Frequently Asked Questions on Compression Hosiery

You have questions, we have answers!

We've been an industry leader for over 20 years, so you can put your trust in us. If your question is not answered below, please email us at We highly recommend consulting with your physician ultimately, when deciding on the right compression style, compression level, etc.


Why do I need compression hosiery?

Compression garments help prevent swelling and discomfort throughout the day, keep symptoms of blood clots at bay, maintain healthy blood flow while sitting or standing for long periods of time, help contain edema, and help with varicose and spider veins.

What does mmHg mean?

Millimeters of mercury per square inch. It is a unit of measurement for the amount of pressure applied to a surface. Compression hosiery items are tighter at the ankle, with pressure that lessens up the leg. This effect encourages the fluid that "pools," or builds up at the ankle, to be dispersed naturally by the body.


When and where do I measure?
It is best to take your measurements first thing in the morning, as soon as you get out of bed. This will be when there is the least amount of swelling. Refer to the size chart (of the specific item you are hoping to purchase) for direction on which body parts to measure.


How do I know which product I need to buy?

There are countless options in compression hosiery to choose from. In most cases, consider which type of garment you wear the most throughout the week. Are you in business attire wearing knee high (also known as over-the-calf or knee length), thigh high, or pantyhose styles? Do you stay home and wear socks to run errands? Maybe you're an active adult, wearing athletic socks or sleeves most days of the week. Ames Walker offers so many options, from sheer products, to Coolmax socks, that we are sure you can find just what you like at Ames Walker! Please contact Customer Service if you need help.


How will compression hosiery benefit me while I'm pregnant?

Compression products are very beneficial during and after pregnancy.  Due to the changes the body goes through during pregnancy, (weight gain, hormones, etc.) a lot of pregnant ladies experience mild to moderate swelling during pregnancy, and right after delivery. Graduated compression hosiery items apply higher pressure at the ankle that "gradually" lessens up the leg. Hence, "graduated compression." This effect encourages the fluid that “pools,” or builds up at the ankle, to be pushed back up towards the heart, so it can be naturally dispersed by the body. Healthy blood flow helps combat swelling, discomfort, achy feet and legs, blot clots, and even DVT in some cases!


Does my doctor have to be the one to measure me?
No, the measurements can be taken by anyone. Remember to measure first thing in the morning, before any swelling has occurred.  


Are open toe options just as effective as closed toe?

Unless your doctor specifically recommends open or closed toe, the compression of the hosiery itself, is NOT affected by either toe option. You are free to make a style choice, based on your preference! Patients with very slim feet may consider the closed toe option to be a better fit.


Where are the sizing charts?
They are located on each item’s product page, just above the selection for size. Click the orange tab that says, "Sizing Chart."


How often should I wash my compression hosiery?

If you get hot, sweaty, or dirty, you will want to wash your hosiery or socks after each use. Some doctors recommend certain patients wear them overnight. However, it will vary from person to person, depending on the situation. Always remember to use a very mild detergent on your compression garments while washing, to ensure they last!


Do I need a prescription to order with Ames Walker?
No, you do not. You can pay for your purchase by credit card, PayPal, Amazon Pay, or by mailing a check or money order to 300 Industrial Park Ave, Asheboro, NC 27205.


Which items are best for men to wear?

There are many items designed specifically for men.  Please reference the homepage on and scroll down to our Product Finder. Choose the compression level, and "men" to see the various options. There are choices ranging from socks, to waist-length styles, specifically designed for men. 


Is my purchase on eligible for Flex benefits?

You will need to call your flex care provider to verify.  It will depend on the policy of the company, MOST companies accept purchases from Ames Walker, but there are some insurance companies that only work with certain providers.


Why are measurements so important for a good fit?

Proper measurements ensure a great fit, so the compression products are able to do the job for the patient.  IF you are having problems getting a good fit, please call our customer service team, we are always happy to help!


Does Ames Walker file insurance claims?

No, Ames Walker does not file any insurance claims, you will need to contact your provider to see if these products are covered by your plan.  All consumer orders are paid in advance, you can then file the claim with your insurance for reimbursement if these items are covered. 


Does Ames Walker take custom orders?

No, we typically do not do any custom orders. However, call us and we can direct you to companies who may be able to assist you.


Why are compression stockings and socks so expensive? Do I have to wear them to get better?

Compression products cost more than regular hosiery, because they are certified to meet a certain standard that provide health benefits. They provide graduated compression that alleviates discomfort, swelling, heavy, aching legs, helps prevent blood clots, and more! The benefits of wearing compression hosiery are much greater than wearing traditional hosiery. When you wear these products, you are actually taking care of yourself, and no one else can do that for you!  You have to make the choice to take care of yourself! Compression hosiery may be more expensive than regular socks or hose, but they serve a medical purpose, and they will improve your quality of life.


How many pairs should I order at one time?

Our Ames Walker brand offers savings of 5% when you buy 3 or more pairs. It is best to order enough to rotate wear. This will help increase the longevity of the stockings or socks.


Why doesn’t the discount code apply to my MSRP item?

Ames Walker works closely with several companies that have strict MSRP and MAP policies, which won't allow us to discount original pricing. We cannot sale an item for less than the MSRP price. If the discount is very important to you, please call customer service, and we will see if there is anything else in our Ames Walker brand that might work for your needs instead. Your business is important to us! 


Are ALL of the products sold in pairs?

No, MOST of the products are sold in pairs, but there are a few items that are sold as singles on Check the description to see if the items are sold as singles, or in a pair. As a general rule, all arm sleeves and gauntlets are sold as singles, and some of the calf sleeves, and ulcer care products are sold as singles as well.


What is the best compression to wear when traveling?

15-20 mmHg is the recommended compression for travel, for healthy legs.


I wear 20-30 mmHg currently, and plan on traveling soon. Should I drop down to 15-20 mmHg for the trip?

No, if you are already wearing a higher mmHg, you will not need a lower compression for the trip. You may want to consult your doctor to make sure he wants you in the same compression you are wearing currently, and not a higher one.


Does your company have any catalogs that could be send to me?

Yes, we will be glad to send you all the catalogs you need! You can order one for free here, or contacts us at or call 1-877-525-7224 during business hours.


Learn More About These Topics


What are Medical Compression Hosiery or Socks? pages/compression-sock-and- hosiery-guide

How will I wash and care for my hosiery?


Will compression hosiery help relieve the pain from my varicose or spider veins? pages/guide-to-varicose-veins


What is a DVT?
What is the difference in elastic compression garments and inelastic products?
What is lymphedema?