Diabetes can profoundly affect your feet, making it crucial to choose the right shoes that provide the necessary support, protection, and comfort. That's why finding the right pair of diabetic shoes is essential for people with diabetes. However, it can be a challenging task to find shoes that are comfortable, stylish, and therapeutic at the same time.
Luckily, Horton's has recently onboarded a specialized pedorthotist who focuses on diabetic shoes and assists clients in finding their ideal pair. In this article, we will discuss the significance of selecting the appropriate diabetic shoes and how Horton's can aid you in finding your perfect fit.
What Are Diabetic Shoes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how the body processes blood sugar. And if left unmanaged over time, it can lead to a range of complications, including nerve damage, poor circulation, foot ulcers, and even amputation in some cases.
But Why Are People with Diabetes at A Higher Risk of Developing Foot Ulcers?
One of the main culprits is nerve damage, or neuropathy, which can cause a loss of sensation in the feet. This means that people with neuropathy may not even realize they have an injury or sore on their foot, which can lead to the ulcer becoming more severe and even infected.
Another contributing factor is poor circulation. When blood flow to the feet is reduced, it can slow down the healing process and make it harder for the body to fight off infection. And if you thought that was bad enough, persistent high blood sugar levels weaken your immune system, resulting in a higher susceptibility to infections.
Diabetic Shoes Protect You from Foot Ulcers
It's essential to practice good foot care, including regularly checking your feet for any signs of injury or infection, keeping your feet clean and dry, and wearing well-fitting shoes that protect your feet. Enter diabetic shoes, a specially designed footwear. Diabetic shoes provide extra comfort, support, and protection for individuals with diabetes.
Diabetic Shoes vs Regular Shoes
Unlike regular shoes, diabetic shoes are designed to prevent injuries, reduce the risk of foot ulcers, and promote proper circulation. They have a deeper and wider toe box to accommodate any swelling. This also prevents the toes from rubbing against each other, which can cause blisters and calluses. The insoles of diabetic shoes are usually made of soft, cushioned materials to provide extra support and reduce pressure points.
On the other hand, regular shoes are designed primarily for fashion and may not provide the necessary support or protection for individuals with diabetes. They often have a narrow toe box, which can squeeze the toes and cause discomfort or even deformities over time. The insoles are usually made of hard materials that don't provide adequate cushioning and can worsen any foot condition. Furthermore, regular shoes may have stitching, seams, or other rough materials inside that can cause friction and lead to blisters or sores.
Benefits of Diabetic Shoes
The Amputee Coalition reports that around 185,000 amputations take place annually in the United States. And according to this article, diabetes is among the most prevalent causes of amputation. So if you're living with diabetes, you know how crucial it is to take good care of your feet.
A study in 2022 shows that wearing special shoes designed to reduce pressure has been proven effective in lowering the risk of diabetic foot ulcers.
These specially designed shoes offer many benefits that can help you maintain healthy feet, including the following:
- Significantly reduces your risk of developing foot ulcers. They are designed with extra depth, width, and padding to protect your feet and reduce pressure points that can cause ulcers to develop.
- Enhance motion control and reduce shock impact. These shoes feature exceptional arch support and shock-absorbing properties, effectively relieving foot pain and discomfort. By facilitating better motion control, they also mitigate the risk of ankle or knee pain.
- Made from breathable materials that allow air to circulate your feet, preventing excessive sweating and reducing the risk of fungal infections. And if you need custom orthotics to address specific foot problems, diabetic shoes can accommodate them.
Diabetic Shoes for Women
Making sure that diabetic shoes fit correctly is essential for everyone, but it's more vital for women. Women's feet are usually narrower and have different shapes than men’s feet. This can make it tricky to find shoes that fit just right, which is especially important for women with diabetes who are more prone to foot problems.
Thankfully, there are several diabetic shoes designed specifically for women with features that cater to their unique needs. For instance, some diabetic shoes for women have adjustable straps or laces that make it easy to get a customized fit.
Some shoes also allow you to remove their insoles so that you can exchange them with custom orthotics.
Women can choose from various styles of diabetic shoes, too. Some styles are perfect for everyday wear, while others are great for more formal occasions. Some of the most popular diabetic shoes for women include Mary Janes, sandals, and athletic shoes.
Diabetic Shoes for Men
Diabetic shoes for men come in a wide range of styles and features to accommodate different foot sizes, shapes, and issues.
Aside from a deep and wide toe box that allows the toes to move freely without any rubbing or pressure points, diabetic shoes for men also provide comfortable and cushioned footbeds. The shock absorption and extra support can be helpful for men who spend long hours on their feet or have a job that requires them to stand or walk for extended periods.
Regarding style, diabetic shoes for men are available in various options, including dress, casual, and athletic shoes. Some popular men's diabetic shoes include loafers, oxfords, and sneakers.
In addition to finding the right fit for diabetic shoes, using diabetes inserts can further enhance the comfort and protection offered by these specialized shoes. Diabetes inserts are orthotic devices designed to fit in diabetic shoes and provide additional support and cushioning to the feet.
Diabetes inserts can further help reduce pressure points and friction in the feet, which can contribute to the development of foot ulcers and other foot problems. They can also help improve balance and stability and reduce the risk of falls, a significant concern for individuals with diabetes.
Horton's new pedorthotist is equipped to assist customers in selecting the correct diabetes inserts for their shoes. The pedorthotist can assess the customer's foot and gait to determine the appropriate level of support and cushioning. He will also recommend the most suitable diabetes inserts for you, including the best practices on how to maintain them.
What exactly is a pedorthotist, and how can they help people with diabetes?
A pedorthotist is a trained and certified healthcare professional who specializes in the design, fit, and modification of shoes and foot orthotics. They work closely with patients to understand their unique foot care needs and provide customized solutions to improve foot health and alleviate pain and discomfort.
At Horton's Orthotics and Prosthetics, we understand that there’s a significant difference between custom-molded diabetic shoes and over-the-counter products. That’s why our pedorthotist conducts a comprehensive evaluation and health check. This helps to identify any foot problems or conditions that require specialized shoes or orthotics.
Getting the Perfect Fit
Finding the perfect pair of shoes is not always easy, but settling for ill-fitting shoes will only exacerbate foot complications. Shoes that don't fit properly can cause rubbing, pressure points, and blisters, which can lead to foot ulcers and infections. That’s why for individuals with diabetes, the right fit can make all the difference.
At Horton's Orthotics and Prosthetics, our pedorthotist is a pro at helping diabetic customers find the perfect shoe fit. With a meticulous foot assessment and gait pattern analysis, they determine your size, shape, and specialized needs. From there, they recommend and adjust shoes for optimal comfort and offer guidance on care to prolong their lifespan.
Step Into Comfort and Keep Your Feet Healthy
Diabetic shoes are essential for preventing foot-related conditions in people with diabetes. Unlike regular shoes, they offer necessary support, protection, and comfort for your feet. That’s why it’s important to find the right fit to ensure maximum effectiveness.
At Horton's Orthotics and Prosthetics, our expert pedorthotist will help you get the perfect pair of diabetic shoes and inserts to meet your unique needs.
Book an appointment today to prevent further foot complications and walk with comfort all the time!