What does Sandal Toe mean?
Have you seen this term when looking at sheer compression stockings? "Sandal Toe" refers to a completely sheer toe area with no color changes. "Sandal Foot" refers to a completely sheer foot area - including the toe and heel areas. These type of stockings are great if you have a pair of shoes that reveals the base of your toes or doesn't completely cover the heel area, like sling back heels.
Why do stockings have different colors at the toe and heel?
The change in color at the toe and heel designate a reinforced area which is knit differently than the rest of the stocking. Most compression stockings have reinforced toes and heels to prevent runs. Compression can be tricky to get on, so the manufacturers try to put durable material in places where stockings are most likely to start a run. These places are the toes (pesky toe nails) and the heel (where shoes can rub and start a run).
Still confused? Check out the image below. You can clearly see the reinforce heel on the left and the reinforced toe area on the right.
In the next photograph, you can see the reinforced heel peeking out above the back of the heel. Some people do not want this to happen, which is why brands started carrying Sandal Foot options.
What does a Sandal Foot look like?
Voila! Check the image below. Notice how you can see right through to the toes without a reinforced toe pocket.
What brands offer a sheer toe and heel?
Many brands carry the sandal toe options in the lowest compression levels.
Sigvaris Sheer Fashion - These stockings are available in 8-15 mmHg and offer a completely sheer toe area, but still have the durable heel. They are available in knee high, thigh high and pantyhose.
Therafirm 10-15 mmHg Sheer - These stockings are available in 10-15 mmHg and offer a full sheer foot (toe and heel). They are available in thigh high and pantyhose as well.
I need to wear higher compression. What are my options?
There are a few things to consider. There are no sheer toe or heel options at a compression level higher than 10-15 mmhg. If the reinforced toe lines is conflicting with your fashion choices, Open Toe Stockings are a great option. These stockings end at the base of your toes and leave your toes free from fabric. They look great with open toe heels or sandals.