Tips for Pulling Up Socks When You Can’t Reach Them

If you have worn socks for most of your life, then you will most likely know that they are one of the most comfortable pairs of accessories to wear on the feet. Not only are socks comfortable, but they are also very protective when it comes to preventing your feet from getting blisters, cuts, and other types of wounds.

While wearing socks is relatively easy for a lot of people, we often tend to have more difficulty in pulling up socks on our feet as we get older. One of the reasons why seniors have a hard time pulling up socks is because of their weaker bones and muscles, and reaching down on the feet can put too much pressure on their arms and back. [1]

In addition to seniors, people that have injuries or special needs would also find wearing socks challenging. Fortunately, there are a few ways that the elderly, the injured, and the people with special needs can follow for them to have an easier time pulling up and wearing socks. Here are the tips for pulling up socks when you can’t reach them.

Lie Down and Elevate Your Feet

wearing socks while lying down

The normal or most common method of wearing and pulling up socks involves sitting on a chair and stretching your back downwards in order for your hands to reach your feet. While there is no problem for most people to do this method, it can be problematic for the elderly and those with special needs, as they will experience pain and discomfort whenever they reach down.

One of the simplest methods for pulling up socks when you can’t reach them through normal means is to lie down on a sofa or bed and then elevate your legs so that you will have much easier access to your feet. To elevate the legs, you would need to put about three to four pillows on the area of the sofa or bed where you will put your legs. 

Once you have lied down, you can then pull your legs towards your chest, but don’t bend your knees too much if you are already feeling pain or discomfort. Then, you can easily put on socks on your feet without the need to stretch your back. Follow this method if you don’t use tools or accessories for putting on socks. The same method can also be used to take off socks.

Use a Sock Slider

using a sock slider

Another easy method of pulling socks on your feet is to use a sock slider, which is a tool that helps you wear your socks without the need to utilize your hands during the pulling process. There are already dozens of different sock sliders that you can buy online, so you won’t have a difficult time finding these products.

Here are instructions on how you can use the sock slider to put on socks:

  • You would first need to insert the slider into the sock to form a large opening for the collar of the sock. 
  • Next, use one hand to grab onto the sock slider handle, although there are some sock sliders that only come with two strings that you have to grab using both of your hands. 
  • Then, place the sock slider on the floor while still holding on to the handle or the strings of the slider. 
  • Place your foot on the opening of the socks, and then slowly slide the foot on the slider until the sock slides completely out of the slider and onto your foot. 
  • Use the handle or strings so that you will have a better time keeping the slider in place while you slide your foot.

If the sock slider has a detachable handle, the handle can also be used to take off socks. Push the collar of the sock using the end of the handle until the entire sock slides out of your foot. For sock sliders that have strings instead of a handle, you may need to buy a sock aid stick so that you can pull the socks off your feet without much effort.

You may check out our article What is a Sock Aid and Its Benefits? for more information about sock sliders.

Use a Sock Donner

elderly person wearing striped socks

Besides the sock slider, you can also use a tool called a sock donner or stocking donner to put on socks with ease. The sock donner is primarily used by people that wear stockings most of the time, as stockings can be hard to put on and they can be quite fragile, so they will most likely tear in some areas if you use too much force when putting them on. 

However, the sock donner can also be used by the elderly and people with special needs, as they will also benefit from the tool’s ability to help people to put on stockings and socks. Check below to read the instructions on how to use the sock donner: 

  • Roll the collar of your sock outwards to have an easier time inserting it into the sock donner.
  • Next, hook the collar of the sock to the center of the sock donner, then gently pull the collar of the sock downwards so that the entire sock will slide onto the center panel inside out.
  • Use your hands to grab onto the handle of the sock donner on each side, then gently slide your feet inside the sock at the center until the sock slides off of the donner.

To take the socks off your feet, you may need a sock aid stick made of stainless steel or wood. Use the stocking donner if you are also going to wear compression sleeves on your legs.

With the tips we have provided above, we hope that you will now have a much easier and more convenient time putting on socks if you are injured, have a debilitating illness or disorder, or just simply not having enough strength to put on socks through normal methods.


[1] Adina, E. (2022, March 22). How do seniors put on socks? Avacare Medical Blog. Retrieved January 3, 2023, from