34.2 million Americans live with diabetes. That's a little more than 1 in 10 of your US friends, neighbors, coworkers, and loved ones.
Half of US diabetics also live with nerve damage caused by peripheral neuropathy. Common symptoms include tingling, numbness, extreme sensitivity, and pain in the feet and legs.
Peripheral neuropathy can result in foot ulcers and issues with bones and joints.
If you have diabetes, what can you do to help prevent peripheral neuropathy? Mayo Clinic recommends getting an A1C test at least twice a year, managing blood sugar levels, and practicing healthy foot care.
How can you make sure your feet stay healthy? Finding the right socks and shoes is a great start.
Thankfully, there are many great options available. Keep reading to find the best diabetic socks for 2021.
Choosing the Best Socks for Diabetic Neuropathy
What should you look for in your diabetic socks for neuropathy? There are several key features to help keep your feet comfortable and pain free.
The best diabetic socks for men and women should have extra padding to offer increased protection to the sensitive foot. Extra cushioning along the entire bottom of the sock is ideal, but the most important areas are the heel and toe area. These areas are prone to excess pressure when the foot strikes the ground at the heel and lifts off at toes and which can lead to injuries and foot ulcers.
Stretchy and Comfy
Diabetic socks for neuropathy shouldn't be too tight. The best diabetic socks for women and men need to be loose-fitting so that they prevent blood flow. They should slide on and off easily without bunching up or squeezing too tight. Socks with stretch are best as they can expand when the diabetic foot swells throughout the day. Stay away from excess elastic and other constricting materials.
Remove Excess Moisture
Socks with moisture-wicking technology are a must to keeping your feet clean and dry. If your feet perspire , bacteria and fungi can build up, which also causes odor, and you could end up with ulcers and other issues. Making sure your feet stay warm and dry is vital to a good pair of diabetes socks.
Socks should be made from soft material that won't irritate your skin. Breathable and comfortable fabric keeps your feet healthy and dry.
While seams may not seem like a big deal they have a role in choosing the best diabetes socks of 2021. Neuropathy causes one to lose sensation at the feet, which means that even a tiny thread can lead to skin irritation, causing ulcers, sores, and other issues. Socks with seams have the potential to restrict blood flow, so it's best to go seamless.
As mentioned earlier, the best diabetic socks are made from material that prevent bacteria. Excess bacteria can lead to infection. Materials like bamboo are perfect for comfort and keeping bacteria away.
Extreme temperatures can be hard on the feet. Those with neuropathy are more sensitive to temperature extremes. The best socks for diabetics should keep the feet warm.
Our List of Best Diabetic Socks of 2021
1. Extra Roomy
Orthofeet has a solution for those who want a little more space from their socks. They are easy to pull on and won't squeeze calves or feet.
The Extra Roomy Socks are made from breathable bamboo with moisture-wicking technology. The graphene and bamboo materials keep foot odor away.
Wearers won't even feel the seams in these socks thanks to their inverse linking design. This means they are completely smooth and seam free on the inside.
The Extra Roomy Gray Socks are designed to provide extra cushion, protection, and comfort for men and women with diabetes.
The Extra Roomy Socks are available in a multitude of colors to match any wardrobe: charcoal, white, dark brown, light gray and dark gray. These socks are available in sizes small to extra-large.
For those looking for the ultimate padding and protection, the Padded Sole Sock gives the cushion and comfort you can expect from the best diabetic socks. Just as it sounds, the sock us designed with a thicker material along the entire length, including the heel and forefoot. What’s more, the color of the sole is white which allows the wearer to identify open wounds quickly and easily when they occur.
The mid-calf length slides on and off any size foot and calf. The Padded Sole Sock is also made from bamboo making super soft and gentle against the skin. It employs moisture-wicking technology for a healthy foot environment. Dress these socks up or down, just leave a little extra room for the padding in your shoe.
The two-toned sock uses interlocking technology to provide a seam-free design. Welcome in soft comfort and keep friction blisters away with the BioSoft Padded Sole Sock.
The Padded Sole Socks are available in staple colors: white, charcoal, and dark brown.
If you are looking for increased comfort and protection but don’t like the thickness of most diabetic socks, BioSoft Casual/Dress Socks are the answer. They are functional and versatile and easily fit in most dress shoes for men or women. They're still cushioned but are thinner than other BioSoft casual socks.
Since they are a little thinner, BioSoft Casual/Dress socks work well during warmer seasons. Their midcalf length is perfect for those who don't want any gaps between slacks or long pants and their socks.
These machine-washable socks are made from soft, moisture-wicking bamboo. Like other BioSoft socks, they're anti-microbial, making sure your feet stay healthy.
Take your pick! Causal/Dress socks are available in charcoal, white, dark brown, light gray and dark gray.
4. Low Cut Sock
The best diabetic socks don't have to be crew or dress height. These Low Cut Socks offer a discreet way to wear the best socks for diabetic neuropathy.
Bamboo materials and brushing techniques make the fibers of these socks soft and comfortable. The seemingly seamless technology makes them friendly to diabetic feet and will not irritate the skin.
These socks are cushioned but still thin and will fit comfortably under dress shoes, sneakers and flats Low Cut Socks are great for those times you don't want a sock showing halfway up your shin. They are designed with a non-slip silicone at the heel to ensure they don’t slip as well as a slightly higher heel tab, providing extra protection in the heel area.
Orthofeet Low Cut Socks are available in black and white, perfect for any wardrobe and shoe.
Podiatrists always recommend protecting your feet and never be barefoot, even when you are at home. But sometimes you just want to relax on the sofa or in stay in bed and you don’t really need to wear shoes or slippers. For these times we recommend Foot Warmer Socks. They are made with super soft plush material to keep feet cozy and comfortable. Designed with stretch fabric, they fit over any foot shape and will expand even when they swell. And to ensure feet are kept dry, clean and fugus free, the sock fibers are made with Dry-Plex technology
Keep Your Feet Healthy
Wearing the right socks plays a big part in keeping those feet healthy. If you have diabetes, you can take additional steps to stay on top of your foot health.
Daily Foot Checks
Check your feet every day. If you can't see the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or ask a loved one to check them out for you. You could have a small cut or blister you're unable to feel, especially if you have neuropathy.
Your feet should be clear of cuts, scrapes, or blisters. If you notice any of these things on your feet, make sure they're healing properly. Always contact your doctor right away if something on your feet is different or shouldn't be there.
Not Too Dry
Feet that get too dry can crack, which leaves more risk for infection. Apply a thin layer of moisturizer to your feet as often as you and your doctor decide necessary to keep your feet healthy.
There's no one-size-fits-all answer to how often your feet may get dry. Skin dryness varies with each person, climate, and season. Talk to your doctor about a daily foot routine that works best for your situation.
Tidy Nails are Happy Nails
Keep your toenails trimmed. Never cut your nails too short. It is best to cut them to the shape of the end of your toes. Don't cut them straight across or curved down the sides. If you can't reach or see your toenails clearly, arrange to have a podiatrist clip them. You should keep these regular appointments.
Never attempt to clip your own toenails if you have difficulty seeing them or reaching them. This could cause you to accidentally cut your skin, leaving you susceptible to infection.
Barefoot is Not Best
If you have diabetes, you should wear good-fitting socks and shoes at all times. If you don't like wearing outdoor shoes in the house, invest in a pair of slippers with arch support and cushioning. Orthofeet slippers top the list of the best arch support slippers for diabetes as they are designed with an orthotic insole, 5 layers of thick foam, a wide, round, and high toe box for a pressure free fit and seam free padded interiors.
Going barefoot can cause stubbed toes or cuts. This, as we know, leaves you at risk for infection.
Sitting Down? Feet up!
Keep your feet elevated to encourage good circulation. If you're sitting down, elevate your feet on an ottoman, chair, or stack of pillows. Wiggle your toes and move your feet while they're elevated.
Keeping good circulation helps fight off neuropathy.
And Don't Cross 'Em
Crossing your legs for long periods of time decreases blood circulation. Remember to keep your legs uncrossed as much as possible to promote better blood flow.
Don't Take Matters into Your Own Hands (or Feet!)
If you notice corns or warts on your feet, don't try to remove them yourself. Over-the-counter products can burn your skin.
Instead, call your doctor. Your medical professional will be able to prescribe the best treatment for your situation. Don't try to do it yourself.
Make sure to keep your exercise foot-friendly. This looks different for everyone. Check with your doctor to see what kinds of physical fitness are best for you.
Fresh and Clean
Wash your feet with warm water and soap daily. Make sure the water isn't too hot.
After you clean your feet, pat them dry and apply lotion to the bottoms only. Lotion between your toes could lead to infection.
Get Into a Groove
Foot health practices are much easier when they become routine habits. Try to establish a foot routine. Check your feet when you're getting dressed in the morning and again before you go to bed.
Write podiatry appointments on your calendar and arrange a way to get there if you can't drive yourself.
The Right Shoes
Wearing shoes and socks that fit well is vital to good foot health. Diabetic shoes are not like ordinary shoes and are designed with unique features to keep sensitive feet protected, comfortable and pain free. Look for shoes from brands that offer solutions for foot conditions, including diabetes. Orthofeet is one such brand that has helped millions of people with diabetes. Their shoes ranging from dress, casual, boots, sandals, slippers, and sneakers are meticulously designed with innovative features to offer maximum comfort and protection. A premium orthotic insole, thick cushioning, a soft and gentle seam free interior, wide toe box and much more are special features making them the best shoes for diabetics.
Finding the right shoes is half the battle but getting them to fit your feet perfectly is another challenge. Most shoe brands only offer the standard width, and a narrow silhouette which most times do more harm than good. A good orthotic shoe brand will offer extended widths up to extra extra wide to accommodate wide or swollen feet, as well as bunions and hammertoes.
The same goes for your socks. Find the best diabetic socks for you by paying attention to fit and materials.
Make sure the socks you're wearing pair well with your shoes. Thinner (but still cushioned) socks are better for dress shoes. Thicker socks are more appropriate for sneaker-style shoes.
What's the Point?
Avoid shoes with pointed toes or a slim shape. Those with diabetes should also avoid high-heeled shoes and shoes without support.
Try instead to find shoes with built in orthotic support and padded cushion. Shoes that feature straps or laces will be easier to adjust to your comfort level and fit. Orthofeet has shoes with straps in multiple places, that offer a custom fit to any foot shape. One of their best-selling sandals has 5 hook and loop straps you can adjust!
In this day and age, you don’t have to compromise on looks and it is possible to find fashionable orthotic shoes that are also healthy for your feet. After all, you shouldn't have to choose one over the other.
When To Worry
Staying on top of your health is important. Sometimes, you shouldn't wait to address changes or symptoms with your doctor. According to the CDC, you should contact your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms.
- Color or temperature change in your feet
- Foot pain, tingling, or burning
- Cracked or dry skin on or around your feet
- An ulcer, blister, sore, corn, or any other type of foot sore
- An ingrown toenail
- Hair loss on your legs, toes, or feet
- Any type of fungus-looking infection (like Athlete's foot)
- Yellow toenails
- Foot shape changes over time
- Any loss of sensation: hot, cold, touch
- Pain in your legs or cramping in your buttocks, thighs, or calves during physical activity
- Cramps or pain in legs, calves, thighs, or backside while engaging in physical activity
Leaving any of these symptoms untreated could lead to serious complications. It's important to address any of these symptoms with your healthcare provider immediately.
The Best Diabetic Socks for You
The best diabetic socks should have good cushion, loose fit, and smooth or no seams. They should be easy to take on and take off.
The best socks for diabetic neuropathy shouldn't be too restrictive. They should allow for good circulation and blood flow.
Socks to help with diabetic neuropathy should also be made of soft and comfortable materials. They should be moisture-wicking and breathable.