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Why you need to wear compression socks when you fly

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The first time I wore compression socks was two years ago on a long-haul flight. If you had asked me about compression socks before then, I would have told you they were for older people or those with health problems. But compression socks have come a long way in terms of style and functionality. Whether you’re traveling, on your feet all day, or play sports, here’s why Sockwell compression socks need to be on your radar.

Best compression socks for travel

best compression socks for travel

I first heard of compression socks as a teen when I noticed my grandfather would wear them up to his knees some days. He had vein issues, was in the war, and had to wear the ugly socks for medical issues. My dad had vein surgery and had to wear them as well.

The compression socks they had to wear were skin color and not very fashionable at all. Somewhere along the way, I filed compression socks away in my mind as something only elderly people with health problems wore and never thought much more about them. If you don’t have circulation issues and leg pain and swelling in your everyday life, they’re not for you, right? Not exactly….

Then I moved to France in 2012 and have taken a lot of long flights since then. I noticed that after a long day of travel, my feet and ankles would sometimes be a little swollen and achy upon arrival. They’d have a weird sensation which wasn’t a big deal but was something I noticed. Also, whenever I’m on my feet all day, at a work event for example, my lower legs tend to get that same heavy sensation and even a little achy and swollen.

what are compression socks for

Trying compression socks never really crossed my mind because I didn’t have a problem with veins like my dad or anything that really bothered me and figured they weren’t really something I needed or that I’d even like.

Well, that has changed.

Little by little, I’d notice younger people around me wearing compression socks. Men and women in their 20s and 30s on their travels sported colorful compression socks. I also noticed that fitness instructors in my gym who teach high-impact classes wear compression socks with their shorts. I’d see compression socks mentioned on travel forums.

I’ve since learned that compression socks are NOT just for people with medical issues, nor are they boring and unfashionable like my grandfather’s socks back in the day. I first wore compression socks for my holiday season travels a couple of years ago when I had 24 hours of flights ahead of me.

To my utter surprise, my lower legs felt great after and there wasn’t even a hint of swelling upon taking them off the next day. Sold for life and I’ll never travel again without colorful compression socks (they have to look fun! come on ;-)). Compression socks make your legs feel great even if you didn’t realize your legs needed them in the first place.

So who and what are compression socks for and why are they something you should try? Let’s get into it and learn about what compression socks do.

cute compression socks

What are compression socks?

Why wear compression socks? What do compression socks do exactly?

Here are just a few benefits:

  • Boost circulation
  • Support veins
  • Help blood to not pool in your legs and prevent deep vein thrombosis

Even if you don’t experience any discomfort while traveling or exercising, compression socks help to apply gentle pressure to your legs and ankles, which promotes blood flow from your lower extremities to your heart. They’re good for you and can even boost athletic performance.

Activities where you might want to consider wearing compression socks include: Hiking, travel, running/fitness, days you’re on your feet for hours and any time you want to show your feet and legs a little extra love.

They just feel good on.

Dagny, below, wants to know if they make any for dogs. She was jealous there weren’t any for her to try on.

who wears compression socks

Sockwell’s VP of Design, Mercedes Marchand, explains how compression socks work:

“The compression at the ankle and arch is the tightest and gradually gets bigger towards the knee. This is called graduated compression. This graduation helps prevent the blood from pooling in the foot to minimize swelling and promote circulation back upward toward the heart. Swelling is especially aggressive when you sit or stand for prolonged periods of time.

The calf is often called the second heart. When the calf is moving, it is helping to pump blood upward. When you are stagnant for long periods of time, gravity pulls the blood downward.”

Who wears compression socks?

Men and women of all ages and sizes! Compression socks are NOT just for the elderly or those with health problems! I embarrassingly thought that for way too long and it’s just not the case. My feet and legs were missing out for years because I didn’t know compression socks could be so comfy and helpful, but now I know better. I’ll never fly again without them.

Mercedes tells us how compression socks can be beneficial for people of all ages. “Think of any demanding lifestyle that requires prolonged sitting, prolonged standing, or a need for recovery. I like to think of the wearers in 2 groups; one being pro-active or helping to prevent issues like tired achy legs and varicose veins or, two being reactive, those who already have issues and are trying to minimize and manage a pre-existing condition.”

best compression socks for men

Here are some examples of people who can benefit from compression socks:

  • cafe or restaurant employees with long shifts on their feet
  • hair stylists
  • retail associates
  • travelers
  • long hours at a desk or computer
  • pregnant women
  • nurses and medical professionals
  • athletes

Mercedes explains that people with demanding, on-your-feet professions can be supported by compression socks because the graduated snug fit helps minimize vibration of the muscles and lessens fatigue.

So let me tell you about Sockwell.

what are compression socks

About Sockwell

Sockwell is an American company who knows how to make high-quality, fashionable compression socks for travel and wherever life takes you. Sockwell compression socks don’t look like traditional compression hosiery of days past and this is something I love about them. No one wants to wear ugly socks if they don’t have to! Sockwell redesigned the compression sock and they have a wide range of socks including graduated compression, plantar fasciitis relief, bunion relief, relaxed fit/diabetic friendly, sport compression, and everyday essential comfort socks in a variety of colors and patterns.

To give you some quick history, Sockwell was launched in 2011 by Goodhew, LLC, which was founded in 2008 by Thomas Lee and Jim Markley in Tennessee. All of their socks are manufactured in the USA. The sock line is made of custom yarns featuring naturally biodegradable, naturally thermoregulating North American merino wool.

You might think of wool being scratchy and uncomfortable but that’s not the case. Wool is the original high performance fiber and is surprisingly soft. It keeps feet dry while controlling odor.

The wellness brand believes in sustainable sourcing, modern design, continually investing in technology to improve fit and performance, and supporting the needs of the community and customers. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know sustainability is important to me. Sockwell is a brand I’m happy to recommend because they’ve made a commitment to sustainable practices. They support American farmers who care for free-grazing Rambouillet merino sheep and make their products in American knitting mills. 

Which compression socks should you wear?

If you are new to compression socks, Mercedes recommends starting out with one of Sockwell’s “Moderate 15-20mmHg” styles (mmHg is a pressure measurement involving mercury). This gives great support but is not too aggressive. She also recommends one of the Ultra light Cushion Sole styles to start with. This level of cushioning gives you a little extra “ahhhh” factor while not taking up too much room in your shoe.

My top colorful compression socks from Sockwell


The bottom line is that compression socks are GAME CHANGERS when you fly or if you’re on your feet all day. Have you ever worn compression socks for travel? Are they something you’d consider? Check out Sockwell’s socks here.


Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration between Oui In France and Sockwell. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Oui In France.


best compression socks for travel colorful



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