When looking for diabetic shoes, here are a few tips in finding the right diabetic shoe for you:
Diabetic shoes are considered “depth shoes”. The heel counter is deeper than regular shoes and the toe box will be higher than typical shoes on the market. The deeper heel counter and higher toe box will accommodate your custom inserts and your foot thus reducing the possibility of foot irritations
Diabetic shoes are created with various materials which include leather, neoprene or mesh. The shoes should have non skid soles and either tie or Velcro closures. Your Podiatrist and Certified Shoe Fitter will work together to ensure the right shoe type are provided for your foot type.
There should be no seams on the inside of the shoe which could cause skin irritations. Feel the inside of the shoe and inquire on the construction of the shoe.
How do you Measure up?
When were you last measured professionally for shoes? Ensure you have your feet measured each time you are fitted for shoes. At a minimum, have your feet measured at least once a year. Feet change in length and width as we age. Also keep in mind, some shoe brands have measuring devices custom to their specific shoe sizing. It is also quite common to have different size feet. The shoe fitter should base the length of the shoe on the longest foot.
Who’s Fitting you?
It is imperative you are properly fitted for the shoe. Just because you are in a therapeutic shoe store does not mean the person assisting is qualified to fit shoes. It is important to ask questions!
Sample questions to ask your shoe fitter:
“What is your experience with fitting diabetic patients?
”Are you certified to fit diabetic shoes?”
”What is your level of certification?”
“Ask the person questions about the shoes – “tell me about the construction of the shoe?” “What size did my feet measure?” You should be told the length and width of each foot.
The Right Fit:
The shoes should fit snug however not tight. Leather shoes will soften and tend to form to each foot. Your fitter will be able to guide you to the proper fit. While wearing the shoes, there should be no rubbing of the feet or slipping in the shoe. For patients with neuropathy, you will naturally want to wear the shoes tighter than normal. You will need to rely on your fitter to ensure the shoe is fitting your feet properly.
After you receive your shoes, break in the shoes slowly. Wear the shoes for an hour the first day and slowly add on time the following day. Continue this slow break in process until you are able to wear the shoes throughout the day. Check your feet often throughout the day for any red spots or blistering. Should this occur, contact your Podiatrist immediately. A red spot on your foot can turn into ulceration if left unattended! Many times a shoe may need to be stretched in certain areas to alleviate pressure.
You have only two feet for life. You owe it to yourself to work with a dedicated person who will help you in the shoe fitting process. Be sure you have all of your questions answered and you are comfortable. Your feet will appreciate you!