If you have diabetes, you know it affects every aspect of your daily life. From what to eat, how much to exercise, how to take care of your feet and what shoes to wear are some of the things you need to constantly think about..
The good thing is that with simple lifestyle changes, you can manage your diabetes, reducing the pain, swelling, tingling and other symptoms you might have.
To start, you should look at your shoes and make sure they are the best shoes for diabetes. This means they have been especially designed to accommodate a sensitive foot with features not found in regular shoes.
Shoes for diabetes have an orthotic insole to provide support and cushioning. This ensures the foot, toes and body are aligned and work together in the proper way. It also means the foot and toes will not strike the ground in the wrong place leading to further injury.
Soles with a minimal heel to toe drop transfers pressure evenly from heel strike to toe lift. Shoes that are flat with the heel and toe on the same level, or shoes with a heel, will only place excess pressure on specific areas which can be harmful to the diabetic foot
Wide toe box
Toes that overlap or squeeze one another can lead to blisters, calluses, and corns, putting the diabetic foot at risk. Shoes with a toe box that is wide, round and tall create plenty of space for the best to movement and comfort.
Shoes for diabetes need to be able to fit a swollen or enlarged foot. Extra depth shoes are deeper and taller, with more space and a pressure free fit.
Seam free interior
Loss of sensation means there is a chance that sores, cuts and wounds will not be felt and identified in time. If there is any type of friction between the foot and what’s touching it, sores can occur. Seams free shoes with a soft interior means the inside is completely smooth without any overlays, threads or seams that can harm the particularly sensitive foot.
Since the diabetic foot is more sensitive, it needs to be extra protected from injury. The more padding there is around the foot, the less injury it will sustain. Padding around the heel, instep and forefoot is ideal.
Significant foot swelling may occur over the course of the day, so it is important for shoes to be able to accommodate that. Stretch materials are effective as they expand easily and conform to the specific contours of the feet.
The less pressure that is place on a sensitive foot, the healthier it will be. If you have wide feet, swelling, a bunion or hammertoe, extra space can be a blessing and allow the foot and toes to sit comfortably in the shoe without getting squeezed.
Wearing diabetic socks will further protect the feet. Diabetic socks are unique as they have a loose and non-constricting construction, a white sole to identify draining wounds, seam free design and padded areas.
Protect your feet at all times
Wearing orthotic diabetic shoes when you are out and about is great but how about when you are home? Socks don’t provide enough support, cushioning and protection so you should opt to wear slippers for diabetes.
Clean feet, are happy feet
Check and wash your feet daily. Warm water with a mild soap is best. Do not soak or apply lotion afterwards between the toes.
Always cut nails straight across. Do not cut the corners or too short as this can lead to ingrown nails.
Get fit by a professional to make certain your shoes are not too tight or too loose. The best time to get fit is towards the end of the day when your feet are widest after the days activities. Shoes that are too tight will put pressure and lead to various problems such as bunions, and sores, while shoes that are too loose can cause the foot to slide around and create blisters.
See your medical provider
If you were diagnosed with diabetes, it is recommended to see a specialist every six months or periodically so that they can examine your feet and make sure nothing new is going on.