Diabetes poses special problems when choosing socks. Because so many diabetics have poor circulation and swollen feet, choosing socks that fit well and don’t bind the foot are important. Also, diabetics tend to develop sores and ulcers on their feet, which makes them need different socks from other people. There are many vendors of special diabetic socks, but such socks tend to be expensive, and in many cases an ordinary storebought sock that costs much less can be used. Here is a list of things to consider if you have diabetes and are looking for the right sock:
Diabetics should choose sock materials that absorb perspiration well, because excessive loose perspiration can lead to infection. A cotton blend is usually the best choice. Avoid polyester socks. If you already have sores or wounds on your feet, you might want to invest in a special diabetic sock made from bacterium-repelling material.
Type of Sock
Tube socks are not recommended because they bind the foot. For best results, choose a fitted sock (i.e. one with a sewed-in heel) that is the right size for your foot rather than in the right range of sizes. A size 9 sock for someone wtih a size 9 foot is better than a size 9-12 sock, and far better than a size 6-9 sock. the sock should be free of seams, loose thread, and raised stitching in order to avoid chafing that can cause sores.
Special Design Considerations
Socks for diabetics should be loose on the top of the foot because this helps more blood get into your foot. If your feet are regularly swollen, the sock should be larger than your usual foot size. Measure your foot after you have been walking for at least two hours because feet increase in size as they are used. Avoid socks that are tight at or above the ankle.
For most people with diabetes, sock color is not a major consideration, except that socks with fancy patterns may have loose or raised design thread that should be avoided. For diabetics with existing sores and wounds on their feet, however, a plain white sock is best because it makes it easier to keep track of the sore or wound and notice any seeping.
Buying or knitting socks for someone with diabetes need not be a complicated matter if a few basic principles are followed. The objective of getting the right sock is healthy feet, and the right sock can make its own modest contribution to diabetic foot health.