Many of our customers have recently been diagnosed with Diabetes and have been advised that they need to look after their feet and ensure they buy correctly fitted footwear.
This article is to give you the information you need to ensure you have the right information to look after your feet and buy correctly. So lets start at the beginning.
Why do diabetics need to more conscious of the shoes they buy and wear?
High blood sugar levels can damage nerves in your feet due to poor blood circulation, a condition called Neuropathy.
Neuropathy can cause you to lose feeling in your feet, which may make it difficult for you to feel bumps or rough seams in your shoes which can damage your feet. This is important as it can take longer for diabetics to heal from wounds, cuts and blisters.
What type of shoes should diabetics be wearing?
Here are our top 10 points which diabetics should bear in mind when buying new shoes.
1. Avoid flat shoes or high heels. It is better to choose a shoe which has a modest heel so your weight is spread evenly over the foot.
2. Avoid slip on and backless shoes/sandals. It is better to choose footwear with Velcro or laces as this allows you to adjust the shoe so you get a good fit which keeps your foot secure in the shoe and stops it slipping or moving around.
3. Choose footwear with good insoles. Not all insoles are the same. Diabetics should seek out shoes which offer good cushioning so your foot is protected. Shoes designed for diabetics usually have higher grade insoles which last longer and do not flatten after a few wears.
4. Look out for other comfort features, especially if your diabetes is serious. Features such as cushioned heels and padded tongues can offer additional protection and stop abrasion or rubbing of sensitive feet.
5. Feel inside the shoe to see if there are any rough edges or stitching. Diabetics feet may have less sensitivity and rough edges caused by low quality stitching can cause serious issues over time. Again, shoes designed for diabetics will have taken this into account during the design process and the shoe will be constructed to minimize stitching and ensure that any stitching is flush to the shoe and will not cause irritation.
6. The material the upper of the shoe is made from is important. Steer away from man made materials and choose leather uppers. Leather will allow the foot to breathe. Choose soft leather rather than the hard leathers often found in formal leather shoes. You need to ensure the upper of the shoe is flexible and soft so it does not cut into your foot when you walk, which can be a real problem especially with new shoes.
7. Choose footwear with soft flexible soles. Flexible cushioned soles will protect your feet and improve stability when walking. Avoid hard leather soles and look out for models which say the sole is flexible.
8. Ensure you purchase shoes which are wide enough. It is important that diabetics choose shoes which give their toes enough room so they are not squeezed. Cramped toes can cause issues such as corns, bunions, blistering and hammertoes. So steer away from pointed fronts and go for models with a rounder toe. Choose a wider width fitting if you have wide feet.
9. If your diabetes has caused swelling in your feet then it is essential that you look for models with enough depth so the top of your foot is not rubbing against the top of your shoe. Width fittings 2V, 3V and 4E all offer additional depth so look out for these width fittings. (6E and 8E also provide additional depth but are more designed for those with serious foot swelling).
10. Make sure you stand up and walk around when trying new shoes. Standing ensures the foot spreads and walking around will let you know if the fit is correct. Check the shoes feels secure and is not slipping. Do your toes have enough room? When your foot is weight bearing, check that you still have enough room at the front of the shoe? You want to ensure you still have some space.
There is a lot to bear in mind, especially if your diabetes has only recently been diagnosed. To make the process easier we have grouped all our wide fitting shoes, which are suitable for diabetes, into their own product category. Shoes in this category have soft leathers, minimal stitching and seams as well good cushioning and comfort features.
We have lots of experience in helping customers with diabetes find the right footwear, so if you prefer to visit us for a professional fitting then you can find all the details and address of our wide fitting shoe shop here.
We also recommend that you read our article on General Foot Care Advise For Diabetics for more information on how to look after your feet.
View Our Wide Fit Collection Of Shoes For Diabetics