You have diabetes and you are trying to take care of your feet. You have heard about what happens if you don't take care of your feet and you don't want that to happen to you. You are already making a good decision!
But what is the difference between buying a diabetic shoe and one from a discount shoe store? What makes a diabetic shoe preferential over any store-bought style of footwear?
The answer falls upon the condition, itself, and how the diabetic shoe responds to footwear. To a person with diabetes, they have to be wary of losing sensation in their feet. This process most likely won't happen suddenly, but gradually, as the disease progresses. As the blood flow is impeded to the extremities, bumps and calluses that harm the soft tissue can cause the person with diabetes real problems.
We have all experienced a pair of shoes that pushes in one place, rubs the skin raw in another, and feel uncomfortable. We wear them because we think they look good on our feet. If you are diabetic, like I have been for over ten years, you have to ensure these things don't happen to you. So here are a few things to look for when buying a diabetic shoe:
1. Make sure the shoe has some extra depth added into the structure. Ones that provide space for an accommodative orthotics work best. The reason is that orthotics help to support your body from the feet up and help you to avoid damage to the bottom of your feet.
2. When trying on shoes, place your hand in the shoe and feel around. If it is a proper diabetic footwear style, there won't be any seams and rough spots within the confines of the shoe. Diabetic shoe makers make sure their styles won't rub the foot. Their primary goal is for you to have healthy feet!
3. Your toes should have some room at the top of the shoe when you put them on. Make sure you are wearing the proper size. You do not want your foot shifting from side to side, either, so make sure the width is correct, as well. It is amazing how many people walk around in shoes that do not fit them.
4. Like with any shoe, you do not want to just put your shoes on and walk in them all day. There should be a "breaking in" period as your feet adjust to your new footwear. Walk around your house or yard for only a couple of hours the first day you wear the shoes. After that, you can gradually increase the time spent in your new shoes. If there is any problem, you should stop wearing any shoe – especially if you are diabetic!
Other items that you might find useful for your feet are insoles, socks, and foot cream. Taking care of your feet is just as important as testing your blood sugar, so you want to make sure you take care of everything.
Insoles support the feet. You may have heard them called by other names, such as arch supports, inserts and orthotics, but they all fall into the category as a supportive foot bed that cushions and/or controls the foot. Insoles will help "level out the playing field" of your stance and add comfort to your stride. They also take pressure off different areas of the feet – such as the heel and ball-of-the-foot that give people the most problems. To the diabetic, insoles are an integral part of proper foot care.
The proper socks are also very important. If you have diabetes, you are going to want to wear socks that contain natural materials, such as cotton and wool. Metals, such as silver, are also very popular in diabetic socks because the silver is a natural anti-microbial that destroys bacteria and fungi. The medical community uses silver to treat wounds and burns because of this quality. Silver also cuts down on the smell produced by perspiration which adds to the benefit of having silver socks.
Finally, foot creams should be used to keep your feet smooth and crack-free. It is also a good regimen to get into because it keeps you examining your feet on a daily basis.
You should do a visual inspection of your feet every day. If you cannot see the bottom of your feet, use a mirror. The foot cream adds that extra incentive to do this daily and makes you feel good, as well. You should also avoid putting foot cream between your toes. You should only apply the cream to the top and bottom of your feet. Getting any substance besides soap and water between your toes invites bacterial growth and can result in problems. Avoid this at all costs.
Being diabetic brings many challenges to a person. Taking proper care of your feet is an excellent start to living a healthy and active life. Do not take your feet for granted when you purchase footwear. If problems do occur, do not waste time trying to solve the situation yourself, but get to a doctor, immediately.