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A reader asked a question that reminded me of a painful experience I had on my trip to Paris and Rome. Find out how compression socks helped bring my toes back to life. Plus, we share our top picks for the best compression socks.
The Best Compression Socks: Why They Work
Travel Fashion Girl help! A reader asks:
“I need help with the “unfashionable” side of travel!! What do travel fashionistas use to help them on the LONG flights to sleep (I.e., travel pillows, neck supports, etc.)? And, ouch! Those swelling feet! 15 hours from San Diego to Rome and three days to find my ankles again!”
Unfortunately, I all too recently experienced the same problem with my feet. It was scorching hot on my 10-day trip to Paris and Rome and my body had a much different reaction than I’m used to in this weather.
I packed three pairs of shoes: gladiator sandals, ballet flats, and ankle boots. I wore the ankle boots the first couple of days to transit from rainy England to a grey and cloudy Paris. Once the weather improved I swapped the boots for sandals for the duration of my trip.
I opted against wearing my ballet flats for two reasons:
- I prefer wearing sandals over closed toe shoes any day
- I love wearing boots and never get to wear them on my regular travels
Despite my shoe preference, even if I wanted to wear the ballet flats my feet experienced an unusual side effect that wouldn’t even allow me use them.
My feet got completely swollen from the heat and almost doubled in size! I never noticed this occurrence before despite the fact that I spend most of my travels in the heat and humidity of the tropics.
When I got home, the swelling became super uncomfortable and didn’t decrease. It got so bad that my toes went numb! Desperate for relief I kept my feet up and used ice packs to alleviate the discomfort.
I was sent a sample of compression socks by VIM & VIGR. They claim to be ultra-lightweight and fashionable compression socks. Because a few readers had asked if these travel socks really work, I decided to check them out.
I am very glad I did.
I wore them around the house for a few days with the hopes that they would help the blood to flow freely to my feet – thankfully, I think it worked because my toes came back to life. Finally, the swelling went down. While I can’t be 100% sure that these compression socks were the solution, it sure felt that they were!
Needless to say, I am definitely traveling with them from now on and adding them to my in-flight travel kit.
Why Wear Compression Socks?
Compression socks are designed to add pressure to your legs in order to maintain blood flow and reduce any swelling or discomfort. Doctors often recommend them if you have varicose veins or a condition that causes poor blood flow, but they’re also great for anyone going on a long flight.
One reader shares, “I wear them and I feel better about doing so especially on long flights. They do feel a bit tight at times and I want to pull them off but I know they are good to have on. They are great for those who do not get up or move around much or sleep through flight or have high blood pressure or leg swelling.”
You can also wear them after long days of walking. One reader says, “I wear compression socks all the time after my runs and long hikes. They feel great as a recovery sock and when you take them off your legs will feel great.”
The Benefits of Compressions Socks
In case you haven’t tried compression socks for yourself yet, VIM & VIGR has five reasons for sporting these knee-highs during all your daily activities.
Swelling – Whether you are traveling, sitting at a desk or moving all day, these highly advanced compression socks prevent and reduce leg swelling. One reader says, “I wear compression stockings on any long haul flight. It makes a huge difference. My ankles don’t swell from fluid retention and my legs don’t get that jittery feeling.”
Energy – After a long day at the office or at home, your legs feel lighter and more invigorated as a result of the knitting technology. A reader says, “I use them for the plane so my legs don’t feel as heavy. Also, after a long day of walking, I wear the socks and my feet feel lighter, if that’s the word. As you get older, they’re needed.”
Style – Don’t sacrifice fashion for health any more, VIM & VIGR’s line is available in stripes, polka dots, solids, and argyle.
Muscle Recovery – These compression socks work to increase oxygen delivery, decrease lactic acid, prevent cramps, and minimize muscle fatigue – especially after a hard work out.
Veins – The increased circulation from the advanced gradient compression works to diminish and inhibit spider or varicose veins.
The Best Compressions Socks
This line of compression socks offer a variety of designs and colors and offers a choice of fabric for individual comfort including cotton, nylon, and wool. The cool thing is that you can wear them in flight for compression benefits and also with boots or under trousers.
Find VIM & VIGR compression socks on Amazon.
Our readers also swear by compression socks. One reader says, “I swear by compression socks! I was having issues where my arms would fall asleep while flying and the socks solved that!” Another reader adds, “I also wear compression socks after long days of walking. Just put them on and read a book for 20 minutes with your feet elevated.”
One reader recommends trying her strategy: “Wear compression socks and walk around while in flight. Once you get to your hotel, shower, and lay down on the floor and put your feet up on the wall. Your body should look like a capital letter L. 20 to 30 minutes should do. We fly international so we end up on the plane for 10 hours a flight. Works like a charm!”
Here’s our recommendations for the best compression socks:
Additional Travel Products for Comfort include:
- Inflatable Neck Pillow – stores easily
- Sleeping Liner – great for warmth on long flights
- Ear Plugs – drown out unwanted sounds
- Eye Mask – if you can’t sleep with the light on
For more tips, check out our post on how to survive a long flight!
Do you use compression socks? Share in the comment section below!
For more airplane essentials, please read:
- What to Wear On A Plane
- 10 Airplane Essentials
- 5 Airplane Skin Care Essentials
- How to Look Good after A Long-Haul Flight
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