Shoes for the Diabetic Foot

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By Dr. Victor Dumaguing

To Your Health

Friday, December 13, 2013


THE feet literally and figuratively carry the whole weight of the person. This obvious fact carries a much more clinical significance among diabetics who at a certain point in their illness may already suffering from nerve damage and compromised circulation to their lower extremities, especially the foot and the toes.

A lace-up shoe with a high, rounded toe box is ideal. The upper part of the shoe should be a soft, breathable material such as leather or fabric instead of plastic or synthetic material. Avoid sandals, clogs, thongs or flip-flops because they do not provide the same protection that a closed shoe does. If you have a callus or deformity, you need a shoe with a soft inner sole that redistributes the pressure on the sole of the foot. With a bunion or a hammer-toe, you may need extra-width or extra-depth shoe. That's why a podiatrist or a foot doctor may have to be consulted for more individualized specifications of the right, appropriate made-to-order shoes.

If you have trouble tying shoe laces, try shoes with Velcro fasteners.

Most tied shoes can be converted to Velcro fasteners at a shoe repair shop. Elastic shoe laces allow you to get your shoes off and on without untying the laces.

Avoid tight, pointed shoes. While fashionable, high heels are not good for any foot- especially one with diabetes. They force the entire weight of the body unto the foot, changing the shape, greatly increasing the pressure and causing foot sores and ulcers. Look for a shoe that looks like a foot. While this sounds reasonable, it can be a challenging task looking for that shoe especially for women. A pedorthis (certified shoe fitter) can help you pick the right shoe, and in the long run, it's worth the effort and the money. Good quality athletic shoes or walking shoes should also fit the clinical requirements of the diabetic person.

Whether diabetic or not, please remember what our mothers used to tell us, it's always best to fit and buy new shoes in the late afternoon, have at least half an inch space between longest toe- not always the big toe- and the tip of the shoe.
Happy walking!

Next Week: Eating Healthy during the Holidays

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 14, 2013.

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