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Do I Need Diabetic Shoes?

Poorly controlled blood sugar can damage many parts of the body, including the nerves and vessels that go to the feet. Because of this, people with diabetes have an increased risk of developing foot problems. Wearing specially designed shoes can help reduce risk and promote healthy circulation in your feet. Read on to find out more about shoes designed for people with diabetes and whether you might need them.

Diabetes and foot problems

High blood sugar contributes to poor blood circulation. It can also damage nerves in your feet, a condition called neuropathy. Neuropathy can cause you to lose feeling in your feet, which may make it difficult for you to realize if you cut yourself or injure your foot. If you leave a cut untreated, it can lead to an infection. Poor circulation can make it difficult to heal cuts and infections.

Diabetic foot pain and ulcers: Causes and treatments »

You might develop open sores on your toes or the bottom of your feet. You may also develop calluses, or thick areas of hardened skin. The following are all more likely to occur in people with diabetes:

  • bunions
  • corns
  • fungal infections
  • gangrene

Nerve damage can also change the shape of your feet. People with diabetes are more likely to develop hammertoe, which is a deformity that causes the toe joints to bend inward.

Even foot problems that might seem insignificant, like blisters or athlete’s foot, can be a cause of concern if you have diabetes. Because of poor circulation to the area, any foot problem will take longer to heal and may instead compound and grow into a dangerous infection that can progress and lead to amputations if not correctly treated. That’s why any foot issues should be called to the attention of your doctor if you have diabetes.

Foot injuries and changes to the foot’s shape can make your regular shoes feel uncomfortable. Wearing shoes that are too tight or too loose can put you at risk for foot problems, or make your foot problems even worse. Don’t try to squeeze your feet into uncomfortable shoes. Instead, ask your doctor or podiatrist about special shoes made for people with diabetes. By wearing the right shoes, you’ll be more comfortable and you’ll keep your feet healthier.

What kind of diabetic shoes do I need?

If your diabetes is under control and you don’t have any real foot problems, a comfortable, well-fitting shoe may be all you need. But if you do develop any foot problems, your doctor might recommend one of these shoe options:

In-depth shoes

In-depth shoes are 1/4 to 1/2 inch deeper than normal shoes. The extra room can accommodate foot changes like calluses or hammertoes. In-depth shoes also leave enough room for inserts if you need them.

Healing shoes

Healing shoes are worn while you recover from foot sores or foot surgery. They come in open sandals or closed-toe versions. Generally, open-toed shoes aren’t recommended for people with diabetes unless ordered by your doctor.

Custom-made shoes

Custom-made shoes are created from a mold of your foot. This type of shoe may be an option if your feet have a deformity.

In general, therapeutic shoes are specifically designed to keep your feet healthy if you have neuropathy, nerve damage, or an existing foot injury.

Orthopedic shoes are shoes designed to give more comfort to those with bunions, corns, or other foot problems. Not everyone who wears orthopedic shoes has diabetes. A great variety of orthopedic shoes are available, no matter what style of shoe or type of sole you prefer.

In addition to buying new shoes, you can also modify shoes you already own. For example, you might add a thicker, more shock-absorbent sole. You could also add orthotics. These are footpads or inserts placed inside your shoes to take pressure off of your feet and provide added comfort.

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We carry Dr. Comfort Products: HERE

Dr. Comfort products are designed to protect feet from diabetic complications, manage various foot conditions, provide better stability and balance and aid in the treatment and care of conditions like Diabetes, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Lesions, Infections, Ulceration, Bunions, Hammertoes, Corn & Calluses, and tired, aching feet. Although designed for diabetic and problematic feet, the shoes are also perfect for healthy feet, as they easily combine protection and comfort with style.Dr. Comfort shoes feature extra width and depth in the toe box and forefoot to relieve pressure from key areas of the foot. The shoes are available in a wide variety of styles, colors and sizes, for men as well as women.

Burlington Health Care, Northern Kentucky’s Home Health Supply Store, has all of the Incontinence products to address your needs. As Northern Kentucky’s healthcare supply provider, our professionals will make sure you and your family have the knowledge and supplies you need to manage any and all medical challenges you encounter. Visit our website at or stop in today and speak with one of our helpful staff members.

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