What are diabetic socks?

Diabetic socks are designed to keep feet dry, reduce the risk of foot injury and improve blood circulation. They are a key part of foot care, an important aspect of diabetes management because high blood sugar levels can cause damage to the nervous and circulatory system.Nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) can reduce sensation in the feet, especially the soles, and increase the risk of injury. It can also cause people with diabetes to be unaware of the injury and delay treatment.

Circulation problems can interfere with wound healing because constant blood flow is required. Elevated blood sugar levels can also hinder the immune system. If these problems go unchecked, it can lead to amputation or even death.

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Not everyone with diabetes needs diabetic socks. For those who do not have foot problems, regular socks that are comfortable, untethered, and fit are sufficient, Although it is recommended to wear them on long journeys, as prolonged sitting can increase the risk of swelling or blood clots.

Those with diabetes who always benefit from wearing only diabetic socks are:

  • Experienced changes in foot color or temperature, irritation, nerve damage, blisters, or fungal infections
  • frequently sweaty or wet feet
  • Decreased pedal pulse (measured on the top of the foot and behind the medial malleolus) associated with an increased risk of peripheral arterial disease or other forms of atherosclerosis

Women with gestational diabetes who are at increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can reduce their risk of blood clots by wearing diabetic stockings.


Diabetic socks are designed with many features that directly address disease-related foot problems.

hygroscopic material

Moisture-wicking socks draw moisture away from your feet and allow sweat to evaporate, reducing the risk of fungal infections and preventing odors. The drier your feet are, the better you can prevent blisters and other wounds from forming. Acrylic fibers are better at wicking moisture than cotton.

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Diabetic socks often have no seams at the toes to reduce the risk of friction and blisters that can lead to ulcers, especially in people with neuropathy or chronic hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Diabetic socks also sometimes have white soles to show wound drainage that may not be felt.

soft yarn

Some diabetic socks are made from fine-textured fabrics, such as bamboo and wool, which have natural antibacterial properties and are less likely to be abrasive to the skin. Some brands, such as Dr. Scholl’s, offer diabetic socks made of a specific type of anti-bubble yarn designed to reduce the friction that causes blisters.

Inelastic binding

Diabetic socks are designed to stay up late without squeezing the calf, which can restrict blood flow.

Antibacterial properties

To prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi, some socks are made with copper or silver infused yarn, which has been shown to have antifungal properties. Copper-infused socks can also prevent reinfection of athlete’s foot on subsequent wears. These socks also provide odor protection.

padded sole

Additional padding can help prevent foot injuries and can be made from sewn extra thick fabric or gel or silicone pads. Look for padded diabetic socks that match the type of activity you’re doing: Add extra padding to the heel if you’re standing for long periods of time, for example, or under the ball of your foot if you run or exercise a lot. Toe pads may be helpful for people who play sports like tennis or football.

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Intelligent Technology

Some diabetic socks are embedded with sensors that track foot temperature to alert wearers through an app, for example, that an ulcer is forming. They have a coin-sized battery on the outside of the sock near the ankle. These socks usually last around six months. For more information, see Siren.


Diabetic socks come in a variety of lengths, from faceless styles to ankle to sailor to calf-length and over-the-knee. The latter may be the best option for those with circulation issues.

where to buy

Diabetic socks can be purchased at chain stores, drugstores, Amazon, and other online shopping sites, including sites that specialize in diabetic socks, such as Renfro Socks. They range in price from $2 to $140 a pair, depending on materials and features.

Diabetic socks are not covered by Medicare or other insurance plans, but some may qualify for reimbursement through a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA). Please call your plan provider for details, keeping in mind that you may need your treatment plan.

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Care and Maintenance

Diabetic socks can be worn every day (most people who need them should wear daily) and wash frequently.Most will last about six months with regular wear and proper care. To prolong the life of your socks, wash them in a mesh underwear bag in the washing machine, then tumble dry on low heat. Use a sweater comb or razor to remove fabric particles.

Socks should be thrown away as soon as they show signs of wear, such as holes or tears.

Diabetic Socks and Compression Socks

Compression stockings are different from diabetic stockings because they are designed to increase contractions, making it easier for blood to return to the heart. Medical compression stockings are not suitable for people with diabetes because they reduce blood flow to the feet and accelerate damage.

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However, if you have swollen feet, talk to your healthcare provider: Some diabetic socks offer a lighter degree of compression, which can relieve swelling without inhibiting blood flow.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does diabetes affect blood circulation?

    Diabetes affects blood circulation by causing damage to the blood vessels in the body. Blood vessels provide food for various organs and other vital structures of the body, such as nerves. Foot ulcers occur when diabetes damages the blood vessels that supply the nerves in the feet or legs.

  • How to increase blood flow to the feet of diabetic patients?

    People with diabetes have several different ways to increase blood flow to the feet.

    • Exercise five days a week for at least 30 minutes a day. Frequency is your goal, so if needed, shorten your workouts throughout the day so you can reach 30 minutes in total.
    • Wear diabetic socks that keep you warm, aren’t too tight, and have no seams.
    • Get as close to your target blood sugar level as possible.
    • Avoid smoking.
    • Include omega-3 fatty acids and high-fiber foods in your diet.
    • While sitting or lying down, twist your toes for a few minutes. This helps the blood continue to flow at rest.
  • Where can I buy diabetic socks?

    Diabetic socks are sold at many popular online retailers and stores. Look out for comfortably padded socks that have no seams and are loose. You want to avoid wearing compression stockings as they restrict blood circulation.