Are Black Socks Bad for Diabetics?

In the medical community, some question whether diabetics can wear black socks. Those against it say sock dyes can irritate your skin. Also, diabetics won’t be able to spot foot injuries. So are black socks bad for diabetics? No, diabetics can wear black socks. Learn why this is the case.

Can Diabetics Wear Black Socks?

First of all, let’s address the two biggest health issues that some doctors have with wearing black diabetes sock and other dark colored socks. Is it really a big concern? Is it a safe to wear black socks?

  • Dark colored socks contain dyes that may bleed into an open wound.

Perhaps this was a problem decades ago, but modern technologies, methods, and material for dyes have greatly improved. Colors stay dark much longer. Of course, it will eventually fade over time with each washing. However, fading is gradual and it definitely will not stain your feet or cause a negative reaction with a wound.

  • Diabetics cannot spot wounds on their feet with dark socks.

It is true that diabetics with foot wounds won’t be able to see their injuries right away. Unlike white socks, black socks hide any blood or pus. This is especially a problem for those that suffer from diabetic neuropathy. These diabetics have nerve damage that frequently results in a loss of feeling in their feet.

However, black socks only hide injuries for a short period of time. Regardless of the color of your socks, every diabetic should practice proper diabetic foot care. This includes washing your feet regularly and inspecting them for any sores or cuts. If checked every day, you can see and address any foot issues before it becomes a problem. So yes, diabetics can wear black socks.

The Health Benefits Outweigh the Color of Your Socks

These days, diabetes socks look the same as normal socks. Wearing white socks work well when going to the gym. However, they don’t look so nice with more formal attire. With a variety of colors and lengths available, it makes perfect sense to pick socks that are the most suitable for your style. For a shorter style, pick ankle diabetes socks. Those that want more support, choose knee length. The most common length is crew.

The truth is that the color of your socks won’t take away from the health benefits of diabetic socks. As we discussed above, sock dyes have greatly improved to prevent irritation. Also, if you clean and inspect your feet daily, there won’t be problems spotting foot injuries if there are any.

Of greater importance is to actually wear diabetic socks more often to gain the health benefits. Diabetic socks offer comfort and protection for your feet. Good diabetic socks should fit well and also help with improving blood circulation in the legs.

Things to Look for in Socks for Diabetics

At a minimum diabetic socks should have these basic features:

  • A cotton or wool blend* is an ideal combination that allows the feet to breathe and prevents sweat from building up. Constant moisture on the feet is a common problem that leads to bacteria entering sores and causing infections.
  • Loose tops are a must. Not only is it more comfortable, but diabetics need socks that do not bind the feet. This allows for blood to flow unrestricted.
  • Flat seams on the inside toe area are essential to prevent chafing, blisters, and irritation.
  • Cushioned soles provide extra comfort and decreases vertical pressure on the feet. This can help prevent ulcers from forming.

To get a better understanding on how these socks help, check out what do diabetic socks do. Also, not all medical socks are the same. Learn about the differences between compression socks vs diabetes socks.

Concluding Thoughts

While there may be varying opinions on the best color, diabetics can safely wear black socks. Concerns with dyes leaking onto wounds or black socks hiding injuries are not justified. With improved dyes and by examining your feet daily, these problems are largely mitigated. The more important thing is to wear diabetic socks regularly to get the benefits. Color is of secondary importance. Socks for diabetics offer the best protection for the feet and promote blood flow that diabetics really need. So get some quality diabetic socks and just pick the color you want to wear.


“Take Charge of Your Diabetes: Prevent Foot Problems.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention*