The Diabetic Foot
Definition of The Diabetic Foot
Diabetes is a serious disease that can develop from lack of insulin production in the body or due to the inability of the body's insulin to perform its normal everyday functions. Insulin is a substance produced by the pancreas gland that helps process the food we eat and turn it into energy.
Diabetes affects approximately 16 million Americans and is classified into 2 different types: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is usually associated with juvenile diabetes and is often linked to heredity. Type 2, commonly referred to as adult onset diabetes, is characterized by elevated blood sugars, often in people who are overweight or have not attended to their diet properly.
Many complications can be associated with diabetes. Diabetes disrupts the vascular system, affecting many areas of the body such as the eyes, kidneys, legs, and feet. People with diabetes should pay special attention to their feet.
If you or someone you love suffer from diabetes, then you understand the importance of appropriate footwear. The right pair of shoes can make a huge difference in the life of someone with diabetes.
Don't suffer from improperly fitting shoes. Keep reading to understand the 10 most important things to look for when choosing diabetic-friendly shoes and give your feet some much-needed relief.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Shoes for Diabetics
Look for shoes made from soft, stretchy fabric or material. Leather is a great choice, as it stretches to fit your feet. It should accommodate any other foot issues you have, such as bunions or hammertoes.
2. Style Matters
When in doubt, opt for shoes with laces over loafers or other shoes that lack support. Shoes with laces offer a better fit overall and allow you to adjust the tightness.
3. Focus on Fit
Make sure that there is half your thumb’s width between where your longest toe meets the tip of your shoe. This allows your feet plenty of room and promotes proper circulation.
Make sure the toe box allows wiggle room for your toes and is made of breathable materials, such as perforated leather as it better allows your feet to breathe throughout the day.
If you're unsure about the proper fit, there are different sizing charts to help you as you purchase your new shoes.
Comfort is key. Make sure to choose shoes you can wear all day. Practice with your new shoes and wear them for a few hours to see how your feet react, checking for swelling or signs of discomfort.
The tongue of your shoe needs to be wide and have ample padding. This stops the laces from pressing into your foot and provides extra comfort throughout the day.
You may not know this, but the opening where you put your foot through your shoe is incredibly important. This part of your shoe, known as the throat, needs to padded and low cut as to not rub against your ankles all day.
7. Avoid Flip-Flops, Sandals, Pointy-Toe, and Open-Toe Shoes
Shoes with any type of straps can put unnecessary pressure on your feet and cut off circulation. They can also cause painful sores and blisters. Open shoes leave your toes vulnerable to cuts, so it’s best to avoid these.
Avoid flip-flops and sandals and opt for shoes with closed (but roomy) toe boxes.
Narrow shoes can cause foot ulcers to form, along with painful blisters. Pointy shoes can lead to bunions and cause your toes to rub against one another.
8. Time When You Shop
Your feet naturally swell at the end of the day after standing or walking for long periods of time, so it's best to shop for shoes later in the day. You’ll have a better idea of the exact size you need and will help you purchase the most comfortable shoe possible.
If they're comfortable to wear with swollen feet, they'll most likely be comfortable earlier in the day as well.
9. Purchase Several Pairs
It’s always a good idea to buy at least two supportive shoes. This allows you to have a back-up pair and to rotate shoes. Since they can get sweaty, alternating days lets them dry when not being worn.
10. Arch Support
Make sure to choose shoes with proper arch support. Proper arch support helps protect your feet from tissue breakdown and accompanied pain.
Proper arch support also helps to promote body alignment while evenly distributing weight throughout your feet. When your posture and alignment are improved, foot pain is likely reduced and balance can be restored.
Apex Shoes and Diabetic Footwear
Apex shoes offer a wide variety of widths as well as removable insoles to help you find the best shoes for diabetics.
There is a complete line of diabetic footwear so you'll be sure to find the perfect fit for your feet. Shop the complete line of walker, runner, and boot style shoes as well as orthotic support inserts.
Diabetics need to take special care of their feet, and Apex can help you find the best shoe for all your needs.