By Heather Johnston
In working with a leading online retailer of diabetic socks for a couple of years, I encountered a recurring question from various customers in need of specialized footwear: “I am not diabetic, but do you think that diabetic socks would be good for me?” Most of the time, my answer was “yes,” because customers who were looking at the product points of our diabetic socks were in need of non-binding, non-irritating, moisture and friction reducing socks, but were skeptical as to whether this particular type of sock would meet their needs, because they were not diabetic. However, after giving the diabetic socks a chance, most non-diabetic customers were very pleased with the results from their new found favorite footwear.
Diabetic socks are specially designed to stretch more than other types of socks for the accommodation of lower leg swelling experienced by many diabetics, due to neuropathy and edema. A regular athletic or dress sock is too constricting when swelling is present, so many varieties of diabetic socks feature a loose top design that allows circulation and a non-binding fit. Also, due to the tendency of those with diabetes to suffer with foot ulcers, diabetic socks are often seamless and have moisture and friction reducing functionality to prevent further irritation.
So who are the non-diabetic customers who could benefit from the strategic, medically informed design of a diabetic sock? Anyone who has lower leg swelling that makes wearing athletic or dress socks uncomfortable, as customers experiencing indentations from their current, binding footwear strongly benefit from a sock featuring a loose top elastic.
Also, fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot, require a moisture-wicking design to keep feet dry and allow healing. Even as a precautionary measure, diabetic socks are great for hiking and long wear, because they prevent blisters from friction and moisture over a long period of time. For those prone to in-grown toenails or other related maladies, the seamless toe design prevents friction at the top of the foot where a seam would normally rub against an irritated area.
Diabetic socks are not just for those with diabetes, as they are designed with special consideration for their friction and moisture reduction properties, as well as a non-binding design. Therefore, customers with conditions such as athlete’s foot, in-grown toenails, lower leg swelling, etc., can benefit from the thoughtful, medically beneficial aspects of diabetic socks that make them so comfortable to feet in need of extra care.