Your Shoes and Your Feet

A well-fitting pair of comfortable shoes helps protect against foot problems. Neuropathy and circulatory problems can make even a small abrasion on a foot grow into a foot ulcer or infection. Here's what to look for in footwear.

  • Avoid high heels. If at all possible, avoid the stress of high heels.
  • Professional fit. Have a trained sales person measure both of your feet (sizes often vary) and help outfit you in shoes that provide a firm fit with wiggle room for the toes.
  • Don't expose the toes. Open-toed shoes expose a good portion of your foot. Keeping your feet covered helps protect them against accidental trauma, blisters, and other potential problems.
  • Skip the straps. Shoes with straps can cause friction blisters, another problem for people with diabetes.
  • Don't skimp on socks. Thick, well-fitting, seamless socks are an essential foundation for your footwear. Many stores offer socks designed for the diabetic foot.

If you have diagnosed foot problems you may require prescription footwear custom made by a podiatrist, pedorthist, or orthotist. Talk to your podiatrist about your need for depth shoes, custom molded shoes, and orthotic shoe inserts.

Reviewed by Francine Kaufman, MD. 4/08

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