Stocking advice required please?

I have primary LE in both legs and I currently wear a grade 2 full length stocking on my left leg and a grade 1 knee length on my right leg, though this is likely to become full length after my next clinic appointment as the top of the leg is now holding more fluid.

Come the warmer weather, I hesitate to use the word summer, I know I am going to struggle with the heat. I teach in a school with underfloor heating and that is proving difficult enough to deal with. Currently I wear trousers and open toed stockings but I would like to be able to wear cropped trousers on my non working days, in order to get some air about my legs.

My difficulty is that my stockings all vary in colour, even ones that come as a pair don't seem to retain the same colour for some reason. I currently have various shades of beige and brown but I am thinking about changing to black when my next prescription is due as I think I will be less self conscious. At my age and build I really don't have any reasons to be vain but I don't want to make any shortcomings more obvious by having different coloured legs!

My LE nurse suggested tights but unless I can get them with open toes they will be too hot but I really am at a loss to know what to do. I am happy to buy an extra pair of each kind, once I get the exact details form my nurse but having been through enough experimenting to get something that works for most of the time, I am reluctant to start trying to find an alternative without having a bit of knowledge first.

What are the alternatives? I need short stockings as it is and they still bunch at the back of my knee and round my ankles, no matter how careful I put them on. Any and all advice is welcome, even if it is 'stop being so vain and deal with it'!

Thanks in advance,


18 Replies

  • Thanks Bingley, that is just the kind of information I need. I will have a look at these myself and speak to my Le nurse at my next appointment.

  • That was meant to say thanks Bigleg :-)

  • I wear black compression stockings for lymphoedema in both legs...hated the beige ones.....have just been through my 1st Summer with them..( I live in New Zealand)...and didn't find them overly hot...I wear capri pants which are great .....the type that finish just below the knee and and also some which finish mid calf...I wasn't given an option for the open toe stockings ...had to have the toed ones...Was only diagnosed last November and haven't had a problem with the stockings at all ...and even went down a size in January hence the change in colour already ...I had the beige ones 1st ...then when I went down a size I asked for black and am so much happier with them

  • I wear jobst compression tights and yes you can get them open toed.....mine are and I wear them in black... I dont like trousers so I wear maxi skirts (which this season are in trend) I too was dreading wearing them in our "summer" but they are comfy

  • Thank you Ronlin and Blackpoollass - I think I will be asking for Jobst in black with open toes and probably tights as that would help stop the daily downward creep. Oh the joys :-)

  • Hi I find the black stockings better as they look like Lyra from a distance. I used to be a sun worshipper and always off to the sun, now I dread it as the stockings are so uncomfortable with the heat, plus I feel completely overdressed during the day. Luckily I have retired but I still like to dress and wear nice shoes but gone are the days of nice shoes.......sorry Ito be a misery

  • Hepsibar, I know exactly what you are talking about. I have been wearing either crocs, trainers or walking boots through the winter, none of which are attractive. Yesterday I finally started a hunt for shoes that I can wear in the summer and it is so soul destroying looking at shops full of pretty shoes and sandals, knowing that none of them will fit. I did eventually get a pair but I need to change them for a different size because by the time I had got home my feet were so swollen that one of the shoes was hurting. The worst bit is that I know that things are more likely to get worse than better. I am consoling myself with the fact that for the time being, at least, I can still buy shoes from a shop. A small thing I know, but it gives me hope.

  • Hi,

    Have you looked at the Shoe Taylors range, they go up to a EEEEE width now on some very smart modern shoes. I have found them to be fab on arrival.

  • colour in garments is limited, But jobst do some of there garments in navy, went to clinic yesterday and im havinh below knee in navy i wear compression class 2 or lymph grade 2 in activa, i couldnt get on with thigh lenghh ones, on one leg it rolled down all the time. Its just trying what suits you best.good luck

  • so far I've tried mediven plus open toe, and mediven elegance closed toe. I like both for different reasons.

    The mediven plus ones feel stronger and are tighter (despite being the same size), but I don't like the open toes. Also the fabric is a coarser weave and hurts my knees if I kneel on the floor (something necessary for my job).

    The mediven elegance is more comfortable, also more comfortable to kneel in. But they don't feel as tight and don't minimise the swelling as much as the other ones do. I'm not far off the size boundary so next time I'm going to ask for the elegance ones in the next size down and see how that goes.

    I haven't found any difference in heat with open or closed toe, though the closed toe has allowed me to wear some nicer shoes. I'm not sure how I feel about displaying the stockings but have realised that the open toe will allow me to wear flip flops in summer though.

  • Hi Lruk,

    I have had below the knee and full tights, i am currently wearing full length to the groin open toe. I go between beige and black most of the time. I can fully understand your dread of warm weather. I have found over time that wearing a floor length summer dress allows my legs to get as much air as possible with flat sandles on.

    Full length trousers seem to restrict my movement even more, its like having a double layer on my legs.

    I had my last holiday in the Med and the temperature was Hghi as you can imagine. I wore cropped trousers with my beige stockings whils on the islands, but floor length floaty dresses when at the pool side. This reall helped keep my legs cool.

    The tights are very warm and i was glad to ditch them.

    What i have come to terms with is, Folk will stare, regardless of what i wear, so i am going to be blinking comfortable for myself regardless of how it looks for others.

    I am sure if you had open toe stockings on with open toe sandles if the underfloor heating is on, i think this would make things more bearable for you. If its cold weather on the way in wear different shoes for travelling but change when you arrive to work.

    Nobody will tell you to stop being vain, we all want to look good and NORMAL. so don't be hard on yourself, its all about finding whats best for ourselves and working with that..

    Good luck x

  • Thank you Morganite, Faethe and Ninewells, all of this helps.

    I currently wear a pair of shoes on the journey to work, change when I get to work and have both very flexible slippers and a pair of shoes in 2 different sizes under my desk, for emergencies.

    Last summer I managed with adjustable sandals, like for trekking, but I hadn't been diagnosed and so didn't wear stockings so this summer may need a rethink. I hadn't actually thought of wearing long skirts but that may be a better option for me in the long run.

    Faethe I think I would still stick with the open toes as my bouts of cellulitis always start from cracks between my toes, which is made worse by wearing closed toe stockings, despite regular cleaning and swabbing with surgical spirit. I haven't worn tights or anything similar for nearly 20 years preferring cotton socks or bare feet, so this whole thing is taking quite a bit of getting used to. Much more than I ever thought it would.

    My children are getting me gift vouchers for my upcoming birthday so I can have my toenails painted professionally, as it will be the only part of my feet that see daylight so maybe long skirts is the way to go.

    Thanks again everyone for sharing, there is nothing to beat personal experience for helping get things clearer.

  • I have had lymphoedema in my right leg for over 30 years and getting stockings that fit is the hardest part of living with the condition. The wrinkling is awful and can be not only painful but makes the swelling worse. Made to measure stockings are really the only answer. And even then be prepared for a tussle and don't be frightened of going back until you get the right fit. There are some pretty ropey people out there doing measurements - not because they don't have the best of intentions but they are just not trained properly.

    I have tried all kinds of makes (most of them when we couldn't get them on prescription) and now find that Haddenhams Goldpunkt Class IV are the best. They last ages. I always have open toed stockings but also wear socks as it does make the stockings last longer.

    To keep them up, use something like Sigvaris' 'It Stays' great glue to keep them in place.

    I know they are a pain at first but after 30 plus years I feel naked without. So in conclusion find a really good measurer and make sure that you don't accept second best.

  • Thanks Mush. The nurse I see seems to get the measurements right but unless I get him to order the stockings I never get the right ones. The GP and/or his secretary make a mess of it every time.

  • Hey Mush and Lruk,

    I have my stockings thigh hi, but what i have discovered and it has now eleviated all my stress is When you have your stockings at the correct length, wet the rubber grippers with a sponge, just damp not soak, this makes them grip to the skin and shrink a little as they dry and makes them hug you and doesn't allow them to move all day. No more back of the knee wrinkles or ankle pain when it gets bad and you can't bend the foot for stockings slipping.

    I only ever wear made to measure, not because i won't try others. When i did they caused me so much more pain and made my legs swell even more. Now i know the pressure is correct for the bulk i have and its all in the correct place when they are pulled on as the last thing i wont is equall pressure all the way down the leg, as my leg is not the same size all the way down.

    Enjoy some nice flaty long skirts Lruk, i laways put on a nice silk scarf the same colour as my skirts and it just makes me feel that little more feminine.

    Good luck. x

  • Thanks for that Ninewells, I will give it a try. I find my closed toe stockings are not as bad for falling down, but they are also not as tight. The downside is I frequently get cracks between my toes with the closed toe stockings as my feet are used to being able to breathe more. I will let you know how I go with the stockings but I do feel a change of wardrobe coming on.

  • Hi Lruk

    My legs hate the warm weather too. I have black Jobst made to measure class 2 stockings - albeit only knee length. I had a hard time trying to keep my legs cool last year which kept them swollen. I work in a stuffy old office with no air conditioning and the windows are on the wrong side of the building to get any air when they're open. It got upto 36 degrees c last year in there and quite unbearable. I was wearing long flowing skirts or capri pants to try to get a bit of air to my legs. The solution for me was to set up a fan under my desk and have a small plant sprayer bottle on my desk filled with water. Then occasionally I would spray my stockings with water and put them in front of my fan which cooled my legs - pure bliss!!!.

  • Hi Jinger

    Yes, I so agree about the swelling in warm weather.I retired from nursing 2 years ago, but mostly office based because of my legs and other medical conditions.I have known not being able to get home quick enough to pull my compression tights off.Sometimes they were wet with perspiration. Reading how you manage with the heat makes me realise again and again how we with this awful condition manage the best we can.I have a friends summer wedding coming up, does anyone else find it so difficult to get some relief whilst attending outside do's in such heat, any tips. Tambo

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