Traveling by air always re-awakens a few of my anxieties, specifically that I'll miss my flight or develop Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
This potentially deadly condition can affect anyone without warning.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs.
Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling but may occur without any symptoms.”
The danger is the blood clot will break loose from your vein and travel to your lung, where it can cause a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism. Not fun!
Aside from doing leg exercises and standing up periodically during your flight, I thought there was little one could do to mitigate the risk.
Then, earlier this year, I was invited to test a pair of TravelSox® graduated compression socks.
Compression socks are specially designed to increase circulation in the legs and reduce swelling.
In the past, I associated them more with those who were sedentary for medical reasons or due to old age.
Still, they're becoming an increasingly popular option for travelers who want to protect against DVT.
I recently had the opportunity to test a pair of TSS6000 TravelSox Soft Padding ($35) on a trans-Atlantic flight from New York City to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines.
The compression rating was 12-20 mmHg, which was just right based on my reading about compression socks for flying.
Choosing a pair that will fit you properly is essential, as too tight a fit can increase the likelihood of circulation problems, not decrease it.
I made sure to try them on before the flight to make sure they fit me well (and they did).
Aside from the fact that I'm not used to wearing socks up to my knees, they felt incredibly soft and comfortable.
I always imagined compression socks to be ugly, but these come in a variety of colors, including black, brown, gray, khaki, navy, and white.
In addition to wearing compression socks, it can also be a good idea to remove your shoes on a long-haul flight and give your feet and toes room to wiggle.
The last thing you want to do when that happens is to reveal less than pleasant smelling socks.
To avoid receiving any disapproving looks from your seatmates, TravelSox incorporates a quick-drying, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral material called Silver DryStat®.
Overall, I had a positive first experience with my pair of TravelSox.
TravelSox also offers a crew-length compression sock ($15) that provides similar benefits to travelers who prefer not to have knee-high socks.
Given how light I travel, this option would make more sense for me; however, those at greater risk for DVT may want to stick with the full-length version.
In addition to travel, Arcosox also produces compression socks for everyday use, industrial use, sports, and medical purposes.
All of the socks are 100 percent made in Italy.
Special Reader Discount
Save 20 percent off your purchase at TravelSox when you use coupon code TS15GB at checkout.
The offer expired on August 12, 2015.
This post was written in partnership with Travelsox.
Dave is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Go Backpacking and Feastio. He's been to 66 countries and lived in Colombia and Peru. Read the full story of how he became a travel blogger.
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Wednesday 13th of May 2015
Good read. Is their reliable science to back up these claims? Peer-reviewed, statistically significant, large sample size, etc. kind of studies?