Diabetic Shoes for Women

by Cindy

Diabetic Shoes for Women

Many women that are living with diabetes are often told that they need to wear special shoes but are given little direction as to why, what to look for, or where to find them.

Why do I need special diabetic shoes?

Patients with diabetes are at elevated risk for developing foot problems such as sores, infection and amputation.  Diabetic patients are at risk for these common complications of diabetes because high sugars cause nerve damage that typically starts in the feet and hands. 

Patients with peripheral neuropathy, aka nerve damage, can have injuries to their feet and not even realize it.  In addition, many diabetic patients also have poor circulation which can result in slow healing and difficulty keeping feet warm.  These problems, when combined with orthopedic foot conditions such as bunions and hammertoes, can be a disastrous combination.  Patients with diabetes must have routine foot exams, practice daily foot care, and consider wearing diabetic shoes.

What are diabetic shoes?

Many orthopedic foot conditions occur more frequently in women.  This is because women tend to wear narrow shoes with pointed toes and high heels.  These shoe features are quite the opposite of what the ideal orthopedic shoe would be.  For women with diabetes, it is important to stop wearing these tight, high heeled shoes and consider purchasing quality, comfortable shoes.  The good news is that patients do not have to purchase a shoe that is specifically marketed as a “diabetic shoe.”  Many orthopedic shoes and popular shoe brands have products that are appropriate for diabetic patients.  When shopping for shoes you should look for the following qualities:

  1. Wide toe area with extra height and width
  2. Low, firm heels
  3. Comfortable insoles with quality padding.  These should also be removable if you need to wear orthotic inserts.
  4. Rocker bottom soles to pressure on certain points of the feet
  5. Leather or breathable materials to keep the feet dry

Many women resist making the switch to orthopedic shoes because they believe that these shoes are not stylish, are ugly, or are for elderly people.  Perhaps this was true years ago, but today there are many types of diabetic shoes for women available from a variety of manufacturers.  These companies strive to produce high quality, comfortable footwear that is fashionable and suitable for patients with orthopedic foot conditions and diabetes.  Do a quick search for orthopedic shoes and you will find an array of retailers offering many different brands, styles, colors and materials.  Chances are with so many shoes to choose from, you will find something that strikes your fancy.  In addition, you will find that once your wear these comfortable shoes you will never want to go back to your old, tight high heels again!

Where can I find these shoes?

Comfortable, quality orthopedic shoes can be found at local foot specialty stores or through many online retailers. If you would like to buy diabetic shoes, check out my article “Need to Buy Orthopedic Shoes? Know What Brands to Look For” for a list of brands.  These manufacturers produce numerous styles of shoes so that you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort.  Not listed in that article are Aetrex brand shoes.  If you are looking for very cute women’s Aetrex brand shoes produces a wide selection of stylish Mary Janes, oxfords, clogs and more.  Aetrex brand shoes are among some of the most fashionable women’s comfort shoes that I have seen to date.  Other brands include Drew Shoe, Hush Puppies and Propet.  

Don’t let the fear of buying new, comfortable shoes hold you back.  Not only is it important to invest in appropriate foot wear to prevent complications, such as infection and amputation, but you will notice that your feet never felt better.

Papion

Creative Commons License photo credit: Hamed Saber

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