Compression socks

Are Compression Socks Good for Diabetes?

Yes, compression socks are increasingly being recommended to people with diabetes for their ability to improve circulation, reduce swelling, and prevent complications. This article takes an in-depth look at the benefits and mechanisms of action of compression socks, explains how they can help manage diabetes, and provides practical advice on using compression socks.

Understanding Diabetes

Socks that promote blood circulation

There are several types of diabetes, the most common of which are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes

This type is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. It usually occurs in children and young adults but can occur at any age. Daily insulin injections or the use of an insulin pump are required to regulate blood sugar levels.

Type 2 Diabetes

It is characterized by insulin resistance, which means that the body's cells are unable to use insulin properly. Eventually, the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to maintain blood sugar at normal levels. Factors such as obesity, lack of exercise, a family history of diabetes, and age can all contribute to this condition. It is usually managed with lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, oral medications, and sometimes insulin.

It can also be improved by using our compression socks, which can improve overall leg blood circulation. If the affected leg feels painful, heavy, or swollen, our socks can help relieve your symptoms.

Gestational Diabetes

During pregnancy, the body is unable to produce enough insulin to meet the increased demand for glucose. It may increase the risk of both mother and child developing type 2 diabetes later in life. It is treated with diet, exercise, and sometimes insulin or other medications during pregnancy.

What are Compression Socks?

Compression socks are specially designed socks that are designed to apply gentle pressure to the legs and ankles to promote blood flow. These stockings come in a variety of lengths (knee-high, thigh-high) and levels of compression (measured in mmHg).

Types of Compression Socks

There are many different types of compression socks to suit different medical needs and conditions. Here is a detailed overview of the different types of compression stockings:

Graduated Compression Socks

Graduated compression socks provide the highest level of pressure at the ankles, then gradually decrease in pressure toward the legs. This pressure gradient helps promote blood flow back to the heart and is particularly beneficial for reducing peripheral swelling caused by blood pooling in the legs. They are also effective in controlling orthostatic hypotension, a condition characterized by a sudden drop in blood pressure when standing.

They are commonly used to treat varicose veins, reduce swelling (edema), and prevent blood clots in the legs. They are suitable for people who stand or sit for long periods of time.

Anti-Emboembolic Socks (TED Stockings)

Anti-Emboembolic socks, also known as TED (Thromboembolic Interceptor) socks, are specifically designed to prevent blood clots, especially for patients who are bedridden or have limited mobility. These socks have a similar pressure gradient to graduated compression socks, but are often used in different healthcare settings.

Often recommended for patients recovering from surgery or those who are bedridden for long periods of time, anti-embolic stockings provide a consistent level of pressure throughout the stocking and usually go up to the knee. They help keep blood flowing in the legs during periods of physical inactivity, which reduces the risk of blood clots.

Non-medical Support Socks

Ordinary socks

Non-medical support stockings provide even pressure to the legs, but with less pressure than prescription stockings. Non-medical support stockings are designed to relieve leg fatigue, soreness, and minor swelling. They are suitable for general support during daily activities.

These stockings are often used by people who engage in strenuous activities, long flights, or jobs that require long periods of standing. They help prevent minor swelling and discomfort.

How Compression Socks Work

When a person stands or sits, gravity causes blood to pool in the veins of the legs, increasing pressure in the veins of the lower extremities. Pressure at the ankles helps to counteract gravity and encourages blood to flow upward. Veins contain valves that prevent blood from flowing back up. The gradient of pressure helps these valves close more effectively, reducing the chance of blood flowing back up and preventing the veins from dilating. The gradient of pressure is designed to apply moderate pressure to the leg muscles, providing extra support and reducing muscle fatigue and soreness.

Benefits of Compression Socks for Diabetics

Improves Circulation

Diabetes often causes poor circulation due to damage to blood vessels and nerves. Compression socks enhance blood flow by applying pressure, which helps veins push blood back to the heart more efficiently. Improved circulation prevents complications such as ulcers and infections, and promotes faster healing of wounds.

Reduces Swelling

People with diabetes often experience swelling (edema) in their legs and feet due to fluid retention and poor circulation. Compression stockings help reduce swelling by preventing fluid from accumulating in the tissues. This can relieve discomfort and prevent further complications.

Prevents Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is characterized by nerve damage and loss of sensation in the feet, which can lead to unnoticed injuries and infections. Compression stockings provide a protective layer, improve blood flow, and support overall foot health.

Additional Benefits

Many compression socks are made with materials that wick moisture away from the skin, keeping feet dry and reducing the risk of fungal infections.

Some stockings are infused with silver or copper to fight bacteria and fungi, providing extra protection for those with weakened immune systems.

How to Choose the Right Compression Socks for Diabetics

Choosing the right compression socks can help manage diabetes-related symptoms such as swelling, poor circulation, and risk of blood clots. Here is a simple guide to help you choose the best compression socks for your needs:

Determine Compression Level

Compression socks come in different levels of compression, measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The right level depends on your specific medical needs:

  • Mild Compression (8-15 mmHg): For minor swelling or leg fatigue. Great for people who are new to compression therapy.
  • Moderate Compression (15-20 mmHg): Recommended for mild to moderate symptoms, such as mild swelling or varicose veins. This level is also good for daily wear and travel to prevent blood clots.
  • Strong Compression (20-30 mmHg): For more severe symptoms, including severe swelling, varicose veins, and recovery from surgery.
  • Extreme Compression (30-40 mmHg): For serious medical conditions, such as severe edema, chronic venous insufficiency, and post-thrombotic syndrome. It should be used under medical supervision.

Choose the Right Material

Graphic introduction of socks


Materials like Coolmax and spandex help keep your feet dry, reducing the risk of skin irritation and infection. Avoid 100% cotton, as it retains moisture.

Nylon and microfiber blends are breathable and durable for long-term wear.

Choose the Right Style and Length

Knee-high socks are suitable for daily use and mild symptoms. They provide adequate support for the calf.

Thigh-high and full-length socks are recommended for more severe symptoms or when better overall leg support is needed. They help prevent blood from pooling in the thigh.

Open-toe socks are more breathable and are suitable for people with sensitive toes or conditions such as neuropathy.

Ensure the Right Fit and Size

Measure the circumference of your ankle at the narrowest point, your calf at the widest point, and your thigh (if wearing knee-high socks).

Measure the length of the knee-high sock from the floor to the bend of the knee, or the length of the knee-high sock from the floor to the top of the thigh. If you have big feet, you can buy our plus size knee high socks.

Learn more: What size compression socks do I need.

How to Put on Compression Socks

Wearing your compression socks correctly is essential to ensure their effectiveness and comfort. Here is a detailed step-by-step guide on how to put on your compression socks correctly:


It is best to put on your compression socks in the morning when your legs are least swollen. This will ensure a better fit and comfort throughout the day.

You may need rubber gloves (for a better grip), talcum powder (if you have dry or damp skin), and a chair.

Before putting on your socks, make sure your legs and feet are clean and dry. This will help the socks go on more smoothly.

Steps to Putting on Compression Socks

Begin by turning the socks over to your heel. This will make it easier to position your foot properly inside the socks.

Sit down and place your toes into the toe section of the socks, making sure they are positioned correctly.

As you pull up the socks, smooth out any wrinkles with your hands. Wrinkles can cause discomfort and reduce the effectiveness of the socks.

Continue pulling the socks up to your knee or thigh (depending on the length of the socks). Make sure the top of the socks is not folded or rolled up, as this can restrict blood flow and cause discomfort.

Adjustment and Inspection

Stand up and walk around for a while. Adjust the socks if they feel too tight or if any uncomfortable bunching or creases develop.

Make sure the socks feel snug but not too tight. They should provide support without causing pain or restricting blood flow.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your compression socks are used correctly to provide the maximum benefit for circulation and comfort.


In some cases, compression stockings may not be appropriate for you and you should consult your doctor, especially if you have serious complications from diabetes.

Check your feet and legs regularly for signs of irritation, sores, or changes in sensation.

Practice proper foot hygiene by washing and drying your feet daily and changing your socks regularly.


Compression socks are an effective tool for managing diabetes-related complications, with benefits such as improved blood circulation, reduced swelling, and prevention of neuropathy. However, compression socks need to be used correctly and a doctor's advice should be sought before use. And pay attention to whether the size is appropriate. Compression socks can significantly improve the quality of life of people with diabetes and manage their condition more effectively.

Back to blog