I Tried Feetures Socks to Reduce Blisters and Prevent Blood Clots

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Pulling these knee-highs on for the first time was like encasing my feet and legs in a soft, yet supportive, hug.

Taking care of your toes

Ever since I almost died of a blood clot at age 38, I’ve become an avid wearer of compression socks to help keep my leg swelling in check and reduce my risk for another clot.

Although I initially had to wear thigh-high, medical-grade compression socks that felt akin to torture devices, I eventually graduated to less-intense options that even came in fun colors.

I’ve tried a lot of compression sock brands over the past six-and-a-half years in my quest for finding the softest and most aesthetically pleasing socks that still offer enough compression.

Feetures quickly became the clear winner—not only do they tick all of those boxes, but they also provide plenty of cushion, don’t slip off my feet, and never cause blisters.

Feetures socks products and sneakers on wood floorCourtesy Jill Schildhouse

What are Feetures socks?

Feetures socks are specifically designed with performance in mind, keeping your tootsies happy every step of the way (literally).

There’s a reason they’re the number-one sock brand in U.S. specialty run stores: the innovative seamless toe is cleverly engineered to prevent blisters and sock slippage while you’re jogging, golfing, cycling, playing tennis, hiking, or even running errands.

Feetures socks help anyone living a healthy, active lifestyle perform their best because they cater to so many different foot conditions and needs. In fact, John Shaff—an avid runner, triathlete, and physician assistant who has worked in orthopedics—says about Features: “This is my go-to sock personally and professionally. [Feetures are] what I wear on a daily basis, and they have made a huge difference in my performance, comfort, and recovery. I recommend these to patients all the time, as well.”

Testing Feetures socks

My favorite pair of Feetures socks are the Graduated Compression Light Cushion Knee High, which comes in men’s and women’s sizes.

Before I even removed the pretty lilac socks from their packaging, I was impressed with how soft they felt against my fingertips. But the real magic happened as I put them on—there is a designated and anatomically correct left and right sock, so be sure you’re putting the correct one on each foot. Most brands are so difficult to pull on that I’ve grown accustomed to donning a clean pair of rubber dish gloves for additional grip (a trick my vascular surgeon taught me) and still working up a sweat in the process. Much to my delight, that extra step was totally unnecessary due to the stretchy 13 percent Spandex included in the fabric blend.

Once I slipped my feet into my beloved Brooks walking shoes, I was pleased to discover that the socks weren’t too bulky even with their extra cushioning, which can be an issue with other brands.

Then, a few steps into my walk, I noticed an additional bounce in my step as the 15-20mmHg of graduated compression perfectly hugged my calf and ankle and helped to reduce muscle fatigue. (mmHg is the abbreviation for millimeters of mercury, a standard measurement of pressure in compression socks.) I ended up walking a few extra blocks than usual because my legs were feeling so good. And remarkably, at the end of my stroll on an 86-degree day, I was shocked at how cool and dry my feet were, thanks to the moisture-wicking fibers.

feet wearing feetures socksCourtesy Jill Schildhouse

Features of Feetures socks

Not sure which Feetures socks are right for your activity level and footcare needs? The website’s quiz feature can help you find the perfect pair and fit. There’s even a style specially designed to help relieve plantar fasciitis symptoms.

Pros

  • Graduated compression for a near-custom fit
  • No annoying toe seams to cause blisters
  • Soft fabric that wicks away moisture
  • There’s a designated right and left sock, which better conforms to the anatomy of each foot
  • Plenty of styles to choose from for specific activities and foot ailments
  • Lifetime guarantee if you’re ever unhappy with your purchase

Cons

  • Styles marked “max cushion” may be too bulky for your shoes, requiring you to go up half a size to accommodate the extra material
  • Special care needed when laundering: wash socks inside-out, hang to dry, and avoid bleach and fabric softeners

How do Feetures socks prevent blisters?

Blisters on feet typically form from friction—the greater the amount of friction, the greater the likelihood of formation—along with excessive sweating and moisture. Feetures socks, on the other hand, “are made of nylon and spandex, which is helpful in blister prevention and makes the socks more form-fitting in addition to their anatomical design,” says Patrick Zito DO, PharmD, a board-certified dermatologist in Florida who often recommends Feetures socks to patients for hiking and running.

“All of this allows for the reduction of moisture and friction on the foot,” Zito explains. “Plus, the seamless toe design allows for more comfort and removes another potential friction point on the foot.”

How do Feetures socks prevent blood clots?

“As we get older, the valves in our leg veins stop working as well,” says board-certified interventional cardiologist Nachiket Patel, MD, who also serves as clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix. “As a result, people are more prone to having swelling in their legs and feet. This condition is known as venous insufficiency.”

The goals of treatment in people with chronic venous disease are reduction of discomfort and pain, reduced severity and extent of edema, improvement in skin changes, and healing of any associated ulcers, according to Dr. Patel. “This is accomplished in many patients with wearing compression stockings,” he says.

Compression socks steadily squeeze your legs to increase circulation and help prevent swelling. Pressure from the stockings tightens the veins in the legs and helps prevent blood from pooling. “When people have swelling in their legs, they can be more prone to having blood clots or DVTs (deep vein thrombosis) in their legs,” says Dr. Patel. “Compression socks can help prevent blood clots in the legs by preventing swelling in the legs that can occur from prolonged standing or sitting, such as in long flights or car rides.”

Dr. Patel adds that even many younger people notice a benefit of wearing compression socks. It prevents mild swelling in people who have occupations requiring prolonged sitting or standing.

And if you’re worried that compression socks aren’t “cool,” or you aren’t “old enough” to need them, know that many professional athletes and those with demanding careers (such as nurses) rely on them daily. “They are becoming more popular in professional sports, including the NBA where players routinely wear compression gradient socks,” says L.A.-based podiatrist Wenjay Sung, DPM. “And certain professions already wear compression gradient socks.”

One famous example is the Royal Guards in England, who stand at attention for hours at a time. Unfortunately, says Dr. Sung, this could lead to blood clots. “Compression gradient socks have been a mainstay for the Royal Guard as recommended practice to prevent deep vein thrombosis,” he says.

Because Feetures socks feature graduated or targeted compression (depending on the style), they help increase the circulation that can ward off swelling. Many of the styles offer 20-30 mmHg of compression, which is considered to be a “moderate” level.

With dermatologists, podiatrists, and cardiologists all raving about the benefits of Feetures socks, purchasing a pair for yourself may feel downright impossible to resist. When you combine their supportive compression, moisture-wicking material, seamless toe, anatomical design, zero sock slippage, and the lifetime satisfaction guarantee, you really have nothing to lose with making the switch in your sock drawer.

Where to buy Feetures socks

Feetures Elite Light Cushion No Show Tabvia feetures.com

Feetures socks are available on Amazon, Zappos, Walmart, Nordstrom, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, ranging from $13 for a single pair to $86 for a six-pack.

The brand also offers a rewards program: For every friend you refer to feetures.com who makes a purchase, you get $10 to use on a future purchase (and they’ll receive a code for $10 off their first purchase).

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Sources
  • John Shaff, PA-C, DFAAPA, an avid runner, triathlete, and physician's assistant with a history in orthopedics and dermatology
  • Patrick Zito, MD, a board-certified fellowship-trained dermatologist and pharmacist located in Florida
  • Nachiket Patel, MD, FACC, FACP, FSCAI, board-certified interventional cardiologist who serves as clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix
  • Wenjay Sung, DPM, an L.A.-based podiatrist

Jill Schildhouse
Jill is an award-winning lifestyle writer and editor who has spent the last 20+ years covering travel, health and wellness, beauty, consumer products and product reviews, pets, and personal finance for a variety of national print and digital publications. Follow her adventures around the world on Instagram, @the_globalglutton.