Footwear And Diabetes

When you have diabetes, you have to be more careful about the type of footwear you choose. Diabetics are prone to nerve and blood vessel problems. This increases foot numbness and insensitivity. As a result, you may injure your feet without even realizing it. Here are some tips for choosing the right footwear if you have diabetes.

What Foot Problems Do Diabetics Have?

Diabetics often suffer from a condition called diabetic neuropathy. High blood sugar causes damage to the nerves and affects the blood circulation. This either causes lack of sensation or increased pain, especially in the peripheral nerves like in the legs and feet. Cuts and injuries often go unnoticed and become infected. Diabetics are also more likely to have hammertoes and other joint issues.

How Can Footwear Affect Diabetics?

Some types of footwear cause cuts and calluses that go unnoticed and become infected over time. Diabetics are also more prone to fungal infections and gangrene due to poor circulation. Footwear that is too tight or steeply angled (such as high heels) can further affect blood flow and increase numbness and injury.

Which Features Should Diabetic Shoes Have?

Diabetic shoes should promote good blood circulation and reduce the chances of calluses and other injuries occurring. Your shoes should also have good depth and cushioning. Make sure the "toe box" is comfortable. The toe box is where the front half of the foot, the ball and toes, would go in your shoe. This area should be spacious enough to not pinch your toes, but not so loose that your shoes rub.

In addition to a good fit, try to find rocker soles. These soles are designed to make normal walking movements easier. With shoes that have rocker soles, the toe will point up slightly when the heel is flat. Laced shoes are also a good choice because they secure the shoe to the foot better. Make sure the tongue area protects the front of your foot from your laces.

Where Can One Find Diabetic Shoes?

Your doctor may be able to provide you with information on where to get diabetic shoes if you are currently experiencing foot issues. In some cases, they may be covered by insurance. However, you may still be able to find good, comfortable shoes at a regular shoe store. Stores with a wide selection choice are often a good place to start.

In addition to good shoes, check over and clean your feet often to prevent sores from worsening. You can also use special socks to help guard against injuries as well as to protect your feet against bacteria and help circulation. If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control and see your doctor regularly. Contact a podiatrist to learn more about diabetic foot care.