At Central Jersey Foot & Ankle Specialists we know how important the right shoes are for any patients, but patients with diabetes have some additional special considerations. A great danger for these patients is developing a sore which could lead to an ulcer on the foot. Due to other conditions associated with the disease, ulcers can be very difficult to heal and can be a serious medical threat. Another concern for patients with diabetes is circulation. Lastly, some diabetic patients experience neuropathy or loss of sensation in their feet which can affect balance. Shoe choices for diabetics must promote good foot health in all these areas. Here are some tips to help you choose the best shoes if you are a patient with diabetes:
- Start by having a consultation with one of our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Christopher J. Mullin, Dr. Jessica A. Addeo or Dr. Rajan Patel to determine what your particular shoe needs are. Patients with diabetes should have regularly scheduled appointments with the podiatrist to check for changes or abnormalities in the foot. The foot doctor will make shoe recommendations based on any deformities or structural issues you may have with your foot as well as neuropathy or other conditions that could be impacted by shoe choice. In some cases, the foot doctor will give you a prescription to have shoes custom made.
- Work with a medical shoe professional who has experience fitting shoes for diabetic patients. This is a specialty field and not all shoe stores may have someone trained in this area.
- Pick shoes made of soft materials that are unlikely to rub or cause friction or pressure on the skin.
- Choose breathable materials to facilitate air circulation, which will help prevent fungal infections.
- Shop for shoes at the end of the day when your foot is at its largest and most swollen.
- Shoes with a thick, hard sole will prevent sharp objects from penetrating and injuring your foot and may also help with balance.
- Look for closures that are adjustable to accommodate swelling: laces, Velcro or other closures that have more than one setting are preferable.
- Before making a purchase, run your hand all along the inside of the shoe to make sure there are no rough spots or unfinished stitching that could cause a blister or sore.