Last Updated October 25, 2022
Maybe you’ve heard that compression socks can be good for travel but you always assumed this only applied to old people? Because that’s who you might imagine would be wearing socks that help with circulatory problems and swelling. But honestly, anyone can be susceptible to problems in their legs and feet simply from sitting for too many hours at a time.
People with office jobs, pilots, truck drivers and others who sit for long periods of time should absolutely consider the use of compression socks for health–because they’re not just for old people! They’re for hard workers, adventurers, go-getters and so much more!
Why Do You Need Compression Socks?
When you’re packing for a trip, compression socks may not be the first thing on your mind! But you may want to reconsider.
For many travelers, the most common symptoms of long journeys are swollen ankles or legs (edema), and on more serious occasions DVT – Deep Vein Thrombosis (presence of veinous blood clots). Several factors contribute to the occurrence of these symptoms, but controlling them by wearing the right compression socks on such travels is helpful in their prevention.
Compression sock comes in different types of compression levels (applied pressure) and help to improve blood circulation across the veins from the heart and back to the foot. This reduces your chances of being at risk of blood clots and lower body edema. And blood clots are nothing to mess around with because they can be fatal!
Thankfully, all these can be prevented by wearing the right pair of compression socks on your adventures–or even while you’re sitting for a long time behind your desk at work.
Benefits of Compression Socks for Travel
Since we know what being immobile for long hours causes to the body, it is safe to say that the benefits of compression travel socks are vast. Some of these benefits include:
- Aid blood circulation across the veins to and from the heart and lower body.
- Provide comfort on the leg muscles – because of the stimulation of blood flow around the muscles.
- Reduce the production of lactic acid to reduce muscle cramping and soreness after a workout.
- Prevent leg swelling and edema.
- Prevent varicose veins and other circulatory problems.
Clinical Studies Supporting Compression Socks for Travel
Looking for scientific confirmation of the effectiveness of compression socks for travel? Check out these studies:
In one study by the Center for Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast, on compression socks as prevention of DVT in airline passengers, discoveries showed that travelers can expect a high significance on the reduction of DVT symptoms and leg edema if they wear compression socks.
Another study by the British Society for Haematology identified long-duration travels as a risk factor for the development of DVT and also indicated the need for travelers prone to travel-related thrombosis to wear knee compression hosiery.
Factors for Choosing Compression Socks
Consider these various factors when choosing compression socks for your travel needs:
Pressure Levels (mmHg)
The pressure of compression socks is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) which is the same measurement used for blood pressure cuffs. The pressure ratings of travel compression socks typically come in five different categories (8-15, 15-20, 20-30, 30-40 and 40-50) mmHg, with the lightest socks being the 8 to 15mmHg and the 15 to 20 mmHg, which is perfect for flight syndromes and swellings. Higher levels of pressure would be recommended by doctors for the prevention of varicose veins and other problems but are available only by prescription. For most people’s needs, a non-prescription, over-the-counter compression sock is perfectly acceptable for travel.
Before making a selection, you should have a good knowledge of your travel time, any possible health condition for which you will need compression socks. For example, are you prone to DVT, edema or aches on the foot and legs? Check with your doctor to make sure wearing compression socks is a healthy option for you. Although lighter socks are non-medical compression socks, it is still a good idea to consult your physician before using airplane pressure socks.
Graduated or Uniform Pressure
Travel socks have different types and levels of pressure for different parts of the lower body. For example, there are compression socks with their highest pressure applied at the ankles and then the pressure lessens as the sock moves up the leg. However, most travel socks come in uniform pressure.
This is important because you also want to avoid the negative effects that can come from wearing the wrong size compression socks. If your socks are too tight, this can be debilitating for your blood circulation, causing pain to the legs as well as chafing or rubbing on the skin. However, the right size of compression socks will be firm enough to be effective and fit properly to mount a healthy pressure to your legs and at the right level.
Making purchases on travel compression socks based on your budget is ideal. However, we advise you to make those purchases based on the availability of durable quality compression socks for multiple uses. Choosing a company (like Comprogear) that offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee will ensure that you’re getting the most quality for your money!
Next up, the choice on the design of socks should go beyond their stretch and pressure, down to the source of their materials and possibly any fabric technology that comes recommended. Is it winter? And do you care for warmth and comfort? Then go with compression socks with a high percentage of cotton, which is a thick fabric. Is it summer? Going for socks with synthetic materials such as spandex, nylon, acrylic or polyester is ideal. For hot seasons, you should also consider fabrics that wick out moisture and prohibit the buildup of bacteria.
For most compression socks, the longer the better. Also, you should compare your need for travel socks to various other needs including arch support, knee-high, anklet, toeless, mid-thigh and short leg sleeves. The different types of socks meet various health or support needs. for example, toeless compression socks are recommended for travelers with plantar fascitis.
You should also consider other ways that compression socks can be used, besides for travel. Some compression socks for travel are manufactured especially for pregnant women, athletes, long hour flight attendants or commuters, post-surgery patients or individuals at risk for DVT, diabetes or varicose veins. Knowing your health status is important in making this choice so be sure to check with your doctor.
Best Compression Socks for Travel
Our favorite compression socks are readily available as knee-high length with a graduation compression level of 20-30 mmHg. It’s our favorite compression sock for support and comfort. It is made from a washable nylon fabric blend with spandex for extra stretch. It is not only a top-rate choice for travelers but also for workers whose profession requires them to be on their feet for long periods. It ideally soothes muscle soreness and reduces inflammation while protecting from the development of blood clots or DVT.
The socks are ideal for preventing cramping, fatigue, swelling, and aches on long travels. These pairs of compression socks come recommended for frequent travelers who are prone to leg aches and various complicates. The support and firmness of the socks are great! Plus, they come in a variety of styles and colors to suit every person’s preferences and needs.
The next time you are on a long haul trip, we hope you will be with all your comfort essentials including a quality pair of compression socks. You should see a difference in the comfort of your travel and you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it sooner!