Proper footwear is an important consideration for anyone who wishes to remain pain-free and active into their later years. However, for people suffering from diabetes and its complications, selecting the right shoes is a must. Because diabetic patients are often struck with peripheral artery disease and peripheral neuropathy, they have a diminished blood supply to the feet and may lack sensation that would otherwise alert them to foot problems. The wrong type of footwear can be the source of issues like foot ulcers. Left untreated, these wounds, and the resulting infections, can lead to serious problems, requiring amputation of the toes, or partial/complete amputation of the foot.
Diabetics should wear shoes that offer support, control movement, and stabilize the foot through their normal range of activities. This helps to prevent unnecessary friction on the skin, protecting heels, toes and other areas from irritation and swelling that can easily worsen into open wounds. Footwear selection can also help prevent inflammation of the joints, and the subsequent deformities that can develop. Reducing inflammation and alignment problems helps to control the constriction of already-compromised nerves and blood vessels.
Your podiatrist can recommend specialized diabetic shoes, or even custom-made shoes or orthotics to help you prevent manage diabetic foot problems. These measures are designed to provide the structure, comfort and support required by patients with diabetes, especially those who have lost some or all feeling the feet.