The Diabetic Socks 101. All You Need To Know

diabetic socks

There Are plenty of Diabetic socks out there some good, some bad, some just fine.

But do we really need them?

Ultimately it is a yes and no answer. To a point we need manufacturers to recognize the fact that there are Diabetic people out there who need devices for prevention. Any manufacturers are coming on board and creating devices to do just that.

However, there are also manufacturers that slap on a label of "diabetic socks" and then jack up the price.

Yes you can have your own socks converted, it is really quite easy:

1. If they are tight, snip the top of the sock to release the spiral elastic (this can damage the sock over time).

2. Choose a pair of white socks.

3. If they have a seam on the inside, turn them inside out.

Voila! Instant Diabetic socks.

7 items for your diabetic socks wish list

But that sometimes is not good enough. With added technology, sock manufacturers have implemented some great design to sock design creating diabetic socks that actually do something:

1. "Wick technology". This allows sweat to come away from the skin and move to the outside of the sock where it can evaporate away. Diabetics can be prone to sweating due to neuropathy (nerve damage) and wicking technology can be helpful.

2. "Soft materials". Everything from a finer weave to bamboo fibers are added to Diabetic socks nowadays. These give a softer feel and no "scratching" which can catch skin tags and dry skin pieces that are more common on Diabetics.

3. "Wider Elastic". Some elderly patients and some patients with conditions that cause their legs to swell have difficulty finding proper socks. No there are companies that allow socks to stretch round to 24 inches- which is huge and a game changer for many patients.

4. "Color combination's". One or two manufacturers now allow socks to be 2 colors. So white around the foot (so that injuries, blood and complaints can be caught early) and a black neck that goes up to the ankle so that the sock can be worn at more formal places. This reduces the patients ability to find a complete black sock which could be the time where they injure their foot and not see it.

5. "Anti-Microbial". Common in sport socks, anti-microbial (bacteria and fungi in this case) diabetic socks have been late in development. But now you can not find a pair of socks without them in. It is useful because Diabetics can have reduced immunity and anti-microbial elements can keep the burden down- not stopping it if the burden is high and I would question how long they last for as well, but it is a great start.

6. "Padding". Some companies offer thin socks, which are great in certain circumstances, but padding will allow the foot not to accept pressure- no real sock material padding does that, padding helps with removal of shear forces. This is rubbing between 2 objects across each other. A lot of Diabetic complications come from shear forces.You can not walk around the house/ outside with just socks on. They dont protect against sharp objects or stubbing of the toes. You need hard soled closed in footwear

7. "No seams". Seams are not a good idea. They can press into the toe and over a long period of time can cause rubbing an cuts.

These are the types of technology that should be designed within your sock. However there needs to be a point where a sock is not a magic bullet. It will help in combination with other Diabetic prevention techniques (like shoewear care, daily foot monitoring etc). That is something to really keep in mind.

Why not recommend a brand?

Well I have found that if I recommend a brand then all the products in that brands range are thus classed as "good". The problem is that many brands go for style and what the buying public are asking for rather than giving them what they should have. So you find seams within tight socks attached to a "good" company.

The future of Diabetic socks?

Some new technology is starting to appear. Some socks now are starting to work with your smart phone. The sock identifies that an area is getting warm- through sensors- it might mean that an area on the foot has been damaged or infection is present. The socks dont alert you when your feet are generally warm.

This is interesting for the main reason of prevention- catching something before it becomes a problem, which is super useful for a Diabetic.

Remember that diabetic socks are not a golden bullet. You need extra care, extra vigilance to cope with your own Diabetic feet. Check out the following resources:

What else apart from Diabetic socks can help your feet? Check out the free Diabetic footcare articles

The medical information on the ldfootcare.com web site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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About Dominic Hough

Hi. I'm Dominic. I treat patients every day at a local clinic. I am a trained Chiropodist and I care about prevention. I designed the website to help readers understand treat and even prevent issues from happening to their feet.