Proper shoes and orthotics are one of the best ways people with diabetes can protect themselves from foot injuries. Foot injuries in diabetics don’t always heal properly and aren’t always detected promptly due to nerve damage. Even minor injuries like a stubbed toe, scrape, or cut can lead to serious long-term consequences, so it is important to do everything possible to keep diabetic feet healthy.
Diabetics should see a podiatrist regularly, not just when they have an injury to their feet, but for routine preventative care. At these visits, the doctors at Canyon Foot + Ankle can assess what needs you might have for different socks, shoes, or orthotics.
Why Should I Buy Special Shoes?
You might find the shoes that you can buy in a department store more attractive than shoes that have been built to address diabetic concerns, but it is important to ensure that the shoes you wear will meet your medical needs. Shoes for diabetics offer four key benefits.
Increased Depth and More Space
If your shoes squeeze your feet, it can make neuropathy worse and cause blisters. Diabetic shoes also have fewer seams inside to rub on your feet and extra padding on the tongue of the shoe.
Heels That Are Secure and Will Not Rub
When the heels of shoes rub on your feet, it is because the heel box of the shoe does not have a secure fit. This frequently happens with shoes that are bought in department stores. Diabetic shoes are built with a secure heel box, so this rubbing does not occur.
Wiggle Room for Your Toes
Diabetic shoes are more spacious in the toe box, allowing your toes to move freely. Toes that are squeezed together can lead to corns, callouses, plantar fasciitis, hammer toes, ingrown toenails, and bunions. All of these are more serious concerns for diabetics because it is more difficult for diabetic feet to heal.
When you buy diabetic shoes from Canyon Foot + Ankle in Burley or Twin Falls, you will be professionally fitted by trained doctors, so you can trust that they will fit properly in all of the right places. While they are fitting you for shoes, they can also help you decide if you need orthotics or compression socks.
Why Custom Orthotics Are Better
While it is possible to purchase cheap orthotic inserts elsewhere, feet come in a variety of different shapes, and you may find that mass-produced orthotics don’t fit your foot properly. Buying orthotics off the shelf would be like if you needed prescription glasses or contacts but did not first have an exam to determine your prescription. You might get lucky and find some that work, but chances are, you won’t be happy with the results. Even if you find the mass-produced orthotics to be good enough, when they wear out, you will have to throw them out and buy another pair.
At Canyon Foot + Ankle, we use 3D scanning tools to ensure that the orthotics we make for you will be a perfect match for your feet. The orthotics you get from us are made from durable but flexible material, which will last longer than off-the-shelf options. Our orthotics will also do more than just cushion your feet. Because they are built to be a perfect match, they can also treat underlying issues with alignment or your gait. It may also be possible to repair or adjust them, if needed, instead of throwing them away.
What Else Can I Do to Prevent Diabetic Foot Problems?
In addition to wearing orthotics and diabetic shoes, you should also take the following steps to avoid diabetic foot problems:
- Avoid walking barefoot.
- Clean your feet regularly with soap and water.
- Perform daily checks of your feet to look for injuries.
- Use lotion every day.
- Treat even minor wounds right away.
- Trim your toenails regularly.
- Visit a podiatrist routinely for checkups and any time you have concerns.
The podiatrists at Canyon Foot + Ankle in Twin Falls and Burley, Idaho can help you find the best shoe and orthotic options to meet your needs and ensure that any issues you are having are addressed before they can become more serious.