We have all been there. After a few hours in the air, you finally land only to discover that your feet and ankles have swollen to twice their normal size and that it even hurts to walk to the baggage claim area. It is such a disconcerting experience and one that can be easily avoided. The is a solution to swollen feet and ankles that can be the result of a flight taking a toll on your circulatory system are compression socks.
Compression socks help increase circulation and reduce or prevent swelling as well as deep vein thrombosis and clotting. They work by gently squeezing your feet, ankles, and legs to help your veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently even when you are sitting! If you don't want to wear compression socks to the airport, just toss a pair in your carry on so you can put them on before boarding; it is easier than trying to put them on once you are seated on the plane. The best way to put on compression socks is to grab the toe and fold the rest of the sock out, put your toe in and start rolling the sock up over your foot, ankle, and leg. At first, they will feel a bit tight like your legs, feet, and ankles are getting a gentle massage. They take a few minutes to get used to but once you do and when you see the results when you reach your destination you will swear by them!
Some Compression Sock Options
There are many compression socks made for travel to choose from and here are a few highly rated options. In general, the tighter the sock, the better the compression. Compression socks that work best are those that go up to your knees.
Physix Gear makes compression socks for men and women that are easy to get on, wash well without losing compression and have moisture wicking properties. They provide instant support and compression for your feet, ankles, toes and calf areas without pinching. They make calf compression sock sleeves as well. They are made of washable lycra fabric and double stitched for added support. Best of all, if you don't like them, the company will give you your money back. These socks are a top Amazon pick with lots of good reviews.
VitalSox Italian graduated socks are also excellent compression socks for men and woman that are made with 70% silver drystat, a patented material that builds silver ions right into the fiber of the material the socks are made of to help to stop the growth of bacteria. This helps to keep these socks smelling fresh, they are also made of lycra and nylon. These socks have a patented gradual lighter compression that was developed by Arcos Srl in Italy with a four-way stretch system. They are made in the factory in Italy and never outsourced. This company has been a leader in real tested graduated compression socks since 1998. They come in a variety of colors and sizes and are available from Amazon.
Blitzu compression socks are made for men and women and provide graduated compression to promote blood circulation and oxygen flow that will prevent cramping, fatigue, and swelling. These socks combine the stability of kinesiology taping with compression fabric and support your foot, heel, arch, ankle, and calf (they are also good for spider and varicose veins). They are designed for everyday use, day and night. They have a 360-degree circular knit structure that provides great flexibility and durability. Many colors and sizes available.
Mudgear makes pro-grade graduated men's and women's compression socks that are strong comfortable and have a padded toe and calf and are made of nylon, polyester, and spandex. They come in a variety of colors and sizes.
Zensah tech compression socks are made in Italy of polyamide and elastane and have been engineered using a 200 need count construction resulting in a very durable sock. These socks offer gradual compression that means there is less compression in the calf area and more compression in the ankle area. This helps to promote blood flow by pushing it back to the heart and helps to prevent swelling and cramping. They are lightweight, moisture wicking, thermal regulating with a seamless toe. They come in a variety of colors and sizes.