We investigated the effectiveness of shear wave elastography (SWE) in patients with lower extremity superficial venous insufficiency (VI). A total of 138 symptomatic patients, 51 asymptomatic volunteers, and a total of 359 lower extremities (257 symptomatic, 102 asymptomatic) were examined. All participants underwent Doppler ultrasound (US) evaluation to determine VI and SWE measurements performed by manually drawing vein wall and perivenous tissue with free region of interest at the great saphenous vein (GSV) and small saphenous vein (SSV). The GSV, SSV diameter, VI, and volume flow of reflux were compared with the SWE values. The SWE values of the symptomatic group for GSV and SSV were significantly higher than those of the asymptomatic control group regardless of whether VI was detected by Doppler US (P < 0.001). There was a statistically significant increase in SWE values for the symptomatic group who were diagnosed as having reflux in GSV and SSV (P < 0.001). A significant positive correlation between increased GSV, SSV diameter, and SWE values was seen (P < 0.001). Venous insufficiency can be diagnosed with a 84.7% sensitivity and 84.2% specificity when 2655 m/s was designated as cutoff value, and with a 85.4% sensitivity and 84.2% specificity when 22,350 kPa was designated as the cutoff value in GSV. Venous insufficiency can be diagnosed with a 84.3% sensitivity and 82.4% specificity when 2845 m/s was designated as cutoff value, and with a 85.7% sensitivity and 84.4% specificity when 27,100 kPa was designated as the cutoff value in SSV. Shear wave elastography may be used effectively in addition to conventional Doppler US examination in diagnosing and following VI.