Why does someone with diabetes need special socks?
While not all diabetics are required to wear diabetic socks, people with diabetes have sensitive feet and suffer from various foot conditions and need to protect their feet more than others. Diabetic socks have unique design features, not found in regular socks, that safeguard the diabetic foot from developing additional problems and help keep it comfortable and healthy. Wearing the appropriate pair of socks is just as important as wearing diabetic shoes!
The majority of people with diabetes suffer from diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. Neuropathy causes one to lose feeling in the legs and feet by damaging the nerves. Without proper functioning nerves, one cannot sense if something is too hot or too cold or if they have a cut or sore on their feet. Not knowing this can lead to serious infections and complications. Peripheral vascular disease causes the blood vessels to become narrow, decreasing the blood flow to the legs and feet. Decreased blood flow slows down healing of any cuts or sores which increases the chance of developing ulcers.
What are diabetic socks?
Seamless: Even the tiniest protrusion can have a severe impact on the diabetic foot. Socks with seams can rub against the skin and can cause blisters or ulcers, which may be harmful for diabetic feet.
The best diabetic socks are seamless and knitted with inverse linking, which keeps the ends of the toe-linking thread outside rather than inside the sock.
Non-constricting: The fit of diabetic socks should be loose, non-constricting and have a super stretch design. In fact, they should be loose to the point where you barely feel them!.
Tight socks can inhibit circulation, which might be challenging for those who suffer from circulatory issues.
Padding: Extra padding and cushioning for sensitive areas help prevent injury and enhances comfort.
Normally the extra padding runs along the bottom of the sock, around the toes, and at the heel of the foot. These areas of the foot are usually susceptible to the most shock forces during activities and therefore need to be protected even more.
Warmth: Diabetes can cause blood vessels to restrict, decreasing circulation to the feet.
Diabetic socks should be made from fabrics that keep feet warm and help improve blood circulation.
- White Sole: A white sole is important for people with compromised sensation, as it helps alert wearers to a draining wound. Stains from infections, open cuts and sores that require immediate attention will be very visible on a white sole.
- Moisture-wicking: Many socks today are knitted with special yarns that are infused with advanced technology to help maintain a healthy foot. Synthetic yarns such as polyester and nylon are able to move moisture out of the sock and quickly dry up. A dry foot environment helps prevent skin infections and keeps feet comfortable for long periods.
- Anti-microbial: Good diabetic socks are treated with anti-microbial technology to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in the moisture-prone regions of the foot, keeping it healthy. Eliminating bacteria and fungi also eliminates the bad odors in your feet!
- Soft yarns: Diabetic socks are often made from finer texture fabrics that feel super soft against the skin.
Since diabetic socks are designed with many special features that make them better than regular socks, it is not surprising that people who do not suffer from diabetes wear them too!
HOW TO CARE FOR DIABETIC SOCKS
It is highly recommended you wear a fresh clean pair of diabetic socks every day. This will ensure your feet remain clean and dry and allow you to see whether you have any new draining wounds that need attention.
The best diabetic socks can be washed with your regular load of laundry, preferably on a warm cycle. It is recommended not to use chlorine bleach and fabric softeners as these chemicals are harsh and will shorten the life of the socks. They can be dried in the dryer on a low heat setting.
Check your socks regularly for any holes, rips or loose threads as any protrusion can cause harm to the diabetic foot.
OTHER WAYS TO CARE FOR YOUR DIABETIC FEET
In addition to wearing diabetic socks, a diabetic should wear diabetic shoes that provide extra protection and comfort for their sensitive feet. The best diabetic shoes should have the following features:
- Protective Interior: soft, seam free linings with no protruding stitching.
- Non-Binding Uppers: soft and with no overlays to eliminate pressure points.
- Stretchable Uppers: provide extra protection since they conform to the contours of the unique diabetic foot shape and help ease pressure points.
- Orthotic Support: with anatomical insoles that provide superior arch support, conform to the contours of the foot and reduce pressure on the bottom of the foot.
- Extra-Depth Design: ensures a loose fit that does not apply pressure on the sensitive foot. This design also accommodates custom orthotics comfortably.
- Deep Toe-Box – the best diabetic shoes should have higher toe area, offering extra room and creating a pressure free environment.
- Multiple Widths – diabetics should wear wide width shoes to avoid a non-constricting foot environment.
- Functional Soles - lightweight soles with an ergonomic design that facilitates mobility and improves foot motion.
ORTHOFEET, A COMPANY SPECIALIZING IN DIABETIC SOCKS AND SHOES
Orthofeet, an orthopedic footwear company, biomedically designs the best diabetic shoes, diabetic insoles and diabetic socks. The products help alleviate the symptoms associated with diabetes, provide the utmost protection for feet and offer soothing comfort from heel to toe.
Orthofeet’s diabetic sock collection consists of a variety of styles and colors including ones with extra padding for more sensitive feet, extra roomy socks that provide a comfortable fit for wider legs as well as styles with all around padding from the toe area up to the welt of the sock. All the socks are seam free, loosely knitted and cushioned to provide essential comfort and protection. The collection is available in extended sizes designed to fit shoes from size 4 all the way to a size 15! To explore the Orthofeet diabetic sock collection, click here.
The Orthofeet diabetic shoe collection includes men’s and women’s styles: walking shoes for diabetes, sandals for diabetes, casual shoes for diabetes, boots for diabetes, dress shoes for diabetes and much more. Features include a seam free interior, wide shoe shape, extra depth and multiple widths with some styles available in extra extra wide. All Orthofeet shoes are certified by Medicare and qualify as therapeutic shoes under code A5500 of the Diabetic Shoe Bill. To view the collection, click here.