If you're a truck driver, there's nothing worse than the debilitating pain and foot fatigue that comes with hours spent behind the wheel. You know how uncomfortable it can be to spend long days on the road.
But did you know that wearing compression socks while driving is one of the best ways to prevent those leg cramps? Compression socks can help reduce swelling in your feet and ankles as well as provide extra support during long trips on the highway.
In this blog post, we'll cover all of your options for finding the best compression socks for truck drivers out there!
Are Compression Socks Good for Truckers?
Let’s face it. One of the biggest problems with being a truck driver is being stuck in the driver’s seat for long periods of time. This is how issues with your lower limbs may arise, from swollen ankles and feet, to “pins and needles” feelings when you stop, to possibly bigger complications. Luckily, science has shown that there’s an easy remedy for that, available without prescriptions: compression socks.
The reason compression socks are so good for professionals who sit a long time is that their action on the lower legs stimulates blood flow, which prevents blood from pooling in the area when you don’t move. As a result, wearing compression socks keeps your feet and legs feeling fresher and lighter.
Moreover, as a trucker, you’ll be faced with long stints of sitting for up to 8 hours at a time, despite some short stops. If you don’t have time for longer breaks, when you could do a few beneficial stretches to relieve that heavy feeling in your legs, then you risk not just immediate discomfort, but possibly more serious issues, too. In time, blood clots can develop in the lower limbs, or even Deep Vein Thrombosis (as per CDC warnings).
Compression socks are just one of the tools you have on hand to combat this. You should also:
- Watch your diet, avoiding foods high in salt, which can lead to swelling and inflammation in the limbs;
- Stay hydrated – this promotes good blood flow and prevents the swelling from too much sodium;
- Move and massage your body regularly. At every stop, do a few stretches and massage your feet and calf muscles;
- Elevate your feet when you come home from a long shift.
On top of this, you can relieve a lot of pressure and protect your legs during long-haul drives with compression socks for truckers.
The Benefits of Compression Socks for Truckers
Thanks to the graduated compression that these socks apply to the legs, feet and ankles, they can offer a number of benefits for truck drivers yearning for lighter, fresher limbs. Compression socks have been found to be a real benefit in fighting blood clots, swelling and discomfort. They also provide bonus benefits if worn regularly, during the drive or afterwards, too.
Compression socks for truck drivers:
- Support healthy blood flow. This happens thanks to the gradual pressure, starting at the ankle and gradually easing upwards. Essentially, compression socks work against gravity, that might lead to the blood pooling towards your ankles;
- Reduce swelling. Thanks to better blood flow, the risk of edema, swelling and blood clots is significantly reduced. Your legs will feel fresher and lighter;
- Alleviate aches and “heavy” feeling. Many of the discomforts associated with a long drive are caused by the prolonged lack of movement, and the subsequent stiffness. Through wearing compression socks, your blood circulation will continue at a much better pace, avoiding the heaviness and discomfort you would get otherwise. Additionally, the gentle pressure from compression socks works as a slight massage to improve feeling overall in the lower limbs.
- Supporting muscle recovery. If you haven’t had a chance to wear compression socks during your drive, you can still get the benefit by wearing them afterwards. Compression socks are known to support muscle recovery – that’s why they’re a favorite recovery tool for athletes like runners. And, even if you’re not a high-level athlete, you can also benefit from a boost in blood flow that will re-energize your muscles. Combine that with putting your feet up for a few hours, and you’ll get amazing results.
- Help you sleep better. Have you ever come back after a long drive and had trouble sleeping? Sometimes, truckers may suffer from restless legs, or other ways in which the body is reacting to the long hours behind the wheel. Compression socks have been found to improve sleep by having a small effect on reducing sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. They’ll also help the ankle swelling go down while you recover overnight.
Overall, compression socks are associated with lots of benefits for those working on their feet, running or walking a lot. They can also be great for recovery from sprains, for preventing injuries like plantar fasciitis, and for avoiding swelling and discomfort. For truckers, they can be a combined bundle of benefits, depending on your primary concerns.
How to Wear Compression Socks for Truckers
Now you’ve understood why compression socks are so beneficial for truck drivers, you may be wondering how to ensure you make the best of this amazing tool. Here are some helpful tips around how to wear your compression socks.
Ensure you have the right size
It’s tempting to find compression socks too tight and not wear the correct size, especially if this is the first pair you’re purchasing. However, these socks need to be somewhat tight in order to exert the required level of pressure on your limbs, or you wouldn’t feel their benefits.
Therefore, our advice is to refer to a comprehensive sizing guide, measuring your legs properly. This will ensure that you get socks that fit you perfectly.
Understand compression levels
The other essential element of getting the right compression socks is understanding the compression levels. These socks start at a light level of compression (i.e., pressure applied to your legs), and they increase incrementally. It’s all measured in mmHg and explained in detail here.
For your first pair, we recommend going with the lighter level of pressure in the correct size. This will give you the opportunity to get used to the feeling of wearing the socks, and in time, you could potentially increase pressure levels as you see fit.
Pick the right material
Finally, an important part of picking the best compression socks for truckers is picking the correct material. Cotton is the standard for socks, and a great fabric for both breathability and comfort, but may not always be the best option depending on your climate or activity levels.
In more hot and humid weather, you could choose to switch to Merino wool socks that are great for temperature regulation, while still very lightweight and breathable. Nylon is also moisture wicking and can provide a thinner alternative. If you’re heading into very cold climates, again, Merino wool will keep you warmer than cotton. It’s all key to making sure you’re the most comfortable you can be.
The Best Compression Socks for Truckers
Ultimately, the best compression socks for truck drivers are the ones that combine a comfortable, breathable and thermoregulating fabric with the correct levels of compression for your situation. We do recommend consulting with a medical professional if you have any underlying health concerns or conditions that could interfere with the benefits you can get from compression socks.
Browse through our catalog of multiple styles, fabrics and pressure levels, and pick your next favorite pair now! You’ll be happy you’ve switched when you’re faced with that next big day of driving…