As we get older, getting swollen feet and calf after long periods of sitting increasingly becomes an issue. This is especially bothersome during travel. After hours spent in a cramped seat of an airplane, our legs simply refuse to work. If you made a mistake and took off your shoes immediately after takeoff, good luck with putting them back on. With feet swollen to a full size larger, it may be an impossible task.
Inconveniences aside, this presents a serious health risk, especially with people who fly frequently on long flights. Long periods of sitting compress our blood vessels and can lead to the creation of blood clots, which can be lethal. One way of removing this risk, or at least decreasing it is wearing compression socks during long flights. They work by applying pressure to your feet and calves and improving the blood flow. This will prevent swelling, or at least make it manageable. At least you will be able to put on your shoes once the plane lands.
There are several types of compression socks, depending on their strength. The weakest ones are rated for 8 – 15 mmHg or 15 – 20 mmHg. They provide low compression and are designed for everyday use. The next level is 20 – 30mmHg and is the most used type. They are often used for long flights. Finally, we have 30 – 50mmHg socks, providing heavy compression. These are to be used only on doctor’s orders.
Here are some models that may help you cope better with long flights and allow you to be able to walk once back on the ground.
1. Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks
Probably the best-known model, Physix Gear Sport socks have more than 10,000 glowing reviews on Amazon. They provide 20 -3 0mmHg of pressure and are made of nylon. There are plenty of styles to choose from and everybody can find the one they like. They aren’t exactly cheap, though.
2. Laite Hebe Compression Socks
These are an affordable option. You can get three pairs for just $12.59. With 15 – 20mmHg of pressure, they are ideal for milder conditions or for people who are using compression socks for the first time.
3. SB Sox Compression Socks
These are the most popular model on Amazon. With the number one best-seller, you can’t really go wrong. They provide 20 – 30mmHg of pressure and come in four sizes, ensuring a perfect fit for everyone. They have extra cushioning for heels and even arch support.