The Unexpected $22 Item I Always Use When I Fly (and It Helps Workout Recovery, Too!)

published Dec 20, 2023
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When I was a teenager, I associated compression socks with my grandparents. I just generally thought it was something the elderly wore, but a few years ago, my travel editor friends started raving about them and I decided to read about all of these socks’ benefits. In addition to increasing circulation, which can help prevent blood clots and was the reason why my grandparents wore them, compression socks can help prevent leg fatigue and swelling. Nana and Papa — you had the right idea.

As a runner and someone who flies multiple times a year, I figured out that compression socks could benefit me in two different ways. My legs always feel like lead after a three-hour-long flight and I thought the compression socks could help them feel, well, normal. I run a few times a week and have been battling against shin splints since I was a teenager. I thought I had tried nearly everything (foam rolling, stick rolling, stretching, icing, resting, etc.) that I might as well try compression socks, too.

So, I went to Amazon to find a budget-friendly pair that received some good reviews three years ago. I stumbled upon the Physix Gear Compression Socks, which were top-rated at the time (and still are today).

What Are the Physix Gear Compression Socks?

The Physix Compression Socks boast gradient compression from the arches of the feet to the right below the knee. These socks are tight all the way up, but reviewers say that they don’t feel like the socks are too restricting to any part of their foot or leg. They’re made out of 70% nylon and 30% spandex. There’s an easy-to-follow sizing guide (For example, I am a size 8 in shoes and got the Small/Medium size). The socks should be machine washed on cold and then air dried to keep the fabric compressive. They come in many different colors and sizes.

Why I Love the Physix Gear Compression Socks

I was so impressed by these compression socks that I bought another pair earlier this year. I’ve worn them on flights to Europe, cross-country flights, long car rides, after running, during running, and while sleeping. They’ve really decreased leg fatigue when I’ve traveled, so much so that though I was desperately fighting jet lag in Paris, my legs had no problem walking 20,000+ steps per day. As for recovery after workouts, these socks have been instrumental in helping with shin pain. I usually put them on after I run and sleep in them if I can tell that my shins are twinging after a run. When my shins were in bad shape two years ago when I was training for a half-marathon, I even wore compression socks when I ran. I was worried that they’d be too tight but they felt comfortable throughout.

But the most important thing about these particular compression socks? They don’t slip down! I have tried three other pairs of compression socks from other brands and they would slip down my shin within minutes of putting them on (and they were more expensive, too). So I wholeheartedly recommend Physix.