What are diabetic socks and do you need them?

What are diabetic socks and do you need them?

What are diabetic socks?

Diabetic socks are specially designed socks to minimize moisture build-up. At the end of the day, their job is to protect your feet and provide maximum comfort. These socks are usually inelastic and seamless. The inelastic feature is to prevent contraction due to the common tendency for foot swelling. The seamless design is designed to minimize friction on the nerve, minimizing nerve discomfort and pain. These socks have a great fit and prevent calf circulation from being too tight and restricting circulation. When blood circulation is reduced, it is more difficult for the body to heal. High blood sugar, which is associated with diabetes, can also cause the immune system to slow down. Specialized socks are one way to address both of these issues to prevent future foot injuries that require amputation or even death.

In addition to these two special constructions, these socks are always slightly cushioned to prevent injury. At the same time, the moisture-wicking ability is enhanced, so that the sweat and moisture of the shoes will not be caught between the socks and the feet. By keeping your feet dry, you reduce the risk of blisters and fungal infections on your feet.

Who should use diabetic socks?

Not all people with diabetes must wear diabetic socks. People with diabetes who have decreased pedal pulses (measured on the top of the foot and inside the ankle), have changes in the color and temperature of the foot, have nerve damage or other sensory changes, or suffer frequent foot injuries such as rubbing should consider switching to Diabetic socks alone for better protection are definitely candidates for diabetic socks. They are also highly recommended if your feet are sensitive to temperature changes and prone to redness, irritated spots and/or swelling. If none of these symptoms are present, you can wear any type of socks. Still, you should avoid tight, loose, and clumpy socks, or socks that are uncomfortable or have rubbing seams.

If you're currently pregnant and have gestational diabetes, these socks are best for your swollen feet. Lightweight and breathable, they keep your feet warm and reduce your chances of developing blood clots and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

While you probably don't need to wear diabetic socks on a regular basis, you might consider getting a pair when you travel. Sitting for long periods of time can cause your feet to swell. To keep your feet warm without the elastic clinging to your skin, these diabetic socks are the perfect travel companion. Traveling is a bit risky, so anyone traveling is advised to purchase travel insurance. It's often said that if you can't afford travel insurance, then you can't afford to travel.

Types of Diabetic Socks

Diabetic socks come in many different materials and lengths. There's even a new design called "smart diabetic socks."


Diabetic socks are usually made of mixed materials such as acrylic, merino wool, bamboo, charcoal and spandex mixed elastic. These materials offer more moisture-wicking capacity than traditional cotton socks, while spandex is less contractile than elastic. Additionally, these materials are wrinkle-resistant, which minimizes the chances of the material fraying the skin.

When the damage is combined with bacteria and moisture, this complication poses a great danger to people with diabetes. Therefore, anti-microbial is an important feature of diabetic socks to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in the wet and moisture-prone areas of the feet. Another amazing thing about these socks is that non-cotton materials like wool, bamboo and charcoal have natural antibacterial properties. In addition, some high-end diabetic socks even contain silver or copper threads to actively fight bacteria and fungi, preventing foot odor and infection.


Depending on your specific activity needs, you can purchase specialized diabetic socks with extra padding and different thickness levels. If you need to stand for long periods of time each day, you will need socks with padded heels for extra support. If you run or exercise regularly, you may need socks with more padding in the balls of your feet to avoid sores from friction. On the other hand, other sports like tennis and soccer require toe pads to avoid possible toe-related injuries.

By increasing the number and thickness of the loops, the padding can be made from the sock fibers themselves. Gel filling is also a good option. Some gel formulations are proprietary; others are made from materials such as silicone. Regardless of the type of padding, research has found that padding further supports the socks' purpose in wicking moisture, minimizing sensitivity and irritation, relieving pain, and preventing injury.

Available styles and lengths

Diabetic socks can be purchased depending on your purpose. In general, calf and above-the-knee styles are most beneficial for those with circulation problems. If you have an active lifestyle, Athletic Diabetic Socks offer ankle and crew height and continue to offer all the benefits and standards of classic diabetic socks. Since the invention of the original diabetic socks, various brands have introduced more varied patterns and color designs into the collection. Unlike plain white or skin tone compression socks, these stylish diabetic socks will easily fit your work or casual fashion needs. And for those who don't like the display of their socks, low-cut and merry-looking socks are also available in select brands.

Smart Diabetic Socks

One of the latest developments in diabetic socks is the "smart socks." The socks utilize fiber-optic sensors to monitor pressure, humidity and the angle of the foot joints to warn nerve damage patients of possible ulcers. The idea is that they could greatly reduce the number of amputations and deaths from foot ulcers and infections, as nerve damage leaves affected people unable to feel pain.

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When to wear these socks?

It is generally recommended that people wear diabetic socks from waking up in the morning until before going to bed at night. The less time you spend barefoot, the less likely you are to get injured accidentally kicking or stepping on something. In addition to reducing friction between your feet and the surface of the floor, socks keep your feet at an optimal temperature to promote blood circulation.

That being said, you should wear as many socks as possible, but you should change socks throughout the day as needed. If you exercise or participate in sports, you should remove your socks, thoroughly clean your feet of sweat and moisture, and put on a new pair of clean socks. In fact, many people with diabetes also choose to wear socks for a variety of tasks throughout the day, such as home socks, sports socks, and work socks.

When traveling, especially when traveling by air, anyone with circulation problems should opt for light compression diabetic socks that cover the lower legs and/or knees as completely as possible. Socks will greatly help maintain good circulation from your calves and feet to your heart. If you wear socks with copper and silver threads, you don't have to worry about socks triggering a security checkpoint alarm because there isn't enough metal to trigger a metal detector. If you have any concerns, please let the staff know your socks in advance and bring your doctor's recommendation for diabetic socks. In case the detectors did go off, officials would be more understanding.

How are diabetic stockings different from compression stockings and regular stockings?

When you look at the price of a pair of diabetic socks, it's usually around the price of a good pair of wool socks. So what makes them different from regular socks? Here's an in-depth look:

Ordinary socks

Traditional socks are usually loose and stretch easily, creating lumps under the heel and toes. They contain a main seam that runs through the toes, which may irritate sensitive pressure points in the foot. They're also usually made of cotton and elastic, which not only prevents moisture from escaping between the sock and the foot, but also affects the circulation at the top of the sock, which can get tight around wearing throughout the day.

Diabetic socks

Diabetic socks, on the other hand, are best for your feet. They conform to the wearer's feet instead of strangling them. They are neither traditional socks nor compression socks. They contain no elastic and have minimal or no seams. They do not form lumps even if they are worn or stretched. To better fit the wearer and avoid lumps from too much fabric, manufacturers have gone the extra mile to produce more precise measurements for the ideal fit. To reduce harsh abrasions to the skin, diabetic socks are often made from finer-textured fabrics made from materials such as wool, bamboo, charcoal, nylon and spandex blends. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, diabetic socks have extra padding and cushioning in sensitive pressure point areas to further prevent damage from friction. most of the time,

Compression stockings

The main purpose of compression stockings is to apply enough pressure around the legs to force the increase in blood pressure needed to pump blood back into the veins. This process allows more blood to return to the heart quickly and prevents swelling and blood clots from forming. Athletes use them to improve their performance or to treat medical conditions such as edema, venous insufficiency, varicose veins, lymphedema and deep vein thrombosis, and during pregnancy. Unlike regular socks and diabetic socks, these compression socks are tight and binding. They are expensive due to specific size requirements.

Compression for Diabetics

While some people with diabetes also suffer from peripheral arterial disease, the important difference is that compression stockings are not an appropriate option. According to the American Diabetes Association, 1 in 3 people with diabetes over the age of 50 has peripheral artery disease. This extra condition increases their risk of having a heart attack or stroke. PAD, especially atherosclerosis of the legs, is partially or completely in the arteries. If you add pressure from all sides of the calf like a compression stocking, you may further restrict the flow of oxygenated blood to this already deprived area, greatly propelling the wearer toward future amputations.

Diabetics can get diabetic socks with mild compression, but this is both useful and safe. These typically raise blood pressure by 10-15 mmHg, while compression stockings raise blood pressure by about 20 mmHg, and some compression stockings can raise blood pressure by 25-40 mmHg. Some hospitals use diabetics and/or compression stockings when the patient cannot move a lot or has to stay in bed. They can also be used after major surgery to ensure good blood circulation in the legs. But people with diabetes should not try to wear compression stockings unless their doctor prescribes them.

What are the benefits of using diabetic socks?

The general advantages of wearing diabetic socks are protection and awareness.

  • Prevent friction, blisters and ulcers
  • Cushioning foot injuries and friction
  • Do not wrinkle and cause discomfort
  • Conforms to the feet, not tight
  • No firming and stimulating elastic fibers
  • Shows the presence of blood or other secretions from the injury
  • Antibacterial: Fights odors and bacterial infections
  • Can provide gentle compression for better circulation
  • Protect sensitive pressure points
  • Minimize the risk of future amputations

What are the disadvantages of using diabetic socks?

There really is no harm in wearing diabetic socks, unless you don't like comfortable feet! Even people without diabetes can wear these socks if they want a more comfortable feel. However, you may need to buy a slightly larger shoe size to accommodate the padding in some diabetic socks.

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What is venous insufficiency?

Venous insufficiency is when the veins are not functioning properly, making it difficult for blood to flow back to the heart. This venous stasis can cause blood to pool in the lower legs, ankles, and feet. The most obvious symptom is swelling of the feet. Other symptoms of venous insufficiency include:

  • Leg pain when standing, relieved when you elevate the leg due to the return of blood to the heart
  • Leg cramps and tightness
  • Itchy and thickened skin on the calf
  • Changes in skin color on the lower legs and/or feet
  • ulcers on the legs or feet
  • Varicose veins
  • throbbing pain in the leg
  • your legs feel heavy and weak

In general, compression stockings are recommended for people with venous insufficiency to help increase blood pressure in the lower legs by reducing the diameter of blood vessels. While people with diabetes should not wear true compression stockings, people with venous insufficiency may choose to wear diabetic stockings for mild compression.

Diabetic socks may prevent amputation

elastic stockings

In people with diabetes, amputation is usually due to tissue infection and poor circulation. The culprit was a significantly reduced awareness of foot injuries due to diabetic neuropathy. If left untreated, unknown minor injuries and foot ulcers can develop into serious infections that eventually affect the bones and then the entire foot. Amputation of the affected limb is the only option when excess tissue and blood vessels become infected.

According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2010 nearly 73,000 nontraumatic lower limb amputations occurred in people with diabetes 20 years of age or older. This accounts for about 60% of the total number of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations in this age group. More than 90% of amputations in the United States are due to circulatory problems caused by diabetes, of which 60-80% are lower leg or foot amputations.

The best way to avoid amputation is to prevent foot ulcers and injuries from occurring in the first place. In addition to your usual diabetes regimen and proper foot care, your footwear plays a vital role in managing your diabetes symptoms. Although the healthcare system doesn't list diabetic socks as a must for people with diabetes, you should still explore whether diabetic socks can help you maintain an active lifestyle.

Are Diabetic Socks a Misnomer?

The answer is no. Diabetic socks are designed to fully meet all the specific requirements that diabetics need for comfortable and healthy feet. Anyone can wear these socks, just for quality and increased comfort, some people with circulation problems can benefit from the specific elastic design. But it's people with diabetes who really benefit from all the design features and see changes in their lifestyles.

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