While foot injuries aren’t always avoidable, many diabetic patients have learned that shoes designed specifically for them can make a world of difference. You can think of it as another type of medicine, but especially for your feet.
Why Diabetic Footwear?
Footwear is a personal preference and is often used as a style symbol that allows a person to say something about who they are. But a medical condition can sometimes limit your options, and for someone with diabetes, shoes really can be responsible for health problems.
Diabetic footwear reduces the risk you will cut or scrape your foot, while also providing ample space for helpful items like orthotic inserts. These special shoes are also shock-absorbent and protect sensitive skin more easily. Diabetic footwear is an easy way to avoid common foot injuries and illnesses related to diabetes.
How Foot Injuries Occur
Diabetic patients have higher blood sugar than other people, and this can lead to poor blood flow. Without proper circulation, the nerves in your feet become damaged, and you can develop a condition called neuropathy and lose feeling in your feet. When you lose that ability to sense pain, you may not notice a cut, scrape, or another minor injury. This, along with poor circulation that makes it more difficult for injuries to heal, can lead to serious infections.
Shoe Shopping Tips
When shopping for diabetic footwear, avoid the mall or traditional shoe stores. Instead, make an appointment with a podiatrist who can evaluate your specific needs and help guide you toward a perfectly fitting shoe. Remember, just as your body changes over time, so can your shoe size—especially with the swelling that can occur with a condition such as diabetes. It’s best to trust a professional when purchasing shoes.
A diabetic-friendly shoe will have:
- A spacious toe box
- A breathable upper layer
- Hard outsoles
- A wide footbed and deep interior
- Insole cushioning
- Adjustable closures
- Low arches
- A seamless interior
- A closed design
- A low heel
Purchasing a high-quality shoe will mean it has a good lifespan, but it’s also important to know when shoes are ready to be replaced. Know these signs of dangerous wear:
- When the heel collapses to one side
- When the inner lining is torn
- When the bottom of the heel is worn down
For diabetic patients, one concern that may prevent them from seeking appropriate footwear is the anticipated cost. Because diabetes can be a costly illness, many might be hesitant to invest additional money in special shoes. However, many medical insurances, including Medicare, cover therapeutic footwear. Check with your doctor to see if your policy will help absorb the cost. Also, orthotics are not always expensive. There are different types and styles, making them not only helpful but ideal for a variety of income levels.
Are You Looking for Diabetic Foot Care in Austin, TX?
If you are looking for diabetic foot care, you should reach out to an experienced podiatrist. Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists can help. Our office provides a wide variety of advanced, effective treatment options for all kinds of painful conditions. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us online or call our Austin office at 512.328.8900.