Who Needs a Diabetes-Friendly Shoe?
Not everyone with diabetes needs a diabetes-friendly shoe, but everyone can benefit from a well-constructed, properly fitted shoe that works with the architecture of the foot, says Lee Sanders, DPM. A shoe that accommodates the shape and health of your foot is especially important for people who have a previous amputation or partial amputation, poor circulation, numbness of the feet, or feet with a callus, a previous ulceration, or foot deformity.
Medicare recipients with one or more of those conditions are eligible for full coverage for a pair of qualifying therapeutic shoes each year, says Neil Scheffler, DPM, author of 21 Things You Need to Know About Diabetes and Your Feet. He recommends being fitted by a professional in the afternoon, when your feet swell to their biggest, while wearing the socks you’ll wear with the shoes. He notes that a material that wicks away moisture, like wool or CoolMax, keeps feet from sitting in sweat, which can cause blisters and make an environment attractive to fungus or bacteria.
Sanders says “women are, I think, held hostage by the designers of footwear. If you think about the mechanics of the foot … steps are shorter when you wear a high heel. They redistribute weight from your heel to the front of the foot. That’s why your feet hurt and why women really need to rebel against this.”
The book 21 Things You Need to Know About Diabetes and Your Feet is available at shopdiabetes.org.
Read about a shoe designer who combines health and fashion.