Diabetics often suffer foot-related ailments which can detract from their quality of life and lead to serious medical complications. It is strongly recommended that diabetics wear shoes specifically designed for their needs in order to avoid potential problems such as infection and even, in extreme cases, amputation. Specially designed diabetic shoes will decrease the likelihood of blisters and ulcers which can escalate into dangerous infections. Here are a few recommendations for selecting the diabetic shoe that’s right for you.
Step 1: Visit a podiatrist. All feet are unique. A qualified podiatrist can identify any foot irregularities that require special attention. They will be able to advise you on what type of shoe you require. Medicare will cover one pair of diabetic shoes and 3 sets orthotic inserts each calendar year. Talk with your doctor about the next steps for covering those costs.
Step 2: Look for comfort and support. Once you understand your particular needs, you can start shopping. The shoe you select should have the following features:
- Extra depth. Diabetic footwear should be deeper than standard shoes so that you can include custom insoles. Orthotic insoles are an integral part of diabetic foot care and, as mentioned earlier, are also covered by Medicare.
- Good ventilation. A proper diabetic shoe must be breathable. Moist heat is a breeding ground for bacteria and should be avoided at all costs.
- Seamless, lightweight construction. A heavy shoe with protruding seams can lead to irritation.
- Arch support. Shoes for diabetics must have proper arch support. This aids in weight distribution and alleviates pressure point pain.
- Room for your toes. Most diabetic shoes are available in different widths to accommodate all types of feet. The width of the shoe should fit the ball of your foot comfortably, while the shoe’s toe box should be high and durable to minimize stubbing.
- A perfect-fitting heel. The heel should be snug, not tight, to avoid excessive rubbing.
- Thick sole. Make sure your shoe has a thick sole to act as a shock absorber.
- Style. Just because you are diabetic, doesn’t mean you have to wear ugly shoes. Diabetic shoes are available in a wide variety of styles including sandals, loafers, casual dress, slippers, Mary Janes, walking, and running shoes. Choose a shoe that fits your style and personality.
Step 3: Get the right accessories. Be sure to stock up on seamless socks for diabetics and at least three sets of custom orthotic insoles. These critical accessories take your comfort to the highest level.
Step 4: Now get moving. Exercise is especially important to diabetics. Now that you have the right shoes, don’t be afraid to use them.
Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.
About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a leading diabetic shoe supplier specializing in diabetic footwear including shoes and socks for diabetics as well as a full line of orthotic insoles.