What is the Difference Between Flight Socks and Compression Socks – DIABETIC SOCK CLUB

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What is the Difference Between Flight Socks and Compression Socks

It's a no-brainer; flying in a plane requires sitting for prolonged periods. Unfortunately, sitting in a cramped up compartment can lead to the swelling of ankles for some people. In turn, you may find it difficult even to walk. 

Why? Well, being immobile for too long can cause a blood clot to develop in your leg. It results in the cut off of healthy blood circulation. To avoid dealing with swollen feet, people utilize soft yet effective compression socks. 

From athletes to everyday users, these socks are the perfect way to reduce health issues that come with traveling. But are they similar to compression socks? Below we discuss what flight socks are and how you can choose the perfect one for yourself:

Travel Related Deep Vein Thrombosis and How to Reduce it 

Traveling in a plane, train, or essentially any commuting vehicle requires sitting in a certain space for a considerable amount of time. And resting in one position for too long may obstruct your blood circulation. 

Ultimately, you may have to deal with deep vein thrombosis while flying feet above land. Here's how you can reduce the risk when on a plane:

  • Put on loose and comfy clothes.
  • Perform calf exercise after half an hour. Do this by slowly raising your heels while your toes remain on the floor. Make sure you repeat the process at least ten times.  
  • Walk for a while
  • Stay hydrated
  • Avoid consuming alcohol and sleeping pills.

Who's at a Greater Risk? 

While anyone can develop it, but several health conditions increase your susceptibility to DVT. Here are some health issues spiking up your risks:

  • A history of deep vein thrombosis
  • Previously suffered from a stroke
  • Battling cancer
  • Tend to get blood clots as a result of family history
  • Recently underwent surgery specifically near the pelvic region, legs, or stomach. 
  • Are overweight 
  • Are pregnant 
  • Heart diseases 
  • Taking pills that contain estrogen-like HRT or Combined Contraceptive Pill

What are Flight Socks and Compression Socks?

Compression socks for travelers on a plane are flight socks. Wearing these socks helps reduce the risk of dealing with DVT during a journey longer than three hours. 

These socks are available in an array of different sizes and styles. From knee-length to reaching your thighs, these socks offer various compression levels depending on your chosen model. Not to mention, you can find these in eye-catching patterns and attractive colors as well. 

These socks offer body-hugging support to your legs and apply gentle pressure on them. In turn, it helps ensure healthy blood circulation throughout your body. However, you must select a pair that features exact measurements. Ill-fitting socks may cause adverse effects. 

To avoid that, make sure you measure your leg, calf, and ankle appropriately. You may even ask a pharmacist or health expert to help you out. 

Why Wear Compression Socks? 

If you're a travel enthusiast, compression socks will do wonders for improving your feet health. It's also the best way to combat deep vein thrombosis while you're on the go. Here we've rounded a couple of reasons everyone loves compression socks:

  • Compression socks help in supporting your muscles and joints. Moreover, they keep your joints aligned to offer better blood circulation. 
  • By staying snuggly wrapped around your leg, these socks lower the chances of your ankle swelling. 
  • Moreover, people with venous disorders can pull on compression socks to reduce swelling and inflammation. 
  • Those traveling in a plane, buses, and cars might have their circulation cut off. Wearing flight socks promotes healthy blood flow.
  • If you suffer from orthostatic, compression socks can improve your condition by enhancing blood circulation.
  • These high-quality stockings help prevent venous ulcers and improve lymphatic drainage in your body. 
  • Plenty of flight socks offer graduated compression to apply greater pressure atop your ankles. 
  • Your flight socks promote continual and healthy blood circulation. Thus, wearing these lowers the risk of a blood clot forming. 
  • Allowing your blood to flow properly and your limbs to perform properly also ups your overall well-being.
  • Besides being beneficial for your health, flight socks come in an array of vibrant colors and captivating styles.

Features to Consider When Purchasing Compression Socks for Flying 

To ensure effectiveness, your compression sock must be of the proper size. Remember these few points when buying compression socks:

The Compression Level

Firstly, determine what compression level best meets your needs. These are available in four different ranges:

  • 8-15 mmHg- mild compression 
  • 15-20 mm Hg- moderate compression 
  • 20-30 mmHg- firm compression 
  • 30-40 mmHg- extra firm compression 

To decide what compression level is perfect for you, factor in the length and medical health issues. If you're looking for socks to help enhance your stamina, a mild compression works best. On the other hand, those suffering from health problems such as varicose veins and whatnot will need to opt for a firm or extra firm compression.  

Size and Fit

Purchasing an ill-fitting pair means you're going to be uncomfortable throughout your journey. Not to mention, it may lead to worsening of your health conditions. Typically, your manufacturer will offer a sizing chart. However, these vary from brand to brand. 

So, grab a measuring tape and find the circumference of your calf and ankle. Moreover, measure the length of your calf. It ensures you purchase a sock that fits your leg snuggly. 

Material Used

A low-quality compression sock means they won't be able to hold their shape for a long time. On the other hand, flight socks boasting top-notch quality materials means they'll continue being effective despite years of use.

Your compression sock is likely to feature a blend of various materials. It offers breathability, strength, and productivity. Typically, brands switch between spandex, lycra, nylon, and polyester.  A number of these socks help keep your feet dry, fresh, and far away from bad odors. 

Men's vs. Women's Stockings

Flight socks are typically unisex; however, you'll notice a couple of differences between specifically gendered socks. For instance, if you're scouring through men's stocking, you'll have to check whether the sizing guide is particularly for men or if there's one for women as well. 


Apart from getting accurate measurements, you can also choose between a plethora of captivating styles. Compression socks come in several pretty colors and feature fascinating designs as well. All you have to do is spot one that matches your taste.

How to Wear Compression Socks? 

Wearing compression socks can be a challenging task for novices. Luckily, a little practice is all you need before you become a pro. 

Start by taking hold of the toe of your sock while folding the rest inside out. Next, put your foot inside the toe area and roll the sock over your feet. If your compression sock feels snug around your leg, you're wearing the perfect size. 

On the flip side, if it's too tight or too loose, substitute your pair for better fitting stockings. 

The Top 2 Compression Socks 

Here are a couple of our favorite socks to rejuvenate your traveling experience:

SB SOX Compression Socks

You can find an extensive range of sizes, including the extra small right up to an extra-large. SB SOX Compression Socks are available in various colors to match your fashion aesthetics. Here you can choose between three attractive color combos. Not to mention, it offers a remarkable compression level of 20 to 30.

It makes these socks an excellent option for long flights. Not just this, but you can enjoy wearing these during sports matches and pregnancy. These stockings are specifically designed to lower lactic acid build-up that occurs as a result of working out or remaining static. 

CompressionZ Compression Socks 30-40 mmHg

Enjoy your matches by grabbing the revolutionary CompressionZ Compression socks. These first-rate quality socks boast a great compression of 30 to 40mmHg, all the while featuring a wide range of fits.  

Moreover, these gradual compression socks promote healthy blood circulation that helps travelers stay comfortable while sitting for prolonged hours. The best part? It has top-notch quality material construction that allows your socks to be lightweight and breathable. 

You can even choose between four fascinating color patterns, including a pretty pink and cool blue. 

Bonus Tips for When Traveling and Recovering from DVT 

If you had a deep vein thrombosis a couple of days before your journey, chances are, you're taking certain pills to prevent the formation of new clots. In this case, the medicines lower the risks of getting another DVT, making your overhaul travel a whole lot safer. 

On the other hand, if you suffered from DVT around two weeks prior, you must get an all-clear from your physician. Also, make sure you contact your doctor before venturing through the clouds. Moreover, make sure you always have an extra pair of compression socks with you while you travel. 

The Takeaway 

Traveling long distances means sitting cramped up for hours on end. DVT may be rare in healthy people, but the risk is ever-present. The design of flight socks provides protection to your legs from swelling, obstructed blood circulation, and neuropathy. Thus, it's essential you either wear or carry a pair with you.


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