People often ask, “What are Diabetic Shoes”? No, diabetic shoes are not made without sugar… but are made to better fit the foot, and to reduce the risk of foot damage. People with diabetes often suffer form what is referred to as “neuropathy or diabetic neuropathy.” Wearing the right shoe is extremely important for the diabetic, as high blood sugar can cause damage to the foot nerves and may reduce the sensation in the foot. This can turn a simple blister into a foot-threatening situation, which could lead to amputation in extreme cases.
Quality diabetic footwear is constructed with more available room, no or fewer internal seams, stronger toe boxes and quality heel counters. The material tends to be softer leather or breathable material, which will not impede on the skin of the foot, or impact circulation. In addition to limiting damage to the foot, they are made to be more stabile, and to handle shock better than a typical shoe. Diabetic shoes also are designed to be an extra depth shoe- comfort shoe, which allows for more adjustment within the shoe by adding or removing spacers under the sock liners.
In addition to diabetic shoes there are also diabetic socks. Their design takes into account that they must fit the foot well, not bind or pinch, or impede circulation. The socks also tend to be effective in removing moisture, thus reducing the chances of foot infections.
But, I don’t have diabetes.
Comfort shoes may be beneficial for those who do not have diabetes. The fact that the shoes fit well, are comfortable and very stable are of huge benefit to anyone who stands on their feet or walks a lot. These shoes easily allow for the fitting of custom orthotics, or other specialized inserts, while not making the shoes too tight. They also come in a WIDE variety of sizes and widths. The best plan for happy healthy feet in our older years is taking care of them while we are younger. Many people go to the dentist regularly, brush and floss, so that they will have healthy teeth for life, all the while wearing shoes which are damaging their feet. Happy, healthy feet can make the difference between an active retirement and one spent on a power chair.
The bottom line is…….. Don’t wait until you have diabetes or have injured feet to start thinking about your footwear. If you care about your teeth, and you care about what you eat, then you HAVE to also care about what is on your feet!!!!!!!
Dan has been in and around shoe repair and retail shoes for over 40 years. His parent owned both a shoe repair/retail shoe store and operated a licensed vocational school teaching shoe repair. The Shulters family has been repairing shoes since 1947.