Diabetic Socks vs. Compression Socks: What is the difference?

Diabetic Socks vs. Compression Socks: What is the difference?

There are so many uses for socks in the healthcare industry, it can be hard to distinguish which ones you might benefit from. 

You may be wondering, what is the difference between diabetic socks and compression socks? There are a few key distinctions that you should be aware of before you make a purchase. Which socks will work best for you depends on your specific needs and health. Remember, always consult a doctor or physician first to determine which socks are right for you. 

We’ve outlined the differences between diabetic socks and compression socks to make your decision a little easier: 

Diabetic socks vs. compression socks

Diabetic socks are loose-fitting and are specifically designed to alleviate diabetic foot symptoms and protect your feet from moisture, added pressure and potentially harmful injuries such as blisters, sore or cuts. 

Compression socks are snug-fitting and are designed to improve circulation, lessen fluid buildup and prevent blood from pooling in the lower legs and feet. 

Diabetic socks

Elevated blood sugar levels can lead to foot problems like diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage), which can cause you to lose the ability to feel pain, heat or cold in your feet. They can also affect the blood vessels and cause circulation problems, which can prevent cuts and sores from healing properly.

Luckily, diabetic socks can help you live confidently without foot problems getting in the way. Diabetic socks are made with a comfortable, loose-fitting, non-binding design so they don't restrict circulation. They are also designed with key features to protect your feet and keep them clean and safe. 

A proper pair of diabetic socks should be seamless, non-elastic and moisture-wicking so you can keep your feet dry and clean (prevents bacteria growth!). They also feature extra padding for sensitive foot areas to reduce pressure on your feet.  Many diabetic socks are sold in the color white only - this is so that you can easily identify an injury or cut on your foot if you're starting to loose feeling in your feet. White fabric will immediately show if there's a problem.

Compression socks 

Compression socks are typically recommended to those who have diabetes and circulation problems that cause swelling in the feet and legs. 

Compression socks are made with graduated compression that helps push blood that pools in the feet and legs back up to the heart for proper circulation. This helps alleviate discomfort such as swelling, heaviness and fatigue in your feet and legs. Diabetic compression socks have mild to moderate graduated compression, meaning the greatest amount of compression is at the ankles, and gradually decreases towards the top (closest to the knee). For most diabetic patients, compression stockings are use mostly as a preventative measure and for comfort. 

Benefits of compression socks for diabetics 

There are several benefits to wearing compression socks for diabetes. 

  1. Promote proper circulation
  2. Prevent blood clots (DVT)
  3. Reduce swelling
  4. Protect feet from sores, blisters, infections  

Pro Tip: Put your compression socks on right when you get up in the morning before your feet and legs start to swell and take them off before you go to bed. 

Learn more about the benefits of compression socks for diabetics here

Remember to always talk to your doctor first to find out what type of sock is best for you. Whether you need loose-fitting diabetic socks or snug-fitting compression socks, make sure you're getting the right pair to keep your feet and legs healthy. 

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