Feet are a vulnerable site for potential problems in diabetes. It’s important to understand the issues around choosing the appropriate shoes made for diabetics.
What Can I Do Before I Need Special Shoes?
- Check your feet regularly. The earlier you find a problem, the better.
- Make sure your shoes fit well. Check for no pressure points or areas rubbing your foot.
- Avoid pointed-toe styles. You want room for your toes.
- Wear arch supports; they help to support the tissues of your feet.
- Wear shoes and socks at all times, according to the American Diabetes Association.
What Kind of Shoes?
If you have foot damage or deformity, your doctor can recommend a specific type of shoe. Some of the options are:
- Orthopedic shoes—not shoes made for diabetics But if they fit well, they can protect and warm your feet.
- “Depth” or “in-depth” shoes—a little deeper to allow for hammertoes or other deformities. And they allow for inserts for extra cushioning.
- Custom-made or custom-molded shoes—molded on casts made directly from your feet. They’re usually for people whose feet can’t be safely accommodated by any other shoes.
You can find these shoes in specialty shops, some pharmacies, and online. Or your specialist may be able to order them for you.
What Do I Look For in Shoes Made for Diabetics?
- lightweight and soft
- has a cushioned, shock-absorbing sole
- can be loosened or tightened to adjust to changes in your feet
- tight enough so your foot won’t slide around, but loose enough so that it doesn’t rub or put pressure on it (kind of like Goldilocks – just right)
A good fit is more likely if you shop for shoes later in the day and try them on over the socks you’ll be wearing with them.
Slowly build up the length of time you wear your shoes, checking for foot damage after you take them off. And once you have shoes that are kind to your feet, be kind to yourself. Wear them.