Differences Between Flight Socks & Support Socks

If you are a frequent flyer, a pilot, a flight attendant or a passenger taking a long flight, you may want to invest in flight socks. If you have frequent aching feet and legs, leg soreness, legs that constantly feel tired or are starting to get varicose veins in your legs, you may want to purchase support socks. Both types use compression to improve circulation, but support socks offer additional support for the veins in your legs.

  1. Flight Socks

    • People who fly often --- flight attendants, pilots and people who engage in lengthy air travel --- are at risk of deep vein thrombosis and blood clots. Sitting still in a confined space for hours at a time can trigger a blood clot in the deep veins of the lower leg or upper thigh due to lack of circulation. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the blood clot can then break away and "travel through the bloodstream" and into the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism can bring about severe organ damage and even death. Flight socks can prevent this from occurring by applying pressure to your feet, ankles and calves. The pressure helps to increase circulation and blood flow at the bottom of your body, helping the blood to travel up to your heart.

    Support Socks

    • Many people suffer from tired and aching legs, muscle cramping, varicose veins, leg swelling or even leg ulcers known as venous leg ulcers. These problems typically stem from poor circulation in the legs. If veins in your legs are damaged, blood can start to collect in these veins causing unsightly varicose veins or phlebitis (swelling of vein walls). You can also be at risk of superficial thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis or chronic venous insufficiency. To help with these problems, many people wear support socks or support stockings. Similar to flight socks, support socks add compression to the ankle and leg to increase blood flow. However, support socks are also made to help support the veins in your legs. Supporting the veins prevents damage which, in turn, helps to prevent varicose veins and other venous disorders. To keep your legs healthy, support socks or stockings should be worn every day from morning until bedtime.

    Diabetic Socks

    • Diabetic socks are another type of sock that can help your feet, ankles, calves and legs. Spikes in blood sugar can raise the risk of foot ulcers, which may progress and lead to a foot amputation. Diabetic socks are made to reduce blisters, ease pressure, control moisture that can cause infection and increase leg circulation. Increasing leg circulation will also help to ease swelling of the feet and prevent venous leg ulcers.

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