Shoes are both incredibly practical and a style statement. They protect your feet and assist your mobility while adding to your look. Some shoes, however, sacrifice the practical to accommodate style. When you have conditions like diabetes, the shoes you wear matter even more than normal. You can’t afford to select shoes that are nice-looking but bad for your feet. Special diabetic shoes are designed to accommodate complicated lower limb issues while protecting the feet from injuries.
Shoe Needs with Diabetes
Diabetes is a systemic disease that, without care, can slowly deteriorate the lower limbs. Because the disease creates circulation problems, your feet are more susceptible to conditions that take a long time to heal. Because it also causes nerve damage, you’re more prone to small injuries that you can’t feel. This dangerous combination increases your risk for issues like ulcers or Charcot foot. To prevent all these unpleasant and, in some cases, life-threatening complications, you need shoes that protect and support your feet.
However, not all shoes are made equal, and not all shoes are good for diabetic feet. Some shoes look stylish, but offer little to no protection or support. To keep feet healthy when you have diabetes, you need shoes that cushion your soles and support your arches to help you absorb hard impacts safely. Footwear needs to protect you from stepping on sharp objects while not contributing to blisters. It also has to have excellent air circulation so your feet can “breathe.”
Why Wear Diabetic Shoes?
For some people with diabetes, walking or jogging footwear you find in an ordinary shoe store meets all their needs. The shoes are the right size and shape for their feet as well as support them correctly. Not everyone can wear shoes off the shelf, however. Some people have a high risk for complications, or are living with deformities and other side effects from chronic or uncontrolled diabetes. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. can help determine whether or not you need prescription footwear.
Diabetic shoes are specially designed to accommodate these changes and issues in the feet. They are prescribed for your lower limbs to meet specific needs. Occasionally this means modifying footwear you already have, but in many cases, it mean acquiring a special pair. There are multiple types of diabetic shoes, and you might only wear them for a short while—or you might wear them full time:
Healing – These custom styles protect the foot after surgery or while you’re recovering from an ulcer.
In-Depth – The most common kind of diabetic shoe, this is extra-deep footwear to accommodate deformities and other limb changes.
Orthotics – This is a custom insole to protect the foot and correct biomechanics that fits in ordinary shoes.
Custom Fit – For severely deformed feet, these shoes are made to fit those needs exactly.
Tips for the Best Fit
Whether your diabetic shoes are actually comfortable walking shoes or prescription-based footwear, they’ll need to be fitted properly to make sure they don’t cause problems instead of solving them. Always have your feet carefully measured before trying on any pairs. Select shoes made from natural materials that stretch somewhat and allow feet to breathe. Make sure the arch support fits correctly and the sole is cushioned enough to help absorb shock. The heel should be sturdy without pinching your foot, too.Shoes are a vitally important part of living a healthy life with diabetes, yet they can easily get overlooked. Don’t take your shoe choice for granted. Make sure your footwear is always best for your lower limbs, whether that means diabetic shoes or not. If you’re struggling to find shoes that fit well for your diabetic feet, let us know at Podiatry Associates, P.C. We’ll help you get exactly what your lower limbs need. Call (303) 805-5156 to make an appointment with Dr. Oberholtzer-Classen and the team at our Castle Pines, Parker, or Cherry Creek offices. You can also use the website to contact us.