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Diabetes is a condition which affects thousands of people in New Zealand and millions across the world. It is a disease which affects your blood sugar levels, and as a result, the knock-on effect can be felt across your entire body if left untreated. People affected by diabetes take many steps and precautions to avoid complications and additional strain on their bodies. Diabetes can be divided into two types, one of which is hereditary and can be treated by regular insulin injections.

With so many things to bear in mind concerning diabetes, it can be challenging to keep track of staying healthy at all times. People who have diabetes will need to ensure that they take good care of their feet no matter what they do. But why is this, and why are compression socks recommended for people who have diabetes? In this guide, we will take a closer look, and answer a few questions about the best choices you can make.

Nurse testing a diabetic's insulin level

How Can Diabetes Affect Your Feet?

Diabetes is an illness which can affect how your blood flows throughout your body. As a result, this may cause swelling, or oedema, or other venous problems that require regular attention and vigilance.

  • Poor circulation is largely to blame for diabetic swelling. This results in oedema, which can lead to severe swelling in your legs and feet.
  • This swelling can often be very uncomfortable or even painful if left unattended for long periods.
  • Leaving oedema or swelling unattended may also lead to sores or ulcers in your feet. As problems progress, these wounds may not heal as quickly as they should, which could lead to painful infections.
  • Other ways your feet may be affected by diabetes include venous problems in your lower extremities. Alongside oedema, you may be at risk of additional swelling if your veins are unable to function correctly.
  • You may also lose feeling in your legs and feet, which means you may not be able to spot painful sores or ulcers until they are severely infected.
  • This is why it is essential to have checkups with a medical professional regularly. Your local doctor or nurse will be able to inspect your legs and feet regularly if you are at risk of oedema or if you already suffer from diabetes.

One of the best ways to alleviate leg and foot problems associated with diabetes is to wear compression socks. But what are the best compression socks for diabetics? How do diabetic socks differ from ordinary flight socks? Here at TXG, we have a wide array of specialist stockings and socks which support various ailments and everyday needs. Let’s take a closer look at what makes diabetic compression socks so important.

How Can Compression Socks Help with Diabetes??

Compression socks and stockings, in all their forms and ranges, help to improve circulation. Other socks prescribed for travel, for pregnant women and for sports will vary. That is because needs and requirements will vary, too. Our socks are specially designed and manufactured from case to case to suit individual health or lifestyle demands.

But how exactly do compression socks for diabetics work? How can they help to improve circulation, and to prevent painful swelling and sores? Let’s take a brief look at the science behind the stockings. 

  • Compression socks are designed to help ease blood back into healthy circulation.
  • In some cases, blood can pool at the bottom of your legs and feet, which means it needs to be gently introduced back into your veins and throughout the rest of your body.
  • Compression stockings and socks apply a gentle amount of pressure to your legs and feet. You may not even feel this while you are wearing them. However, they are constantly working to apply pressure and to gently massage.
  • By doing this, your socks will be helping to encourage blood to flow back towards your vital organs. This is essential for diabetes sufferers, as there may not be a healthy blood flow reaching the areas of the body that need it the most,
  • Compression socks are available in a variety of pressures and sizes, meaning that it is essential to find the best fit and pressure level for your needs. This will normally be recommended to you by a medical practitioner or doctor.
  • You will be able to ask for certain pressure socks to be prescribed to you. However, you can also purchase affordable compression wear online or over the counter. Our range here at TXG have proven results and are recommended by wearers of all ages.

Before you buy compression socks for the first time, however, it is important to discuss matters with your doctor. This should especially be the case if you are interested in purchasing diabetes compression socks. A doctor or nurse will be able to recommend the pressure you may require. This is because each person’s needs will be slightly different.

For diabetics, it is generally recommended that pressure of 15-20mmHg or even as much as 25 mmHg may be sought for. However, once again, this will depend on your exact needs. If in doubt, always consult a medical professional in the first instance.

Doctor in appointment with a patient

What are the Right Socks for Diabetes?

Finding the right socks for diabetes is easier than you may think. With compression socks having been specifically designed and manufactured for diabetic use, there is a wider range than ever before. But what is it that makes diabetic socks so much different from normal compression wear or travel socks? Let’s take a look.

  • Diabetic compression socks do more than just compress, but this is perhaps their most important aspect. These compression stockings will supply enough pressure, more so than everyday travel socks, so that blood can healthily flow back through the body.
  • Diabetic socks are designed to be worn for everyday use. They are also intended to be worn for long periods, which means unlike other types of compression wear, they provide much longer relief.
  • There are diabetes socks which exist to help protect feet and legs from injury. That is so that they do not get wounded, or develop sores or ulcers. However, not all standardised diabetic socks offer a compressive element.
  • This is why it is essential to look for compression socks which can support diabetes sufferers.
  • The right compression socks for diabetes sufferers don’t just apply pressure, but also offer a soft under-padding to the sole, and are designed with moisture control.
  • Excessive sweat and moisture can help to breed sores and infections. Therefore, diabetic socks are designed to be incredibly breathable, as their wearers are likely to be at high risk of skin damage.
  • Most compression socks for diabetes are seamless. This is to help with comfort and to support people with diabetes who may not have full feeling or nerve control in their lower extremities.
  • It may also be advised that you look for open-toe socks. This can allow for ease of inspection and may also be more comfortable for every day and constant wear.
  • Diabetic socks with compression properties may also have antibacterial control built-in. Once again, this is to help prevent infection from sores and ulcers which may otherwise be difficult to spot.

Socks designed for diabetics to wear don't just help with circulation. They are designed to provide everyday comfort and to offer ease of sore inspection. They are also developed to ensure moisture and bacteria are kept at bay wherever possible. Therefore, regardless of whether or not you need intensive compression, it may be worth considering a pair of diabetic socks to help ease everyday pains and risks.

Fitting the Right Socks

It is more important for diabetics than anyone else that the right fit is found for compression socks. If they are worn or fitted improperly, they may rub or apply pressure to other points of your legs and feet. This could help to breed further problems later down the line.

Always measure carefully for the right socks. Your doctor may be able to help you. For knee-high socks, for example, you should always measure the height between the back of your knee and the floor, as well as around your calf and ankle. For pantyhose or longer stockings, you should also measure around your upper thigh.

Do also take care to put on your socks each day. Always avoid creating folds or wrinkles, as these may cause your socks to apply uneven or even harmful pressure.

Man running wearing compression socks

Diabetes Compression Socks

If you have diabetes and are unsure which compression socks to buy, TXG is here to help. Take a look at our wider range of diabetic socks and stockings, or call our team today for more advice. We’re available now – call us on 1800 455 994. Alternatively, you can always reach out to us via Facebook, or you can email us with any queries you may have via Don’t suffer in silence!


Please note: The information provided here is for general information only and is not intended to act as medical advice. We advise anyone interested in this subject to seek qualified, professional advice.