At first glance, you could be forgiven for seeing Solidea as another Italian fashion hosiery brand. But a closer look at the packet pictured above soon tells you it is not. Firstly, the word “compression” and then little symbols on the picture show the compression levels up the leg. Of course, you can also see that these are patterned tights, so we have fashion and compression together. The “12/15 mmHg Class A” label confirms that these are not just any old support tights. They are serious tights with a medical function.
The tights themselves give no immediate clue as to their therapeutic capabilities. Look and feel are just like any other good quality patterned opaque tights. Detailing is first-rate with flat seams and a cotton-lined gusset in the panty and legs patterned from the plain waistband to the plain reinforced toes.
Only when you start to put them on do you notice how firmly they resist your attempts to stretch them, particularly in the area of the ankle. The size chart details 5 sizes designed to cover heights from 125cm to 180cm (4’10” – 5’10”) and weights from 45kg to 105kg (100lb – 220lb). In addition, a range of circumferences is specified at the ankle, lower thigh and upper thigh. We have never seen a depth of sizing detail before, which makes perfect sense in a compression garment.
A cartoon on the card gives step by step instructions for putting these tights on; we suggest you follow them too, as any flaw in your technique will leave you struggling. Surprisingly, given the patience and technique required to get these tights on, you feel a lightness of the leg rather than a squeeze once they are in place. This depends very much on correct sizing, of course. Solidea makes their tights exactly in accordance with the size chart. You need to read the chart carefully to get the right size for your legs.
As compression tights, they work, and they feel like they would give months or years of wear. As fashion tights, they work too, a match for any pure fashion brand. If you spend a lot of time on your feet and need support tights, or your doctor has advised you to wear compression hosiery for circulatory problems, this style is for you. Nobody will have any clue that you are not wearing pure fashion hosiery. Not cheap, at £19.99 but great value.