How to Put on Compression Socks With and Without Tools

How to Put on Compression Socks With and Without Tools

Need to wear compressions socks? Tired of trying to find how to put on compression socks?

Relief is here!

I’ll show you step-by-step how reduce the burden of daily compression sock wearing using a compression sock donning tool (there’s also another one with extendable handles). This technique is something I have taught many patients over the years.

Then…I’ll show you a FREE way to put on a compression sock without tools using only a grocery bag.

Compression socks are a vital tool for management of many common conditions including lymph edema, venous insufficiency, general edema and general lower extremity discomfort.

If you prefer a video tutorial, please check out my YouTube channel!

Supplies Needed:

  • Compression socks
  • Rigid compression sock donning tool
  • OR grocery bag and scissors

How to Put on Compression Socks – Steps:

  1. Place sock donning tool on your lap
  2. Push compression sock over the sock donning tool
  3. Pull sock until heal covers the opening of the tool
  4. Slip foot into opening of compression sock
  5. Pull handles of donning tool until compression sock is in place

How to Put on Compressions Socks – Step 1: Place Sock Donning Tool on Your Lap

Compression Sock Donning Tool Orientation
Compression sock donning tool. The “U” shape should face away from you.

First step is to put the sock donning tool in the proper orientation. Place the sock donning tool on your lap oriented as appearing in the picture above with the “U”, or open portion, facing away from your body. You can place the sock donning tool on a tabletop surface, but I find the lap to be easiest for stabilizing once you place the compression sock over the tool.

How to Put on a Compression Sock – Step 2: Push Compression Sock Over the Sock Donning Tool

How to put on compression sock - push sock over donning tool with toes down
Push compression sock over sock donning tool with toes down

You’ll need your compression sock for the next step. Hold the sock up in front with you trying to keep the toes down and pointed away from you.

Lower the sock down the center of the “U” opening. When the top of the sock is level with the top of the “U”…stop. Now, open the top of the sock and stretch the edges of the sock over the sock donning tool with toes down and body of the sock bunching along the edges of the tool like the picture above.

How to Put on a Compression Sock – Step 3: Pull Sock Until Heal Covers the Opening of the Tool

How to put on compression socks - pull sock until heal covers opening
Compression sock over sock donning tool with heal covering the opening

The next step is really an extension of the step 3, but it is really important for proper fit so you do have to adjust the sock later.

You need to make sure to pull the compression sock over the sock donning tool until the heal of the sock is over the opening of the donning tool as evidenced in the photo above. This is where having a compression sock with toes and heals that have colors can be helpful, because it will be easier to tell when the heel is over the opening of the donning tool.

The purpose of this step is to ensure that the toe of the sock is very close to the top of the opening.

Why? Because in the next step, you’ll pull the sock over your leg, but before you do that, you should make sure that your toes reach the end of your sock. If they don’t, when you go to pull the sock on, there will be part of your sock hanging off the end of your foot and that can be difficult to adjust later.

The tool should be held on your lap with the heal closest to your body before attempting to place toe into tool and pulling over leg.

How to Put on a Compression Sock – Step 4: Slip Foot into Opening of Compression Sock

Put on compression socks - Hold tool and put foot into compression sock
Pull sock over leg using donning tool grips

The next step is straightforward. Holding the handles of the sock donning tool, place your toes into opening of the sock and begin pulling your foot into the sock. Once again, make sure your toes are at the tip of the sock before continuing to pull over the leg.

How to Put On Compression Socks – Step 5: Pull handles of donning tool until compression sock is in place

Put on compression socks - pull compression sock over leg using donning tool
Put on compression socks - pull compression sock all the way using donning tool

Continue pulling the sock over your leg until the sock is in place and remove the tool. Check the sock for any bunching, rolling or pinching. It is important to check that the sock is completely smooth to prevent possible blistering or skin irritation.

Bonus Trick Without Tools!

Here is a second option for putting on a compression sock that requires no tools. This technique will only require a plastic grocery bag and scissors. This technique is best in situations when a tool is not available.

Steps:

  • Stretch out plastic bag and cut an opening in the bottom of the bag
  • Place compression sock over the bag leaving the handles out
  • Place foot into opening of the bag and pull the handles until the stocking is over the leg
  • Pull the bag out and drop over your foot

How to Put on Compression Socks Using a Plastic Bag – Step 1: Stretch and Cut Opening for Bag

Straighten and tighten plastic bag for putting on compression sock

Holding the ends of a grocery bag in both hands, pull and extend the bag so it is shaped like above photo.

Bottom cut-out of plastic bag for putting on compression sock

Using a pair of scissors, cut a large opening in the bottom of the bag leaving a large hole where the bottom once was. It is important to cut the bottom of the bag. You will need the handles on the top of the bag later.

How to Put on Compression Socks Using a Plastic Bag – Step 2: Place Compression Sock Over The Bag

plastic bag inside compression sock
Compression sock over plastic bad with handles sticking out

Place the sock over the bag with the hole of the bag at the toe of the compression sock and the handles sticking out the top of the compression sock.

How to Put on Compression Socks Using a Plastic Bag – Step 3: Place Foot and Pull Handles

Pull compression sock on using plastic bag
Pull compression sock over your leg using bag handles

Now, carefully place your the foot into the opening of the sock and pull the handles on the bag until your foot is securely in the compression sock. Continue pulling the bag the rest of the way up the leg, which will pull the compression sock over the remainder of the leg.

How to Put on Compression Socks Using a Plastic Bag – Step 4: Pull the Bag Out

Remove plastic bag after compression sock is on foot
Pull the bad out of the top of the sock and off your foot

When the compression sock is all the way on your leg, pull the bag out the top of the sock and drop it off your foot.

Check the sock for wrinkles, pinches or rolls to ensure it is on properly.

That’s it! A quick, free trick to putting on a compression sock using no tools.