Note: We do not recommend products in our online store for people with diabetes. We recommend that you come into our store or find a Board Certified Pedorthist near you to help you with shoes and inserts.
If you have diabetes, foot problems are a big risk. Like all diabetic people, you should
monitor your feet. If you don't, the consequences can be severe,
including amputation, or worse.
Minor injuries become major emergencies before you know it. With a
diabetic foot, a wound as small as a blister from wearing a shoe that's
too tight can cause a lot of damage. Diabetes decreases your blood
flow, so your injuries are slow to heal. When your wound is not
healing, it's at risk for infection. As a diabetic, your infections
If you have diabetes, you should inspect your feet every day. Look
for puncture wounds, bruises, pressure areas, redness, warmth,
blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts and nail problems. Get someone to
help you, or use a mirror. Feel each foot for swelling. Examine between
your toes. Check six major locations on the bottom of each foot: The
tip of the big toe, base of the little toes, base of the middle toes,
heel, outside edge of the foot and across the ball of the foot. Check
for sensation in each foot.
If you find any injury—no matter how slight—don't try to treat it yourself. Go to a doctor right away.
- Uppers should be made of leather or other material that is soft and breathable
- Soles should be shock absorbant, and only flex in the toe area (where your foot bends)
- Lace closures are preferred, but velcro is acceptable. Avoid slip-ons
- Shoes should be long enough so that there is at least 1/4 inch between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe
- Shoes should be wide enough so that there is no pressure on the upper material from your foot
- Make sure the widest part of your foot fits into the widest part of the shoe
- If you have neuropathy or loss of sensation, have your fit checked by a Board Certified Pedorthist
When your feet lose their feeling, they are at risk for becoming
deformed. One way this happens is through ulcers. Open sores may become
infected. Another way is the bone condition Charcot (pronounced
"sharko") foot. This is one of the most serious foot problems you can
face. It warps the shape of your foot when your bones fracture and
disintegrate, and yet you continue to walk on it because it doesn't
A doctor may treat your diabetic foot ulcers and early phases of
Charcot fractures with a total contact cast. The shape of your foot
molds the cast. It lets your ulcer heal by distributing weight and
relieving pressure. If you have Charcot foot, the cast controls your
foot's movement and supports its contours if you don't put any weight
on it. To use a total contact cast, you need good blood flow in your
foot. Your doctor monitors it carefully. The cast is changed every week
or two until your foot heals.
A custom-walking boot is an another way to treat your Charcot foot.
It supports the foot until all the swelling goes down, which can take
as long as a year. You should keep from putting your weight on the
Charcot foot. Surgery is considered if your deformity is too severe for
a brace or shoe.