Did you know that around 25% of all diabetes-related visits to the hospital are due to foot problems?
It’s because high blood sugar levels can cause damage to the feet’s fine blood vessels. With decreased blood flow to the feet, a number of deformities could happen. These include calluses, hammertoes, claw toes, and foot ulcers.
The good news is, even with all the medical issues associated with diabetes, foot care is one area of self-management where putting in effort and vigilance pays off. Here, we’ll talk about the importance of choosing the right diabetic footwear as an essential component of diabetic foot care.
Diabetic Footwear for Injury Prevention
Choosing the right footwear isn’t optional, especially if you have diabetic peripheral neuropathy. You don’t want to risk even the tiniest blister because that could lead to an infection. And an infection might lead to gangrene, which could lead to an amputation.
Even on the beach, you don’t want to go walking around in flip-flops, or worse, going barefoot. You need to think of diabetic footwear as your first line of defense against injury.
The Best Diabetic Shoes: What to Look for
Lightweight and breathable. Those are the first two things you want in diabetic shoes. You want to make sure the construction allows your feet to breathe.
Your best bet is those with designs that allow room for custom insoles. You also want to stay away from footwear that has interior seams to prevent friction injuries.
Other things to look for include a spacious toe box and velcro or elastic. The last two will help you adjust the fit easily and prevent your shoes from moving around and slipping.
Tips for Choosing the Right Diabetic Shoes
The right shoes don’t have to be custom-made. You can buy them off the shelf if you don’t have bunions, hammertoes, or any other foot deformity that would prevent you from using regular shoes.
If you do, then you need special inserts or customized shoes. High-heels are definitely a no-no, as are slip-on loafers and sandals with straps between the toes. Loafers don’t offer a lot of support, while sandals with straps can rub against your feet.
Whatever footwear your doctor recommends, off-the-shelf or specially-made therapeutic shoes, make sure the fit is good. Remember to bring the type of socks or stockings you usually wear, as well as any orthotics you’re using when you go shoe-shopping.
When to Replace Your Diabetic Shoes
It’s a good idea to replace your shoes every two years. Of course, if you use your pair every day, you might have to replace them sooner.
Also if you’re seeing signs such as collapsed heels, worn down heels, and torn inner lining, you don’t need to wait. You can replace your pair as soon as possible.
Ready to Buy Diabetic Footwear?
Great! But if you have other questions, it’s best to ask a podiatrist in your area. Not only can he or she help you find the right pairs to wear, they can also give you self-management tips to prevent foot problems.