Choosing diabetic footwear wisely is critical if you have diabetes. Why is this so? Diabetes affects the feet in two main ways:
1. It can cause damage to nerves in the feet which cause the feet to have decreased sensation or even become completely numb. This is a condition known as diabetic neuropathy. Because of the decreased sensation, diabetics are more prone to developing foot ulcers they may not be aware of due to the lack of perceived pain.
2. It can cause decreased circulation to the feet. Reduced circulation to the feet means that vital nutrients and antibodies can't reach the extremities to keep feet healthy and free of infection. Thus, diabetics will be more prone to foot ulcers due to the lack of good blood flow.
What might be a minor foot irritation in a normal person can quickly develop into a serious foot infection in a diabetic who has poor circulation and nerve damage. This makes it all the more important to practice good foot care and chose the appropriate diabetic footwear to keep your feet comfortable and healthy. Be sure to check with your doctor and have a thorough foot exam before going shopping for diabetic footwear. You want to be aware of any preexisting diabetes related foot problems.
Here's what you need to know to select the best diabetic footwear:
1. Never buy shoes online. It's important you be able to try on shoes to make sure they're comfortable and fit properly.
2. Always try on shoes at the end of the day when your feet are their maximum size. Feet can change size as the day progresses from swelling due to prolonged standing. Shoes you select in the morning may be too tight in the evening. It's important to avoid shoes that are too tight to prevent the development of blisters and callouses that can turn into ulcers.
3. Have both feet carefully measured before you purchase shoes. Shoe size can change due to weight gain and there can be a discrepancy in size between your two feet. Always choose a size that fits your largest foot comfortably.
4. When you try on shoes, spend some time walking around the store to make sure the shoes you've chosen are comfortable with plenty of room. Don't rush when making a shoe selection. The health of your feet may depend upon it.
5. Choose shoes made of a natural material with good ventilation to reduce the risk of infection.
6. If you wear shoe inserts, take those with you when you try on shoes to make sure the shoe fits with the insole in place.
7. Avoid purchasing high heels or shoes with pointed toes that might reduce the amount of wiggle room for your toes. It's important your toes have lots of space to move and breathe.
8. Avoid wearing open toed sandals since these can increase your risk of injury or foot infection.
9. When you purchase new shoes, wear them for short periods of time initially to make sure they fit properly and feel comfortable.
Now you know how to select good diabetic footwear which should help you keep your feet healthy and happy!