The Importance of Shoes When You Have Diabetes

The Importance of Shoes when You Have Diabetes 

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Your feet carry you everywhere. In fact, by the time you are 30, your feet have carried you about 50,000 miles.

So, the real question isn’t: “how important are shoes?” It’s: “how important are your feet?”

Isn’t it time to stop squeezing them into pointy stilettos? Wouldn’t your feet feel better with some support instead of flip-flops? Do your feet cry out in relief after you take your shoes off? 

The truth is that everyone should wear a good fitting shoe that gives support, but this is even more true with people who have diabetes. 

For most people, wearing cheap heels or badly designed flats is going to having you wondering why you decided to torture yourself all day. 

For diabetics, the risk for foot ulcers, blisters, and pressure wounds increases with bad shoes. These mild injuries can develop into a chronic wound, become infected, or not heal properly.

This is why many doctors recommend diabetic shoes. These shoes are wider, have more padding, and are designed to be more breathable than other shoes. Unfortunately, these shoes are rarely stylish and a lot of people refuse to wear them.

So, if you’re diabetic and purchasing shoes off the rack, use these tips: 

  1. Comfort is Key: No matter what type of shoe you buy, make sure it is comfortable. If a shoe forces you to walk differently than normal, you are putting too much pressure on one area of your foot. This can lead to pressure sores or blisters.

  2. Watch for Inner Seams: Check the inside of the shoe to make sure they are smooth. If a shoe has an inner seam or doesn’t have a smooth lining, it can irritate the foot and cause a blister. 

  3. Find Shoes that can be Adjusted: Your feet swell throughout the day. Slip on shoes that fit in the morning may become too tight by mid afternoon. Finding shoes that tie, buckle, or velcro are better options since they can be adjusted throughout the day.

  4. Measure Your Feet Frequently: Feet change over time. Check your shoes regularly to make sure that they fit correctly and that your feet haven't changed sizes. 

  5. Leather is a Good option: Soft leather stretches so swelling feet are less affected. Leather also is less likely to rub than other shoe material. 

  6. Cushioned Soles: Cushioned soled shoes offer better shock absorption than rubber or leather soled shoes. If your shoes don’t have cushioning, consider trading out the insoles with an orthopedic insole. 

  7. Rounded Toe Instead of a Pointed Toe: Pointed toed shoes put a lot of pressure on your toes and balls of the feet. This can cause bunions and blisters. A cap or square toed shoes hasmore space for your toes and distributes the pressure better. 

  8. Lower heels: Heels are usually discouraged for patients with diabetes. The reason for this is that heels focus your weight on the balls of your feet. This constant shock and pressure can lead to pressure sores and blisters. If you’re going to wear them, consider a shorter heel. Higher heels change the way you walk and can result in other health risks such as back, ankle, and muscle problems as well. Make sure that when you wear heels, the time on your feet is limited and that you check your feet afterwards. 

  9. Sandals with Support: Sandals can feel better and allow your feet to breathe, but most don’t have any support or cushioning. Look for sandals and flats with arches built in and cushioned insoles. Another thing to watch for is that the straps don’t chafe your skin. Sandals shouldn’t be used daily since they don’t provide support and expose your skin to the elements. 

  10. Newer Athletic Shoes: Most people wear their sneakers and athletic shoes past when they should. If you work out or wear them daily, start watching for signs of age after 3 months. Replace them when you start to see wear and tear on the inside or outside of the shoes. 


Your feet have several thousand miles to carry you. Help them do that with good shoes. 

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Disclaimer: This article is not offering medical or fashion advice.