562 400 8182

    On May 08, 2018

  • Barbara Drotor says...

    Hi! Great article! A long time ago I owned a measuring tape from my mom 40 or so yrs. ago. It might help you sell people the correct fitting hose if you had a very inexpensive tape (maybe made of thick paper) in the package with new customers orders. I have several pairs I just guessed at. You’re right, the right fit is most important. If people ask to send their hose back then you could suggest using the complimentary paper tape measure to ensure correct fit. This is just a friendly suggestion from a very thankful customer :)

    On May 08, 2018

  • Lee Bivins Jr says...

    Thanks for the advice

    On May 08, 2018

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