Why You Need Diabetic Shoes
Posted by Dr. Daniel Walters
We’ve previously discussed the importance of seeing a podiatrist if you have diabetes. In the post, we discussed how the lower limbs can be affected by the disease – including the potential for limb amputation when protective measures aren’t taken. We also identified proactive diabetic foot care as being better than reactive treatment. Well, one proactive measure you should consider to keep your feet safe is wearing diabetic shoes.
So what are diabetic shoes? There are several features that help distinguish diabetic footwear from “normal” kinds. To start, shoes for those living with diabetes tend to have wider, higher toe boxes, which provide toes with a little extra wiggle room. This is important because toes rubbing against each other—or against a shoe itself—can result in blisters.
Since diabetes often causes nerve damage, it’s quite probable you would be unaware of the friction. The concern here is that a blister can become a diabetic foot ulcer over time – especially when peripheral neuropathy keeps you from knowing you have one.
In addition to extra room to protect your feet, diabetic shoes also provide support for arches, ankles, and heels. These features keep you safe when standing and walking, which is necessary to prevent problems from developing. Specifically, stabilizers in the soles work to correct pronation abnormalities that can cause either excessive or inadequate foot roll with every step. This stabilization can further help reduce the risk of blisters, along with offloading pressure that could otherwise be concentrated on areas not equipped to handle it naturally.
With regards to inside-the-shoes features, the shoes you are buying shouldn’t have any inner seams that could potentially rub against your foot and cause blisters. When buying new shoes, take a moment to run your fingers around inside them to ensure the inner lining is smooth.
Yet another reason you may need special shoes when you have diabetes is because these ones feature removable insoles. The importance of this is connected to the fact we may need to prescribe an orthotic device at some point. If we do, you’ll need to be able to take the insoles out so you can fit the orthotic into the shoe.
Remember, if you have diabetes, you should have a diabetic foot care plan to follow so your feet will be safe. In the event you need one, we can help you with this. Of course, you should be coming in to see us for regularly-scheduled appointments anyhow!
For more information—or to make sure you are wearing the proper footwear if you have diabetes—contact our Chicago office. No matter if you have questions that need to be answered or you want to request an appointment with us, we will be glad to help. Either contact us online, or give us a call (Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays) at (773) 586-0050.