Finding the Right Shoes for Diabetics

Patients with diabetes may be immune suppressed or neruologically impaired, thus they are considered ‘high-risk’ patients.  Proper shoe selection for these patients is essential for the safety and health of their feet.

Why You Need to Play it Safe

Shoes for diabetics are of the upmost importance because they protect their feet from harm. The disease can cause nerve damage in your feet, so if you’re barefoot, you may not know if you step on something sharp or extremely hot, for example. Combined with poor circulation that impedes the healing process, even the smallest wound, like a scratch or blister, can end up becoming a serious complication. Your weakened immune system makes it hard to fight off infection too, so what seems minor can snowball into something as major as a diabetic ulcer or an amputation.  As important as shoes are for protecting your feet, however, it’s even more vital to choose the right pair; you don’t want them to cause more harm than good.

The Right Shoes for You

At Country Foot Care our expert doctors will eveluate your feet and help to determine what types of shoes are best for your needs. Our in-house Medical Shoe Store has a wide selection of shoes to choose from for both men and women, designed specifically with the needs of our diabetic patients in mind.  For our diabetic patients with special needs, our pedorthist can measure and fabricate custom shoes for your unique needs.

There are various factors that need to be considered, including how long you’ve had diabetes, how well you are managing the disease, and whether or not you have abnormalities such as bunions or hammertoes. These can cause pressure points that become irritated and result in problems, so shoes for diabetes need to accommodate them.  If your feet are free of such deformities and your blood sugar levels are well-controlled, it is likely that you can stick with conventional footwear. 

Finding Footwear

First and foremost, make sure they fit well! Shoes that are too tight or too loose can certainly rub your feet the wrong way and that can cause problems. Your best bet is to shop late in the day when your feet are naturally more swollen due to gravity throughout the day. Try on shoes with your normal, everyday socks.Make sure a qualified shoe sales-person assists you with your purchase and check that the size and fit of the shoes are proper. It’s also a good idea to opt for laces—that way you can adjust them to suit your needs.

When shopping for shoes, you should look for a toe box (the front section of the shoe) which provides plenty of wiggle room.  Additionally,  there should be no seams inside that can cause irritation. Insoles should be comfy and supportive, while the outer sole should be durable. Also, look for materials that are breathable, like leather, mesh, or canvas. This will allow moisture to escape so that fungus doesn’t become an issue. Finally, walk around a bit and make sure that your choice feels comfortable from the start. 

Other Suggestions

Maybe you are prone to calluses or your arch doesn’t provide enough support; perhaps you are struggling to manage your glucose levels and neuropathy, or you just can’t find a shoe that’s comfortable. No worries—we can help. Often times, custom orthotic shoe inserts can do the trick. These devices are designed to address your individual needs and provide the support, comfort, and correction necessary to alleviate your discomfort and prevent future problems.

Shoes for diabetes are an essential part of taking good care of yourself. For more shopping tips, or to find out more about our medical shoe store, contact us during regular office hours to make an appointment or use the MAKE AN APPOINTMENT button located at the top of this page to schedule your visit online.