People with diabetes need to be very careful choosing the correct shoes. For many of my patients (especially women) a certain sadness occurs when they learn that to remain healthy, they need “special shoes”. Taking care of your feet is no laughing matter. It is very serious indeed. This blog will explore diabetes foot basics, point you to excellent information about your feet that is on our website DiabetesCare.net and end with questions you may ask your doctor about getting a shoe that meets your needs. I will give links to a few sites that actually have fashionable pretty shoes!

basic foot care for people with diabetesDiabetes Foot Basics

In the human foot, we have 28 bones and over 30 joints. We also have ligaments to keep our joints in place. (1) We have skin, nerves, and muscles. We have blood that circulates through our arteries and veins that provide oxygen and nourishment to the cells of our feet. Proper footwear for people with diabetes is essential. Shop for shoes late in the day after walking around as your feet expand during the day. Make sure both shoes fit nicely. Some people have different sized feet. Make sure both shoes fit. The width of the shoe is just as important as the length for proper fit.

Many people with diabetes need prescription footwear. Medicare part B will help cover the cost of shoes and inserts for people with diabetes. Visit the Medicare website for more information. Sometimes private insurances also help with this cost. Call your insurance to see if this is covered on your plan. 

The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society recommend choosing shoes based on the following guidelines:

  1. Buying footwear that will help relieve pressure on all areas of the foot to prevent wounds and ulcers.
  2. Reduce vertical pressure on the foot as well as horizontal movement in the shoe.
  3. If a person has had any deformities in their feet, the shoe must be able to accommodate the situation. Talk to your podiatrist about shoes to eliminate pain and to avoid progression of problem areas.
  4. Ask your podiatrist about shoes that may limit the motion of joints if needed to help stabilize your foot and decrease inflammation. (2) 

It is recommended to see a board certified podiatric physician to evaluate your feet and to recommend the proper shoes. You need to be careful that your shoes will fit correctly. Here is a directory of American Board Member Podiatrists.  

Over the past few years, we at DiabetesCare.net have helped keep you informed of facts and therapies to educate you on common issues and complications with feet when you have diabetes.

1.    Treatment of Diabetic foot ulcers and helpful hints to prevent them.  

This link will help you learn about diabetes and ulcers. 

2.    Diabetes and Five Related Food Problems

Read this blog to explore the following foot issues that many people with diabetes have:

  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Peripheral vascular disease in the feet
  • Skin changes
  • Calluses
  • Foot Ulcers and Amputations

3.    Good Foot Care for People with Diabetes Can Reduce Amputations by Half 

This link discusses the need for proper fitting shoes and inserts. These can reduce the pressure on the feet by 50 percent compared to not wearing anything on the feet at all.  

Points to remember for all people with diabetes from the blogs mentioned above include; washing feet (be careful that the water is the correct temperature) and carefully dry feet and between the toes (daily). Moisturizers should be used on the feet but not between the toes. Ask your podiatrist for a recommendation on a moisturizer for you. Feet should be inspected from top to bottom. If you have a hard time looking at the bottom of your feet place a large mirror on the floor and put your foot over the mirror for inspection. You may lack feeling in your feet so you do not feel pain of a wound or ulcer.

Some healthcare professionals will have you test your feet for sensation with a monofilament. People with diabetes also should wear sock without holes, wrinkles or elastic tops. Look for square toe socks without seams. When buying shoes, do not buy the styles with pointy toes or high heels.

Talk to your podiatrist ahead of time to tell you what to do if you find a wound on your feet. Inspect your shoes before putting them on for small objects (example a pebble). People with neuropathies may not feel these objects and can quickly damage their feet. Medicare and some insurances may pay for a professional to trim your toenails every 6 weeks. Review your plan for details. Keep your blood glucose under control to help prevent problems from getting worse.

Clara’s list of links to fashionable, pretty shoes

This is the first time I am giving my readers links to sites that sell merchandise to people with diabetes. I am giving you these links because I think that they will help some people with diabetes find appropriate shoes that they will feel good about wearing. I want to make sure you understand that I do not have any ties to these companies. I do think that it is appropriate if you do not have any financial ties to a company and have found fashionable shoes that are just plain wonderful, that you share the information with all of us.

My list:

Walk Another Way

Propet - Women's Diabetic Shoes

OrthoFeet - Women's Diabetic Shoes

OrthoFeet - Men's Diabetic Shoes

I wish you happy feet and that you find shoes that meet all of your healthcare needs!

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