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I have always had problems with my left leg swelling around the calf area. Whenever I go on holiday, both of my lower legs swell as well, normally due to the warm weather, so I am conscious when flying and sitting for long periods. For this reason, I always travel with my trusty flight socks. I ended up with these Boots flight socks as a couple of years ago while travelling as I forgot to pack my previous Scholl ones and these were the only ones available from the airport. Today, they are available via Boots.com for £13 plus a delivery charge and in their stores.
Not so pretty socks
The socks are packaged in a grey box that I just keep separately because it's not ideal to carry around when travelling as it's a bit bulky. I normally just roll them up and keep them in my hand luggage, then put them on just before the flight takes off. The reason I do that is because although they are quite comfortable, they aren't something I'd wish to wear when not necessary because they are quite tight around the calf area (as they should be to do their job). They are not as comfortable as wearing a normal pair of socks. In addition to that, they're also only available in a very boring plain black colour which isn't usually my idea of fashion! They're available in two sizes, adult 6-9 and adult 9-12.
The socks are placed on in a similar way to normal ones, although more care is needed to ensure that they aren't twisted or folded and they need to be pulled right up to cover the full length of the calf. The heel part needs to be in the exact position too, to ensure that they work as efficiently as they should. Because they are tight to wear, they are also tight to put on and off but not to the point where it poses a problem. They then work by helping increase circulation in the lower leg to reduce the risk of developing a Deep Vein Thrombosis or/and fluid build up in the legs, as well as helping to reduce the risk of circulatory problems. When flying, these things can pose a risk to people due to the long periods of being sat still and in a cramped seat. These socks come with a 'cinically proven' compression of 14-17mmHg. They are made of polyamide and Lycra elastane and are only slightly thicker than the normal pairs of ankle socks I wear.
They come with a list of precautions, so it's advisable to check the box those before using these for the first time to make sure that they are right for you. That's why I've hung on to the box at home so it's there always to refer to. They shouldn't be used by anyone with serious circulatory problems, infections in the legs, phlebitis or those who have leg swelling due to heart conditions. The use of these socks should be discussed with the doctor first if one or more of a wide range of conditions affect you, listed on the box. Those include circulatory problems, diabetes, problems with the nerves in the legs and if you're currently using another form of prescribed version of stockings or socks so it's always best to check first.
From my use, I have very little to complain about. I mentioned that I used to use Scholl flight socks and to me, these are virtually the same and a little bit cheaper. Although my legs still swell slightly wearing these, they don't swell half as much as they used to before using them. Before using flight socks, my legs would swell which often was to the point where they were very uncomfortable. I have continued to use these over the last couple of years as I feel that the benefits I've seen outweigh the slightly uncomfortable feeling of the tightness from wearing the socks for the duration of the flight. I tend to wear them and keep my shoes off unless I need to get up and move, which gives me a bit more flexibility, and I then just get up every so often just to stretch my legs. I also continue to wiggle my feet and toes around every 15 minutes to just help the blood supply to move around in the lower legs too. I think these additional things contribute to the results I've seen, but I feel that the socks have almost definitely help to keep the swelling to a minimum too.
They've been through the washing machine a few times too after use and I've never had any issues - they've never stretched or lost their shape and are still tight to place on so that they do their job.
I would recommend these socks, provided that the precautions on the box don't apply. Although I only keep mine for flights, I have found them a reasonable purchase because I've used the same pair for a couple of years now and have been on a few flights. I've rated them 4 stars overall, I've taken one off because they could turn out to be a bit of a pricey item for those that don't travel often and because they could be available in more jazzy colours.
Thanks for reading :o)
=Boots Flight Socks=
I first purchased Flight socks back in 2001 when I flew long haul for the first time, and over time the elastic of the socks have wore away. Two years ago I was flying long haul, although I had upgraded to premium class, so had a bit more leg room, I invested in a pair of flight socks from Boots, I paid £12.99 for mine.
The theory behind the history of flight socks, is that they work to help keep the blood flowing around your legs and ankles, and this in turn then helps the rest of the body to pump blood, therefore reducing the risk of a blood clot.
I will say that having flight socks does not stop you from needing to exercise your legs, by walking up and down the cabin or doing gentle exercises of twisting your ankles whilst your seated.
However, when we got them home and took them out of the box they looked like the real deal, and after some internet research we realised that they limit the chances of a blood clot during a flight or long journey by about 75%. In my opinion, this is worth paying the money for. £12.99 for something that can potentially save your life is definitely worth having.
The socks just look like a standard pair of black socks, there are no neon advertising saying I am flight socks, so unless you tell anyone they wouldn't know the difference.
=My Verdict - Long Haul=
My flight to the Dom Rep was about 9 hours, but if you take into account the journey to the airport (2 hrs) and the 4 hour pre-check in - that's 6 hours use before I have even stepped onto the plane.
At first I was dubious as they just looked like normal socks, as my previous ones were like very thick pop socks.
I was wearing trainers, and going through security, "can you remove your trainers" - at this point I was worried, as I know my feet do swell, and I had visions that I wouldn't be able to get my trainers done back up. No problems, it was like putting them on for the first time that day, a definite plus point for me.
=During the flight=
I did the ankle exercises, although not as regularly as I should have done, (I was engrossed in a film), but when I got off the flight my feet felt normal, I had no aches in my ankles.
=Got to the Hotel=
This is always the testing point, once showered and ready to put my evening footwear on, wow was not the word, not any swelling, no pain, at this point, if I do travel without flight socks on even short haul my feet swell up and my ankles look like I have blow up balloons on the sides of them.
They got full marks from me. I even recommended them to people I met over there, as I thought they were amazing.
The flight socks came out again for short haul, and the comfort factor was amazing, as economy you don't get masses of leg room, but the difference from using the socks to not using them is a massive difference.
If I have a long car journey, I try to visit friends a couple of times a year, make a holiday out of it, that is a 200 mile trip, out comes the socks.
I loaned my pair to a friend who moaned that her feet swell when she flies, she was dubious about paying £13 for a pair of socks, so I said try mine, I had to remind her to give me them back, - she'd forgotten - her verdict was like mine, they are amazing, she has now invested in her own pair.
Whether you're going short haul or long haul, these stocks are a miracle worker, and in this day and age if there is anything we can do to help our health then these are a must.
If someone said I had to choose chocolate or flight socks, and it was my favourite bar of Aero chocolate, mint bubbles - the socks would win every time....
We have a history of heart problems in our family and both my sister and Mum have suffered from blood clots this year. It's for this reason that I have been ensuring that I am wearing flight socks when on the long journey up to my sisters house. The main reason for this is because I usually get on the train at London and sleep all the way there for about 5 or 6 hours. This means I don't move about a lot and I'm quite conscious of the fact that I'm probably sitting there like a rock while I'm asleep on my rucksack guarding it from other passengers and it's for this reason I make sure I am wearing my flight socks. I've not suffered from a blood clot but I am suffering from high blood pressure recently so I'm just trying to do everything I can to protect my health.
I paid £13.27 for my flight socks recently and you can buy these in various sizes from Boots stores and online at Boots.co.uk. It's fair to say that these socks are very expensive but if they potentially avoid a problem from occurring that could be life threatening then I'd spare no expense to purchase these. These socks come provided in a largeish cardboard box and when you take them out of the box it's fair to say that they aren't exactly fashionable, actually, they really aren't fashionable! The socks are quick thick and take a few minutes to get on and be comfortable in. However, once the socks are on then I felt completely comfortable and was able to wear these for the 5 hours or so I was on the train with no problems at all. I felt comfortable throughout and these socks actually helped to keep my feet and legs warm which is always nice. I was able to fall asleep wearing these with no problems at all and as I can be a fussy sleeper at times they can't be that bad!
I have used these on several occasions now and have found them to work very well. I must say that my legs don't feel anywhere near as restless as normal and just knowing I am wearing these seems to psychologically make me feel better. I like knowing that I'm taking preventative measures against suffering from blood clots and I will be using these when I fly also. I appreciate that some people may find the price a little expensive but as these are supposed to reduce the chance of suffering a blood clot by 75% then why not splash out and take the preventative measure. These socks aren't very fashionable and they don't look very nice when they are on either but you can just not be vain and cover these up with your trouser legs. I've rated these 4/5 as the price is quite expensive but apart from that they are absolutely fantastic! The size that I purchased was 6-9, I wear a size 7/8 shoe normally and found these to be a fantastic fit.
SCHOLL - Flight Socks
**WHAT ARE THEY**
These socks are designed to reduce the risks associated with flights and long journeys. They give your legs the appropriate amount of support to help blood flow (which helps circulation) and reduces the build up of excess fluid (therefore helps sore legs and swollen ankles). These compression socks help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
**WHAT IS DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS (DVT)**
Deep vein thrombosis is when blood can gather in your lower limbs and in extreme cases a blood clot will develop which can then cause you problems.
Signs of DVT may be swollen legs, which may also be painful. Your skin temperature may be raised and at the site of pain your skin may be blue/red. If this happens you would be best to seek medical attention.
The socks are black in colour and look very similar to normal socks the only difference is that the top of them are ribbed and this is what puts the compression on your legs.
Once on they seem tight at the start however you do soon get used to them and you don't even notice that they are on your legs anymore.
**HOW TO PUT THEM ON**
You need to make sure you have your socks on properly so they can work effectively. Make sure that they are pulled up to just below your knee without forcing them and do not roll down the socks at any time. Make sure you wear the socks on both legs.
I find its best to roll them on like you would do tights and make sure they are smooth without any wrinkles in them.
If you have any medical problems you are advised to consult a healthcare professional before you use these socks as it may harm you.
I find this particular make of flight socks are good as they give you the right amount of compression. Some other cheaper brands don't feel gives you the right compression on your legs and are too loose. These socks cost me roughly £15 however I do feel that it was worth paying extra for them, as they are good quality.
I find that they wash well and don't lose the elasticity in them once you do wash them so you can use them over and over again. They claim to last for up to 30 washes, I haven't been on just that many flights yet so they will do me for ages.
I actually find the socks comfortable once I get used to wearing them and generally forget I'm wearing them. They are definitely worth while buying as they help stop any risk of deep vein thrombosis.
My mum has a history of heart and blood circulation problems so, last year, when she decided to embark on a massive around the world trip to Australia, i recommended she bought a pack of these, and they certainly did their job.
Although at first, i was massively shocked by the price of these items. Coming in at £12.99 for just one pair ( i had initially been told that you got about 3 in a pack! This is not true) they were definately some of the most expensive socks that i have ever seen.
However, when we got them home and took them out of the box they looked like the real deal, and after some internet research we realised that they limit the chances of a blood clot during a flight or long journey by about 75%. In my opinion, this is worth paying the money for. £12.99 for something that can potentially save your life is definately worth having.
The science behind them is slightly hazy. However, they are supposed to work to keep the blood flowing around your legs and ankles, which in turn helps the rest of the body to pump blood, meaning that the chances of a clot are far far smaller.
My mum informed me that during the journey the socks were both comfortable and warm. Something that is very reassuring when you are wearing them for a period of about 25 hours by the time you have got home and taken them off.
She said that they seemed to do the job as she had no difficulties during the journey, and even at times completely forgot that she had them on.
Therefore, if you believe the science behind these socks then they definately have to be a must buy for anybody with any history of DVT or any other similar blood related problems.
£12.99 is a horrific price to pay for socks, but for socks that may save your life, it just may be worth it then!
I travel a lot with my job, flying three or four times a month. Sometimes I can be sat in airports or on aeroplanes for hours at a time.
I noticed that at the end of some flights my ankles and feet were swollen and stiff and continued to be so for most of the next day. This puffiness would subside over 24 hours but caused me discomfort and looked ugly.
My doctor reccomended I invested in some Flight socks. I went to Boots the Chemist and bought some. They cost me £8.99 for a box with two pairs in. This was about three years ago. I was lucky because I was able to use my Boots Advantage points to pay for them.
They now cost £12.99 for one pair which is a huge jump in price.
I would buy them again, even so. I do not want to be one of the Department of Health statistics which state that Deep Vein Thrombosis occurs in one in every 2000 people!
They go on to say that one in every hundred DVT cases will be fatal. I find that figure quite frightening given the amount of people flying!
DVT is a blood clot, usually in the lower limbs caused by blood pooling and moving sluggishly through the veins. The chances of having one are increased when you are flying because of the combination of reduced air pressure and the need to sit still for long periods of time. The clot itself can cause severe pain but can prove fatal if it moves and blocks the functioning of a vital organ.
The swelling of my feet proved to me that I was a candidate for this life threatening disorder.
On the box it tells you that...
"These socks have clinically proven level of compression, 14-17mmhg, and can help reduce the risk of flight related DVT and help prevent swollen ankles."
I don't understand what mmhg actually means so I can't explain that part. What I can tell you is that since wearing the flight socks I have had no problem with swollen feet and ankles and no discomfort in my legs at all.
The original box was yellow and had comprehensive instructions on it. The current box is silvery grey and shows a picture of the socks in use. The boxes are recyclable.
The socks are thick and black, with a little bit of a sheen to them. You need to roll them down as far as you can, put them over your toes and work the length of them up your legs to your knees. It is important that you fit them over your feet snugly and evenly.
They are very tight but once on are warm and comfortable. I always wear jeans or trousers to travel so they don't show. If they did, they would look like presentable thick tights or socks. If you are a man you don't need to worry about looking as though you are wearing tights. (Even if you did, what's more important? Your health or if people think you wear slightly funny looking socks?)
I have worn these Flight socks at least twice a month, often more, for the last few years and they are still in very good condition.
I hand wash them but they can be machine washed on a low temperature.
Other places manufacture Flight Socks. Scholl do a similar pair but are slightly more expensive. You can get them cheaper but I think I would stick Boots own brand because they are a reliable company who will replace them if anything goes wrong.
Even if you only take the occasional flight which is over three hours in length, I strongly reccomend that you invest in and use a good pair of flight socks.
Compression socks help prevent blood clots from forming due to increased pressure during flights.