Specialized footwear are required for diabetics primarily if you have neuropathy or compromised circulation. If you have been diagnosed with Neuropathy, you might experience loss of protective level sensation. That means you might not feel pressure or trauma to the skin surface of your feet. If you were to have shoes that were not fitting correctly, such as being too narrow in width or too shallow in depth, this might cause pressure to the skin surface resulting in a bruise, blister or ulceration. Trauma to the foot that is ignored, could result in infection or even amputation! It is a very smart practice to visually check you feet at the end of each day to be sure there is no skin damage to your feet. If you do notice something of concern, contact your podiatrist and discuss it with them. Diabetic footwear are not the same as retail footwear, the features that are required to be a diabetic shoe are:
1. They must be available in multiple widths
2. They must be extra depth, primarily in the toebox
3. The must have a removable insole that can be replaced with a soft diabetic insole (orthotic), either prefab or custom
4. They must be a lace or velcro closure, not slip on
5. A soft liner with a minimal amount of seams
6. Constructed of soft leather or fabric materials that accommodate the foot. Hard materials could cause foot pressures.
Contact your local Podiatrist or O&P facility to be evaluated for diabetic footwear, you might even have insurance benefits that could help pay for them!
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