People who have diabetes need to be sure that they are wearing shoes that are appropriate for them.  When you are diabetic, your risk of developing problems with your feet is greater than in the general population, and some of these problems can cause greater health complications for you down the road.

Blisters, ulcers, and calluses on your feet are not uncommon for diabetic patients.  The good news is that these problems can often be prevented by wearing the proper shoes, which your doctor or a qualified shoe professional can help you find.

What should you look for when buying shoes?   Here are a few tips:

  • Your shoes should not add pressure to your feet. This causes your skin to ulcerate or breakdown. Rigid stitching or a tight fit can cause undue pressure and problems.
  • Be sure the shoes fit the shape of your foot. If you have conditions like hammer toes or bunions, these can change the contours of your feet, and you’ll want to be sure that the shoes you buy will not cause any more damage, and will be comfortable for you to wear.
  • Buying shoes that reduce the shock of your steps, which is the pressure you feel on the bottoms of your feet, is necessary.  Also be sure that your feet will not be able to move significantly from side to side in the shoes.
  • Shoes should limit the motion of joints in your feet, which can ease pain and reduce swelling.  This can also help to make your feet more stable and add functionality.
  • Do not just pick your normal size!  Put them on and see if they feel good on you. Sizes vary so widely that it’s necessary to try each one on, check for ample room in the toes, around the balls of your feet, and across your instep. Walk several steps and make sure they don’t pinch. A snug fit at the heels is good.
  • The width of your shoes is as important, if not more so, than the length when buying shoes.  There should be plenty of room at the widest part of the foot, which is the base of your toes.  This allows your toes to spread naturally.
  • Lace-up shoes can be easily customized if your feet swell by simply loosening the ties.  Laces also keep your foot stable in your shoes.
  • If you have no history of problems with your feet, and have not experienced any loss of feeling in them, you may just need shoes with good shock absorption that fit perfectly.

Certainly your doctor has mentioned to you that taking good care of your feet is extremely important when you have diabetes.  Many people hear their doctor, but do not heed the warnings.  Do not be one of those people!  Taking care of yourself when you have diabetes means wearing the right shoes as much as being certain to take your insulin.  Your doctor can help you decide which shoes are right for you, and if you need any more specialized shoes, prescription footwear or orthotics.