Last updated on August 30th, 2022 at 10:47 pm
Foot injuries are bad enough on their own, but when individuals are diabetic and are not careful, those scratches and cuts can easily turn into foot ulcers. And that’s just the beginning of the consequences.
Too many diabetic patients are misinformed about the need for diabetic shoes and foot health. They think diabetes and foot problems are unrelated, and because they don’t have foot problems, they don’t need diabetic shoes.
This couldn’t be further from the truth! A diabetic person needs to wear shoes designed for people with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes.
Diabetic feet are vulnerable to various foot problems, including amputation, nerve damage, and ulcers. These can seriously hinder someone’s mobility and quality of life.
If you’re living with diabetes, you must find proper diabetic shoes specially designed to protect your diabetic feet and keep them healthy.
What Are Diabetic Shoes?
Diabetic shoes are specially designed for people with diabetes. These shoes are designed to absorb the shock of walking and provide stability.
These shoes are specially made with a variety of features that allow people with diabetes to continue to enjoy their favorite activities while managing their condition.
The right diabetic shoe will help to stabilize your gait and reduce the risk of developing ulcers. In addition, it can also minimize the risk of getting blisters, calluses, or corns on your feet.
Shoes made for people with diabetes also often come with an antimicrobial coating, which helps prevent bacterial growth on the surface of the shoe and can lead to infection if left untreated.
Features of Diabetic Shoes
To alleviate diabetic foot conditions, diabetic footwear should be designed and constructed with specific features. There are several special features and qualities that make diabetic shoes, such as:
- These shoes can easily accommodate thick orthotic inserts that are cushioned and arch-supporting.
- These inserts relieve pressure placed on the bottom of the foot and support the arch of the foot.
- If you suffer from conditions such as severe diabetes or neuropathy, stretchable uppers may be your ideal solution.
- The sole of this footwear is lightweight and cushioned, so that foot impact is reduced, and the shoe can be worn with ease.
- With a deep toe box, there is extra space for toe movements and a reduced chance of pressure on the toes.
- Its extra depth design causes thick orthotic inserts to fit comfortably and without causing you any pressure while you are wearing them.
- Designed using stretchy materials, these shoes conform to the contours of the foot, reducing pressure points and helping to alleviate pain.
- The uppers on the shoes are non-binding, which prevents the foot from feeling any pressure.
- The shoe has a soft interior and stitching that does not protrude in any way so that it will not irritate the wearer.
Why Do Diabetics Need Diabetic Footwear?
The main reason why wearing diabetic shoes is so important is that they help to reduce the risk of diabetic foot ulcers, which can lead to amputation. These shoes also protect the feet from injury and infection.
The most important thing about diabetic footwear is that they are made specifically for people with diabetes and are tailored to their needs.
Some diabetics may experience numbness, tingling, and pain in their feet. This can be a result of diabetic neuropathy or poor circulation in the feet.
Foot deformities and poor circulation can be a major problem for people with diabetes. This is because the circulation in their feet may not be as good as it should be, and this can lead to other problems.
Poor circulation can also cause other issues, such as bunion deformities and hammertoes. To manage this problem, diabetic shoes are designed with custom orthotics and soft shoe materials to make it easier for people with diabetes to walk around without feeling discomfort or pain.
What Is the Difference Between Diabetic Shoes and Regular Shoes?
The main difference between diabetic shoes and regular shoes is that diabetic shoes are designed to provide more support for people with diabetes and their feet.
These shoes have features like extra cushioning, thick orthotic inserts, and a deeper toe box, which can help prevent foot problems and injuries that can happen when wearing regular shoes.
On the other hand, regular shoes often develop pressure points on the forefoot area and the back of the shoe due to how they are designed.
The construction of these shoes, which are typically made of firm materials, and their design can often cause irritation to bunions, toes, and feet.
Footwear for diabetic patients can be more expensive than regular footwear because of its specialized construction and materials.
Do note that Medicare covers diabetic shoes if a doctor prescribes them. The bill was approved in 1993 and was designed to provide medical coverage for therapeutic shoes.
Can Anyone Wear Diabetic Shoes?
It is important to note that diabetic footwear is not designed for everyone. Instead, the design of diabetic footwear is specifically tailored to address the foot problems that people with diabetes face.
It provides more room in the toe area and a wider toe box which can accommodate the swelling and changes in foot size and that are common with diabetes.
Anyone with a foot condition that is not related to diabetes can wear diabetic shoes as long as they are advised by a doctor and follow any other instructions given.
They can also be used to treat other foot problems such as heel pain, pain in the ball of the foot, wide feet, blisters, flat feet, and problems that are not related to diabetes.
The fact that diabetic shoes are so comfortable and supportive makes them a popular choice among people without diabetes as well.
How Do Diabetic Shoes Help Your Feet?
As you already know, these shoes are also made with a soft, breathable, moisture-wicking material that is non-irritating to sensitive feet. These shoes also have the following advantages:
- Increase Foot Health by Reducing High-Pressure Areas
Diabetic shoes are specially designed to reduce the high-pressure areas on your feet caused by diabetes or other medical conditions. This helps you improve foot health and reduce the risk of developing other foot problems like bunions or corns.
- Prevent Calluses from Forming
If you have diabetes, the average shoe will cause many problems for your feet. The average shoe is not made to fit the shape of a diabetic foot, which is more likely to be flat and wide than the normal foot.
This makes it difficult for your toes to move around in your shoes, which can lead to calluses on your feet. Diabetic shoes are designed specifically with these problems in mind and can help you avoid these issues.
- Maintain Healthy Skin
Some diabetic shoe designs have a special lining in them that helps regulate temperature and prevents chafing or blisters.
Others have a sole that is made of a material that reduces friction, which can lead to less potential for abrasions and other foot injuries.
They are made of breathable materials that allow the skin to breathe and prevent it from breaking down.
- Keeping the Blood Flowing
The foot has a complex network of nerves, veins, and arteries that send blood to the toes. When your feet are not well-supported, they can develop a condition called “peripheral neuropathy,” characterized by numbness, tingling, and pain.
This can lead to more serious conditions like Charcot’s joint deformity or amputation. Diabetic shoes are designed with a special support structure in the arch area that helps keep your feet from pronating excessively, putting pressure on your nerves, and decreasing circulation.
What Do Diabetic Socks Do for Your Feet?
Diabetic socks are a type of medical clothing that is used to keep the feet dry, warm, and free from bacteria. Diabetes can cause nerve damage in the feet, and diabetic socks are designed to help prevent this.
They also help with circulation, which is important for people with diabetes because they have a higher risk of developing blood clots.
There are different types of diabetic socks that people can choose from depending on their needs and preferences. For example, some diabetic socks are designed to be worn in shoes, while others are designed to be worn alone without shoes.
People who wear diabetic socks may also find it helpful to use them with other types of foot care products, such as shoe inserts or pads. Due to their special features, diabetic socks are preferred by people without diabetes as well.
What Type of Diabetic Shoe Do I Need?
The type of diabetic shoe you need depends on your foot type and the severity of diabetes. People with diabetes who have neuropathy in the feet should wear shoes with more padding around the ball of the foot.
In the case of custom-made shoes, the mold of your foot is used to create the shoe. When you have a deformed foot, you may be in need of a shoe such as this. People with diabetes who have peripheral vascular disease may want to wear shoes that are wider in the toe area and are easier to put on and take off.
Foot injuries or foot surgeries typically require the wearing of healing shoes during the recovery period. You can choose between open-toe or closed-toe sandals.
People with diabetes who have nerve damage in their feet should wear shoes that provide arch support because they may not be able to feel if they are being overstretched or under pressure.
A pair of in-depth shoes are 1/4 to 1/2 inches deeper than a pair of normal shoes. As a result, there is enough space for calluses or hammertoes to grow in the extra space.
If you are diabetic and do not suffer from any actual foot problems, you may only need a pair of shoes that fit well and are comfortable to wear and enjoy a pressure free fit.
The Bottom Line
Never underestimate the importance of a proper diabetic shoe. To ensure you are getting the right diabetic footwear for you and your feet, always consult with an ankle and foot specialist to address foot conditions before buying any diabetic footwear.
If your doctor determines that diabetic insoles or socks will help you support your feet and enable proper blood flow through them, you may be recommended to purchase them as part of your diabetic foot care treatment plan.
Hello, I’m Kristin, the founder and main author of footwearsfact.com. I’ve been working as a footwear designer and have built a keen interest in different footwear problems, suggestions, and designing. I hope I’ll be able to serve your needs with my skillful team member.