Diabetic Shoes

What Are Diabetic Shoes? A Complete Guide

Diabetic Shoes and Footwear Explained

Did you know that diabetes affects 34 million people in the United States or slightly more than one in every ten?

When you have diabetes, you are well aware of the importance of taking special care of your feet and lower limbs. You should keep them clean, dry, and well-protected, and make wise choices when it comes to your footwear.

When it comes to diabetic foot comfort and health, you need to know what are diabetic shoes and that they can make a significant difference. The use of footwear that provides little or no support, pinches your feet and toes, or places strain on vulnerable areas. This can result in a range of problems from blisters and toe abnormalities to ulcers and dangerous infections. Because of this, diabetics are the leading cause of lower extremity amputations, not related to trauma.

Diabetics should choose footwear that fits properly, protects their feet, and accommodates the shape of their feet.

Diabetes has devastating consequences to a person’s feet and legs. Shoes for diabetics are specifically designed with this in mind. What are diabetic shoes and how do they work? This guide will help you understand it better.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic, condition that affects the way your body converts food into energy (glucose metabolism).

When you eat food most of it converts into sugar (also known as glucose). It’s then absorbed into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar level rises, your pancreas signals a release of insulin into your body. Insulin functions as a key, allowing glucose from your blood to enter your body’s cells and it is used as energy.

If you suffer from diabetes, your body either does not produce enough insulin or does not utilize the insulin that it does produce as efficiently as it should. A large amount of blood sugar stays in your bloodstream when there is insufficient insulin or when cells cease reacting to insulin. Over time, this can result in major health concerns, such as cardiovascular disease, eyesight problems, and renal illness, among others.

Although there is no treatment for diabetes at this time, the following will help lessen the impact of diabetes on your quality of life:

  • Losing weight
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Being physically active
  • Taking diabetic medications as prescribed
  • Receiving diabetes self-management education and support
  • Attending regular medical appointments

By taking and following the above regime you can still lead a full and normal life.

Diabetes and Your Lower Legs and Feet

In persons with diabetes, the feet and legs are frequently the sites of issues, making proper foot care critical to overall health.

Diabetes can cause nerve and blood vessel damage in the legs and feet, as well as in the rest of the body. Because of this, persons who suffer from diabetes are at greater risk of developing ulcers on their feet and legs that can become infected. In the worst-case scenario, you could develop gangrene. Gangrene is a condition in which tissue dies, sometimes necessitating amputation if not treated promptly.

Let’s look at what diabetes can specifically affect in your lower limbs and feet:

Diabetes Can Cause Nerve Damage

Even though an injury to the foot or leg might be unpleasant, in patients who suffer from nerve damage caused by diabetes, also known as diabetic neuropathy, the feelings are dulled, and small injuries may go undiagnosed and untreated, increasing the risk of more serious damage.

In addition, the loss of feeling is a substantial risk factor for harm in persons with diabetic complications. For example, hot water burns or being too close to a heater are both possible consequences as well as letting a wound or ulcer go untreated.

Diabetic neuropathy can, among other things, also cause:

  • Joint damage
  • Bone damage
  • Muscle damage
  • Damage structural stability of feet

In addition to numbing, diabetic neuropathy can occasionally result in unpleasant sensations such as tingling, aching, and burning sensations in the legs and feet, which can be quite uncomfortable.

Diabetes Can Cause Poor Circulation

Circulatory problems, particularly clogged arteries, are common in the lower limbs of persons with diabetes, specifically in the feet and legs. Areas with poor circulation heal poorly when injured. If left untreated, as in nerve damage, such injuries can grow into ulcers or become gangrenous. Even when not injured, ulcers can occur if blood supply is severely compromised.

Walking related discomfort in the legs can also be through a lack of blood flow to the leg muscles. This pain normally occurs after a long distance walk and comes right after resting the legs. Intermittent claudication is the medical name for this.

Diabetic Infection in the Lower Limbs and Feet

Having a high blood sugar level can raise your likelihood of contracting an infection. When compared to persons who do not have diabetes, people with diabetes have a higher chance of developing sores or ulcers on their feet and legs that become infected and take longer to heal.

Infection is also more likely to spread to other areas of the body, including the bones, when there is a bacterial infection.

Taking Care of Your Feet When You Suffer With Diabetes

Your feet are absolutely critical, and taking care of them is extremely important to your overall health. However, if you have diabetes, it is critical to examine your feet daily, to help treat and prevent issues before they become complications. When you have diabetes, looking after your feet involves:

Checking and Taking Care of Your Feet Should Be a Daily Routine 

If you have diabetes, it is critical that you include foot care in your daily routine. Ignoring your feet can lead to serious complications that you are unaware of. Here are some things to look for:

Scratches and Cuts

Wash any scratches and cuts that you come across with water and mild soap. To protect cuts, use antibiotic creams prescribed by your doctor and sterile bandages. Contact your doctor right away if your cut is red, seeping, or has a bad-smelling discharge. This can be a sign and warning of infection and must be treated immediately.

Look For Ulcers

Small cuts and scrapes that heal slowly, as well as sores from ill-fitting shoes, can become infected and lead to ulcers. To avoid these treat scrapes and cuts as soon as possible. Consult your doctor if you have any foot sores. It is critical that you treat them as soon as possible.

Look For Dry Skin

Use hydrating soaps and creams to keep your skin supple. However, avoid putting lotion between your toes because moisture might encourage fungus growth there.

Look For Blisters

Blisters might develop if your shoes don’t not fit properly. Breaking a blister open exposes you to the risk of infection. Clean and disinfect with an antibiotic lotion before wrapping it in a bandage to keep it safe.

Look for Cracks, Itches and Red Skin

Athlete’s foot fungus causes red, cracked skin between the toes. Treat it right away with a tablet or cream that your doctor can prescribe.

Look for Corns and Calluses

Smooth these after every shower or bath with a foot emery board. Never use over-the-counter corn and callus medicines, or try to cut them.

Look for Plantar Warts 

These painful callus-like growths on the underside of the foot are caused by a virus. Consult your doctor for treatment.

Look for Ingrown toenails

Trimming toenails on a regular basis, cutting only straight across the top, aids in the prevention of ingrown toenails. When toenails grow into the skin, it can cause pain, redness, and infection. Consult a doctor if you have an ingrown toenail.

What Are Diabetic Shoes and Why Is It Important to Use Them

Despite the fact that many people are unaware of it, there are specific shoes for every situation. For example, basketball players wear basketball shoes, runners use special running shoes, and tennis players use tennis shoes, and so on. Shoes are designed to meet the needs of specific persons and activities.

Shoes for diabetics are no exception to this rule. Diabetic shoes are especially made in order to protect the foot from stresses that can cause skin breakdown and grow into potentially severe sores and ulcers by providing a variety of widths and depths, to allow for proper fit, support and protection.

Diabetic shoes are footwear that is available in multiple widths that offer added depth through removable insoles and designed with wide spacious toe boxes.

In a diabetic patient, the risks of foot wounds are especially high. This is because, as previously stated, nerve damage and poor circulation reduce the nerves’ ability to heal and detect damage to the feet, resulting in problems that are not felt and thus not addressed. As a result, sores can develop into blisters and ulcers without the person being aware of it. These wounds can become infected, resulting in serious and sometimes life-threatening situations, such as amputation.

Diabetic shoes provide not only comfort, but also protection from the elements. Diabetic shoes help to avoid the formation of ulcers and the development of foot strains and blisters by providing diabetics with options for a proper fit. The interior is comprised of soft seam-free fabrics with no stitching, which helps to reduce discomfort caused by fabrics pressing and rubbing against the foot as you walk about in the shoe.

Diabetic shoes also have a large toe box to accommodate abnormalities such as bunions and hammertoes. This is especially significant so people with forefoot abnormalities have proper fitting shoes that accommodate the different shape of the foot. Aside from that, they frequently feature additional depth to enable orthotic inserts, which provide even more support and weight distribution away from pressure spots.

The following should be features to take into consideration when buying diabetic shoes:

A Shoe With Extra Width

Diabetes induced neuropathy increases the likelihood of a foot that is broader in front and has a flatter arch. These elements will undoubtedly influence your shoe buying decision.

Wide width shoes are not always easily found and readily available. Orthopedic shoe manufacturers, however, design and develop shoes that can fit wider feet. Wide, extra-wide, and even extra-extra-wide shoes can save the day for those with:

  • Wide feet
  • Swollen feet
  • Feet with bunions
  • Feet with hammertoes
  • Feet with corns
  • Fee with high insteps

Shoes for diabetics come in varying widths. Also width sizes differ between diabetic shoes for men and diabetic shoes for women. The shoe width is determined by three factors:

  • Foot length
  • Measurement from the outer edge of the foot to the inner margin of the front area
  • Instep circumference also known as instep girth

Shoe widths that fit large or swollen feet are often wider across the shoe, deeper from top to bottom, and have a spacious instep.

Removable Orthotics Insoles

Orthotics and insoles offer extra padding and cushioning that prevent blisters, making every step enjoyable. Unlike other shoes that have a single layer of foam, these insoles will provide more comfort and support.

Orthotics and diabetic insoles can be customized and made to order and also purchased pre-fabricated. Whether customized or bought off the shelf, they should have at least three layers consisting of a soft top layer for comfort, and two firmer layers for form, stability and resilience.

Shoes With Extra Foam Padding

This function not only assists with cushioning and comfort, but also with weight distribution and relieving heel and foot pain. Foam padding relieves pressure on the foot’s sole. This feature should have effective shock absorption and control pronation.

Diabetic Footwear Made With Soft Fabric

This design reduces pressure areas that cause bunions, hammertoes and blisters. The soft fabric on the shoe enables for easy insertion and removal of the foot. The fabric also allows for a fluid, comfortable fit and increased toe movement, preventing abrasions and foot ulcers.

Shoes With a Padded Collar

The extra foam cushioning in the collar and heel area softens the contact with your foot and the shoe on both ends. This padding also removes pressure points, reducing impact and discomfort. Overall, the collar and heel cushioning improves comfort and reduces the risk of blisters and calluses.

Diabetic Shoes With Arch Supports that Are Comfortable

Arch support helps diabetic patients by limiting pronation. Some stores sell custom-molded orthotics that can assist and relieve diabetes related foot pain. While custom orthotics are ideal, over-the counter arch supports are also available.

Shoes for Diabetics Were Made For Walking!

Wearing comfortable, proper fitting shoes is only one component of maintaining happy, healthy feet. Check your feet on a daily basis for any unusual signs caused by wearing shoes as well as any other injuries.

We hope we have answered the question, what are diabetic shoes? If you need help finding where to buy diabetic shoes, contact the Diabetic Shoes HuB for your orthopedic footwear here. We can help you find the right diabetic shoes near you!

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