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Phone: 480-963-9000
Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona

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Chandler Office

  • 595 N. Dobson, Suite D-71
    Chandler, AZ 85224
  • Phone: 480-963-9000
  • Toll Free: 877-866-2417
  • Office Hours:
  • Directions

Gilbert Office

  • 2680 S Val Vista Drive
    Gilbert, AZ 85295
  • Phone: 480-981-1800
  • Fax: 480-981-0229
  • Toll Free: 877-866-2417
  • Office Hours:
  • Suite #177, Building #14
  • Directions

Big Benefits of Wearing Diabetic Shoes

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Living with diabetes can mean a lot of changes. That’s probably an understatement!

Diet, exercise, and habits can all demand a dramatic shift to help keep your blood sugar levels under control and stave off the progressive effects of the condition. Entire supermarket aisles and store departments are dedicated to substitutions for everyday products with the intent of better managing diabetes.

But is switching up your shoes really all that necessary, too? The stuff you put inside your body, sure; that makes total sense. But do you really need to be careful of what you use on the outside?

Our answer to that is a resounding YES.

Diabetic shoes do not only have important elements for increasing the comfort of someone living with diabetes, they can contribute to the outright safety and survival of your feet!

What Are Diabetic Shoes Protecting Against?

The effects of diabetes can be particularly harsh on the feet. By interfering with your circulation and nerve health, the door to plenty of problems sneakily creeps open over time.

Reduced circulation to the feet can lead to a reduced ability for injuries in that area to heal. It is already a challenge for your heart to pump oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to your feet just based on how far away they are from it—damaged and narrowed blood vessels makes this even worse!

Additionally, diabetes can also damage the nerves within the feet; those that sense temperature and pain. In some cases, this leads to tingling, burning pain (neuropathy). In other cases, sensation in areas of the feet can be lost entirely.

Reduced healing and reduced sensation can combine to create a very dangerous combo. If a cut or sore is left unnoticed, the injury can worsen as you continue to walk on it. A small nick can turn into an open sore, which can then become seriously infected.

More than 70,000 lower limb amputations are required each year in the United States due to diabetes. This is a big deal.

Diabetic shoes are designed to help prevent this situation from occurring, as well as provide comfort and support to keep diabetic patients active.

What Are the Benefits of Diabetic Shoes?

How do diabetic shoes protect your feet more than a standard pair of shoes? There are different types of diabetic shoes, with different features that might be recommended based on your specific needs and risks.

These features include:

  • Added depth. Diabetic shoes can be up to a half-inch deeper than normal shoes, allowing them to better accommodate conditions such as hammertoes and bunions. The less these types of deformities can be irritated by tightness and friction, the better.
  • Thicker soles. In the front of the shoe, a softer, thicker sole will absorb shock and reduce pressure against the bottom of the foot.
  • Padded collar. In the heel area, extra padding around the collar (the back of the top of the shoe) helps further soften the interface between the foot and the shoe. This helps prevent the formation of blisters, calluses, and other friction-related problems.
  • Softer and seamless fabric. This is another measure designed to reduce friction and pressure in problematic areas. (Socks also come in softer and seamless designs, which we highly recommend!)
  • Orthotic insoles and arch support. In many cases, custom orthotic inserts are the optimal choice for properly distributing weight over your feet and avoiding excess pressure in specific areas. A good diabetic shoe will allow room for these inserts to be added and removed. In some cases, the prescribed shoe will have these customized features built in for you.
  • A stretchable outsole (bottom of the shoe). A pliable design allows the shoe to form more around the shape of the foot, reducing pressure points. A good diabetic shoe will usually have an outsole made of sturdy (yet flexible) carbon rubber.

When Should You Start Wearing Diabetic Shoes?

If you have diabetes, even if you don’t feel your feet are currently suffering from reduced healing or loss of sensation, it is still a good idea to take advantage of the extra protection of diabetic shoes now.

The effects of diabetes can be slow and gradual. Taking precautions now can help keep your feet in their best condition and slow this progression. The added comfort and confidence also encourage you to get out, be active, and live the life you love!

Even if you decide not to use a pair of “official” diabetic shoes now, you should absolutely seek the above qualities in standard shoes you buy. Lightweight, flexible, supportive, and adjustable shoes will serve you well.

Ultimately, you want to keep a close eye on your feet and make the best footwear choices for them as your needs shift. We can help you forge your best diabetic foot care plan at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists and provide periodic examinations to ensure no potential trouble areas are being overlooked.

Diabetes does demand change, but taking the steps to address it now can prevent many tougher decisions from coming down the line.

Schedule an appointment with our offices in Gilbert or Chandler by calling (877) 866-2417. You can also reach us via our online contact form for any questions you might have.

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