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    Best Compression Socks for Diabetes | Everything You Need to Know

    Compression Socks for Diabetes

    Discover how compression socks can alleviate edema, or foot swelling caused by diabetes. Read more about their medical-backed benefits.

    August 5,2023   |    3 Mins Read


    Swollen feet and ankles are just among the complications that are associated with diabetes. It's a chronic condition that affects more than 30 million people in the United States alone.

    You can help reduce these symptoms with medical compression socks – a specialized type of hosiery that helps improve blood circulation and minimizes swelling. Learn more about compression socks for diabetes and how they can help manage symptoms.

    Diabetes Leads to Circulation Problems and Swelling

    When someone has diabetes, their body either doesn't produce enough insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or doesn't use insulin effectively (Type 2 diabetes). Insulin is crucial for regulating glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. When glucose levels remain high for a prolonged period, it can cause damage to blood vessels, nerves, and organs throughout the body.

    Now, let's zoom in on the circulatory system. Blood vessels, like tiny highways, transport blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to all parts of our body, ensuring everything functions properly. However, in diabetes, high blood sugar levels can lead to a condition called 'diabetic vascular disease.' This condition affects the blood vessels, making them narrower and less flexible over time.

    As the blood vessels become narrower and less pliable, blood flow gets restricted. The reduced blood flow can cause problems in different areas, including the legs and feet. The lack of proper circulation means that tissues in these areas receive fewer nutrients and oxygen, which can lead to swelling, or what we call 'edema.'

    Edema, often observed as swollen feet or ankles, occurs when fluid builds up in the tissues. It can be uncomfortable and, in some cases, even painful. The restricted blood flow in diabetes can also make it harder for the body to heal wounds, increasing the risk of infections.

    Are Compression Socks Good for Diabetics?

    Compression socks can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes in alleviating edema (swelling).

    By exerting pressure on the tissues, compression socks aid in preventing the accumulation of excess fluid (edema) in the legs and feet. The compression helps to push fluid out of the tissues and into the lymphatic and venous systems, allowing it to be more effectively transported and eliminated from the body.

    The combination of improved circulation, reduced fluid buildup, and proper support for the veins helps alleviate discomfort and swelling associated with edema. Compression therapy can provide relief from symptoms such as pain, heaviness, and tightness in the legs and feet.

    • Enhanced circulation: One of the key advantages of compression socks is their ability to improve blood circulation. As we mentioned earlier, diabetes can lead to circulation problems, causing reduced blood flow to the legs and feet. Compression socks exert graduated pressure, meaning they are tighter at the ankle and gradually loosen as they move up the leg. This compression helps to promote blood flow, preventing pooling of blood and reducing the risk of complications associated with poor circulation.
    • Reduced swelling and edema: Swelling, or edema, is a common problem for individuals with diabetes, particularly in the lower extremities. Compression socks can aid in reducing swelling by assisting the body in reabsorbing excess fluid and preventing fluid buildup in the tissues. The gentle pressure exerted by the socks can help push fluid back into the bloodstream, ultimately alleviating swelling and promoting a more comfortable experience.
    • Wound healing and prevention: Diabetes can impair the body's natural ability to heal wounds, making individuals with diabetes more susceptible to foot ulcers and other complications. Compression socks can play a role in wound healing and prevention. By improving blood flow and oxygen delivery to the affected areas, compression socks can aid in the healing process of existing wounds and reduce the risk of developing new ones.
    • Comfort and support: Compression socks provide additional support to the legs and feet, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals who spend extended periods standing or have weakened muscles due to diabetes-related neuropathy. The support offered by compression socks can help alleviate discomfort, fatigue, and pain, allowing individuals to stay active and maintain their mobility.

    What Are the Best Compression Socks for Diabetics?

    Medical-grade compression socks are the best choice for individuals with diabetes. They come in varying levels of compression, ranging from light, moderate, and strong. Below are some of the key features to look for in compression socks designed specifically for individuals with diabetes:

    Graduated Compression Technology

    Compression socks with graduated compression apply gentle pressure that is highest at the ankle and gradually decreases as it moves up the leg. This technology helps improve blood circulation, aiding in reducing swelling and preventing blood from pooling in the legs and feet.

    By enhancing blood flow, graduated compression socks can lower the risk of complications related to poor circulation.


    Elasticity in compression socks ensures a snug and comfortable fit. It allows the socks to conform to the shape of the legs without constricting or restricting movement. This feature is essential for people with diabetes as it prevents excessive pressure on the legs, reducing the risk of constriction-related complications.

    Soft Material

    Compression socks made from soft and comfortable materials help minimize irritation and rubbing against the skin. This is especially important for individuals with diabetes who may have sensitive or vulnerable skin. Soft materials enhance overall comfort and reduce the risk of developing blisters or ulcers.

    Moisture Wicking

    Moisture-wicking properties in compression socks help keep the feet dry by efficiently absorbing and evaporating moisture. This feature is crucial for people with diabetes as it helps prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi, reducing the risk of infections and promoting healthier feet.

    No Seams

    Compression socks without seams, or with minimal seams, minimize friction against the skin. This reduces the risk of irritation and pressure points, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes who may have neuropathy or compromised sensation in their feet.


    Compression socks with additional padding provide extra cushioning and support to the feet. This feature helps distribute pressure evenly, reducing the risk of developing pressure sores or injuries. Padding also enhances overall comfort, especially for individuals who spend long periods on their feet.

    What Is The Best Compression Level For Diabetics?

    The best compression level for diabetics is typically 20-30 mmHg. This moderate compression provides ample support to the legs and feet, aiding in circulation while allowing freedom of movement and helps prevent DVT (deep vein thrombosis). It is also the most comfortable level of compression and can be worn all day with ease. For individuals who need more support, a higher-level of compression up to 40 mmHg may be beneficial. However, this should only be done under the advice of a physician or healthcare provider.

    How Long Should You Wear Diabetic Compression Socks?

    If you have diabetes, it's crucial to take special care of your feet and wearing diabetic compression socks is one way to support foot health. To get the most benefit from compression stockings, it is recommended to wear them during the day and take them off before going to bed.

    The duration of wearing diabetic compression socks should generally be limited to a maximum of 8 hours a day. This allows for consistent support and improved circulation while giving your feet a break.

    Healthy Living Tips for Individuals With Diabetes

    Living with diabetes requires proactive steps to manage your health and prevent complications. Swelling, or edema, is a common concern for individuals with diabetes, but there are ways to reduce the risk and promote overall well-being. 

    Here are some expert insights on preventing swelling:

    1. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight can contribute to swelling in the legs and feet. By maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise, you can reduce the strain on your circulatory system and lower the risk of edema.
    2. Monitor Blood Sugar Levels: Consistently monitoring and managing your blood sugar levels is essential for diabetes management. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and lead to circulation problems, which can contribute to swelling. By keeping your blood sugar levels within a target range, you can help prevent edema.
    3. Stay Active: Regular physical activity is crucial for managing diabetes and promoting good circulation. Engage in activities such as walking, swimming, or cycling to improve blood flow and reduce the risk of swelling. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate level of activity for your condition.
    4. Elevate Your Legs: Elevating your legs above heart level several times a day can help reduce swelling. When sitting or lying down, prop your legs up on a pillow or footstool to encourage fluid drainage and improve circulation.
    5. Avoid Prolonged Sitting or Standing: Extended periods of sitting or standing can contribute to swelling. If your job requires sitting for long periods, take regular breaks to walk around and stretch. If you must stand for extended periods, try to shift your weight or take short sitting breaks whenever possible.
    6. Wear Proper Footwear: Choosing the right footwear is important for individuals with diabetes. Opt for comfortable shoes that provide proper support and ample room for your feet. Avoid tight-fitting shoes or high heels that can restrict blood flow and contribute to edema.
    7. Follow a healthy, low-sodium diet: Consuming a diet low in sodium (salt) can help prevent fluid retention and edema. Opt for fresh, whole foods, limit processed and packaged foods, and be mindful of your sodium intake.
    8. Drink plenty of water: While it may seem counterintuitive, staying hydrated actually helps prevent fluid retention. Proper hydration supports optimal circulation and reduces the risk of edema.
    9. Consider compression therapy: Compression socks or stockings can provide gentle pressure that aids in improving circulation and reducing swelling. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine if compression therapy is suitable for you and to get proper guidance on usage.
    10. Take Care of Your Feet: Proper foot care is essential for individuals with diabetes. Inspect your feet daily for any cuts, blisters, or sores, and promptly treat any wounds to prevent infection. Keep your feet clean and moisturized, but avoid applying lotion between your toes to prevent moisture buildup.

    Where to Buy Compression Socks for Diabetics?

    At Koprez, we offer medical grade compression socks for diabetics that provide the right level of support and comfort. Our tigh-high compression socks are designed to help reduce swelling in your feet, improve circulation, and alleviate pain caused by diabetes-related discomfort. With our wide selection of sizes, you can find the perfect fit for you! Shop our collection today to find the perfect medical compression socks for diabetes.


    • Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Type 1 diabetes. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-1-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20353011
    • Cheyenne Regional. (n.d.). Diabetic Vascular Disease. Heart and Vascular Institute. Retrieved from https://www.cheyenneregional.org/location/heart-and-vascular-institute/patient-resources/conditions/diabetic-vascular-disease/#:~:text=Diabetic%20vascular%20disease%20refers%20to,unable%20to%20effectively%20use%20insulin.


    Claire Evans worked as the content marketing manager at Koprez. Claire combined a background of writing and editing, marketing, and patient education to best serve consumers, fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and anyone who relies on the Koprez brand for helpful information.

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