The majority of the diabetic socks currently on the market are designed to lower the risk of injury to the feet, keep the feet dry, and avoid the blood circulation from slowing down or being prevented. Usually they are made of materials that are padded, fitted and non-binding; they do not have seams and have superior abilities of wicking away moisture.

Why Do Diabetics Require Special Socks?

A person with diabetes is at a higher risk of foot injuries, being as the have high blood sugar levels there is damage caused to their circulatory and nervous systems.

Sensation is decreased with nerve damage or neuropathy; it also increases the risk of injury, especially on the soles of the feet. Many times a patient will not even be aware of an injury and treatment is delayed. Due to circulatory problems a wound if unable to benefit of the healing properties the blood stream offers, this makes it harder for wounds to heal. A sluggish immune system can also result from high blood sugar levels. These issues can lead to situation which could require amputation or even lead to death.

It is clear that a very important thing for someone with diabetes to consider is foot care.

What if the Person Does Not Have Any Issues With Their Feet?

A diabetic with "normal" feet can choose to wear whatever comfortable socks they please. They should however not be overly tight, constricting, have lumps or uncomfortable seams. Never use socks that could cause injuries, for example blisters from friction. It is best to opt for fitted socks over tube socks. 

What If the Person is Experiencing Decreased Sensation?

Those with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing ulcers due to the fact that they are unable to sense pressure, diabetic socks that are made of acrylic fiber and is densely padded is a good choice. The moisture wicking abilities seem to be better with acrylic fibers. A person with decreased sensation can also benefit from using white or light colored socks as it allows them to discover injuries which may be bleeding or draining.

Discuss the option of purchasing diabetic socks with your primary care provider, he or she can tell you what to look for.

What if the Person Exercises Often?

Padded acrylic socks are something that people who exercise regularly should consider because they are less likely to cause blistering than cotton socks and keep the feet dryer.

How Does Someone Know If They Should Purchase Diabetic Socks?

It is fine for someone who does not have feet problems to purchase regular socks for daily use that are comfortable, fitted, non-binding and with no uncomfortable seams or lumps. It is important to guarantee that the feet will be kept dry and practicing good foot care as well as regularly checking feet for injury is crucial.

For those who have foot issues or who are at high risk due to decreases circulation and neuropathy, than opting for "diabetic socks" could be useful. On top of that, people with extreme sweat or foot moisture could also find the superior ability of these socks to keep feet dry to be beneficial. Ask your healthcare professional for their expert advice or recommendations.

Are Compression Stockings and Diabetic Socks the Same Thing?

No, however those with diabetes who also suffer from peripheral arterial disease may require hosiery or compression stockings to help reduce swelling and promote circulation.

The differences between compression stockings and diabetes socks should be discussed with your physician or podiatrist.