Throughout the world, more than 425 million people are affected by diabetes. There are different types, but when blood sugar levels get high and remain there, this can cause issues that are largely the same no matter which type you have. One of the most common complications of diabetes is problems with your feet. Learning more about diabetic slippers and how they can help is important to protect your feet.
EXPLORING DIABETIC FOOT ISSUES
When your blood sugar gets high, this can have a negative impact on your blood circulation. Up to 34 percent of diabetics will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime as a result of poor circulation. Several factors can contribute to these ulcers, including pressure from your footwear and foot injuries that do not heal and worsen with time. In the most severe cases, gangrene can set in and put you at risk for an amputation.
Nerve damage is another consequence of high blood sugar. This too can contribute to foot ulcers, but diabetic neuropathy is the biggest concern when you have nerve damage in your feet. The most common type of diabetic neuropathy to affect your feet is peripheral neuropathy. When this condition is present, you may lose sensation in your feet over time which can make it harder to determine when you have an injury. It can also cause pain that ranges from a mild burning feeling to sudden and severe episodes of pain.
WHAT IS DIABETIC FOOTWEAR?
Diabetic footwear is designed to keep your feet comfortable and lower your risk of foot problems associated with diabetes. They come in a wide range of styles and you will find varying sizes, such as extra wide shoes for swollen feet or diabetic shoes that are extra wide. When you wear diabetic shoes, they can benefit your foot health in the following ways:
• They promote better blood circulation
• They reduce issues in areas of your feet that are prone to pressure
• They allow for better motion control
• They prevent skin breakdown
• They reduce your risk of calluses
If you recently had a foot surgery or injury, you might consider healing diabetic shoes. You can find options with closed toes and those that are open, depending on which style will be the most accommodating. Wearing these shoes keeps your healing feet comfortable and they help to promote healing. Depending on the surgery or injury, your doctor can recommend the style that best meets your needs.
If you have foot issues in addition to diabetes, such as a hammertoe or calluses, there are in-depth shoes that are up to 0.5 inches deeper to provide your feet more room for added comfort. You can also choose to have your diabetic shoes custom-made. With this option, a mold of your foot is taken, and the shoes are based on this to ensure a perfect fit. If you have a foot deformity or your feet are an abnormal size or shape, these can be a good choice.
SHOULD YOU WEAR DIABETIC SOCKS WITH DIABETIC FOOTWEAR?
You might also consider diabetic socks to pair up with your diabetic footwear. These socks are designed to reduce your risk of a foot injury, keep your feet dry and alleviate poor circulation in your feet. They use materials that wick away moisture, have extra padding, fit your foot shape and size well and they are nonbinding. Socks for diabetics do not contain seams or elastic so that they do not restrict blood flow or cause friction. You may benefit from diabetic socks for the following reasons:
• You have pre-existing foot problems related to diabetes, such as a history of foot infections or neuropathy
• You are pregnant and have gestational diabetes since these socks can reduce blood clots associated with foot swelling
• Your feet tend to sweat a lot because they keep your feet dry to reduce your risk of a fungal infection
• You are planning to travel which will require prolonged sitting that can lead to more foot swelling than usual
PROS AND CONS OF FOOTWEAR FOR DIABETICS
Footwear that is specifically designed for diabetics has some pros and cons that you should know about. With this information, you can better evaluate the footwear you have now and determine if making the switch is a good choice. This knowledge also makes it possible to better narrow down the types of diabetic shoes or diabetic slippers that are likely to be the most beneficial for you.
• There are numerous styles, allowing you to choose one that is easy to get off and on, such as Velcro shoes for swollen feet that reduce the effort needed to remove them at the end of the day
• They have extra cushioning so that they are comfortable with prolonged standing and walking
• These shoes are protective, making it less likely that you will experience a foot injury
• There are varying levels of arch support to better fit your feet
• Many styles are adjustable and allow you to remove the insole for a comfortable fit
• Not all styles have different width options
• You cannot find diabetic footwear at every shoe store
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SHOES FOR A DIABETIC
When you are ready to start wearing diabetic footwear, first talk to your doctor. They can recommend the best brands and types of shoes for your feet and their overall condition. This is especially important if your feet have certain needs. For example, if you need diabetic slippers for swollen feet or diabetic shoes for women with wide feet.
The next step is making sure that you have your feet measured. Your doctor may be able to do this, but a professional that works with shoes is the best option because then you can be confident that your measurements are correct. A professional will also help you to differentiate between diabetic footwear for women and diabetic slippers for men. Now, consider the features that make diabetic shoes comfortable:
• Spacious toe box to prevent circulation issues related to crowded toes
• Hard outsole to protect your feet from external objects causing an injury
• Breathable upper so that your feet remain dry and cool so that bacteria cannot thrive and put you at risk for a foot infection
• Deep interior and wide footbed so that you can add more cushioning and these features allow for room for your feet to swell
• Insole cushioning to decrease the pressure on your feet when you are standing or walking
• Seamless interior to alleviate the risk of the irritation and friction that can cause skin integrity problems that could lead to an infection
• Adjustable closure that allows you to give your feet more room as they swell throughout the day
There are diabetic shoes for ladies that are business casual when you need comfortable footwear for work. When you are looking at these diabetic shoes for women, you will notice that the heels are square in shape and no more than two inches tall. These features reduce your risk of foot ulcers and calluses because they put minimal pressure on the heels and balls of your feet.
If you have diabetes, it is imperative that you have your feet checked by your doctor at least once a year. Every day, you should take a few minutes to look at your feet for signs of injury, such as bruises or cuts. All injuries should be monitored closely to make sure that they are healing and not becoming infected. Wearing diabetic slippers can help to keep you more comfortable and reduce the risk of foot problems. Please share this article on social media and post a link to it on your website.