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Living with Diabetes: Types of Shoes for a Diabetic

Living with Diabetes: Types of Shoes for a Diabetic

Diabetes is a type of disease that involves the level of a person’s blood sugar being too high. But the effects of diabetes extend beyond affecting blood sugar levels. Those diagnosed with diabetes may experience nerve damage and this will ultimately be a cause of discomfort and pain. Doctors usually recommend people to wear a certain types of shoes for diabetic patients that can help ease the discomfort in the feet and prevent injuries.

What is Diabetic Neuropathy?

Before discussing the best types of shoes for a diabetic, it’s best to understand diabetic neuropathy.

Diabetic neuropathy affects and injures the nerves due to high levels of glucose in the body. Moreover, this usually affects the legs and feet of a person.

The symptoms for diabetic neuropathy differ depending on which nerves are affected. Numbness and pain may be felt in the legs and feet or there may be problems that concern the urinary tract, digestive system, the heart and blood vessels.

This complication affects about 50% of people diagnosed with diabetes. The severity of diabetic neuropathy varies per person.

For instance, some people may exhibit mild symptoms while others may feel pain and discomfort that inhibits them from moving.

Diabetes and Foot Complications: What You Should Know

Types of Shoes for a Diabetic can Help Ease Foot Complications

An example of a foot complication of diabetes would be nerve damage, and this is also referred to as neuropathy. As previously mentioned, diabetic neuropathy usually affects the nerves located at a person’s legs and feet.

There are numerous things that can be felt by a person suffering from neuropathy such as tingling sensations, burning and stinging pain, or weakness on the foot.

There are also other foot complications of diabetes besides neuropathy and these are:

  • Skin changes
  • Calluses
  • Poor circulation
  • Foot ulcers
  • Amputation

What is a Diabetic Foot?

A diabetic foot basically means that the foot has damaged nerves and that causes a person to feel numbness. Once that happens, the person will not feel the injuries that will be inflicted such as cuts, sores, or blisters.

Once foot injuries like these become exposed and left untreated because the person does not know they have an injury in the first place, it can lead to serious complications.

Risks of Diabetic Foot

The risks of having a diabetic foot will lead to having multiple foot injuries due to the lack of feeling on the foot. These foot injuries can ultimately cause foot ulcer and amputation.

Foot ulcers may happen due to foot injuries and in severe cases, amputation must be done. Moreover, damaged blood vessels make it difficult for injuries to heal.

Complications of Diabetic Foot

Below are the complications that can result from diabetic foot complications:

  • Infections and ulcers that do not heal
  • Poor blood flow
  • Nail disorders (ingrown toenails and fungal infections)
  • Dry and cracked skin.
  • Charcot foot
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoes and bunions (the bending of the joints in the toes)

Aside from knowing the best types of shoes a diabetic must wear, it’s important to do the following:

  • Inspect their feet daily to spot any signs—discoloration, wounds—that may be a cause for concern.
  • Trim nails on a regular basis will help prevent nail problems and numbness.
  • Leg pain must not be ignored, especially if the person is a diabetic.
  • Avoid removing calluses or corns by themselves.
  • Maintain a clean floor at all times and avoid having sharp objects scattered around.
  • Always wear shoes and never be barefoot be it indoors or outdoors.
  • Have your foot checked for its circulation and possible loss of feeling.
  • Check your shoes and socks. Shoes may have something inside that may injure your foot so you must shake the shoe. Your socks must always fit comfortably as well and not bunched up.
  • Wear the appropriate type of shoes for a diabetic such as deep shoes, healing shoes, and custom-made ones.

What Kind of Shoes Should Diabetics Wear?

Here are some of the types of shoes a diabetic must wear:

  • Deep shoes. These prevent foot complications such as hammertoes and calluses.
  • Therapeutic shoes with cushioned insoles. These are worn when the foot needs to be healed from injuries such as sores or after foot surgeries.
  • Custom-made shoes. These are recommended for diabetic patients with foot deformities who need to have a shoe that is molded based on their foot shape.

An example of a therapeutic shoe for diabetics would be those that have a rocker-shaped walking sole, soft uppers (no hard toe caps), and a shock absorption insole and those designed to prevent the relapse of foot ulcers.

Key Takeaways

Specific types of shoes for diabetics will help prevent further damage to a diabetic’s foot. This will also make diabetics feel more comfortable and protected. Therefore, purchasing the right type of shoe is essential for a diabetic.

Learn more about managing diabetes complications, here.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Jen Mallari Updated Apr 01
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel