After a hike, it sometimes happens that some hikers notice redness on their lower limbs, mainly around the calves, ankles, and feet. Although at first glance one might think it's an allergy to the hiking socks' textiles, this is actually very rare.

Instead, it is often a condition called effort purpura, a skin condition that is relatively unknown to the general public.

Effort Purpura, What Is It?


Appearance of skin lesions like red bumps or patches, on the lower limbs around the calves, ankles, and feet. Occasionally, pain or a burning sensation may occur.

When Does It Occur?

As the name suggests, it appears in the hours following extreme physical exertion. Effort purpura can occur regardless of the climate, but most often in hot weather.

It is more likely to develop in individuals with a slight circulatory deficit. Women are more susceptible than men.

What Causes Its Appearance?

Physical exertion increases the body's metabolic activity and calorie burning. The body temperature rises, reaching up to 41°C for the muscles. This heat leads to an increase in blood vessel diameter (vasodilation), an accumulation of lactic acid (an acid necessary for muscle function but dangerous at high concentrations), and an increase in blood viscosity.

All these factors can cause a failure in microcirculation and the appearance of effort vascular purpura.

How to Get Rid of It?

Since this skin condition has only recently been recognized, there is no proven treatment yet. Wearing compression stockings and applying cold may be effective in reducing symptoms, as well as taking a venotonic or corticosteroid treatment.

For the latter, you should obviously consult your doctor or a dermatologist beforehand. In any case, effort purpura symptoms will regress on their own, after about a week of rest.


Unfortunately, after the first episode, recurrences can be frequent and regular. To prevent them, avoid wearing socks that are too tight or narrow. Indeed, effort purpura is much more likely to appear on edema caused by compression. The elastic bands on low-quality socks tend to squeeze rather than support. It's simply cheaper to produce a strong but less durable elastic.

On high-quality hiking socks, you will find "non-compressive support bands." These bands will keep the sock perfectly in place on your foot without feeling compressed. This is a guarantee to significantly reduce the risk of effort purpura.

At Monnet, a French designer based in Montceau les Mines, all hiking socks are made with several wide support bands containing elastane. This elastic material allows the sock to perfectly fit the foot shape while providing perfect non-compressive support, The elastane is also durable over time.
So, we promise you beautiful hikes for many years to come!

Check out our range of hiking socks to find a pair with non-compressive support.