One of the most common questions people have about diabetic shoes is what is their purpose? It is common to wonder why diabetic shoes are necessary and what sets them apart from normal shoes and in short the answers are simple. Diabetic shoes are necessary for those people with advanced diabetes who have been experiencing warning signs or symptoms of neuropathy in feet or peripheral artery disease in their lower legs, feet, and/or toes.
The purpose of diabetic shoes is to protect the feet of diabetics who may be vulnerable to foot infections, ulcers, and amputation.
It’s not a fun topic to consider but the vast majority of civilian amputations each year are due to the effects of diabetes. As diabetes advances neuropathy makes it easier for diabetics to injure or wound their feet and peripheral artery disease makes it harder for those wounds to heal. As a result many wounds and injuries worsen and get infected and as the infection spreads it can get into the blood or bone making amputation the best option for treatment.
Obviously nobody wants festering infected wounds on heir feet and certainly nobody wants to go through a foot amputation and although early stages of diabetes may not require special foot care, later stages of diabetes do. Diabetic shoes are designed much like a high quality normal shoe however special care is devoted to design features which are of particular interest to diabetics.
Diabetic Shoes Vs. Normal Shoes
- Diabetic shoes are typically wider and deeper than ordinary shoes. This provides ample space for minor to major foot deformities and for the insertion of sometimes large diabetic shoe inserts (insoles) or custom made foot orthotics meant to help treat the deformed foot of some diabetics.
- Diabetic shoes are usually lined with high end fibers and padding which is capable of whisking moisture away from the foot and allowing the foot to “breath” better. Moisture can cause skin irritation when the foot rubs against the inside of the shoe.
- Diabetic shoes are usually very soft and plush on the insides. This serves the purpose of padding the foot against the insides of the shoe and minimizing pressure points or areas of the shoe that could irritate the skin.
- Diabetic shoes are usually loose fitting. Many diabetic shoes are designed with Velcro straps or as slip-ons so that circulation in the feet can be improved over traditional shoes. This may help improve blood flow to the feet and toes and can result in better healing when foot injuries do occur.
Diabetic shoes serve another related purpose in those people with advanced diabetes. It is well known that exercise is incredibly important for people with diabetes. Simply by increasing the amount of exercise you get can have a dramatic affect on improve your blood sugar levels throughout the day, after meals, and after fasting throughout the night.
The problem however is that many shoes simply aren’t designed for the problems than many diabetic feet exhibit. Exercising in ordinary shoes can be hard on the feet and may make your situation worse in the short run.
A good pair of diabetic walking shoes worn with a pair of seamless diabetic socks can make exercise much easier on the feet and can in effect improve the quality of your life even as you continue to fight your diabetic condition. Diabetic footwear will not perform any miracles but they will make staying active easier even as your feet deteriorate due to poor blood flow and nerve damage in the region.
If you think that getting a pair of diabetic shoes may help you out then consider taking additional steps to help manage your diabetes. Exercising can be enhanced greatly by simply following a diet for type 2 diabetes and changing your lifestyle enough to make a positive change in your health.