Feet swell during long bouts of confined sitting. If you’ve ever taken your shoes off during an overseas flight, you’ve likely noticed they no longer fit when you put them back on for landing. To remedy this, I found my first pair of compression socks in a medical supply store. The owner, an old Russian gentlemen, said “It’s like strong cup of coffee,” which is kind of true. They really do work wonders for your feet and circulation, especially for long periods of sitting. But being made of heavy-duty nylon, they were not particularly comfortable. It was always a pleasure taking them off after long flights.
Sigvaris cotton support socks are rated as 15-20 mmHg, the same level of compression as my older pair (higher levels require a prescription). However, this pair is soft and comfy. I travel overseas monthly, maybe more. Putting these on still requires some wrangling, but after a recent 12-hour flight preceded by a one-hour shuttle, upon arriving home there is no burning desire to remove them (though when I do, my legs thank me!). They come in men’s and women’s sizes, in various colors, and are half the price of my original medical compression stockings. Though the instructions say delicate machine wash is OK, I’ve been hand-washing my pair to prolong their utility.