Infrared Socks: An Emerging Therapeutic Sock Technology
Our feet are so important to our comfort and our overall feeling of well-being. Much like our backs, if we’re experiencing foot pain, it’s so much harder to enjoy, or even do, so many other things. Infrared socks are one of the recent innovations to help people improve their foot health. In this article, we’ll step into the therapeutic world of infrared socks and explain what infrared socks are and what they can do for our feet.
What are Therapeutic Socks?
Therapeutic socks can refer to a number of different sock technologies, including compression socks and/or socks that have infrared technology ‘built’ right into them.
Compression socks work by applying pressure to your foot and lower leg which helps to maintain circulation and reduce swelling. They’re used by athletes to help improve performance and reduce the effects of fatigue and cramping. For medical purposes, they are often used by people who have a condition that causes swelling or poor circulation in the legs, such as varicose veins or diabetes. It is also to reduce swelling and poor circulation that many airplane travelers, essential workers who spend the day on their feet, and other populations may choose to wear compression socks experience.
Infrared socks, which is the type of therapeutic sock we’re focusing on, are a newer technology. This emerging infrared technology can be infused into compression socks or into ‘traditional’ socks, providing proven foot-health benefits. Infrared has been shown to increase local circulation and improve cellular oxygenation. These benefits help the lower leg and foot (wherever the infrared sock fabric is near the skin) better regulate temperature and enhance strength, endurance and stamina. While infrared can be combined with compression technology to double down on the possibility of relief, infrared on its own essentially offers the same benefits of compression without the pressure and feeling of restriction.
In addition, research and theories postulate that because diabetic socks infused with infrared increase circulation in the feet, they could help diabetes patients reduce complications that result from poor circulation to the feet. This is a field of research that CELLIANT is currently undergoing clinical trials to better understand.
What are Infrared Socks?
Infrared socks are socks that have been infused with technology that emits infrared energy into the foot. There are a number of infrared socks on the market today.
CELLIANT® is the world-leader in infrared textile applications and CELLIANT’s proprietary technology is used as an ‘ingredient’ in world-class brands’ products, bringing infrared wellness to hundreds of applications, including socks. CELLIANT is a natural blend of bioceramics; a combination of thermo-reactive minerals, that undergo the following process in how it is made:
- the minerals are ground into a superfine powder
- the powder is added to polymer substrates, when fabrics are still in their liquid form
- the substrates get extruded, spun into fibers and yarns, and woven into what we call bio-responsive fabrics
CELLIANT-powered fabrics are used to create a wide range of textile products such as sleepwear, mattresses, top-of-bed products, active and performance apparel, pet wellness products, upholstery, transportation textiles, women’s wellness products and more. There is such an array of products because of the many wellness benefits of infrared — from improved performance, to faster recovery, and even better sleep.
How do infrared socks work?
When CELLIANT fabrics are made into socks, the minerals work by capturing escaping body heat from the feet, and converting it into infrared energy. The infrared is then reflected back into the feet and is clinically demonstrated to increase local circulation and improve cellular oxygenation.
The increase in local circulation and improvement in cellular oxygenation result in a number of other benefits for the feet:
- improved temperature regulation
- enhanced performance
- faster recovery
Infrared socks are a way to provide infrared light therapy, which is part of a wider range of light therapies that can be used for wellness benefits, to the feet.
Is there a downside to wearing infrared socks infused with CELLIANT?
CELLIANT is a non-invasive technology. Allergic reactions to any material can occur, however, there have been no reported cases of allergic reactions since products with CELLIANT infused in them became available in 2003. Additionally, CELLIANT is a low-risk product. To further reduce risk with CELLIANT, biocompatibility testing was performed to evaluate the potential for an unacceptable adverse biological response resulting from contact of the device with the body. Such tests included: cytotoxicity, skin irritation, sensitization and leeching. CELLIANT passed all tests and thus is biocompatible.
How many hours a day can you wear infrared socks infused with CELLIANT?
CELLIANT is safe to wear for long periods of time and there is no theoretical limit to the number of hours you can wear socks infused with CELLIANT. In fact, research has shown that more prolonged exposure to infrared-powered textiles can increase their effectiveness. Wearing or sitting/laying on infrared textiles for 22 hours per day is equivalent to a 20-30 minute infrared sauna session. However, don’t forget to wash your infrared socks. You can do so knowing that CELLIANT is permanently embedded into the fibers, and therefore will not wash or wear out, as it is designed to last the useful life of the product it powers.
Why should I try infrared socks?
Anyone can benefit from wearing infrared socks, but it can be particularly beneficial to:
- people who have weak circulation in their feet or seem to find their feet are always cold
- people with jobs that require lots of time on their feet (e.g., nurses, servers, retail employees, delivery workers)
- travelers or adventurers who are on airplanes or otherwise at higher altitudes where circulation can be compromised
By converting the heat from your foot into infrared energy while wearing infrared socks, CELLIANT increases circulation in the feet, helping your feet have more endurance and recover faster from physical activity. Socks are an inexpensive yet powerful way to experience CELLIANT, and some of our most powerful testimonials come from our customers who have walked a day in our socks.
At CELLIANT, we believe in scientific research. It starts with our Science Advisory Board that oversees the development and execution of our clinical trials. As we expand our body of research we are excited by the prospect of testing the efficacy of infrared socks infused with CELLIANT to reduce complications from diabetes related to poor foot circulation.
CELLIANT works hard to back its claims with scientific evidence that is specific to CELLIANT’s textile application. To date, we have conducted nine peer-reviewed studies showing the efficacy of CELLIANT’s benefit claims. In particular, several of our tests utilize CELLIANT infrared socks and stockings as part of the protocol. To learn more about our testing process, watch our short educational testing video.
Where to Buy Infrared Socks
Infrared socks infused with CELLIANT have many benefits. These benefits include increased circulation in the feet and lower leg, improved cellular oxygenation, faster recovery of the feet from physical exertion, and improved endurance. If you are interested in trying the benefits of this therapeutic technology for yourself, try purchasing infrared socks made with CELLIANT technology from our brand partners:
And, look out for infrared socks from our partners iLux and Decathlon, launching soon.
Explore What Infrared Socks Can Do for You & Your Brand
Fashion brands and sock manufacturers face increasingly complex environments. This includes but is not limited to price increases due to supply chain disruptions, growing levels of competition and saturation in the market, and ever-higher demands and expectations from their consumers. Working with an ingredient brand like CELLIANT to infuse your fashion apparel products with wellness benefits can have an enormous impact and alleviate some of these challenges. Just as consumers have grown to expect their vehicles, technology, and other material possessions to offer more features and benefits, it follows that expectations for the functionality of their clothing are also rising. Infusing CELLIANT into your apparel products or adding a collection of infrared socks to your apparel lines serves a need for unique, wellness-oriented products. It also offers merit that can justify price increases.
Functional fabric benefits such as four-way stretch and moisture-wicking properties are now table stakes. The next evolution of fashion and wearable technology involves creating products that can actually provide a physiological benefit to the wearer. This is the unique selling point that is inherent with the incorporation of CELLIANT infrared technology. To learn more about the benefits of working with an ingredient brand, click here.
CELLIANT is available for brands to infuse in textile products using a number of different fiber solutions. Interested in creating products with CELLIANT textiles? Click here to learn more about partnering with us or please fill out the form below to connect with a business development representative from our team.
Get in Touch