Shoes for Diabetics – The Best Choice for Healthy Feet

Shoes for Diabetics – The Best Choice for Healthy Feet

Shoes for diabetics might be a culture shock, especially for those of us who love high heels and high fashion. But diabetic feet need things that can’t be found in a lot of shoes. We are watching out for foot sores, diabetic ulcers and blisters.

The reason is peripheral neuropathy, the slowing down of blood flow and nerve damage that come with type 2 diabetes, especially if it has been around a while undetected and untreated.

The sooner high blood sugar is diagnosed and brought down to more normal ranges, the less damage will be done to your feet. So get blood testing done early and often. And protect your feet.

Now that you are a type 2 diabetic, that’s the most important thing shoes need to do. You will need a whole new list of things to look for. Your podiatrist (foot doctor) gives great advice on that, but here’s a short list.

1. Get shoes with a high and wide toe box so your feet have plenty of room. If toes rub against each other or against the shoes, blisters form, and next come ulcers. Our diabetic feet don’t heal quickly because high blood sugar has damaged the tiny blood vessels, and there is nerve damage too, called paresthesias. Your toes might not be able to warn you that they are hurting.

2. Shoes for diabetics should distribute your body weight evenly so there are no “hot spots” to cause pressure pain and sores. Because of the burning, stabbing pains of sensory neuropathy, you might walk on the outside or inside of your feet, and sturdy, well-made soles will keep you from doing that.

3. Shoes that support the arch, heel and ankle will save your feet from wear and tear, and since a lot of diabetic feet either have numbness (paresthesias) or extra sensitive areas, they need that protection.

4. Shoes for diabetics need extra depth inside to make room for “orthotics,” the inserts that support and cushion arches and heels. Some of them are made to correct walking on the inside or outside of the foot. You can find orthotics in stores and catalogs, and some are special-ordered just for you by a podiatrist (for older diabetics they can be covered by Medicare, too).

5. It’s best not to get slip-ons. Look for shoes with hook and loop, velcro or ties so they can be tightened or loosened to adjust to your feet as they swell.

One important tip that you may already know – try on shoes in the afternoon, not the morning. Feet can swell, and you need to make sure the shoes fit nicely over swollen feet.

And run your finger around the inside of the shoes, looking for seams, because those pesky seams can rub ulcers and blisters. Removable insoles are also a must, so you can put your own orthotics in, or change the insoles if they wear.

Here’s some more advice. After you shop at FootSmart, or any catalog, or if you find what works for you at a local store, be sure to check out places like eBay and Amazon to see if you can get those shoes cheaper. But don’t go to eBay first without knowing what shoes will work for you. There are so many, and some brands are truly well made while others are not.

Shoes for diabetics may not be beautiful, but they protect against foot sores and damage from paresthesias, and they comfort painful feet. I know from experience. It feels absolutely wonderful to be able to walk without foot pain.

Podiatrists recommend them. Medicare often pays for them. Get yourself a pair and you won’t win any fashion prizes, but your feet will thank you.

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    March 15, 2016 at 2:53 am

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