Over the past few weeks, we have received questions regarding foot health and footwear, specifically related to diabetes. As a shoe store, we help customers on a daily basis that are dealing with diabetes. We have Pedorthists on staff that are knowledgeable and ready to discuss footwear options that work best for those diagnosed with diabetes. If you are having foot issues or foot pain and are not sure why, it is important to never self diagnose. If you are concerned with the health of your feet or body, make an appointment to see a medical professional.
For more information on diabetes and foot health, I turned to the professionals. Dr. Langer of Twin Cities Orthopedics and Steve LaFond, Schuler Shoes Board Certified Pedorthist offer great information on shoes and feet for those dealing with diabetes.
From Dr. Langer (Certified Podiatrist at Twin Cities Orthopedics) –
The concern in terms of foot health for those with diabetes is that there are a number of changes caused by diabetes that can make the foot more vulnerable to injury. For these reasons, well fitting, comfortable and supportive footwear is important to those who have been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes can contribute to nerve and blood flow changes to the feet, which in turn cause changes in skin texture and increase the risk of foot pain and/or injury. In addition, there is research that suggests those with diabetes may be more vulnerable to tendonitis of the legs and feet as well.
From Steve LaFond (Schuler Shoes Board Certified Pedorthist) –
There are many levels and degrees of diabetes. Picking out the best diabetic shoe depends greatly on what type of diabetes a person has and how severe it is. Your doctor will be able to help you determine this with you.
Generally, a diabetic shoe will be extra depth, meaning it has to have a 1/3 ” insole that can be removed to allow for a custom diabetic insert to fit. Ideally, it will have a variety of widths to accommodate the type of foot size and allow for swelling. Also, it should be supportive, but not so stiff that it could cause irritation or excess friction to occur. It should not have seams that can irritate the foot. It will need a deep toe box and adjustable laces or Velcro to accommodate for swelling. It should not be so soft that it won’t support the foot. It may require modifications for rocker toes or hammertoes or bone protrusion.
The main goal with diabetic shoes is to prevent the dreaded foot ulcer. Some diabetics are at different levels of advancement and more or less susceptible to foot ulceration. Please keep in mind that it is not the same scenario for everyone.
For questions or concerns regarding foot health or diabetes, visit with a medical professional. For footwear questions regarding diabetes or to visit with a Board Certified Pedorthist at Schuler Shoes, visit our website for our Pedorthist evaluation schedule at http://blog.schulershoes.com/FootHealth.aspx?pg=schedule. Our Pedorthist evaluations are on a first come, first serve basis.