Diabetes & Your Feet
Diabetes afflicts over twenty million people in the United States. This metabolic disease is the result of elevated glucose levels due to an imbalance in insulin levels. A chronic elevation of blood sugar can cause long-term damage to the eyes, heart, lungs, kidneys, feet, nerves, and blood vessels.
About 15% of all diabetics will at some time develop an open wound (ulceration) on one of their feet. Twenty percent of those ulcerations will lead to an amputation. To learn more about diabetes, visit www.diabetes.org.
Treating the Diabetic Foot
We at SHOES-n-FEET® understand the needs of the diabetic foot. Often the diabetic foot will swell more than a normal foot and experience loss of nerve sensation, called neuropathy. We carry a number of shoes designed to accommodate these specific issues. We also train our Shoe Fitting Specialists in proper fitting techniques for the diabetic foot.
There are three steps to taking care of a diabetic’s foot. They include proper fit, good socks, and a medical professional who understands diabetes.
- The proper fit of the shoe will eliminate pressure points that can result in irritation, infection, ulceration, and ultimately amputation. A good diabetic shoe must be long enough, with a properly deep toe box, to give the foot room to swell and help guard against the toes hitting the front or top of the shoe and becoming ulcerated.
- Proper socks are essential in helping keep the foot healthy. They do this by wicking away perspiration that can cause the skin to soften and blister. Proper socks should be constructed of a moisture-wicking fabric and have few, if any, seams. A good sock should also allow for proper blood circulation and not cut it off or restrict it. SHOES-n-FEET carries a number of socks designed to keep the diabetic foot healthy.
- Lastly, it is important to have a medical professional who specializes in diabetes to help manage your overall condition. However, it is equally as important to have a medical professional who specializes in feet—a podiatrist—to help you take care of your feet. SHOES-n-FEET can refer you to a podiatrist who is familiar in working with the diabetic foot. All you have to do is stop by or call your local store.
The following are some of the warning signs of possible diabetic foot complications:
- Color changes of the skin
- Elevation of skin temperature
- Swelling of the foot or ankle
- Open sores that are slow to heal
- Ingrown and fungus-infected toenails
- Corns and calluses that present with bleeding within the skin
- Dry fissures (cracks) in the skin, especially around the heel
Go to the following link for more information: www.diabetes.org.
Diabetic Foot Care for Breaking in New Shoes:
If you are diabetic, you need to take extra care when breaking in new shoes.
SHOES-n-FEET recommends carefully following these guidelines:
1. Break Your Shoes in Slowly
Wear your new shoes inside for the first week and follow this schedule:
Day One: 1/2 to 1 hour (set a timer on Day One)
Day Two: 1 to 2 hours
Day Three: 2 to 3 hours
Day Four: 3 to 4 hours
Day Five: 4 to 5 hours
Day Six: 5 to 6 hours
Day Seven: 6 to 7 hours
Beginning on day 8, you can wear your shoes continuously.
During the break-in period, if you are having difficulty wearing your new shoes, please bring them back to SHOES-n-FEET.
A Shoe Fit Specialist will check the fit and determine if spot stretching or other modifications are necessary.
(Please note: shoes are not returnable once they have been worn outside and are no longer in new condition.)
2. Check Your Feet
Remove your shoes and socks after wearing your shoes each day during the break-in period.
Note the following areas:
- Areas of redness
- Areas of increased temperature (slowly feel across top, sides and bottom of your foot with your hand)
- Sores or lesions
If you are unable to see the bottom of your feet, use a long-handled or floor mirror or have someone check them for you.
If you detect any of the above problems, please contact your doctor immediately!