Posted by Barry on 3/4/2013 to Health & Footwear
Proper footwear is essential for diabetics suffering from some types of Diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes, in which nerves are damaged as a result of high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). This damage can result in a lack of sensation in the feet preventing the sufferer from feeling pain. This lack of sensation makes feet vulnerable to injury and it’s even possible an injury could go unnoticed. A minor injury left unnoticed and untreated can develop into more serious foot and leg problems such as infections, ulcers, deformities, and in extreme cases, amputation.
Diabetic shoes are designed to reduce risk of foot injury. The most important factor in reducing this risk is proper fit. For this reason, diabetic shoes are available in widths and usually include removable insoles which, when removed, create greater depth inside the shoe to allow for custom orthotic or heat-moldable diabetic inserts. The diabetic shoes and inserts work together as a preventative system to help diabetics avoid foot injuries and improve mobility. Good quality diabetic shoes also have as few internal seams as possible since seams could potentially cause abrasion to the wearer’s foot. Sturdy heel counters and protective reinforced toe boxes add additional protection. Uppers are normally made of breathable, supple leather which will not bind or pinch. Diabetic shoes must allow for some fit adjustment as the foot swells during the course of a day. This adjustment could be by means of shoelaces or adjustable straps (typically with hook and loop closures).
Any footwear features that can reduce the risk of foot injury are generally beneficial for diabetics even though not required for “diabetic shoe” classification. These features included rounded outsole edges and radiused heels which reduce the risk of tripping, slip-resistant outsoles, and anti-microbial linings.
Properly built and fitted diabetic shoes can not only protect the foot but also help improve gait and posture which in turn help promote an active lifestyle. An active lifestyle promotes healthy circulation, and so on. Healthier living begins with a balance of mind, body, and spirit. Proper footwear is essential to achieving that balance.