Anyone who’s ever been on a long flight knows that traveling can be a pain: literally. Remaining in a seated position for hours at a time is unnatural and can cause severe discomfort in the legs and feet. Unfortunately, getting up and walking around every 15 minutes isn’t a realistic option for relieving that pain.
So what can you do? Well, many turn to compression socks – socks that compress – which are shown to improve circulation and blood oxygen content. Getting the blood moving in your legs goes a long way in relieving the pains of travel.
There are plenty of reputable companies out there producing compression socks. In this review, we’ll go through what we think are 5 best compression socks for travel, give you some details on them, and then tell you what we think. Hopefully, you find it helpful!
The Wanderlust air travel compression socks offer medical grade graduated compression, fully designed to help relieve the pains of travelling. The socks have a compression of 25-30mmHg at the foot & ankle, 15-20mmHg on the calf, and 10-15mmHg along the top. I love that Wanderlust have made their socks tighter in specific areas, it shows the hard work put into the design.
Comfort is a major requirement in a great travel sock. The Wanderlust socks are made with 80% cotton, 9% nylon, 6% polyester, and 5% Lycra. This high cotton content makes the socks super soft and comfortable, which is important when looking for the best travel compression socks.
The Wanderlust socks are available on Amazon in sizes M-L and L-XL.
Travelsox are a sock brand owned by Vitalsox, a compression wear company that loves innovation and design. With multiple patents, the Travelsox sock is a wise choice for all travelers.
Travelsox contain 75% Silver Drystat, 15% Lycra and 10% nylon. The main material, Silver Drystat, stops the growth of bacteria and smartly wicks moisture from your skin. This is especially handy when wearing them on a long journey; your feet will remain (somewhat) fresh even on 24hr+ flights.
Travelsox are available in 4 sizes (small, medium, large and XL) meaning there is a sock for everyone. Take an even closer look on Amazon.
Travelon claim their compression socks are ‘one size fits all’. This makes ordering the socks a bit of a gamble. Travelon socks do fit the majority of people, but you are unlikely to get a perfect fit.
With a comfortable structure, the Travelon sock is ideal for long periods of wear. However, I would prefer if they had a higher compression rating then the 15-20mmHg they currently carry. Travelon socks may be ok for short journeys, but for long haul flights I turn to a sock with a higher compression. Want a closer look? They are available on Amazon.
The fantastic all-round compression sock from CompressionZ is available in a huge range of colors and in 4 sizes (S, M, L, XL). CompressionZ needs no introduction and is a company highly regarded by many compression enthusiasts. It is this great reputation that gives rise to a higher price. Although I feel the price is fair, as the socks are great. The one negative is that they are somewhat short. The socks are supposed to be knee high, yet fall short on many people. Like them? Have a look on Amazon.
The AprilTex compression socks carry fabric made from 60% cotton, 20 % Polyamide, 15% Spandex and 5% Silver. A unique graduated compression of 17-22mmHg means that they are super comfortable, yet still relieve travel induced pain. AprilTex offer these socks in 3 different sizes, small/medium, large and XL. Available in 5 colors, they can be viewed on Amazon.
If you’re looking into compression socks for travel, your needs will be somewhat different than, say, an athlete. We’d recommend focusing primarily on three features: comfortability, tightness, and, of course, style.
Comfort–This is probably the most important aspect to consider. After all, you’re specifically looking into compression gear as a means to relieve discomfort during travel. The best way to make sure your choice is comfortable is to try them on before you buy. If you’re buying online, that won’t be possible, so instead read reviews and try to go in with some knowledge of what you prefer in a sock.
Tightness–These socks work by compressing the ankles and lower calf muscles, but that doesn’t mean tighter is better. You actually want to have as little compression as you can get away with. The best way to figure out how much compression you need is to measure your calf in the morning and then again at night. If the difference is greater than half an inch, you might want to try 20-30mmHg socks. If it’s less, go with 15-20mmHg socks.
Style–Style is important! You don’t want to sacrifice looking good for comfort if you don’t have to. Luckily, manufacturers are starting to catch on to this. The compression socks of today are a far cry from your grandmother’s beige stockings. Find something you like!
Washing compression socks is pretty easy: just machine wash on warm. Do not, however, run your compression socks through the dryer. That will eventually compromise the elasticity of the socks and reduce their effectiveness. Air drying, alternatively, will keep them in prime condition longer.
If you feel like getting fancy, there are a few products that can help you make sure your socks last as long as possible. Check out the video in the link below for examples.
Ok, so now that you’ve learned a little bit about each model and what to look for, it’s time to pick one. Remember: only you know the best criteria for evaluating a travel sock. It’s about what’s important to you as an individual!
That being said, I’m partial to CompressionZ socks. They may be a little more expensive, but I find that I get my money’s worth from them. They have a wide range of styles to choose from, which is great for someone like me who enjoys the occasional eccentricity. Most importantly, they make travel a lot more tolerable.