I'm not a doctor and I don't have any statistics regarding my blood flow that day, but consider me convinced that they do indeed make a difference in comparison to traditional ankle socks, mostly in how fresh my feet felt when I got off the plane. They took some getting used to - they really do huge your calves - yet it's a gentle squeeze, one that begins to bring a feeling of comfort and security as you break them in.
If you’re someone whose legs or feet fall asleep when you sit for an extended period of time, or you find that your legs are always tired after long flights, compression socks can help you. Aside from reducing leg fatigue, they are also a solid step towards preventing deep vein thrombosis that is a risk on long flights to Europe, Asia, or Australia. The one thing I will advise is that because of the nature of the product and its purpose (compression), the socks can be difficult to get on, especially the first few times and if they shrink at all in the dryer. Make sure you hang them to dry after washing.
If you'd like to give them a try, you can buy them online here for $35. I’ve also worn them hiking at altitude in the Rockies, and felt like I had a little extra in my step. The socks come designed specifically for travel, or, in the case you have other hobbies, for golf, hockey, running, and even maternity!
[Photo: Dr. Segal's]