November is American Diabetes Month, and at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we offer specialized podiatric care to our patients who have this disease. One very important aspect of diabetic foot care is choosing the right shoes to protect feet and prevent injury. Since diabetes affects bones, joints, and skin, there are several different aspects of footwear to consider. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas will advise you as to the best type of shoes for your unique feet. In some cases, special shoes designed specifically for diabetics may be recommended, or the foot doctor may fit you for a custom orthotic device to help control motion and pressure in your feet.
Below are some points to consider when shopping for shoes if you have diabetes:
Limiting Movement—shoes that limit movement can help alleviate joint inflammation and pain. Limited horizontal movement of the foot inside the shoe can prevent friction which leads to skin irritation, ulcers, wounds, infections, and deformities.
Absorbing Shock—diabetic patients benefit from shoes that reduce impact by absorbing shock. This lessens pressure to the bottom of the foot, preventing wear and tear that can lead to complications. Look for shoes that have a thick sole. A deep heel cup and well-cushioned insole will also help protect your feet and increase comfort.
Let Feet Breathe—in order to avoid fungal infections, it’s necessary to keep feet dry. Choose shoes made of natural, breathable materials. Avoid shoes made of plastic or vinyl. Alternate shoes to allow each pair a chance to air out and dry.
Proper Fit—shoes that fit well are important for all patients, but even more so for those with diabetes. Have your foot professionally measured. Let the salesperson know that you have diabetes. If our podiatrists have prescribed an orthotic device, bring it with you when shopping for shoes and make sure the pair you pick can accommodate the orthotic. Try on both shoes and take your time walking around to make sure they fit. Finally, run your hand around the inside of the shoes to check for rough spots or loose stitching that could rub against your feet.
Choosing shoes carefully will go a long way toward preventing diabetic complications. If you have questions or concerns about diabetes and your feet, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800