Diabetic Socks vs. Compression Socks: What’s the Difference?

An elderly man wearing diabetic socks

When you live with diabetes, proper foot care is essential.

Ignore injuries, skip your podiatry appointments, and you can end up dealing with serious health issues.

It can even be something as simple as your choice of footwear. In this blog post we’ll look at how diabetic socks and compression socks are different from regular socks and how they can help keep your feet healthy.

Traditional socks

There are many reasons why standard socks are a bad idea for people with diabetes. For one thing, the seam at the toe of the sock can irritate pressure points in the foot.

And these socks tend to be made from cotton and elastic. These materials prevent moisture from escaping the sock. When your skin becomes to moist, it can break down and lead to infection.

Finally, regular socks can impair your circulation, as the top part of the sock can grow tighter around the wearer’s lower leg as the day goes on.

Diabetic socks

Diabetic socks, meanwhile, are designed to fit your feet, conforming to the shape of the foot. They have few seams – or no seams at all – and no elastic. Unlike regular socks, the fabric won’t bunch up around your heels or under your toes.

These socks are also made from finer-textured fabrics such as wool, nylon and spandex blends to reduce abrasion against the skin. They also have added padding at sensitive points in the foot – around the toes or at the heel – to prevent friction injuries.

Compression socks

Compression socks are specially designed to relieve pain in your legs using stronger elastics. They allow blood to flow back to the heart. These socks can also reduce swelling in the legs and prevent blood clots and deep vein thrombosis.

Compression socks are often prescribed for helping alleviate foot discomfort caused by periods of prolonged sitting, like when taking a long flight or drive.

Diabetic foot care

Whether you wear diabetic socks or compression socks, there are certain steps you need to take to make sure your feet are well cared for:

  • Check them each day – Thanks to the nerve damage associated with diabetes, you might have a cut, sore or other injury on your foot you don’t know about.
  • Don’t wait to get injuries treated – Even something as small as a callus should get checked by a podiatrist. It’s easy for smaller issues to turn into sores and infections if left untreated.
  • Exercise, but in a way that goes easy on your feet – That means no aerobic classes that require you to jump around.
  • Avoid smoking – Obviously, this is good advice for even people without diabetes, but it’s especially important for diabetics, as nicotine reduces the blood flow to your skin, preventing oxygen and nutrients from reaching your feet.
  • Don’t go without shoes – Walking around without shoes increases your risk of getting cuts, scrapes and splinters. Again, these are the types of injuries you might not pick up on due to nerve damage, putting you in danger of getting an infection.

And if you’re in the market for the right pair of diabetic socks or compression socks, turn to Creative Care. We’ve spent more than 30 years helping people like you find the right footwear.

You’ll get all the durability you’d expect from a regular sock, and a lot more comfort. Visit our online store to find the pair that fits you.

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