People afflicted with diabetes lose feelings in their extremities, especially the hands and feet. The feet may lose their ability to telegraph important functions such as pain and discomfort as well as balance. When this happens ulcers, abrasions or sprains can go undetected and cause major complications within a short period of time. Special shoes for diabetics are intended to reduce these afflictions.
Shoes for diabetic patients are made from soft materials and include protective inserts that make allowances for neuropathy, or numb feet, afflictions from poor circulation and potentially-painful dangers such as bunions and hammertoes. The main function of these type of shoes is to cut down on the friction and pressure that can lead to foot sores and, even worse, infection, gangrene and amputation.
There are two basic types of diabetic shoes: custom molded and depth shoes:
* Are made from a mold of the foot so they fit exactly to the wearer.
* Use leather or some other soft material that can breathe and move effortlessly with the foot.
* Use removable soles that can be adjusted to any change in the wearer’s condition.
* Use an easily accessible closing method such as an easy-lace system or, better yet, velcro straps.
Depth shoes are similar except that they have a full-length, removable liner that can be exchanged for new custom-made inserts. In addition, as they are not custom-made, the models are manufactured in full and half-sizes and in three widths.
It is important to note that getting a fitting for diabetic shoes should be done in the afternoon as the foot swells to its full size then. By scheduling an appointment in morning the wearer will get shoes that will be uncomfortably tight as the day progresses.
In addition, these shoes can only protect the wearer’s feet up to a certain point. Socks and stockings should be worn all times to keep moisture away from the foot. Choose only seamless styles as the threaded ridges from normal socks may cause foot irritations.
The shoe process always begins with the podiatrist or foot and ankle surgeon. These professionals will take an accurate measurement of the feet so that the shoes can be ordered. In the case of a custom-fit the prescription molds will be sent out to the manufacturer. Special slippers should also be considered for walking in homes with hardwood, laminate or any other type of hard flooring. The specialist can advise the wearer on different types of leisure shoes as well.
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