Ice socks and cold therapy slippers are interesting at-home cryotherapy solutions for numerous painful foot conditions and injuries. Affordable and easy to use, they have proven their efficiency and relieving effects on foot pain caused by neuropathy, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, swollen feet, burning feet, etc.
You can find dozens of cold socks and therapeutic slippers on the market. But are they all the same? Are they all good? Not really. Cryo socks differ a lot as to quality, durability, and use. Here’s a selection of 5 of the best cold therapy socks and slippers in 2021.
Ditch the bulky ice packs and the frozen vegetable bags! Cold therapy socks and slippers make at-home cryotherapy easy and comfortable. They practically all work the same: a soft and thick sock or slipper with insertion pockets to slide flexible frozen gel packs.
Before buying your new therapeutic socks, be sure to find the features you need. Do you need to chill the entire foot or the toes only? Would you use a compression strap? Are you planning to use them for hot therapy as well? Here are 5 of the best ice therapy socks & slippers to choose from:
NatraCure is the leading company in cold therapy socks, slippers, and gloves. These ice slippers have three different cold packs insertion spots so you can chill the entire foot.
They come with two full-length gel packs to insert into the pocket beneath the foot, as well as two half-size ones that fit into one pocket over the toes, and one pocket behind the heels.
They’re made with fleecy-cuffed nylon and stretchable spandex material, so they’re extremely soft and comfortable to wear.
Within seconds, NatraCure cold slippers relieve sore feet, hot feet, swollen feet, aching feet, and feet suffering from painful chronic conditions like plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and peripheral neuropathy.
NatraCure also offers cold socks with compression straps. Like the first ones, you can chill the entire foot thanks to 3 insertion pockets (beneath the foot, above the toes, and behind the heels). They’re made with the same soft and stretchable material that’s very pleasant on the skin.
The difference is that they’re intended for cold compression therapy. An adjustable hook & loop compression strap is added to help reduce foot inflammation, arch inflammation, foot swelling, and edema.
Warning: compression therapy can be contraindicated for some people suffering from diabetes and neuropathy. Ask for your doctor’s advice first.
Zomaple’s cryotherapy products are less known about but they’re as good as NatraCure’s. I’ve personally chosen these cold socks for myself because of their unique anti-slip bottom.
Plus, they can be used both for cold and hot therapy. For cold therapy, freeze the gel packs for about two hours and insert them in the socks’ pockets. For hot therapy, warm the gel packs for 25-30 seconds in the microwave before use. In both cases, the cooling or warming effects last for 20-30 minutes which is quite good!
Zomaple’s ice socks are comfortable and allow to chill the entire foot (beneath the length of the foot, above the toes, and behind the heels). The compression strap can be used for compression therapy or simply for size adjustment.
The included storage bag is a welcome addition so you can carry it everywhere with you and your cold socks never smell like food from the freezer. Recommended for: chemotherapy, arthritis, neuropathy, plantar fasciitis, postpartum foot, swollen feet, hot feet, and burning feet.
Foot Health offers cheaper cooling socks than its competitors. Still, they’re good quality and do a great job.
What’s best about these cooling socks is that they come with 3 pairs of freezing packs included. Unlike the other ones, you can use all 3 cooling pockets at the same time to chill the entire foot at once. They can be used both for cold therapy and hot therapy. Arch support compression straps are included, as well as a travel zip bag.
Another cheap cold therapeutic socks choice! Relief Genius ice socks are designed the same way as pretty much every other cold socks. There are three insertion pockets for gel packs so you can cool the entire foot at once.
Rapid Relief offers 8 gel packs (3 per socks + 2 extras). But there are no compression straps nor travel bags included this time.
The manufacturer does not mention hot therapy so I’m not sure the gel packs are microwavable. The material quality is not as high as NatraCure or Zomaple’s, but the value for money isn’t bad. They make the job!
Cold therapy for the feet can relieve pain caused by numerous injuries or chronic conditions.
WARNING: Cold therapy can also be dangerous! You should never put the ice in direct contact with your skin, and it should never last more than 20 minutes. Be sure to read the socks’ instructions before use.
According to the American Diabetes Organization, about half of the people living with diabetes have some form of nerve damage. Peripheral neuropathy symptoms vary from mild to extremely painful. Neuropathy pain-relieving solutions are numerous but their effectiveness varies a lot from one person to the other. While most neuropathy patients only swear by topical foot creams or essential oils, others find them not to be working.
Heat therapy and warmth seem to be soothing for many. For others, cold is more efficient. Ice cold has the advantage of being a natural analgesic that can considerably reduce the brain’s perception of pain. It’s also a good anti-inflammatory solution if you suffer from swollen feet or edema.
If cold therapy works for you and alleviates your neuropathic foot pain, use it wisely. Don’t overuse it and ever put ice in direct contact with your skin. It could cause an ice burn and lead to more serious problems such as…nerve damage! Neuropathy is a serious condition. Always ask for your doctor’s advice before trying any at-home treatment.
Some chemotherapy medicines such as Taxol or Abraxane, are very strong and can have side effects on the nervous system. 30 to 40% of people treated for cancers develop some form of peripheral neuropathy.
Patients themselves have reported strong pain-relieving effects of cold on neuropathy symptoms. A 2017 small scientific study comes reinforcing the idea that cryotherapy works on chemotherapy-induced neuropathy pain. Patients who were wearing frozen gloves and socks for 90 minutes during chemotherapy reported considerable pain relief.
Cold compression therapy has proven its efficiency against plantar fasciitis foot pain too. Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament beneath the foot. Cold has strong anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce ligament thickness and inflammation, which can considerably reduce the pain.
Compression is also known to help reduce plantar pain. Using cold socks with compression straps has been really helpful for many. Be sure to read the socks’ instructions before use. Too much cold or too much compression could harm you.
Edema is a severe form of swollen feet where excessive fluid is trapped in your body’s tissues. People suffering from swollen feet and edema can experience strong pain. Postpartum feet is a temporary edema occurring after delivery. It generally lasts for a few weeks at the most.
Whether you suffer from swollen feet, edema, or postpartum feet, cold therapy can help reduce the swelling and thus the pain.
Arthritis is a painful yet very common condition that causes swelling and inflammation of the joints. Cold therapy can help reduce symptoms of arthritis and ease the pain. It may decrease inflammation and slow down the production of joint fluid. According to Arthritis Health, cold therapy for arthritis should never be applied for more than 20 minutes at a time, but can be repeated up to 10 times a day!
Hot feet can range from being a mild isolated inconvenience to a painful symptom of a serious condition. The burning feet syndrome, also called Grierson-Gopalan syndrome, can result from many different conditions such as neuropathy, diabetes, infections, stress, allergies, etc.
Cold therapy can help reduce the pain and discomfort from hot feet or burning feet. However, if the symptoms persist you should ask for a doctor’s diagnosis.