Long haul flights are all about the destination. The journey itself is not much fun for anyone. Not in economy anyway. But in between browsing the in-flight menu and planning your movie schedule, make sure you’ve prioritised your health and are wearing compression socks for travel on long-haul flights.
No matter what your personal style, you can still look your cool jetset self while wearing compression socks for flying.
- What are compression socks?
- 5 ways to wear compression socks for travel
- Best compression socks for travel
What are compression socks?
Also known as flight socks or compression stockings, compression socks are special knee-high socks, which use compression to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and to minimise swelling of your feet and ankles.
One of the risk factors for developing DVT is being immobile for long periods and, given that getting almost anywhere from Australia takes a very long time, I like to err on the side of prevention.
Benefits of compression socks
Minimise DVT risk
Compression socks work by improving your blood flow. By fitting firmly, particularly at the ankle, the gentle pressure encourages the flow of blood to deep veins, which in turn prevents blood from pooling and clotting, reducing the risk of DVT.
If blood pools in your legs due to sitting on a long flight for an extended period of time, a clot can form there and then move to potentially dangerous locations in your body, like your lungs.
Reduce pain and swelling in your legs
Compression stockings can also keep your legs from getting tired and achy. Hence their popularity with long distance runners and nurses. They can ease swelling in your feet and ankles, and help prevent spider and varicose veins. They may even stop you from feeling light-headed or dizzy when you stand up.
When to put on compression socks for flying?
When I’m flying more than about 5 hours non-stop, I always wear compression socks.
It’s completely up to you whether you want to wear them from home or change into them on the plane. Changing on the plane is going to greatly increase your outfit options, but they can be quite awkward to put on, so you might prefer to wear them from home.
But if you wear them from home, then you need to put some planning into your travel outfit and wear something that will hide the socks.
Easy way to put on compression socks
Your socks shouldn’t be squeezing the life from your legs, but they should be quite firm, which makes them tricky to get on. This video demonstrates the technique most commonly used to make it as easy as possible.
I have no affiliation with this brand.
5 ways to wear compression socks for travel
Compression socks are generally not pretty and can pose some serious outfit limitations, so I have put together 5 different outfits to camouflage your compression socks.
You might want to take some snuggly woolly socks in your carry-on, so you can take off your shoes and pop the thick socks on over the top of your compression socks for the duration of the flight.
And the best prevention of DVT is movement, so take the kids for a walk to the other end of the plane occasionally to get the blood flowing.
Click here for more information on DVT.
Sport Luxe outfit
I prefer to dress up a little for flying, but let’s face it, with kids in tow we’re not likely to score an upgrade, so we may as well be comfortable.
With the sport luxe look being popular at the moment, it is very much possible to wear track pants AND look stylish. And a large scarf is always handy on a plane in case the air conditioning is too cool. This one is huge (200cm x 80cm), made from a cosy cotton/wool blend and looks amazing when unfolded.
This is the easy travel outfit. Super comfortable clothes plus a fabulous scarf. And these shoes are perfection. Podiatrist-designed and incredibly supportive, I wore my black ones around Europe and my white ones around the U.S. and Caribbean and never had sore feet.
1 French Connection Stretch biker jacket
2 Frankie4 Nat sneaker
3 Decjuba Talia tail hem top
4 Country Road Check scarf
5 Sussan Essential weekend jogger (Lorna Jane‘s Flashdance pants are super popular too)
Neutrals are always a great option when travelling. It’s so much easier when you can mix and match the contents of your suitcase.
There’s nothing better than stretchy clothes for getting comfy on a plane.
Snuggle up in this stretchy dress, cool hoodie and statement-making leggings. And the backpack is made from thirteen recycled plastic bottles! You’ll be looking great and ready for anything.
When you’re travelling with kids, chances are you’ll be needing clothes which lend themselves to racing around a park or even rolling down the odd hill. Get your Sporty Spice on with this fab option.
Taking a mega-trip to Europe? Perhaps a EuroDisney/Louvre combo? Then this is the one for you. You won’t be out of place amongst all those smart French ladies for a minute.
I wouldn’t recommend wearing a non-stretchy dress like this on a super long flight where you need to sleep, but for a daytime flight up to about 8 hours it would be perfectly comfortable and very chic!
I’m slightly addicted to these Lululemon yoga pants. I’ve worn them on my last few long haul flights between Australia and Europe/U.S. and found them incredibly comfortable. Highly recommend.
Best compression socks for travel
If you head into your local chemist or drug store to purchase your flight socks Scholl is likely to be the dominant brand, but whatever you find is going to be plain black or beige and a bit medical looking.
These are great, but what if you could find some cute compression socks?
Cute compression socks
As more people have discovered the benefits of wearing compression socks for travel, the options have increased exponentially. Check out these super cute compression socks.
You could easily work these into your travel outfit, so that your flight socks become a stylish addition rather than a hindrance.
Colourful compression socks
You can even go crazy with colourful compression socks. Bright compression socks have become a cool running accessory, so why not make a feature of them on your flight too?