June 13, 2008, Newsletter Issue #158: Shoe Shopping for the Diabetic Foot

Tip of the Week

For the diabetic person, proper foot care is essential to prevent ulcers, injuries and infections.

Diabetic foot care has several components, includings:

* daily inspection
* socks that wick away moisture and
prevent rubbing
* proper toenail care
* supportive footwear

When you are looking for shoes, make sure that you include these key things:

1. Wide toe box - shoes that are narrow at
the toe can press your toes together, press toenails into adjacent toes,
compress nerves in the feet and can negatively impact your balance and gait

2. Supportive arch. A person
with flat feet cannot comfortably wear a
shoe with a high arch. Conversely,
someone with a high arch would suffer
without support in the arch.

3. Proper length - avoid buying shoes where
your toes touch the ends or sides of the
shoes, to prevent rubbing and irritation

4. Breathable construction - shoes that are
made of vinyl, latex or other materials
that do not breathe, prevent your feet
from drying out. Moist feet grow yeast,
and can develop openings in the skin.

5. Low heels - avoid high heels, as this
places pressure on the toes and balls of
the feet, increasing the risk for toe
and skin injury

Your feet are central to gait and balance, enable you to drive and use other equipment, and support your body weight.

Injuries, infections and amputations resulting from poor diabetic control and inadequate foot care, can seriously impact your ability to be active and healthy.

Talk to your doctor or Diabetic Educator about diabetic footwear and how to select the right shoes to keep you on your feet, or contact your local diabetic supply company for footwear options.

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