orthopedic shoes on store shelfAs anyone with diabetes knows, high blood sugar can lead to multiple health issues, including poor blood circulation. Over time, this can lead to nerve damage in the feet, known as neuropathy. One of the symptoms of neuropathy is a loss of feeling or sensation, which means that if you cut or bruise your foot, you might not realize it. For this reason, appropriate footwear is essential for people with diabetes to protect them from injury and infection.

Good Shoes Can Prevent These Diabetic Foot Problems

Walking around barefoot or in ill-fitting footwear can cause someone with diabetes to develop open sores on the bottom of their feet or even on their toes. Other issues include:

  • Bunions
  • Athlete’s Foot
  • Corns
  • Fungal infections
  • Gangrene
  • Hammertoe

While some of these foot problems are common and insignificant for a healthy individual, they can quickly escalate into something more serious for people with diabetes.

Ideal Footwear If You Have Diabetes

People with diabetes can wear regular shoes that meet certain requirements, but others opt to wear medical-grade shoes. These include:

  • Extra-depth shoes. These shoes are about a half-inch deeper than normal shoes. This allows for extra room to accommodate any diabetes-related changes. It also leaves enough room for shoe inserts.
  • Healing shoes. These are prescribed while you recover from a procedure or foot surgery. They can be either open-toe or closed-toe. If you have diabetes, you will most likely be prescribed closed-toe healing shoes.
  • Custom-made shoes. Your doctor’s office might recommend custom shoes for you, which is a great option for people with foot deformities. You can add a thicker sole for shock absorption or increase the width. Many other customizations are available.

Shoe Shopping Tips for People With Diabetes

If you decide to strike out on your own and purchase non-medical shoes, keep the following in mind:

  • Look for soft leather shoes, which can stretch.
  • Choose a shoe with a cushioned sole for better shock absorption
  • Try to go shopping in the late afternoon, which is the time of day feet are the most swollen.
  • Measure the distance between your longest toe and the tip of the shoe. It should be at least half the width of your thumb.
  • Wear your shoes for a couple of hours, and then check your feet for cuts or blisters. Gradually increase your wear time as your feet adjust.

Diabetic shoes can be very helpful in your health and healing. Don’t delay in reaching out to a professional like InStride Carolina Podiatry Group. With professionals ready to offer appropriate footwear guidance, we can save you from pain or serious injury.

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