Flip Flops, No Socks, and Crocs

Keeping footwear cute and diabetes-friendly in the summertime.

Joy Pape By Joy Pape, RN, BSN, CDE, WOCN, CFCN

‘Tis the season for flip flops, no socks, and Crocs. That is, if you don't have diabetes. Many of you will probably want to argue with me about this, but here's a question: Have you ever needed to wear band-aides on your feet from wearing flip-flops or shoes without socks or stockings? I know I have. I also know I'm not alone. All you have to do is look at the feet of women who wear flip-flops, or go without socks and stockings, and you'll be surprised at how many band-aides you see.

Why not flip flips? Okay, I agree, they look great if your feet look pretty. Now doesn't this open up a bag of worms? Pretty feet, pedicures, and diabetes seems to be an oxymoron, but you can do a safe pedicure.

So once you get your feet looking good, you think you're good to go with flip-flops, but this is not true. Flip–flops not only offer no protection but many times people will get sores from rubbing against your skin under the straps on the top of your foot and in between your toes. Sound familiar? Also, they're not very stable, especially if you're wearing flip-flop heels. There's nothing like wearing a pair of these shoes when your heel gets caught in something and your foot loses contact with your shoe. You either get an injury from twisting your ankle, foot, body, or fall down. It's tough to fall without getting a sore of some sort. And, you know sores and diabetes aren't the best of friends. I even knew a woman who tried to wear a flip flop with a very small heel, the kitten heel. She wanted to wear some sort of heel to go with her summer outfit. She thought this was safe. Well, her little kitten heel got caught in a groove of concrete, her foot twisted as she tried to catch herself from falling down. Her ankle, leg and back twisted so bad she didn't recover for two months. That woman was me. I think it was a lesson I needed to learn to finally say, "Forget it, I'll take more time to find cute shoes that are diabetes friendly. "

The summer style is to go without socks or stockings. This is not good for people with diabetes either. Why? One reason is that the rubbing, rubbing, rubbing of your shoes against your bare skin causes blisters and sores. Wearing socks or stockings prevents this by protecting this direct contact. That is, if your shoes fit correctly.

There's been a lot of talk about Crocs, a brand of shoes being discussed on the dLife forum. I want to address this issue, but I also want to be fair and balanced about it. I've asked the company to send me more information. Two pair of the CrocsRx claim to be "designed with the diabetic foot in mind." I want to see if there is truly any science behind this. From the looks of them, I see pros and cons. As soon as I get my information, and I try them myself, I'll get back with you. Until then, take care of your diabetes - which includes taking care of your feet and wearing diabetes friendly shoes.


Read Joy's bio here.

Read more of Joy Pape's columns.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.


Last Modified Date: July 08, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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