Get Advice On Selecting Appropriate Footwear For Diabetes.
Although diabetes is widely known as a problem with blood sugar levels, diabetes can also lead to nerve and blood vessel damage and pose foot complications. Nerve damage, or neuropathy, lessens your feet’s sensitivity to pain. Neuropathy makes it hard to feel cracks and sores on your feet. It is not uncommon for diabetes patients to step on a piece of glass or a nail and still not feel a thing.
In addition to experiencing a loss of sensation in the feet, diabetes sufferers may also have poor circulation because high blood sugar can cause the small and large blood vessels to narrow. Foot deformities, like bunions and hammertoes, create pressure points and lead to ulcerations. Even a small blister or ulcer on your foot could rapidly escalate and become gangrene, which could lead to amputation.
For those with diabetes, choosing appropriate footwear is crucial because it can prevent serious foot problems. The right shoes are like medicine for the feet. Wearing diabetic shoes may not be necessary if your condition isn’t severe, but you do need to choose footwear that fits properly. Your shoes should not be too loose or too tight on any part of the foot. Wearing shoes that fit well will prevent blisters and calluses from forming.
Diabetics who have uncontrolled glucose levels or a history of foot complications should consider wearing therapeutic shoes. Protective shoes and insoles help high-risk diabetes patients prevent foot ulcers and other issues. Here are some other tips for selecting footwear for diabetes.
Select Lighter Shoes Instead of Darker Shoes
Opt for lighter colored shoes instead of darker shoes. Wearing black shoes in the sun for just 30 minutes can increase your foot temperature 7.8 to 13.6 degrees more than wearing white shoes.
Put Comfort First
Fashion should always take a backseat to comfort when you are purchasing shoes for diabetes. Steer clear of high heels and narrow dress shoes if you are diabetic and have impaired sensation in your feet. Diabetic women with healthy feet and no foot deformities may be able to wear high heels for short periods, however. If you wear high heels, do it when you know that you won’t be doing much walking. In addition, avoid wearing rigid shoes that don’t give with wear. If a shoe can’t be broken in and doesn’t expand, a blister could get worse.
Get Your Feet Measured Periodically
Have a podiatrist in Seattle measure your feet and recommend the right shoe size. You may have been a size 7 all your life but you might be a size 9 or 10 now. Your feet and body change throughout your life, so your shoes size may no longer be the same. When you have diabetes, your feet tend to get longer and wider as you age because your arches flatten.
Avoid Socks and Shoes with Seams Inside
Avoid purchasing shoes with seams inside because they can rub against your feet. Likewise, avoid socks with seams. Preferably, opt for padded socks made of a breathable material like cotton. When you are shopping for shoes, have the shoes fitted while wearing socks, so you can be sure that they fit properly.
Avoid Wearing Flip-Flops or Other Footwear That Doesn’t Protect Your Feet
Avoid wearing flip-flops and other footwear that doesn’t protect your feet. After buying new shoes, wear them for a couple of hours and then take them off. The last thing you want is to develop blisters when you’re wearing your new shoes in because that could lead to foot complications.
Shop for Shoes in the Afternoon
When you go shoe shopping, do it in the afternoon because your feet swell throughout the day. Your feet are the most swollen in the afternoon.
Get Help Picking The Right Shoes For Diabetes From A Seattle Podiatrist
The foot and ankle physicians at Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington can prescribe diabetic shoes if needed or help measure your feet and recommend the right footwear. We have offices in Kirkland, Renton, Everett, and Redmond. Call (425) 678-3877 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment.