Shoes/clothes for poor circulation

I've been to Europe and even lived in Britain for a year. My question is that I have a blood clotting disorder that makes my circulation poor. When I went across Europe in 2012 summer I didn't have good shoes. Does anyone know what shoes and even clothes that would help my condition? Your comments are invaluable. I may have a serious illness but I live like I don't. I'm heading back to Europe in spring of 2013. Thanks.

Posted by Natalie
Surrey, BC, Canada
6 posts

Thank you both for your comments. Actually my doctors and myself are well versed on my illnesses however its confusing about the shoe issue. I never really thought about stockings but I think that is something I will ask my doctors about. Yes I agree that asking such a question on here is difficult but none the less it's already helped. Thank you very much for responding.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4764 posts

Ask your Dr. for suggestions as they would know best.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

First, you should consult your doctor before taking any advice (however well meaning) from strangers on a travel forum. Second, shoe preferences are very individual, even for those just looking for comfort. Adding a medical condition to the mix means you need to work carefully with your doctor and possibly a specialty shoe store to find one that will be suitable. The usual advice of making sure the shoes are comfortable for a few weeks before you attempt to travel in them goes doubly or triply for you. If the shoes are going to cause a problem, you want it to be near home, not on vacation. Ask your doctor about exactly what kind of stockings to wear. Not all the ones sold for "blood clot prevention" will be right for you, and the wrong ones could be dangerous. Of course, see if medications are recommended, and if certain foods can help (and what meds, and foods, might make things worse). Make sure you are traveling with insurance that will cover this, as well as any other pre-existing conditions. In order to get this, you usually have to buy the insurance within 1-2 weeks of your first travel-related purchase; you can then emend the policy if you want more coverage. Be especially careful with the flight, as people with clotting problems are much more susceptible to blood clots on planes. Again, ask your doctor for advice.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9130 posts

You really need to ask your doctor this question. Without knowing your medical history, even people on this forum with a healthcare background could potentially provide advice that would be contra-indicated in your case.

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1560 posts

Other than what others have said, would certainly wear them several times before departing, nothing worse than new shoes for anything.

Posted by Judy
Grass Valley, California
113 posts

I agree with checking with the Dr. Although I have a ton of foot issues, and everytime I have asked my podiatrist they just name all the good brand shoes and say what ever feels good to your feet. I do know that a lot of my family members wear Crocs when they really need a comfortable forgiving shoe. They hava a very roomy toe box. And now they come in more fashionable styles including boots for winter.

Posted by Natalie
Surrey, BC, Canada
6 posts

Thank you everyone for your comments and feedback. I will look into the croc shoes also but also look into walking boots but not sure if these would be too heavy for countries that are hot. If I was to wear stockings for better circulation I'm wondering just hot hot this would become.

Posted by JER
Seattle, USA
981 posts

Here is what I would ask my doctor: What shoes would you recommend for my condition? Should I see a pedorthist and what should I tell him/her about my condition? Should I wear compression hosiery on the flight? All the time? At night? If yes to any of these, can you recommend the right kind for me? Are there medications that I'm not taking now that I should take in advance of the flight? During the flight? During my trip? Are these prescription medications? Can you give me the generic names in case I need to tell a European doctor what medications I am on or in case I need to replace my medications? Are there any foods I ought to avoid? Any foods that would be helpful to my condition? Are there additional things I should watch out for because of my condition? Blisters, chafing, raw areas? Do you recommend moleskin to prevent or treat these, or are bandaids adequate? (And the most important one of all) What symptoms should I watch for that indicate that I need to seek medical help right away in Europe?
What symptoms should I watch for that you would want me to notify you about by phone or email if I expereince them in Europe?

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

Jer's wonderful post is not only applicable to Natalie. It should be a "sticky" for anyone with a medical problem who wants to travel.

Posted by Natalie
Surrey, BC, Canada
6 posts

Dear Jer,
I think you summed up perfectly a list of questions that I need to make and provide my doctor way before I leave for Europe. You raise another issue regarding the length of time one is aloud to wear compression stockings. It's something I would not have thought about. It's interesting to think that I seem so clueless but that this forum provides great support. Thank you. Just because I may have an illness shouldn't mean I can't enjoy the world. I'm not going to let this get the better of me so it's good that I get as much information as I can get.

Posted by Collin
Asheville, NC
1 posts

I never thought that there are actually shoes out there specifically for people with blood clots. I'm assuming that you had DVT/PTS/PE? I'm also planning to fly this spring to my relatives and this will be a long flight to Ireland. I acquired Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) this year - a.k.a. known as Economy Class Syndrome and my doctor said that I'm at risk of developing PE. I have been prescribed compression stockings to prevent this from happening. I recently consulted him about my travel plans and I was given an OK to travel. However, it was also at this time that my stockings, despite them being custom fit, have been uncomfortable. Pplus the fact that I'm obese, my limited dexterity gave me tons of problems from wearing them. So off I did my research for natives and I stumbled upon the Venowave, a portable compression pump. It turned out well I have to say. My doctor gave a prescription for it. So this will be my companion to my travels. Now with regards to the shoes, do I have to go to a podiatry clinic for this? My doctor never recommended one for travel so I'm assuming that comrpession devices, in my case the Venowave, will suffice. Thanks for all your help.

Posted by kat
200 posts

I would not schedule a direct flight. Break it up and give yourself a chance to walk during your layover to increase circulation. And try to get a little walking done on the plane. Sometimes the screen on the plane will show seating exercised. I used to always fly direct from San Francisco and have discovered that leaving from my smaller town, (which is much more convenient and requires me to have a layover) works much better for me.
As the others have said, start with your doctor's advice and maybe see a podiatrist for advice (or orthodics/compression socks) on shoes.