When we travel, we often don’t think about our health on these long journeys. We often find ways to pass the time before we reach our destination. We should think about what it can do to our bodies when we remain still for so long particularly on flights.
One of the leading brands in foot care, Scholl, has produced Scholl flight socks aimed at reducing the risks associated with long journeys and immobility. But what can flight socks do for us? Can’t we just wear normal socks? Read on to find out the importance of flight stockings.
- Antimicrobial Protection: Feet stay fresh and cool to prevent odours.
- Reinforced Toe: Prevents your toes from tearing a hole in the sock so it will last longer.
- Graduated Compression System: Improves circulation which helps to prevent swollen ankles and aching legs.
- Prevents DVT: Risk is reduced when worn on long haul flights.
- Delicate Fabric: The material can snag quite easily.
About Scholl Flight Socks
The Scholl flight socks look like ordinary knee high stockings for women but these can be worn by men or women. The difference is not noticeable until you wear the socks when you realise it’s tight around the ankles because of the compression.
At the top of the socks, there’s a wide reinforced comfort band which doesn’t dig into your calves. I’ve had flight stockings from other brands before with comfort bands that would loosen after one use but with these Scholl socks, the band maintained its tightness after a few uses.
The heel and toe of the socks are also reinforced so it will take a longer time for these bits to wear away. If you usually get holes in your socks in the toes and heel area, it’s because it’s not been reinforced with extra material.
How Does the Material Feel?
As is usually the case with stockings, the flight socks are made from a sheer fabric consisting of 80% polymide and 20% elastane. It’s fairly thin at 30 denier so you won’t get too hot with them on.
The socks felt quite comfortable when I wore it but the material isn’t very soft. It’s a little rough but not enough to irritate sensitive skin. The problem with this material is that it snags, runs and ladders quite easily so you have to be careful not to tug too hard when you put it on.
What Colours & Sizes Are Available?
There are two available colours for the Scholl flight socks – natural and black. With the black pair, the material is a bit softer due to the cotton feel fabric which consists of 93% polymide and 7% elastane. I haven’t tried these ones but people say they’re softer so feels slightly more comfortable.
In the natural colour, there are two sizes available which is shoe size 4-6 and 6.5-8. You get two pairs in a resealable pack. The black colour has three sizes available which is shoe size 3-6, 6.5-9 and 9.5-12. You only get one pair in this pack.
Most people said the socks fit their shoe size quite well and there’s a lot of stretch to the compression socks. It’s a better idea to get the next size sock up if your shoe size is on the end of the size. For example, if you’re a size 6, get the next size up because a few people found the socks were a bit tight.
How to Wash
Scholl flight socks can be machine washed up to 40 degrees and provided you care for it correctly, the compression level of the sock will remain the same for up to 30 washes. I would suggest putting the socks in a laundry bag to wash due to the delicate material.
Why Use Flight Socks?
When we are inactive for long periods of time, fluids in our bodies can build up. It’s worse when we are sitting in cramped conditions and not hydrating ourselves enough. Most often, this is the case on long journeys such as in the car or on flights.
As a result, this leads to circulatory problems and puts us at risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This is where a blood clot forms within a deep vein in your body which is usually in the legs. It can get quite painful and even lead to pulmonary embolism which can be life threatening as it prevents blood getting to your lungs.
Scholl flight socks have been medically proven to reduce this risk by improving blood flow. It keeps your legs comfortable and provides relief for swollen ankles and aching legs due to fluid build-up.
Who Should Be Wearing Flight Stockings?
People who are at risk of DVT should be wearing compression stockings. The compression level will vary for each individual so it’s best to check with your doctor. The following conditions can increase the risk of DVT:
- Heart disease
The above list is not limited so it can include other conditions so if you’re unsure, see your doctor before you embark on a flight longer than four hours.
There are other forms of compression hosiery as well if you don’t want socks. There are also compression tights or compression leggings available though they are limited.
How Do Flight Socks Work?
Circulation in your legs is improved from graduated compression with the flight stockings. This means the socks will exert pressure around your ankles and is gradually reduced towards your toes and the top of the socks.
Compression socks will have different levels of compression. The Scholl stockings have a compression level of 14-17 mmHg which are class 1 stockings. This means the tightness at the ankles is very light.
A light compression level is suitable for people who have not developed DVT yet, only at risk of. However, if you have already developed DVT, a higher compression level will be required.
How to wear
Instead of wearing your usual socks, you just wear the flight compression socks. The Scholl socks should be worn just below the knee and you should feel a gentle pressure on your legs and ankle. Don’t be tempted to roll the socks down if they are too long for you. Doing this will cause extra compression to build up so it will get very uncomfortable.
To ensure you have the correct fit, you should measure your calf and ankle. The flight socks won’t work if it feels loose or is too tight. Don’t base it on just your shoe size. Scholl provides a measurement table to ensure you get the correct size:
The compression socks fit quite well on my feet due even though my shoe size is 3 (UK). There was a slight pressure on my ankles but it wasn’t uncomfortable.
Final Thoughts | Scholl Flight Compression Socks
For socks, they are pricey but the Scholl flight socks are not ordinary socks. Although they’re more expensive than other brands, Scholl is a trusted and well-known brand specialising in foot care. I’ve had cheap flight socks before and they didn’t even last two trips!
Provided good care is taken of these compression stockings, it will last you quite a few trips so it’s a small price to pay in reducing your risk of DVT.