Why are shoes so important for diabetics?

Foot health for those with diabetes is critical, and proper diabetic footwear plays a large role. Damage to nerves and poor circulation are two effects of diabetes on the feet. Both issues result in poor foot health. Lack of feeling in the feet makes it more difficult to detect common foot conditions such as blisters and corns. If the skin is broken, infection can be easily introduced, but the ability of the immune system to respond is greatly decreased due to lack of circulation in the feet.

Diabetic footwear focuses on key areas of concern. First, they help with the prevention of foot problems such as blisters, or foot ulcers by lessening the impact on susceptible areas of the foot. If foot deformities are already present, the recommended shoe should protect and support that area in the best way possible. Finally, each step that a person takes literally impacts the foot, so good diabetic footwear will not only absorb shock, but will also reduce the movement of the foot itself and in the shoe.

What types of diabetic footwear are available?

Ranging from orthotics to custom-made shoes, prescription footwear may be necessary for those living with diabetes. In all cases, fit, support, and cushion are top priority. Your doctor can help you determine the best footwear for your current situation.

If the primary goal is to reduce shock on the foot, a simple, custom orthotic may be the solution. Inserted into your own properly fitting shoes, this may provide the extra cushion you need to minimize your risk of ulcers. Not only can the inside of your shoes be enhanced, but the outside of your shoes can be as well. Shape changes, or additions for more impact absorption are common for modifications on the exterior of a shoe.

The shoes a diabetic wears immediately following a foot surgery will be quite different than those worn after healing from such a procedure. Known as “healing shoes”, these may be special sandals, or some other type of protective footwear.

“In-depth shoes” add a depth of ¼” to ½” to the whole shoe. Most prescription footwear uses this shoe as the starting point, and then additional supports, etc. are added. These shoes are lightweight and absorb impact well. If the proper shoe cannot be built from this standard, a mold of a person’s foot can be cast and a custom-fit shoe created. This is not common, but can occur when there are foot deformities that call for it.

How can my doctor assist me with diabetic footwear?

Dr. Kales can assess your specific needs, and prescribe the diabetic footwear that will work best for you. With your foot health history in mind, he will determine the best course of action. Diabetics need additional support and absorption to maintain good foot health. Dr. Lawrence Kales understands these needs, and looks forward to assisting you in either his Hudson, FL or his Spring Hill, FL office. Call today, and get the footwear that you and your feet deserve.