Compression Socks for Diabetes: A Guide to Help You Pick the Best Pair

If you have diabetes, you may have encountered foot problems more common in type 2 diabetes than in those without diabetes. It is because diabetes can damage leg and feet blood vessels. It can affect the circulation of blood, cause swelling, and risk infection.

If you have diabetes type2, you must visit your health specialist, such podiatrist, for check-ups. Especially get your feet check-up done if you experience foot problems like swelling or pain symptoms.

Diabetes specialists examine the foot by visually checking if you have swelling or infection signs. They also study the sensation level of your leg or foot.

Compression Sock Benefit for Type 2 Diabetes Patient

To manage the swelling caused by diabetes, take good care of your legs and feet. You must have a pair of good compression socks in your medical care kit. 

A compression sock may help you steer clear of swelling. Pay attention to leg or foot swelling.

If untreated, it can cause foot or leg infections in the long run.

First, you need to take care of the lower extremities of your body, such as your legs, feet, and ankles. A compression sock offer compression at the lower ends of your body to control swelling and infection.

Compression Socks Types and Availability

You can find varieties of compression socks in the market, but which one is for you is the question.

Compression Socks with Prescription Strength

Strength is the degree or quantum of compression in the socks. Your doctor must mention the strength in the prescription. Doctors measure the strength in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Your prescription must have the optimum length of the sock.

  • Below-the-knee socks

  • Thigh-high hose

  • Full-length pantyhose

Doctors often refer to them as compression hoses. We will use this term interchangeably in the rest of this article.

Over-the-counter (OTC) Compression Socks

You cannot buy the compression sock with insurance often. You can lay your hand on OTC compression socks anytime. Those OTC stocks will provide mild compression. Even stores with non-medical supplies have them, such as supermarkets, mall shops, etc.

You can get them from online sources. You do not have to get the OTC socks fitted by a medical specialist. Buy try them with shoes on to check your comfort level.

Diabetes-specific Features in Your Compression Socks

Search for compression socks that do not have seams. Diabetes damages nerves silently, and you may have one in your legs or below the knees. It is called diabetic neuropathy, where the patients do not have nerve damage sensation, irritation, or sores developed at the seam.

As diabetic patients may be low on sensations, it remains unnoticed and gets the infection. If you sweat a lot, your feet may catch moisture if covered for longer. It may cause the growth of fungi or bacteria, leading to infection.

American podiatric medical association approved/accepted as “diabetes socks” will maintain your leg and foot health.

Compression Socks Buying Guide for Diabetes Patients

Buying a compression sock for a diabetes patient for the first time may be tricky because of its features and characteristics. Also, no two compression socks are the same. Buying the right compression sock will help your leg and feet care for diabetes and a happy and healthy life.

Prescription to get it Covered by your Insurance

If you are lucky to have your insurance cover the compression hose, you will need an active prescription at a drugstore. Few insurance providers would pay for your compression socks as they are expensive. The socks or compression hose are costly and be prepared for it.

Best-fit Compression Socks

You should be clear about the length and the amount of compression in mmHg before you hit the store. Stores may use the term “size” to identify length. A healthcare specialist may provide you with the exact measurement.

However, you may need the help of medical supplies to get it fitted for you. The exact fit is the key to getting the correct amount of compression and the maximum benefit of the compression sock.

Mild Compression OTC Compression Socks

You can buy light compression socks from OTC stores if you have diabetes and do not have a prescription note for compression socks. It could help provide relief with slight swelling. Get your shoes along when buying these socks. It will help you be sure about fitting while trying them out. These socks may be a little thicker, similar to gym socks.

Diabetes-friendly Compression Socks

You may have infections or wounds, but you cannot feel them. Get yourself a pair of compression socks that have open toes. If you can see your toes, you can check if you have sores or cuts on your feet because you may wear the socks for a longer time of the day.

Compression Socks with Moisture Absorption

Some socks can absorb moisture and sweat. Also, they keep you moisture-free because of air circulation. Buy seamless socks made of moisture-wicking material. Find socks as “diabetes socks” with approval or acceptance from the American podiatric medical association or an accredited medical association.

Buy two Pairs of Compression Socks.

Buy two and keep one reserve to use one for home, one for work, or use it on alternate days. It could be handy when one is in the laundry. Also, buy sock aid devices to wear the socks quickly.


The tips we have discussed are to get medical association-approved diabetes socks or get them on your prescription. Few things you should remember post-buying.

Wear the socks first in the morning after you get up so as not to make them wait. Put them before your leg/feet swell. To wear the socks, sit down and lift your leg.

You can use sock aids devices, such as stocking donner. The manufacturers build them with silky material or any metal holding your sock, making it easier to pull the compression socks up. You need to start from the bottom and move gradually up.

Updated on: 13-Apr-2023


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