Why You Should Wear Compression Socks on Long Flights

For anyone that has ever taken a flight, you will know that the seats just don’t cut it. They’re crammed with very little leg room, which makes even a short flight extremely uncomfortable. After about an hour of cramming yourself into what little room you have, you will notice that your legs will start to feel numb and uncomfortable. This can be extremely annoying, especially for people with longer legs, and will make taking a flight feel more like a chore than an enjoyable experience. You could also purchase better seats with more leg room and more comfort, but that would be a waste of a lot of money for an issue with some easy fixes. The easiest way you can combat this is by investing in some compression socks, especially if you’re someone that is going to take a long haul flight.

Long Flights and Potential Health Issues

The inactivity that occurs when you fly can cause a number of issues. These issues are only amplified if you are someone with longer legs, and with typical modern flights trying to fit more people into planes by pushing the seats closer together, there has been an increase in the number of cases of flight related health issues like DVT. Fortunately, compression socks when flying can drastically reduce the chances of you having any problems.

The Health Risks That Occur When Flying

If you are someone that has quite long legs, you will be even more familiar with the leg pain that you can experience from taking a long flight. This pain usually occurs due to the positioning that your leg takes when sat in an airline seat as that is not a position that you are used to sitting in. While sitting in this position, your blood begins to pool in the veins in the lower part of your body which increases the pressure in your legs and ankles, making it hard to sit comfortably.

For someone with long legs, this discomfort will become an issue much faster due to naturally poorer blood circulation that occurs when people have longer limbs. Usually if you’re sat on a plane and start to feel this discomfort, you can just stretch and that should alleviate any pain temporarily. This isn’t possible for people who are already using a lot of the leg space simply to put their legs and walking up and down the plane is extremely inconvenient due to the lack of room.

It’s not just discomfort that you have to worry about either, with long flights you are open to the risk of developing blood clots and other issues such as swelling which may lead to circulation issues. Because of all of these issues it’s important to look for a solution that doesn’t require a lot of movement, this solution is compression socks.

How Can Compression Socks Help During Flights?

Compression socks are usually recommended for flights that last longer than 3 hours as this is when you will start to suffer physical health issues. For short flights you would only really need to wear mild compression socks with a lower compression level, unless you are someone who is at risk of developing blood clots then it would be recommended that you use moderate compression socks, which will have a stronger compression level.

The socks work by distributing pressure between your legs and ankles, encouraging normal blood flow. This prevents your blood from pooling in the lower half of your body and discourages the formation of blood clots as the blood is still able to pass in and out of the heart efficiently. Not only do compression socks help with potential health issues, but they also help alleviate more minor issues. For example, slight swelling or general aches and pains. This means you can enjoy your flight instead of focusing on your own discomfort.

How Compression Socks Help Deep Vein Thrombosis

The clots that have been previously touched upon are also known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. DVT isn't just an ordinary blood clot, they occur in larger deep veins which have direct links to vital organs and can be extremely dangerous if given the opportunity to travel to the lungs.

Compression socks for flying are a vital tool to anyone that is prone to developing these clots, e.g: someone overweight, of an older age or someone with a family history of being susceptible to the condition. The way in which compression socks help to combat this is by regulating blood flow so that the clots are unable to form. When on a plane one of the issues that someone may face is the constant inconsistencies in blood pressure, compression socks help to stabilize this pressure and so will prevent DVT from developing.

Size Guide
OTC Compression Socks
Women’s US Shoe Size

5 – 7

7.5 – 9.5

10 – 12

Men’s US Shoe Size

6 – 8

8.5 – 10.5

11 – 13

Calf Circumference

26 – 34 cm

30 – 38 cm

34 – 42 cm

38 – 46 cm

Crew Compression Socks
Women's US Shoe Size

5 – 7

7.5 – 9.5

10 – 12

Men's US Shoe Size

6 – 8

8.5 – 10.5

11 – 13

Compression Sleeves
Calf Circumference

27 – 31 cm

32 – 36 cm

37 – 41 cm

42 – 46 cm

Body Width
Body Length
Sleeve Length