Do I Really Need Diabetic Shoes?
Are you questioning whether or not you need diabetic shoes? If you're diabetic, you're likely all-too-familiar with the effects that the condition can have on your feet. Proper footwear is essential for overall treatment for those with diabetes.
Fluctuating blood sugar levels (especially high blood sugar) typically results in decreased blood circulation, which often results in a nerve damaging condition known as neuropathy. Diabetic patients experiencing neuropathy can lose feeling in their feet, and this condition often results in much more than diminished sensation. If you experience neuropathy, you also have an increased chance of a serious infection due to unnoticed injury or damage to the feet or toes.
DIABETES & YOUR FEET
Diabetic patients are at a higher risk overall of experiencing the following issues or conditions:
- Open sores or ulcers
- Hammertoe (when the toe joints bend inward)
- Increased risk of infection from cuts, scrapes, or bruises
- Thickened, hardened skin (calluses)
- An overall uncomfortable feeling in the feet and toes
- Possible need of an amputation due to severely decreased circulation or infection
Here at New Hope Prosthetics & Orthotics, we specialize in diabetic footwear, including shoes, diabetic insoles, diabetic shoe inserts, and other orthopedic shoes and devices that help make walking more comfortable for our diabetic patients, including those experiencing neuropathy. If you are unsure about whether or not you need diabetic shoes, we're here to help.
DO MY SHOES FEEL GOOD ON MY FEET?
If your current footwear seem uncomfortable, regardless of how long they're worn or the distance you walk, you might be a candidate for diabetic shoes. You do not want to wear shoes that are too loose, as they can cause increased rubbing and friction on your feet. You also do not want to wear shoes that are too tight, as squeezing into uncomfortable shoes can make already decreased sensation and blood flow worse.
Your best bet is to visit with a foot orthotics specialist who can discuss your individual needs and concerns regarding your footwear. Simply being diagnosed with diabetes isn't enough on its own to warrant the need for a specialized shoe or visit to the nearest diabetic shoe store. A professional will make a recommendation based on your experience with the disease, the sensation in your feet, any pain or discomfort you may have experienced, and other concerns we can discuss with you.
WHAT TYPE OF SHOE DO I NEED?
If a professional recommends that you should be fitted for diabetic footwear, there are multiple options that vary from patient to patient, including:
- Shoes that allow you to heal from ulcers, sores, or surgery
- Open versus closed toe shoes
- Shoes that are deeper than standard shoes; these are meant to accommodate changes in the feet, such as shifting joints
- Shoes that are custom-made; these are for patients for whom general diabetic shoes are not appropriate
- Special shoe orthotics, such as diabetic shoe inserts
- Specialized diabetic work shoes that will protect your feet and better support your weight
- Options for stylish diabetic shoes for patients who prefer them, such as those who work in a business setting or for a special occasion
New Hope Prosthetics & Orthotics understands that each and every patient is different. Our friendly, professional staff will work alongside your physicians (including your podiatrist) to ensure that you are properly examined and fitted for the diabetic footwear you need. If you are a patient on Medicare, diabetic shoes may be available at no cost for your first pair if prescribed by your doctor. If you need us for any reason, including prosthetics and orthotics, please do not hesitate to contact us! We look forward to meeting you and making hope happen in your life.