About a month ago, I flew from Denver to London (a 13+ hour travel day.) Long international flights can be miserable and I usually land feeling like a greasy, swollen mess.
This trip I tried a couple of different tips culled from a Fodors article titled 20 Things You Need to Survive a 20-Hour Plane Ride including:
- Noise cancelling headphones
- Drinking tons of water
- Watching my salt intake
- And … compression socks
Yup, compression socks. I know it sounds like something your great grandma would recommend, but thanks to a company called Comrad, compression socks have come a long way, baby! First of all, they come in really cute fabrics and patterns. They’re attractive and stylish with a range of colors and prints. And guess what? They now look more department store than drugstore.
How Do Compression Socks Work?
Second (and most important), they really truly worked. Graduated compression delivers pressure where you need it most – at the ankles – and is gradually less constrictive as it goes up the leg. Apparently our grandparents knew what they’re doing by wearing them – they’re good for legs and circulation. I usually take my shoes off on a long flight and then end up literally limping off the plane because my feet are so gross and swollen. With these socks, I had virtually no swelling. They were very snug, but not uncomfortable. And my calves and ankles felt great. I was able to put my tennis shoes on easily and I had no trouble walking and sightseeing for a full day after my plane touched down.
Comrad claims that their compression socks:
- Prevent foot and leg swelling on flights. – Worked like a charm
- Increase comfort and energy when on your feet. – Check
- Prevent varicose veins and dozens of other circulatory issues. – Perhaps
- Reduce muscle soreness during and after exercise. – I see people at the gym wearing them but I haven’t tried it myself yet. I’m thinking knee socks with shorts is not gonna be a great look for me.
For around $20, this was a great investment. My shoe size is 6.5 They were out of my size (small) when I ordered but the customer service folks told me to try a medium and they were so snug that they still fit. In fact, I’d probably order a medium again.
UPDATE – Comrad Now Makes Athletic Socks
Since I originally posted this review, Comrad has now come out with a line of compression athletic socks called Allies. They are pricey (around $13/pair if you buy a 3-pack) and they are worth every penny. I’m no longer going to buy cheap packages of athletic socks. They never fit correctly, they stretch out, and they ultimately fall apart. I’d rather have just a few pairs of really high quality socks.
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