Saturday, 19 September 2015

Spotlight on Pebble UK

Pebble UK are a Cambridgeshire based, independent online retailer, who specialise in the supply of quality therapeutic hosiery.

Earlier this month we caught up with Naomi Jarman of Pebble UK, and we are pleased to publish our interview with her.

Can you tell Hosiery For Men readers about Pebble UK? What is the business all about? 

Pebble UK is a family-run business who supply a great, range of graduated compression support hosiery and compression garments to men and women. Products are chosen by quality, price and fashion.

Why did you start Pebble UK and how has it developed?

It all began when my mum, Nadine Smith, was wearing TEDs (anti-embolism stockings) herself whilst in hospital. She watched a news report about a young fitness instructor (Emma Christofferson) who died from a DVT when travelling to Australia. Nadine had the thought ‘if I’m wearing these stockings to prevent a blood clot, then surely there must be some kind of product available to the public that can help with the prevention of blood clots and DVT.’

Henceforth, Nadine found a supplier who made flight socks.

Pebble started in 2001 with just two products, flight socks for men and flight socks for women. Very shortly afterwards, support tights were introduced, and then a few colour choices, then we added some thigh-highs and maternity tights, and bit-by-bit the catalogue has grown along with the customer base.

You specialise in graduated compression hosiery for women and men. Can you tell us about compression hosiery: what is compression hosiery designed to do and how exactly does it work?

Graduated compression hosiery is designed to improve the blood circulation, to help prevent pooling and clotting in the veins. It is very effective at preventing and relieving leg fatigue, heavy feeling legs, swelling (edema), varicose veins, thrombosis, deep vein thrombosis, lymphoedema, chronic venous insufficiency and venous related circulatory disorders.

Graduated compression works by giving a gentle pressure at certain points in the leg; it exerts most pressure at the ankle, which then gets less and less up the length of the leg. It is easier to imagine as an upside down ‘icing bag’, fill it full of icing and squeeze it and the icing is forced up through the nozzle, similar to the hosiery squeezing at the ankle and the blood will be forced back up the leg veins to the Heart.

Can you tell us about your range of men’s support hosiery? What brands of tights do you stock?
We have a pair of our own brand Pebble UK Men's Support Tights that are specifically designed for the needs of a man. They take into consideration the sizing of the hips and leg length as well as the circumferences of the leg and feature a fly front for practicality. They are a great value product for those who suffer with venous insufficiency.

For those who are in a fortunate enough position to be able to spend a bit more money on their hosiery, then the Solidea Dynamic Man Therapeutic Tights are well worth every penny.

Men have a choice of knee highs, thigh-highs and tights that are designed around their needs and Pebble will soon be offering a plain top, core spun unisex thigh high, made by Therafirm. We are rather excited about this new addition to the Core-Spun range, as the socks have proven very popular, they are extremely good quality, very easy to get into and more comfortable to wear, and because of the sock-like fabric, they will be ideal for the coming cooler months (and look like socks under trousers). These are ideal for men, whatever their profession. They are extremely good at preventing odours and keeping the feet dry and healthy due to the moisture-wicking, Microcool in the fabric.

On your website you mention that some men might be embarrassed about wearing ladies tights? Do feel there is still a stigma about this?

Unfortunately, I do think there is a stigma about this. Some men feel that ‘hosiery’ is for ladies and some feel embarrassed about having to wear tights, but on the flip side, we do speak to many men who wear ladies hosiery and who don’t care, as it’s not only important for them to wear it for their health, but actually, no one can see what they’re wearing under their clothes anyway.

Unfortunately, men draw the short straw when it comes to choice in the compression hosiery world, so most of the time they have to opt for a ladies product, for example, ladies tights (with no fly) because what they are looking for exactly, is usually not available on the market, unless they find us of course!

What kind of service will male customers receive at Pebble UK? Do you welcome enquiries and requests for advice? 

Absolutely, every customer is treated with utmost confidence and we welcome any phone calls for advice. We would rather you talk to us and order what’s right for the individual’s needs, rather than get it wrong and be unhappy.

Are there any brands and styles that you particularly recommend for men?
We have a dedicated men's support hosiery section, which lists everything that we recommend for our gentlemen customers. This ranges from socks, tights, sports compression socks and other garments.

There is always quite a lot of media interest in the subject of tights for men. What are your thoughts about the greater visibility of men buying and wearing tights?

If a person, no matter what sex, has the desire or need to wear tights or compression tights, then there should be no problem. The media need to portray this more equally to reduce the stigma that hosiery is for ladies only. This is 2015, not the 1940’s! I mean men have been wearing long-johns for years, and tights are essentially long-johns with the feet in.

Men of today are more sophisticated in their grooming methods and they want to look good, so if that means shaving their chests and legs, and sticking on a a pair of skintone sheer tights, then so be it.

To men thinking about trying tights, what would you say are the main benefits of wearing them?

Normal tights: they can flatter the look of the legs/are excellent at keeping you warm
Support tights: your legs won’t be so fatigued/painful at the end of the day, and will feel more energised

What are your plans for the future at Pebble UK? Are you planning to increase the range of tights for men?

We add to the men's range as and when we find a product, which is suitable, good quality and easily accepted by men themselves. Specifically in relation to tights for men, not many manufacturers make them, so they are more difficult to come by. However, we would most certainly consider any new options, so it gives our gentlemen customers more choice.

Thank you for speaking to Hosiery For Men Naomi. We hope readers will enjoy reading the interview and will also check out the products on Pebble UK.


  1. 72 pounds for usual semi opaque tights! -just LOL

  2. But they are not 'usual' semi-opaque tights are they? They are specialist graduated compression tights.