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  • Writer's pictureDr Desmond Ooi

Diabetic Foot Care: Tips for Choosing Proper Footwear

When dealing with diabetes, you have to look out for various aspects of your health, including foot care. In diabetic patients, foot problems can easily escalate to serious complications like infections if not properly managed. One way to care for your foot is by choosing the right footwear. In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of proper footwear for diabetic patients and tips on how to select the best shoes to protect your feet.

The Impact of Footwear on Diabetic Feet

One impact of diabetes is that it leads to nerve damage and circulation, and when the feet lack proper circulation, they become vulnerable to injuries, wounds, and infections. Wearing improper footwear can worsen these issues and increase the risk of foot ulcers and other complications. For example, wearing tight or poorly fitting shoes can worsen foot health in individuals with diabetes. 

Characteristics of Suitable Footwear for Diabetics

Knowing the importance of the right footwear for diabetic patients, here are some points to consider when selecting your footwear:

  • Prioritise support, comfort, and protection

  • Look for shoes with ample cushioning and arch support to reduce pressure on sensitive areas of the foot

  • Ensure proper fit and sizing to prevent friction and rubbing that can lead to blisters and sores

  • Choose shoes made from breathable and moisture-wicking materials to prevent fungal infections and keep the feet dry and healthy.

Tips for Choosing the Right Footwear

velcro shoe

When shopping for diabetic-friendly footwear, consider these factors to ensure comfort and foot health:

  • Measure your feet regularly to account for any changes in size

  • Choose shoes with a wide toe box to accommodate foot deformities or swelling

  • Opt for adjustable closures like Velcro straps or laces for a secure yet comfortable fit

Different Types of Diabetic Footwear

Investing in the right footwear is essential for individuals managing diabetes. There are a few to choose from and here are some key types to consider:

  • Diabetic shoes: These feature extra depth and width to accommodate orthotic inserts and minimise pressure points on the foot.

  • Orthopaedic shoes: Offer similar benefits but provide additional customisation options for those with unique foot shapes or conditions.

  • Custom orthotics: Tailored support and cushioning based on an individual's specific foot anatomy and needs can be achieved with these inserts.

What Shoes to Avoid

Here are some types of shoes to avoid when selecting diabetic-friendly footwear:

  • Steer clear of shoes with narrow toe boxes that can cramp toes and create pressure points.

  • Avoid high heels or flip-flops, as they offer minimal support and stability.

  • Be wary of shoes with seams, rough edges, or tight straps that can irritate the skin and lead to blisters or sores.

Instead, prioritise shoes that provide comfort, support, and protection for your feet.

Maintaining Footwear and Foot Hygiene

shoes in the wash

Taking care of your diabetic footwear ensures its longevity and preserves foot health. Here are some important tips for maintaining your diabetic shoes:

  • Clean your shoes regularly with mild soap and water, and allow them to air dry completely

  • Inspect your feet daily for any signs of redness, swelling, or injury

  • Address any issues promptly to prevent complications and ensure continued foot health

Get Foot Ulcers and Wounds Treated Promptly

Choosing the right footwear is crucial for diabetic individuals to maintain foot health and prevent complications. By prioritising supportive and comfortable shoes that accommodate the unique needs of diabetic feet, you can reduce the risk of foot ulcers, infections, and other serious problems.  

If you notice any signs of infection, ulcers or wounds that do not heal, book an appointment with Dr. Desmond Ooi to ensure the wound is well cared for. With proper care and attention, you can keep your feet healthy and active while living with diabetes.

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