Measuring for Compression Stockings

Getting the correct measurements for compression stockings is one of the most important aspects to achieving a good fit. Some compression socks size using your shoe size. However most require simple measurements from your leg.

LegSmart encourages proper fitting because the compression stocking will apply its compression more effectively on the leg and it will be more comfortable when wearing.

This tutorial will guide you step by step in how to measure for compression stockings.

It is recommended that you take these measurements in the morning because it will help avoid your measurements being biased by swelling.

If you have a tape measure, great! If not, use some string and measure the string with a ruler. It is also encouraged that you write down these measurements on a notepad.

LegSmart Customer Care team members are all trained and certified in compression fittings. If you ever need help with your sizing or measurements, feel free to call or email us with your measurements and we can find the right size for you!

Let's start measuring!

Step 1) Ankle circumference

Measure the ankle in the smallest part of the ankle, just above the ankle bone.

LegSmart Pro Tip: If the foot is swollen, measure the circumference above the foot to the heel (red line). This diagonal measurement will determine whether or not you will be able to get your compression stocking or sock over your heel when there is swelling in the foot. If this diagonal measurement is 4 inches greater than your ankle measurement, you will experience some difficulty when putting on your compression stocking. Sometimes you might not be able to get the stocking on at all. If this is the case, you will need to put on your compression stockings when your foot is less swollen.

Step 2) Calf circumference

Measure the largest part of the calf. You may need to search for the largest part of the calf by measuring above and below the middle of the calf.

LegSmart Pro Tip: When measuring your legs, make sure that your tape measure is straight. A twisted or crooked tape measure will get inaccurate measurements.

Step 3) Knee length

For the knee high compression stocking, measure from the back of the bend of knee to the floor behind your heel. Do not wear shoes as you will get an inaccurate measurement.

LegSmart Pro Tip: When measuring the back of the knee, make sure that you are measuring below the bend of the knee. Measuring too high or too close the bend of the knee may result in a sock that is a bit too long for your lower leg. Please pay attention to this detail, especially if your length measurement is right on the edge of the Short and Long lengths.

Step 4) Thigh circumference

Measure the largest part of the thigh at the top.

Step 5) Thigh length

For thigh high or waist high (pantyhose, maternity/plus size and leotard), measure the length of leg from the top of the thigh to floor behind the heel.


You're now ready to find your size in the sizing charts using your measurements.

Quick Reference

Knee Highs

Thigh Highs and Waist Highs (Pantyhose, Maternity/Plus size, Leotard)

Shoe Size and Height