7 Tips for Proper Diabetic Shoes

One of the most dreadful complications of diabetes is the diabetic foot. Preceded by a tiny blister in your foot, this gruesome condition may rapidly evolve into foot ulcer, severe infection, extensive tissue loss, and in many cases, amputation. In more severe cases, the infection may spread to the whole body, a condition called sepsis, and it is a life threatening condition. Many people do not realize that all of these potentially fatal conditions may be prevented by careful skin care, frequent foot inspection and proper shoes. This goes hand in hand with studies that show many cases of diabetic foot are caused by improper footwear. Many people with diabetes do not know how to choose proper shoes for them. Are you one of them?


There is no such perfect shoes for diabetes

Do not be drawn to sleazy commercial claims of perfect diabetic shoes. In many cases, all that is needed is well-fitting athletic shoes. Here are several tips provided by The American Diabetic Association in how to choose the proper shoes for people with diabetes.

1.      Forget your flip-flops

Proper shoes should protect the foot from any injury. Even a smallest scratch has the potential consequence of amputation. Never walk on barefoot or use non-covering foot wears such as flip-flops. Flip-flops also provide less support compared to other footwear while people with diabetes need support for their foot.

2.      No heels

Heels cause uneven distribution of body weight on your foot. This leads to excessive pressure on areas that are not designed to accept such a great pressure. This abnormal pressure distribution may be exaggerated further if there is underlying deformity such as bunions. Heels, in some conditions, may mean hell.

3.      Use wide shoes

Studies demonstrate many people with diabetes have poor sensation, a condition called neuropathy. This complication leads them to prefer tighter shoes on basis they can feel the shoes better. This is a potentially catastrophic decision. Tight shoes compress your foot. It precludes good blood circulation and permit moisture lurks around skin creases. People with diabetes also often suffer from leg swelling, making the condition even worse. Thus, a much better decision is to choose wide shoes.

4.      Your feet need air

As mentioned above, moisture trapped between your fingers may be a good medium for bacteria. The bacteria may lead to skin infection. Avoid shoes made of plastic or other materials that make our foot cannot breathe. Instead, choose shoes made of leather or suede.

5.      Choose lace and buckle

A wide shoes do not mean a poorly fitting shoes. Set your preference to shoes with adjustable lace and buckle. Shoes with Velcro also work. But remember not to tie you shoes too tightly.

6.      Opt for “depth shoes”

Depth shoes provide think insole without forcing your foot against the upper shoes. Choose a soft insole whose contour match with your foot arches.

7.      Meet your doctor

Always maintain a good relationship with your doctors. They are there to assist you in adjusting your life with this chronic disease. Get an appointment with your doctor regularly. They may assess your foot condition and tackle the smallest threat. They may prescribe custom build shoes if it is needed.

At last, but not the least, always wear your shoes. There is no such a “holiday”. A well-fitting shoes but never been worn is useless. The healthy foot is the foundation of a healthy people with diabetes.


Ulhrecht and Cavanagh. Shoes and Insoles for At-Risk People with Diabetes. 2010. In: Armstrong and Lavery. Clinical Care of The Diabetic Foot. American Diabetes Association: Alexandria. pp 17-27

About Author

Albert Cendikiawan is a medical doctor. Currently, he is in the second year of residency. He aims to provide education to the patients and his/her family, and help them to adjust their life with their conditions.
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