Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Long-Awaited Product Review: Knit-Rite compression socks!

This past summer I got a very nice email from a very nice woman named Rose, who works at a company called Knit-Rite. Rose offered me some pairs of socks that Knit-Rite makes, and asked me to please review them here on HN.

Normally, I don't do product reviews in return for products. I prefer to spend my own money on stuff; that way, if it doesn't do what it's supposed to, I can bitch and moan all I want without worrying that I'll offend somebody. This time, though...I was intrigued.

I was also very hot and sweaty, and couldn't imagine wearing compression stockings for twelve hours in a hospital where the air-conditioning is from a previous era (the Neolithic). Rose was kind enough to let me put off the trial and review, and the socks arrived last week in tandem with mercifully cool temperatures.

Now then: I did not spend my own money on these puppies*. However, I would happily spend money on more of them; they're just that good. Seriously: if you've got problems with ankle swelling and sore legs after twelve hours on your feet, the two best things you can buy are Birkenstock insoles for your shoes (have them fitted by somebody who knows what they're doing, please) and a pair of Knit-Rite's Core-Spun Therafirm sockses.

Rose sent me three different pairs: A light pair of trouser socks in Screaming Sealing-Wax Red (to benefit women's heart health), a pair of heavier socks in grey (Silver Corespun) and a pair of white ones (Plain Corespun).

Bad news first: The red trouser socks, while pretty and bright and cheery, did not fit my extremely stumpy legs. I had to turn them down twice to get them not to go up over my knees, though they did--and this was a pleasant surprise--stay turned down without rolling or cutting off my circulation. They were 10-15mmHg compressions, just like the other two pairs, but they didn't seem as...I dunno, *beefy* somehow. I mean, my legs didn't hurt (though my feet sweated like hell, but then, they do that in nylons), but I didn't feel any real oomph from the socks. I like compression hose to have some oomph.

Ladies' nylon trouser socks from Knit-Rite: Grade: B+. Good for when you know you'll be standing around a while, then sitting, then standing, and need something that looks professional in a suit-and-blouse way.

Now for the good news: The other two pairs of socks? Rocked out.

I am not kidding, Peeps: These are going to get heavier rotations under my scrubs than even my SmartWool anklets (which, by the way, after only six months of not-too-heavy wear, are full of holes--I'm lookin' at *you*, Crappy SmartWool Manufacturers!).

The grey ones are very, very dark, almost black. They look like actual dress socks like a guy would wear with a suit. The compression is considerably oomphier than the red socks, but I couldn't tell much difference between the grey Silver Corespun and the white Plain Ol' Ordinary Corespun.

The white ones are, well, white knee-length socks.

Both are made with CoolMax, and both kept my feet from sweating. Looking at the boxes now, I see that the grey dress socks are made with a higher proportion of CoolMax to nylon, which apparently makes them static-resistant (they are. Definitely). Both have noticeable compression when you put them on, though you don't have to wrestle them into place like you do with higher-compression stockings. Both are generous through the toes, which is nice, because the last time I wore SuppHose ten years ago, I nearly lost my right big toe.

Both of these heavier pairs lasted well through two twelve-hour shifts during which I was running around with my hair on fire. My legs didn't itch, they didn't leave weird little grooves in my skin, they fit my 17.5" calves like a dream. And my ankles were not swollen at the end of the day.

Let me say that louder: MY ANKLES DID NOT SWELL ALL DAMN DAY LONG.

The only problem I had with the white socks was a little static toward the end of the day, but it was only noticeable to me.

So: Knit-Rite unisex CoreSpun by Therafirm Socks, either Silver or Plain-O: Grade: A+.

Try 'em out. Also check out the website; Knit-Rite does all sorts of fascinating things for people with prosthetics and AFOs and spinal braces. It's interesting.

Thanks, Rose! My white socks are in the dryer now, for use this week on the floor.

*Therefore, I have no clue what they cost. As long as it's not half my liver, though, it's totally worth it.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice review ... I descovered the joys of compression socks years ago too. What a difference! I can finish a 12-hour shift now ... without ugly swollen ankles.

SmoothToe socks are superb, and I still wear my original pair of knee high's from 3 years ago!

I buy them online and wouldn't wear anything else now. http://www.SmoothToe.com ($24.95)

Guardian said...

I'm a new grad/nurse, so I invested in different brands of compression socks. I have tried this Core-spun last night, and I am sad to say my shins are itching so bad. Is there a remedy to all this itching from wearing compression trouser socks?