Do Crocs Rock

Latest foot fad may give pause for people with diabetes.

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

Here it is almost summer, and I've had more fun telling people about my last article, Flip Flops, No Socks, and Crocs.  When I ask the people in my diabetes classes to check out all the band-aides on peoples' feet, I not only get nods of agreement, but several people confess they already have them on their feet from wearing the wrong kind of shoes, or they keep a bunch of band-aides in their pocket or purse for the summer months. 

The question remains, are Crocs really good for people who have diabetes?  I don't have a definitive answer for you, but I did speak with some experts who may be able to shed some light on the subject.

First of all, a little bit about Crocs. If you aren't familiar with them, they are those colorful plastic looking shoes that are so ugly they have become fashionable to many.  Here's a peek from their website:

 Croc Footware .

They claim their core values were and continue to be a commitment "to making a lightweight, comfortable, slip resistant, fashionable and functional shoe that can be produced quickly and at an affordable price to our customers."

To note they have two styles of shoes called Crocs RX, Cloud and the Silver Cloud they recommend for people with diabetes.  Both of these shoes were "designed with the diabetic foot in mind."  The Silver Cloud is impregnated with silver particles for the anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities. 

So what's the verdict?  Are Crocs really good for people who have diabetes?  Just like with everything about your diabetes, it depends.  It depends on you, your diabetes, and your feet.  If you wear the right size for your foot, they are definitely a better choice than pointed toed shoes or high heel stilettos. They do have the width and toe box size you need.  I'm sure this is one of the reasons so many people think they are so comfortable.  The one drawback is that there are round openings, therefore your foot won't have complete protection.  But hey, they're more protective than sandals.

One of the concerns I had about them was the open heel.  With an open heel, a rock or pebble or anything can get into your shoe. If you have any peripheral neuropathy and don't feel it, you can get a sore on the bottom of your feet.  The two pair of Crocs RX do have an elevated heel rim.  It would be best for you to try these on before you buy them to make sure this is not too loose to still be like an open heel, or too tight to cause pressure problems. 

I spoke with two experts, Dennis Janisse, Certified Pedorthist and President and CEO of National Pedorthic Services, Inc., and Podiatrist, Dr. John S. Steinberg, Assistant Professor, Department of Plastic Surgery, Georgetown University.  They are for the most part in agreement that most people who wear them love them.  They are okay for most people who have diabetes, but if your health care provider has prescribed shoes to be made for you, Crocs are not a replacement for those. 

If you are thinking of getting a pair, make sure they fit your foot correctly and check your feet at least daily to make sure nothing has gotten in those open areas that could cause problems.

Until next month…Take care of your feet and EnJOY!

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 is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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