Diabetes is a serious and often overlooked disease that can lead to many complications, including nerve damage in your feet. Due to the delicate nature of their feet, diabetics should never go barefoot. Wearing shoes is imperative for maintaining a healthy diabetic foot, but not all shoes are made the same. Diabetic shoes are an important part of treating diabetes. They play a crucial role in preventing wounds, which is often one of the biggest complications for those living with diabetes. There are several unique features of diabetic shoes that make them different from regular shoes.
Wide Toe Box
One of the most important features is the wide toe box. This allows for more room in the toe area and helps to prevent pressure points that can lead to problems like ulcers. This feature is especially important for those of you that have bunionsor hammertoes. These biomechanical deformities cause your foot/toes to protrude in a way that can cause rubbing inside of your shoes. This continuous friction will eventually develop a wound and, once you have a wound, it takes a long time to heal.
Slip Resistant Sole
Diabetic shoes also have a slip resistant sole, which is important for people who are at risk of losing their balance. Neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes that can lead to balance problems. Diabetic neuropathy affects the nerves that control balance and coordination, making it difficult to walk and stay upright. In severe cases, neuropathy can cause falls and injuries. While diabetic shoes help to prevent falls, if you fall frequently, you may need to be fitted for balance braces.
Adjustable Heel Strap
Most diabetic shoes have an adjustable heel strap as well. This is important to ensure a snug fit, which will help keep the shoes in place and prevent them from slipping off. The adjustable strap also allows us to accommodate for swelling. Everyone swells throughout the day, but many diabetics have circulation problems that can lead to excessive swelling. Compression hose are a great way to control excessive swelling, but the adjustable straps can ensure that your shoes do not become too tight due to swelling and rub against your skin, potentially causing an ulcer.
Can I buy Bigger Shoes?
Now you may be thinking “can I just buy my shoes in a bigger size?”. We recommend that you don’t and here’s why. Wearing shoes that are a size too big can cause just as many problems as shoes that are too small. Shoes that are too large become a fall risk concern. They can cause you to trip over your feet and you can end up seriously injured.
Diabetic shoes are custom fitted to your feet. You are measured with a brannock device in office and are often cast for inserts as well. They are designed to the specifics of your foot to give you the best possible protection and comfort, while maintaining the proper fit.
Diabetic patients should see a doctor at least once a year for a comprehensive diabetic foot exam (CDFE) and to order and new pair of diabetic shoes. The most common issues that diabetics face are with their feet and toes, so it is important to keep them protected at all times!
If you want more information on how wearing this type of footwear can help with maintaining healthy feet, or if there are any other questions that come up when discussing this issue please don’t hesitate to call the office at or schedule an appointment online.