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Compression socks and compression stockings are garments that squeeze and stimulate circulation in your calves and feet. These types of socks and stockings fit tightly against your body and have a bit of stretch built into their fabric so they hold their shape.
There are three primary types of compression socks.
Graduated compression socks
Graduated compression socks encourage circulation by applying pressure at your ankles. As the socks move up your leg, they become less tight. Graduated compression stockings generally require a prescription and a professional fitting. They’re typically designed to meet certain medical standards for flexibility, strength, and length.
Nonmedical support hosiery
Nonmedical support hosiery are designed to be more flexible than graduated compression socks. They don’t require a prescription and are readily available in stores and online. Nonmedical support hosiery are typically used to treat tired legs and to encourage circulation.
Anti-embolism stockings are designed to prevent the condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The level of compression these socks offer can vary. In general, anti-embolism stockings are made for people who have limited mobility. Similar to graduated compression socks, these stockings require a prescription to purchase.
Benefits of wearing compression socks while flying
When you’re on a long flight (5 hours or more), chances are, you’re not going to move around too much during that time. When you’re cramped in a small space and not moving around, circulation between your heart and lower legs slows down.
Your calf muscles are what send blood from the bottom half of your body back up through your circulatory system to your heart. When these muscles aren’t constricting, circulation isn’t happening efficiently. You may experience swelling, tingling, and discomfort. The reduced circulation can also put you at a higher risk for pulmonary embolisms and blood clots.
If you don’t have a prescription for compression socks, nonmedical support hosiery are the compression socks generally recommended for travel. These types of compression socks can be easily purchased online or from pharmacies. You can choose a compression level according to what makes you most comfortable.
When to put them on:
To wear compression socks for flying, you may want to practice putting them on a few times before your flight. Getting them on your feet, especially in the tight confines of an airplane, can take some getting used to. The best time to put them on might be right before you board, while you’re waiting at your gate.
How long to wear them:
You can wear compression socks for extended periods, so you can also pop them on your feet at home before you begin your journey to the airport. However, discomfort and possible side effects may appear after a few hours of continuous use. See the section below for possible side effects.
Variety of Socks:
In addition to compression socks, you’ll find ankle protectors, knee protectors, heel protectors, foot protectors and more.
Unisex Compression Socks
Specialty Socks for Women
Specialty Socks for Men