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Combining innovative technology with fashion forward design, SKYPRO’s compression tights helps flight attendants prevent swelling, varicose veins, and even blood clots while still looking stylish.
One of the things that never looks good with a flight attendant uniform? Swollen ankles and feet! Whether flying a bunch of quick turns or a long flight across the Atlantic, long stretches of time on our feet and changes in air pressure can cause uncomfortable – and sometimes dangerous – swelling.
Technically referred to as “gravitational oedema,” feet swell when you fly because blood has to fight against gravity to travel up through your legs. Whether sitting for long periods of time like pilots and passengers, or standing for hours on end like flight attendants, blood begins to pool at the point furthest from your heart (and closest to the earth) – your feet.
While typically harmless, this swelling can cause deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or the formation of a blood clot deep within the veins. Flight attendants and pilots are especially at risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, blood clots, and swelling due to the physical nature of our jobs and the amount of time we spend in the sky. We’re also more susceptible to unsightly spider veins and varicose veins because the veins in our legs have to work consistently harder to push blood back up our legs.
As professional and frequent travelers, one of the most effective ways flight attendants can fight the affects of gravity on our bodies is by wearing compression socks or tights. Compression tights improves blood circulation by using tightly woven materials and graduated compression, meaning that unlike regular hose they are tighter toward the ankle than at the knee and thigh. This prevents blood from pooling at your feet and assists your body in pushing blood back up toward your heart.
Unfortunately, compression socks and tights are often more frumpy than fashionable. With super thick knits that completely obscure your actual legs and colors that make your legs look anything from beige to orange (but never the actual color of your skin), the compression tights I’ve tried in the past has made me look like I bought my tights from the geriatric section of a pharmacy.
Which is why SKYPRO’s compression tights (black or skin colour) are a total game changer! These pantyhose combine innovative gradient compression technology with fashion forward design so flight attendants can enjoy the benefits of compression tights while still maintaining an elegant, glamorous look. They’re thick enough to prevent swelling while still appearing slightly sheer and letting your natural legs show through. The woven fabric is comfortable and soft on the skin and – as a bonus! – increases their durability so they don’t run easily and last through many a trip.
They also feature a reinforced foot with massaging insoles, again increasing durability and preventing achy, sore feet. Perhaps most importantly, they’re specially constructed to fit a woman’s figure, with no slipping or rolling at the waist, bagging at the knees, or uncomfortable pinching. In addition to aiding in circulation, the compression technology also smoothes and tones your figure so your uniform fits and looks better. They’re a stylish solution to swelling and an important investment in your comfort and health!
Available in black and a pretty, tanned skin tone, SKYPRO’s compression tights is available in a variety of sizes here.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a life-threatening condition that can affect just about any person. This is manifested by the formation of blood clots on the deep veins of the body. These deep veins are usually found on the legs. Furthermore, when these clots break apart, parts of them can lodge into the heart and lungs. This is a very critical condition called pulmonary embolism.
There are many factors that can cause blood clots. An inherited blood clotting disorder, serious injury, surgery, prolonged bed rest and sitting for extended periods can aid in the creation of the feared blood clots in the body.
For flight crew and pilots who work up in the sky, their story is a bit different, but the risks are nonetheless as high. They are most especially at risk for deep vein thrombosis due to prolonged sitting or standing, especially during long flights. Sitting will prevent normal contraction of calf muscles because the legs usually remain still. The contraction of the calf muscles normally help in the proper circulation of blood in the lower portion of the body. When these muscles are not moving, blood clots will form. Though this risk is considered almost negligible in their professions as some experts say, one can never be too safe. It is best, therefore, to establish the potential of developing this condition, and it is thus recommended that pilots and flight attendants wear flight socks.
Why is it important for them to wear flight socks?
Flight socks and travel socks, such as the Jobst Women’s soSoft Brocade Pattern 15-20 mmHg Closed Toe Knee High Support Socks, are specialized hosiery that help improve the circulation of blood. It can help improve the circulation through applying pressure on the legs. These compression socks apply high pressure starting from the ankle, where it gradually decreases going up to the higher parts of the legs. This grade pressure from ankle to leg will help in maintaining the normal blood flow during long flights or prolonged sitting periods.
Wearing travel socks can be beneficial for passengers. Wearing this accessory can help in preventing blood clots. Fortunately, there are many types of travel socks available in the market. There are socks that generally fit both men and women. The Mediven Comfort 15-20 mmHg Closed Toe Knee Highs, available in 15-20 mmHg compression, is a recommended product. Some women also prefer travel socks that are fashionable, like the Sigvaris Closed Toe Pantyhose, which comes in a lovely opaque style. This is a useful product that can not only prevent DVT, but can also make women look stylish. This is the top choice for flight attendants, as physical grooming and neatness are a must in their profession.
Traveling also calls for good health. You can consult your GP prior to your flight to check if you are not at risk of developing DVT. To be on the safe, you can purchase your own pair of graduated compression socks.
Finding the best compression socks for travel is not an easy task. You may see stylish compression socks that prove to be too tight.
On the other hand, some may be a perfect fit, but the way they look will put you off.
Where to Buy Compression Socks for Travel
Since these flying socks have multiple purposes, you can get them in many different specialized shops. You’ll find them in sportswear shops as accessories, in pharmacies, and in various online shops.
If you already have issues with blood vessels in your legs, you should talk with your doctor before your flight. They may prescribe a particular type of socks that fit your situation. If you have a doctor’s prescription, your insurance may cover the fee.
Depending on the type, size, and even the brand, compression socks can vary in price. However, most of them should cost somewhere between $8 and $30.
How to Choose Compression Travel Socks
In order to select the best flight socks for you, you should consider these factors:
- Length of the socks
- Pressure/weight of the socks
- Size of the socks
For flying, it is best to choose socks that start below the knee. They are enough to keep a steady blood flow and reduce the risk of thrombosis and swelling. Longer socks may feel uncomfortable in a sitting position.
Socks that exert a lower pressure are a good option for some passengers. However, if you want to avoid DVT, you should get socks with a higher pressure. But you shouldn’t feel a very tight grip, especially no pain. These socks should only feel close-fitting and warm.
The universal measurement for pressure is mmHg, this is used to express the pressure or weight of your stockings. The correct weight of compression stockings for long flights can vary.
You should get socks with medium to firm levels of pressure for sitting on a plane. The medium level is from 15 to 20 mmHg, while firm pressure levels are around 20-30 mmHg.
You should be particularly careful when choosing the size of your socks. If the sock is too long and wide, the pressure will be non-existent.
Without pressure, compression stockings are useless. It’s usually better to get a full sock instead of only tubular sleeves. When in a sitting position, it is important to keep the pressure on your feet as well.
So, when you’re choosing the best compression socks for air travel, you should look for:
- Below-the-knee length
- A decent amount of pressure/weight
- A snug, but painless fit, not too long and not too wide
How to Wear Them
The size and shape are not the only factors that determine the effectiveness of compression socks. If you want the socks to do a proper job, you will have to know how to wear them, too.
When you put on your compression socks, you should make sure they are sitting completely flat on your leg. If wrinkled, they will tighten in certain places and interfere with your blood flow.
When to Put Compression Stockings Before Flying
Although there is a bit of speculation online in regards to when to put compression stockings before flying, the ultimate choice is totally up to you.
As a general rule, it is recommended to you wear the compression stockings/socks if you are flying for longer than 4-5 hours.
If you only plan to use compression socks during your flights, you can put them on just before you depart, and take them off when you arrive.
You can also wear them for a longer period without any concern, whether you’re traveling a short distance or across the globe.
Top 14 Compression Socks for Travel Reviews
In the section below, you will find our compression socks review of 2021. The list covers all the positive aspects and downsides of each pair of compression stockings.
Hopefully, after reading this review, you will easily decide which stockings are the best fit for you.
1. Physix Gear Stamina Compression Socks Review
The Physix Gear Stamina socks are black compression socks with a colorful heel. This product has all the necessary features to keep your legs comfortable.
These stockings go below the knee and apply a firm level of pressure, so they are ideal for long airplane trips. The material is double-stitched and breathable, which provides longevity and comfort in your legs.
The aeration and anti-bacterial fabric will keep your legs dry, so you shouldn’t worry about an uncomfortable smell after a long trip.
They also look great. The leg and foot come in black, while the heel comes in a great variety of colors.
Even though compression socks are a necessity, there’s no reason you can’t be fashionable when you’re wearing them. Available in S – XL sizes, here is a handy Psysix Gear compression socks size chart for you.
On the downside, the seams on the toes of the Physix Gear Stamina socks may vary in quality.
If your toes are too sensitive, you may feel a tad uncomfortable if you wear them for a long time. Also, they may be difficult to put on if you have bigger feet.
- Durable material for long use
- Breathable anti-bacterial fabric
- Modern and stylish look
- Various color combinations
- Uncomfortable toe seams
- Difficult to put on, depending on foot size
2. SB SOX Compression Socks Review
SB Sox are also reliable sellers in this category. These are among the best compression socks for long flights, and they come with a pressure level of 20-30 mmHg.
With this level of pressure, you can be sure that your blood will flow smoothly in your legs.
What makes SB SOX stand out is the amazing design which can replace an everyday pair of socks or stockings.
You may choose between striped, plaid, mono-colored, and colorful compression socks. With this design, you will feel confident and calm during a long flight or during a hike or run.
You’ll also feel comfortable because of the cushioned heel and toe support. A tighter grip on the ankle enables uninterrupted circulation through the foot and prevents swelling or soreness.
The top of the sock remains tight and doesn’t wrinkle, while the fabric prevents sweating and bad smells.
The only real downside here is the confusion concerning the size. Since you’ll find only four different sizes, and the levels of pressure aren’t listed, there’s a possibility that your usual size may be too tight.
Check out this SB SOX compression socks size chart.
- Great design and various style choices
- Material that provides oxygen flow
- Cushioned heel and comfortable toes
- Choosing your correct size can be a challenge
3. Blitzu Compression Socks Review
If you want a compression sock that you’ll use for multiple activities besides flying, consider Blitzu air travel compression socks.
The design focuses on stabilizing the joint area, so they are great for physical activities and come in a range of sizes.
If you have to stand for a long period of time, or you’re planning to work out, these socks offer a great deal of protection.
They will fix your ankle into place with a kinesiology taping design and also stabilize the calf area so you don’t injure yourself while doing physical activities.
Additionally, Blitzu has some of the best designs for women’s compression socks for travel. You can choose from different shades of purple and pink, as well as neutral white and black.
The only downside is the lack of comfort. All these stabilizing elements will make your feet slightly warmer than some other similar compression socks.
These socks may feel too thick and uncomfortable for a very long period of sitting.
- Perfect for sports activities
- Comes in various design and sizes
- A great pick for women
- Kinesiology taping design and calf stabilization
- Thicker than most models
- Difficult to put on
4. Laite Hebe Compression Socks Review
These socks have a simple design that doesn’t stick out. If you prefer discreet and effective products, you’ll love Laite Hebe.
With an everyday look and a comfortable feel, you can use Laite Hebe not only for long flights but also for the gym or any period of longer standing.
They provide a firm level of pressure with a breathable fabric. This will boost blood flow and help oxygen-rich blood reach your feet.
The fabric has a high percentage of nylon, which makes the socks stretchable and easy to put on. This material absorbs the sweat very well, too.
Another upside for purchasing these compression socks is that you’ll receive 3 pairs for a really reasonable price.
However, the pressure level on these socks is light. Because of that, they may be less effective during long flights than some other products on this list.
Here is a handy chart to help you figure out sizes:
- Stylish and discreet design
- Good aeration
- Stretchable and comfortable
- Great price
- Lower pressure levels
5. FuelMeFoot Copper Compression Socks Review
The copper-infused fabric enhances circulation more than other socks, and it makes FuelMeFoot socks an interesting pick. This fabric also absorbs moisture very well and prevents unpleasant odors.
The compression is medium-level, providing a soft grip and a comfortable feeling. If you want to prevent any leg complications, this level of pressure is usually enough for long flights.
These socks are also great for various other activities that could strain your legs.
When it comes to design, these cute compression socks come with an abundance of choice – from a wide palette of colors to various shapes.
However, make sure that you get your size. Since these socks are a little smaller than average, you might find it frustrating to choose a pair in your size.
- Copper-induced fabric further enhances blood flow
- Comfortable inside cushioning
- Wide range of patterns and colors
- Affordable (3 for the price of 1)
- Confusing size measurements
6. Dr Scholl Compression Socks Review
Dr Scholl Travel Compression Socks provide a mild compression to sore and achy legs and feet, which makes them quite a comfortable pair of socks to pop on before the flight.
They come in a wide variety of colors and styles, including stylish black, khaki and navy in a one color design as well as some choices of pretty patterns
These guys are made to last and made for comfort with a Invisiseamer ultra smooth seam, to keep those toes as comfortable as possible.
- Quality and soft fabric
- Great for treating existing circulation issues
- Mild pressure
- Pretty designs and patterns
- Pressure not as high as others on the list
7. Wanderlust Travel Compression Socks Review
If you’re looking for a sock of amazing quality and you’re not afraid to spend more than average, this sock is for you.
The material is mostly cotton, with nylon and polyester making it stretchable and durable. You’ll find that the pressure at the foot is firm, while it slowly loosens while you go up.
Since the pressure below the knee is low, you won’t feel the cuffs at all. On the other hand, they are extremely stretchable and should fit any leg type.
With the universal design, you can also wear these socks when you’re not traveling. If you’re comfortable with the pressure, they can benefit you in your everyday life during long periods of standing. The only downside is the price.
- High-quality material
- Comfortable feeling, perfect for flying & travel
- Universal design
- Might be too expensive
8. Sockwell Women’s Chevron Compression Travel Socks Review
These are among the top women compression socks for travel. They have an athletic, yet sophisticated design, with styles ranging from eye-catching to discreet.
The material is a mix of merino wool, rayon from bamboo, and stretch nylon. This makes the socks a perfect fit for all legs and sizes.
They are great when you’re traveling around since you can wear them with many different clothing combinations, and nobody needs to know that they are compression socks.
With a moderate pressure level, they are ideal for comfortable management of your circulation.
These are among the more expensive compression socks on the list, but the quality makes up for the price.
- Quality material
- Moderate pressure level
- Everyday fashionable look
- They fit easily to all leg types