Posted by: Debra Kolkka | February 5, 2012

Do you wear flight socks?

I am about to take off again. I quite like flying. I usually fly Finnair to Europe because the have a good safety record, the food is good, the staff friendly and the flight time from Hong Kong to Helsinki is a few hours shorter that other destinations in Europe and on a long haul flight this makes a big difference. I also love Helsinki, so a stop there is a bonus.

Which brings me to flight socks. A few years ago DVT (deep vein thrombosis) was THE topic of conversation, but it went the way of RSI (repetitive strain injury). Who gets that any more?

DVT is still a problem of course, and if you fly long distances you really should know how to help prevent it.

One of the easiest things to do to help prevent DVT is to wear compression socks, or flight socks. They work because they improve the circulation and reduce the swelling of the ankles. They help channel the blood from surface veins into deeper veins. The constricting effect of the socks stimulates circulation in the legs to help counteract the effect of sitting for long periods of time in cramped conditions.

It is also suggested that you walk around when possible or at least do some stretching exercises in your seat. Drinking plenty of water helps too, then you get some exercise when you have to get up to go to the toilet.

I amazed to see how few people wear these socks. I see women getting on planes in tight strappy sandals and then watch them get off with those straps digging into their poor puffy feet.

Flight socks can be bought at department or travel stores, pharmacies and at some airports. They will make you feel so much better after a long flight and it might just prevent a blood clot and save your life. I won’t get on a plane without them.

There are no photos, they just look like long socks.

Here are some photos of what I will be leaving behind on my Brisbane balcony.




This is the second pineapple to appear on my balcony. I hate to leave it but Bagni di Lucca in deep snow is calling.


  1. Great advice about the flight socks, Debra. Thanks so much for sharing! And your balcony botanicals are beautiful! You clearly have a green thumb in addition to your keen photographic eye.

    • The pineapple grew from pineapple tops I planted ages ago and the rain this year has helped everything go grow.

  2. Happy and safe travels and good advice on the socks. You might miss our lovely fruit while away, but I know there is always some delicious food awaiting you in Europe. Look forward to your new blogs.

    • I don’t miss out on too much in Italy.

  3. I always wear flight socks on long trips Debra. Safe travels. I am sure you will see a lot of snow. Europe is really being hit this winter. Very pretty

    Pam Proctor

    • I love my flight socks. I hate getting puffy feet.

  4. If I remember to take them I wear them, though I did read that they don’t do much to stop DVT (moving around a bit does, however). They make me feel a bit more comfortable anyway.

    So any long haul flight begins with me going through the sock drawer, then wondering where else I could have left them.

    • A friend who is a vascular surgeon recommends them so that is good enough for me. I misplace mine regularly as well.

  5. You are so right, I don’t think anyone really remembers those socks anymore; probably because we don’t have TSA’s scares to remind us. I used to have a pair, can’t remember where they are now but then again, my last few trips have been completed in under 3 hours long. Thanks for the memories, LOL

    Safe travels!

    • The dangers of DVT have bee forgotten a bit. I do long haul flights regularly and I used to suffer badly with puffy feet and ankles.

  6. I have never worn flight socks but always wear very comfortable shoes, take them off immediately once on board and get up a zillion times to the point in which I am driving the flight attendants crazy! Sounds like a great idea!

    • You should try the flight socks. They help to make the flight more comfortable.

  7. I should wear them but I don’t. But considering how much I fly I really should!

    • Yes, you really should.

  8. When my husband started his present job traveling all over the states and to England his boss advised him to wear these socks. I love the way you view in close on your photos, makes me feel like I am looking at them in person. Beautiful! Thank you!

    • Those white flowers hang like a bell, so I actually had to lie down underneath them to take the photo.

  9. Yes both John and I wear compression stockings up to the knee. I like your description of the benefits.
    That pineapple is a specimen and I am glad you at least took its portrait and flashed it around the world via your blog.
    Have a safe journey.

    • It is a very lovely pineapple. The last one was delicious.

  10. Let me see …. cute cherub, luscious pineapples, beatiful flowers …..
    Bagni di Lucca bathed in snow … warming ribollita, roaring log fire … Marco’s delicious chicken under a brick or scrumptious pumpkin ravioli with nut sauce … Illario’s wonderful thin and crusty pizzas … heavenly crema catalina up at Villa Aurora … Moreno’s Montechiari wines to die for …. skiing at Abetone ….

    Gee it’s a hard call. Have a wondeful time!!!

    • I am very lucky to be able to pick off the best of both worlds

  11. Mine are ready to put on, along with my slippers for my flight to Italy!

  12. O Debra, the mere thought of sandals on a long haul flight… Apart from the health benefits I need socks to stay warm. I love leggings for long haul flights too, a long loose top, leg warmers like dancers wear and a really good scarf. I am such a cold fish!! Have a brilliant trip won’t you. Two sides of a coin Lucca and Brisbane at this time of year! Jx

    • I have to wear comfortable clothes. My flight leaves at almost midnight so I plan to go straight to sleep.

  13. Happy travels, Debra! I’ll look forward to seeing you later this month!

  14. I agree the flight stockings are a must on those long hauls. I find that there a no more fat ankles on landing!!!
    Enjoy Helsinki, say hello on my behalf. Should be there in June with Jodie. Will catch up when you return………
    PS don’t freeze, minus 17 today..

    • I will be there on Tuesday and Wednesday, when it is supposed to zoom up to minus7 as the high for the day, positively balmy.

  15. Good flight socks or stockings (in France, they sell a pantyhose which is also great and highly recommended) should be mandatory. The threat of DVT is a real one. My doctor always gives me some tablets (flavonoids) to take while I am travelling and she starts the treatment a month before. She also recommends me taking low-dose (100 mg European, 81 mg USA) enteric aspirin before and during the trip, if it is long). I also wear comfortable shoes which I never take off (feet may become swollen during a long trip and then it is difficult to put on a shoe again), driink plenty of water, and walk and rotate my ankles as much as I can. It all works!
    Have a nice trip and enjoy it!
    P.S. Beautiful plants and I can see that the pineapple is doing very well. You will have plenty of work to do in BdL after all this snow and bad weather.

    • It is extremely hot in Brisbane today, snow sounds good.

  16. Safe flight Deb. We are having breakfast and it is minus 18 degrees! Even Italy is in the midst of a frost, It is freezing!

    • The village is still in deep snow. It looks beautiful but getting about could be difficult.

  17. I’m a sock girl too- they are a must. I also take an aspro before every flight, including domestic flights from Perth to Melbourne! Have a great time in Bagni di Lucca. Buon Viaggio

    • I am looking forward to my time in Bagni. I will also be working on the Vergemoli house.

  18. […] more: Do you wear flight socks? « Bagni di Lucca and Beyond This entry was posted in Lucca and tagged europe, few-hours, finnair, flight, food, good-safety, […]

  19. That pineapple is like a piece of art, and I’m impressed that’s the second one you’ve grown.
    Enjoy that first cappucino and sfogliatelle Debra.

    • I’m sure Jim will enjoy it soon, while I am at the bar in BdL.

  20. Dear Debra, there’s been artic winds here in Bagni di Lucca, but still, there’s so much more … and this extreme cold will hopefully soon pass. Happy travels and welcome back! Looking forward to your arrival!

    • See you in a few days.

  21. Bon Voyage Debra ,travel safe ( yes with your socks) and thanks for the reminder for me to locate mine for the flight after easter when I arrive on your doorstep. Keep us hanging on your every blog- cant wait till you arrive in the village and also when you get up to the house in the mountains. Looking forward to being there after the artic winds have gone and early spring comes back to Bagni di lucca


    • I’m sure the weather will be good by the time you arrive. Sardegna here we come.

  22. Safe travels and I look forward to seeing you in Lucca! Hope you can navigate the roads around your town in the snow!

    • I might wait until the snow has gone before I venture out. See you in May.

  23. In answer to your question I don’t wear wear flight socks. That’s because most have been recent trips have involved short haul fights. If I were going any distance I would but a pair. Travel safely.

    • I don’t bother for short flights either, but they do make a difference when you are in the air for a long time.

  24. great photo’ Debra. Did you do anything special to get the pineapple growing so well… I have tried a couple of times but after a year or so it seems to die off. hmmm .. socks. I tend to wear a sports compression socking. The ones that come in a length of tubing..and open at either end.. That way I can slip them over my feet if I get cold or air the toes when I get hot on a plane plus pull them up to my knee without an elastic banding at the top. Easy to slip off once I arrive in an airport and small enough to pop into a bag. Even on long drives through europe they were handy. The best advice I got from a friend for comfortable travel clothing was a pair of maternity yoga pants style (the roll down top sort) good stretch pants .. I love them for travel. They look good. dont dig in at any point on my body plus act like a body compression garment to help with the swelling that long haul flights seem to do so well. Oh yah and those leg massage machines in Singapore Airport are to die for inbetween those long flights too. Enjoy the other side of world… and looking forward to your blog updates.

    • The pineapple grows all by itself with no help from me except water. I think being in Queensland helps.
      I have to be comfortable when flying or I can’t sleep. Stretch stuff is great.

      • thanks for the tip on the pineapple… as we now have them in season down here I will try to get an uncut one and try again.. 🙂

  25. I definitely need to try flight socks, especially for long-haul trips across the Pacific. Thanks for the reminder.

    Have a great trip, Deb!


    • Thanks for the good wishes. I am in Hong Kong now with my friends for a day.

  26. Gorgeous! (But flight socks, no… yoga pants, a nice t-shirt and slippers, matching of course, will do the trick)

    • Flight socks are strongly recommended. They can be black and not obvious all.

  27. Another pineapple, another year! 🙂 Stay warm over there. I will wear flight socks in future, mum, I promise. 🙂

    • I’m very pleased to hear it.

  28. Happy and Safe travel and enjoyable time dear Debra, How beautiful your balcony… I loved your photographs. Thank you, with my love, nia

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