Picking the right socks can make a difference in the health of your feet. Not only do socks protect your feet, but they can add cushioning and wick away moisture as well. Here, our podiatrists share several tips to consider when deciding what type of socks to wear for specific activities.
Different Types of Socks
Socks come in a wide range of styles and materials. It can be a challenge deciding on what ones to wear for a specific activity or foot condition. The following tips may help you pick the right socks for your specific needs:
- Diabetic socks. Socks are important when you are a diabetic. Not only do socks protect your feet from blisters or injury, but they can add padding and comfort to sore, achy feet as well. When looking for diabetic socks, choose ones that are non-binding and do not have seams. You will want to look for socks that are comfortable and breathable and wick away moisture.
- Sport socks. Depending on your specific sport or activity, socks can be worn to protect your feet and to keep them dry. If you are a runner, you will want socks made from a moisture-wicking material that can protect your feet from blisters. If you hike, you may want socks made from a fabric such as wool that will hold its shape and keep the feet dry and protected. Cyclists may prefer a lightweight sock that is thin and breathable.
- Everyday socks. Socks can be worn daily to add a layer of protection to the feet. They can also be worn to keep the feet warm. You will want to choose a lighter sock that is comfortable and does not have elastic at the top to cut off your circulation. An everyday sock can protect the skin on your feet and your toenails from possible injury.
- Compression socks. Compression socks can be worn to help with poor circulation in the legs. They are designed to gently squeeze the legs to increase pressure and reduce swelling. Compression socks come in a variety of lengths and degrees of compression. Your podiatrist can determine if compression socks are the right option for your personal needs.
Not wearing socks is not commonly recommended. Going barefoot puts you at risk for injury to the bottoms of your feet. This is especially dangerous for diabetics since they often suffer from nerve damage and may not know that they sustained an injury. An untreated injury can become infected and cause complications such as amputation.
How to Pick the Right Socks
When picking the right type of sock for your specific needs, some factors to consider are:
- Material. Cotton can hold moisture against the feet and is not a good material choice for those wanting a moisture-wicking sock. Instead, choose a material such as acrylic, wool, or a blend that can draw moisture away from the feet. Moisture can cause foot problems such as fungal infections or Athlete’s foot.
- Padding. Socks can be found with or without padding. Padded socks can be worn to protect the feet against blisters. This is important for diabetics who are concerned with foot ulcers.
- Color. Socks come in endless color options. If you are diabetic, choose a sock that is white or light in color. This can help you detect any drainage or blood on the fabric so you can seek medical attention for any injury or problem.
If you are unsure about what type of socks to pick for your feet, consult with a podiatrist who can help determine the right socks for your specific needs. With a wide range of options available, there is a sock style to fit any activity or foot condition.
We Can Answer Your Questions
If you have questions about what types of socks to wear on your feet, contact Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry for a free initial consultation. We can give you recommendations of what types of socks to wear for different activities and can create a treatment plan based on your personal condition and needs. To set up an appointment with one of our experienced podiatrists, fill out our contact form online or call our office at (301) 515-FEET.