Diabetic Shoes and Socks
Diabetic foot care encompasses many different aspects of everyday life for diabetic patients. Foot health is addressed during regular examinations—and wound care is provided, if needed—but it’s also vital to pay attention to all factors concerning the foot.
It’s important that diabetics have footwear that doesn’t increase their risk of complications. Even minor irritation, if left unchecked for long enough, can lead to a dangerous situation.
At Northwood Foot & Ankle, we consider diabetic shoes and socks to be an integral part of regular diabetic foot care, and we are committed to finding the right footwear that fits the needs of our patients.
What Makes Diabetic Footwear So Important?
Diabetic shoes and socks serve a variety of crucial functions for patients, depending on the challenges they are facing.
Diabetic footwear is made with protection in mind. This means:
- Reducing or eliminating seams that may cause irritation.
- Increasing the size of the toe box to reduce friction of toes against each other.
- Eliminating “hot spot” areas where blisters might form.
When it comes to diabetic socks specifically, additional priorities include:
- Possessing a thicker composition on the bottom than the top, allowing cushioning where feet need it the most while remaining able to fit comfortably inside the shoe.
- A composition that wicks moisture away from the feet.
- The use of dyes (if any) that do not run.
Shoes may be custom fitted or custom-made insoles can be made, depending on the needs of the patient.
For example, if a patient has an abnormal foot structure that causes excess pressure against a part of the foot, insoles can be designed to provide extra cushioning and support to offload this extra weight. Areas where there are bunions, calluses, or other “danger zones” can also be helped in the same way.
We recommend that insoles are checked regularly, and that custom diabetic inserts are replaced every 4 months to prevent possible irritation from breakdown. This is also a good opportunity to perform a routine examination of your feet to see whether there have been any notable changes and if any adjustments should be made.
It is also very important that you always check inside your own shoes before putting them on, searching for signs of wear or even objects that may have fallen inside. Some of our patients over the years have given us some of the items they’ve found in shoes over the years. Ask us about it sometime—you may be surprised!
What Types of Diabetic Footwear Do We Recommend?
We recommend two general brands of diabetic footwear, each of which has multiple models and forms:
- Comfort tends to be preferred for those who need a sturdier diabetic shoe with added stability.
- Anodyne shoes tend to be of a lighter composition and are preferred for patients who are more at risk of tripping up in heavier shoes.
We also prefer Dr. Comfort socks, which come in a variety of styles and are made with bamboo charcoal fibers. This composition helps prevent the buildup of odor-producing bacteria without the use of any chemical additives, all while remaining breathable.
Protection, Comfort, and Control
Wearing the right shoes and socks is just one part of good diabetic foot care. By having a podiatrist who knows your full history and records, you have a valuable teammate who can advise you on the best methods to keep your feet healthy.
Schedule an appointment with Northwood Foot and Ankle Center by calling (616) 393-8886 for our Holland office or (269) 429-7670 for our St. Joseph office. You can also contact us online by filling out our online form.