The 5 Best Compression Socks for Long Haul Flights

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#1 Travelsox TSS6000 Travel & Dress Socks With DryStat

Comfortable, high-quality socks that you can take halfway around the world with you.

  • Patented, guaranteed compression
  • 4-way stretch
  • Drystat keeps the fresh and clean
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#2 Vitalsox VT1211 Silver Drystat Socks

The perfect, versatile travel compression sock that stays fresh for those long days at work or hours on a plane.

  • Antibacterial and antifungal material
  • Comfortable gradient compression
  • Lightweight and easy to wear


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#3 2XU Compression Performance Run Socks

One of the best socks you can get for sitting for long hours on a plane or running marathons.

  • Relieves joint pain
  • Can be used for both active and recovery
  • Reduces swelling post-run
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#4 Sockwell Circulator Compression Socks

These compression socks will work wonders for your circulation when taking long flights or sitting down for long periods of time.

  • Helps reduce swelling
  • Helps reduce DVT chances
  • Good for people with circulation issues
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#5 Wanderlust Travel Compression Socks

The perfect pair of travel socks with medical grade compression and support for your long haul flights.

  • Graduated compression
  • Seamless toe box
  • Support for arch and plantar
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Before we begin we recommend clearing your mind of whatever you thought compression socks were. Chances are when you think of compression socks, elderly people come to mind. The truth is more and more people are starting to realize that compression socks serve multiple purposes and are extremely useful for all types of people. If you think you’d be in the market for some compression socks, then keep reading on to discover the best compression socks for travel, health, and other great benefits.

Before we go dive into a comprehensive guide on how to buy the best compression socks for travel, let’s go over the best brands you can buy in 2019. We’ve selected the best brands out there and why you should buy these compression socks the next time you travel.

Wanderlust Travel Compression Socks

best compression socks for travel wanderlust

The name says it all when it comes to these travel socks. These Wanderlust socks are designed to be the perfect pair of travel socks for your long journeys. Whether you’re flying intercontinental or going to be sitting for long periods of time and need comfort and protection for your feet, these Wanderlust socks could be right for you.

Wanderlust Travel Compression Pros

  • Medical grade socks with 25-30 mmHg compression
  • Great for ankle swelling
  • Seamless toe box to prevent blisters

Wanderlust Travel Compression Cons

  • Some complaints of being too tight at the top
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Vitalsox VT1211 Silver Drystat

best compression socks for travel vitalsox

VitalSox is known for their comfortable compression socks that are perfect for a long day at work. If you’re a person who sits down at a desk for hours on end then these would be a great option for you. The Vitalsox come pre-washed so they are ready to wear as soon as you pull it out of the box. You can feel compression starting from the arch of your foot and travels all the way up to the calf for the utmost comfort level. The VitalSox compression socks are also popular among the running crowd.

Vitalsox VT1211 Pros

  • Graduated compression technology
  • The material is anti-fungal and odor>
  • Light padding that isn’t too tight

Vitalsox VT1211 Cons

  • May not be great for hot travelers, retains a lot of heat
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Travelsox TSS6000 Travel & Dress Socks With DryStat

best compression socks for travel travelsox

If you’re going to wear a compression sock for a long amount of time you want one that is anti-bacterial, odor-resistant and comfortable. The Travelsox compression sock is one of the best compression socks for travel because of the way it’s built and it’s comfortability. With the Travelsox you can ensure proper circulation if you’re taking a long flight or even working a long work day.

Travelsox TSS6000 Pros

  • Patented compression with plantar and arch support
  • 4-way stretch so it’s not too difficult to put on
  • Heavy duty but still thin enough to fit into shoes

Travelsox TSS6000 Cons

  • Sizing runs big
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Sockwell Circulator Compression Socks

best compression socks for travel sockwell

One of the biggest complaints with some compression socks is that they retain too much heat. Sticking your feet into a tightly fitted sock for a certain amount of hours can result in a hot, sweaty foot. With sweat comes odor, discomfort and a build-up of bacteria. Luckily the Sockwell Circulator Compression Socks are known to be one of the coolest socks out there.

The socks are good at absorbing moisture while keeping the foot clean. Sockwells are your perfect travel companion.

Sockwell  Circulator Compression Pros

  • Four different graduated compression zones
  • Keeps your feet temperature regulated and absorbs moisture
  • No toe irritation because of a seamless toe

Sockwell Circulator Compression Cons

  • Over time the sock may wear out
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2XU Compression Performance Run Socks

best compression socks for travel 2xu

Athletes are always in the market for a great compression sock that will reduce pain and fatigue during a workout. If running is your forté and you need a lightweight, reliable sock to wear during a run. The sock has great circulation throughout the calves, shins, and ankles and increases the blood flow during wear.

Additionally, runners don’t need to worry about air circulation and moisture retention. These running compression socks are made with advanced graduated technology with it’s zoned placement and moisture wicking. This all means a significant reduction in muscle stiffness, optimum support, and great breathability.

2XU Compression socks Pros

  • Designed for long-distance runners
  • Compression gradient designed to support the calves and shins
  • Moisture-wicking keeps you dry

2XU Compression socks Cons

  • Socks may be hard to put on due to compression strength
  • Fabric may snag
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What Are Compression Socks

Compression socks are more than just tight socks, there is advanced technology behind them. Compression socks are socks that add pressure to your legs and certain parts of the foot. People wear compression socks for a number of reasons, but the most popular reasons are for increased blood flow which reduces swelling and blood clots.

The benefits of wearing compression socks are a lot more than that, and the people who wear them range from all ages and backgrounds. Many athletes, especially runners and people who do extensive muscle work, wear them to help with muscle recovery and joint pain. Compression socks aren’t only comfortable to wear during a run but also after. Any type of muscle pain or stiffness you may feel after a strenuous workout will be greatly reduced by a good compression sock. Also, many socks have plantar and arch support to help with plantar fasciitis, one of the most common runner’s issues.

People who have professions where they stand or sit at a desk for hours at a time also tend to have circulation issues as well. Wearing compression socks while at work will apply the appropriate amount of pressure so that you can get proper blood flow to your ankles and toes. Basically, compression socks are great for both active and recovery purposes.

Why Wear Compression Socks When Flying

airplane interior cabin

Frequent travelers are huge fans of compression socks, but why wear compression socks when flying? If you are someone who is constantly on different flights then you know that after hours on end of sitting down, your feet and ankles can start to swell. Swelling while riding on planes is not only uncomfortable but also a huge health risk. The swelling happens because of the change in pressure and not enough blood circulation throughout your legs and foot. Certain people with this health issue could be at risk for a blood clot.

Reduce your risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis

The blood clot that you are at risk for getting when you fly frequently is called DVT or deep vein thrombosis. Instead of circulating upwards as normal, the blood gets caught in a vein in a certain part of the body. This is not only a big health risk but the risk is exponentially higher when you fly constantly. If you’re headed on an international trip, the best thing for you and your feet is to invest in a good pair of compression socks.

Luckily, DVT is easily treated when caught early on, but blood clots are dangerous and you don’t want a problem where you can avoid it.

Reduces puffy, swollen ankles

Besides the risk of DVT, swollen feet and ankles are all too common among the well-traveled crowd. Deplaning while wobbling through the airport with puffy feet is less than exciting and extremely uncomfortable. Wearing a pair of the best compression socks for travel is a key way to avoid this pesky issue. Even if you don’t suffer from bad circulation, these types of socks will keep your feet pain and swollen-free.

best compression socks for running

Travel Compression Socks Buyer’s Guide

Just like any other travel product, they come in several shapes and sizes. For those new to the travel compression socks world, you should familiarize yourself with a few vocab words that’ll help you find the right compression socks for you.

Fit and Length

Compression socks are meant to be tight but choosing the wrong size is important to just how tight they are supposed to be. Most compression socks are graduated compression, meaning they have different levels of pressure distributed throughout the sock. If your sock doesn’t fit correctly then the pressure could fall in the wrong spot on your leg, causing discomfort. This would defeat the purpose of the sock entirely.

A rule of thumb when shopping around for compression socks is to research reviews and size guides for each individual company. Most companies put their size guide online but also provide actual measurements of the sock. You don’t want to get stuck with an ill-fitting tight pair of socks.

The standard length of these compression socks stretches all the way up to the calf. This is important because it will aid in the blood circulation while hugging your calves and shins.

Fabric Material

There are several factors to take into account when considering the fabric of compression socks. Choosing a sock with comfortable, non-itchy fabric is obviously number one because of the tightness and the length of time you’ll be wearing them. The material of a good compression sock must also be elastic, good quality and extremely breathable. If you’re wearing them as a runner you’ll want material that breathes well and doesn’t hold in odor. This will typically be referred to as Silver DryStat, which is an antibacterial and antifungal material found in a lot of compression runner socks.

Lightweight socks are also a priority, especially because of mobility. Heavy-duty, thick socks tend to be extremely uncomfortable, especially if you’re an athlete or stand all day for work. Most of the best compression socks for travel on our list are known for their lightweight fabric that is easy to breathe.

So what are the different types of fabric? You can usually find socks made of synthetic fabric and other natural fabrics like cotton. You’ll probably find most socks to be made with a mix of various types of synthetic fabrics like polyester, acrylic, and spandex. In this case, the material will be pretty lightweight, moisture-wicking and extremely breathable. Synthetic fabric generally does well with keeping out odors too, because most of the fabric is antibacterial and antifungal. When the sock works to pull moisture away from your skin and instead to the surface of the product then you’re dealing with a lot less build up.

A common natural fabric to find in travel compression socks is cotton. Socks are not usually made of purely cotton, this wouldn’t really work with the compression and spandex technology. When cotton is used in conjunction with other synthetic fabrics this aids in the sock’s cooling and breathability. Although you’ll want to make sure you check the specs of your socks because too much cotton means less moisture wicking and more sweaty feet.

best compression socks for running

Level of Compression

Now here are the questions you’re all probably wondering. How tight should compression socks be? And how tight is too tight? Well, the answer is that it varies and it largely depends on your need as an individual. There are levels to compression socks and it is usually measured in mmHg. Each level serves a specific purpose and should be researched before buying a new sock.

  • Light: 10-15 mmHg – Light compression is usually around 14mmHgs. This is a great place to start for people who are new to compression socks and don’t have any serious health issues that require them to wear them. If you have tired legs and/or slight irritation then this would be a good place to start.
  • Mild: 15-20 mmHg-This is the target area for those who struggle with swelling after a long flight. This range of mmHgs is good to prevent DVT for people who sit down for an extensive amount of time.
  • Moderate: 20-30 mmHg- Anything above the 20mmHg is considered medical grade level compression. These should be for people who struggle with varicose veins, extreme swelling, and joint pain. If you’re someone who suffers from those issues but still wants to tackle hikes and long flights, a good moderate grade of compression socks will make your life a lot easier.
  • Firm: 30-40 mmHg- Before you choose a pair, it may be best to consult with a healthcare provider. They can tell you which level of compression you need depending on your body and your symptoms. Getting a pair that is too tight is just as uncomfortable and cancels out the many benefits of wearing them.
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