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Most diabetic patients worry about how and where they can find the best and affordable diabetic shoes. In this article, we will outline what entails diabetic shoes to help you find one that will best suit you. Diabetic patients often develop various foot problems. Most common foot problem is Neuropathy where the nerve is damaged. It causes pain, burns, tingling or even makes the feet to be weak.
To avoid all foot problems which may lead to amputation, then you have to take good care of your feet. Ensure that you visit a podiatrist regularly for checkups as well as wearing the proper footwear. Your doctor can also prescribe diabetic shoes covered by insurance or Medicare if you qualify to wear them since they are free. Depending on your foot problem, the doctor can be able to best recommend the correct shoes for you. However, you will need to buy for your self diabetic slippers and socks.
Diabetic shoes feature a wider and high toe box that provides extra space for your feet to move freely, hence, preventing hot spots and blisters caused by rubbing of the foot and the shoes.They have an extra and adaptable depth to accommodate your foot even when it swells. Its insoles are moldable to fit your feet and are able to control how air flows inside the shoes in order to prevent moisture from forming thus preventing bacteria from forming. Finding well-fitting shoes ensures that your skin does not break nor strain.
When do you need diabetic shoes?
Having diabetes alone does not qualify you for diabetic shoes although if you can afford them you can buy them. If you have difficulty in walking or peripheral neuropathy, then you must consider your doctor’s prescription. For diabetic patients, blisters and pain have a different impact as compared to ordinary people where it may go away. If you have diabetes, then blisters may lead to infections, ulcers and when not treated early it may lead to amputation. Let your doctor know if you feel you deserve to wear diabetic shoes so that he can prescribe them for you.
Criteria you must meet to qualify for prescribed shoes:
-Partial or complete foot amputation
-History of callus
-Previous Foot ulcers
Do all diabetics qualify for prescribed shoes?
The question whether all patients with diabetes qualify for prescribed shoes is mostly asked. The answer is that not all diabetics qualify for these shoes. They are custom made to fit the needs of people with diabetes.
If you control the level of blood glucose, then your diabetes will be well controlled. For well controlled diabetes and lack of foot problems history, or loss of sensation then you may not qualify for the shoes.
Benefits of therapeutic shoes
These shoes have been greatly seen to reduce cases of amputation amongst diabetic patients with foot problems. It helps to prevent blisters or injuries which may lead to infections that are hard to heal. Foot problems such as foot deformity, calluses, corns, and others are treated by these shoes. Compared to ordinary shoes, therapeutic shoes alleviate foot pain.
They also prevent future complications that may arise such as calluses, ulcers, train as well as preventing amputations. You can also be able to walk comfortably for long distance without injuring your feet. These shoes prevent blisters and making you comfortable while walking or doing physical activities. This helps in maintaining blood sugar levels.
Things to look for when buying diabetic shoes
When buying diabetic shoes, you should ensure that they suit your needs. They must be fitting well, be spacious and give arch support. Apart from these, there are other crucial things you should look for to find the best shoe. They include:
-Buy leather shoes that are stretchable and soft.
-They should have adjustable Velcro straps and soft insole
-Shoes with laces tend to fit well and give good support
-The out sole should be hard and non-flexible
-Materials should ensure good blood circulation
-Buy them in the afternoon or evening when the feet are swollen
-Materials should suit your environment that is whether there is a lot of rain or heat
-The cushioning sole should be removable to allow you adjust for best shock absorption
-When trying shoes, always wear your socks in order to find the proper fitting shoes
-The space between longer toe and the shoes must be at least ½ an inch
-For new shoes, wear them for about 2 or 3 hours then check for blisters or cuts but later you can wear them for upto 4 hours before you get fully comfortable in them.
-Seamless shoes are the best to prevent hot spots or blisters
-Your shoes must not leave any red marks on the skin
Medicare and insurance cover on cost of diabetic shoes.
Under Medicare policy, one can get a pair of shoes, 3 inserts and one custom molded shoes in a year. However, being diabetic alone will not qualify you for the same but rather there are some things you must meet. To get these shoes, your doctor should certify why you need them.
Documents should state:
- Patient’s medical history and diabetes records
- It should state you have diabetes and that you must have the shoes
- State presence of conditions such:
-Partial or complete foot amputation
-History of foot ulcers
-Whether there were pre-ulcerative calluses
To get these shoes yearly, then this certification must be renewed by a physician. It must also be prescribed by a podiatrist in order to be considered. For insurance cover, then consult your insurance company to know if they cover the cost of these shoes.
How to properly care for your diabetic shoes
Taking good care of the shoes ensures that they do not only last for long but also prevent any foot injuries. Clean your shoes regularly to keep them in good condition. The exterior part will determine how to clean it.
Instructions on how to clean and care for your shoes
-Use a damp cloth to clean them before polishing
-For leather shoes, buy creams meant for them to enable them be clean and stay new
-Shoes with Nubuck exteriors must be cleaned with suede brush to remove dirt or sprays for such materials.
-Do not use washing machine since it may not last for long
-Avoid putting on damp shoes as they cause formation of bacteria on the feet or increase friction of the feet
-It is good that you air out any damp shoes before wearing them
When to replace your diabetic shoes
There will come a time when you will need to replace your shoes and it is good to know when. The idea of replacing your shoes is to actually prevent any injuries or any foot problems that may be caused by worn out shoes. Signs for replacement to watch out for include:
-Once you notice any damages that cannot be repaired then you need to replace them.
-If the heels collapses on the sides, becomes worn out or the shoes lining tears then you need to replace them.
-If the shoes make you feel uncomfortable then it is time to replace them
-Replace your shoes if you notice injuries or blisters on your feet
Shoes to avoid wearing if you have diabetes
-Tight and narrow toe box shoes
-High heeled shoes or ones with no arch support
-Shoes with pointed tip
-Plastic shoes or those made with hard materials
-Slippers, slip-ons, flip flops and others
-Shoes with materials which increases moisture and warmth inside
If you have diabetes, then it is advisable that you put on shoes that fit well and are comfortable to prevent any injuries or blisters. Some doctors may recommend diabetic shoes depending on the foot status of the patient especially the custom made shoes to help correct or mitigate various foot problems. For any diabetic patient, whether recommended to wear these shoes or not, it is advisable that you always put on these shoes you prevent or reduce such problems from arising. Also, ensure that you buy a foot massager for diabetic neuropathy to increase the circulation of blood in your feet. You can be able to find cheaper shoes that will fit you perfectly or get free shoes on Medicare. Always wear diabetic socks with your shoes for extra cushioning.