Monday, April 24, 2006

Sugar Shoes : Shoes for diabetics

Loss of circulation and sensory nerve supply to the foot makes for major challenges for those living with diabetes. Protecting the foot becomes essential and choosing the right shoe very important. Many shoe designs incorporate hidden seams, usually inside the shoes and these rough surfaces can rub against the skin causing blisters, this is especially problematic when there is absence of feeling (peripheral neuropathy) and if untreated may fester where the simplest tear becomes infected. A soft flexible upper that accommodates the foot shape will further add to comfort. Shoes should fit the foot with adequate width across the ball of the foot and extra depth in the toes box to accommodate the toes. It is useful to have a retaining medium such as laces or Velcro® straps to give best fit.

Foot volume changes throughout the day and minor adjustment of the retaining medium will allow the shoe to adjust to this. The shoes should include an accommodative removable insole to support the foot and help spread pressure across the plantar area. High temperature thermoplastic materials are ideal for this purpose. Light weight footwear is an added bonus and seamless socks and stockings will ensure safety.

It is possible to improve protective properties of existing, good fitting shoes with the simple addition of a removable foot bed made from expanded polyethylene ( plastazote® ) but when this is not possible special shoes are recommended. Shoes now generically referred to as Diabetic Shoes (Sugar Shoes) have evolved from thermoplastic footwear with gainful use put to bi-products of the oil industry. To begin with the “orthopaedic type shoes” were moon boot like but more and more this medium has become fashionable as diabetes mellitus becomes more established in the general population. Now trainers are available which incorporate all the qualities of a protective shoe for the insensate foot. Diabetic shoes are in the main worn as a preventative measure and where ulcerations are present then orthopaedic sandals or walking cast are recommended. It is not the intention of this article to cover orthopaedic sandals but if you are interested in the topic then please consult your physician or podiatrist. The following are examples of shoes suitable for insensate feet but the list is not exhaustive. If you are interested in learning more about shoes for diabetes then please contact your physician, podiatrist or quality shoe store.

Apex® Men's 'Spandex Ambulator' Adjustable Slip-Ons.
The seamless spandex Ambulator® features a Plastazote® foam lining and removable insole that reduce dangerous pressure points and diminishes foot pain from diabetes, arthritis and other problems. Seamless spandex uppers and a firm, high toe box create a safer environment for at-risk feet. For added depth there are two removable insole layers - 3/16" and 1/8". The (PU) flared outsole absorbs shock and the Bio-Rocker sole reduces stress over the ball of the foot. The shoe is machine washable with Velcro® (hook-and-loop) closure.

Drew Women’s Bloom II Mary Janes
Drew® are available in leather or nubuck (abraded leathers i.e. grainy side with fine velvet like short fibres) uppers. The shoe has a flared outsole for walking support. The polyurethane rocker bottom and lightweight steel shank ensure stability. Hook-and-loop closure strap, roomy toe box and comfortable heel. A self-molding insole adjusts to the specific shape of your foot and can be easily removed when necessary.

Dr. Comfort Therapeutic Diabetic Extra Depth Shoe Lycra Velcro
Dr. Comfort Therapeutic Diabetic shoes are designed for men and women and have specialised fit features. Build from a lightweight leather and Lycra, with a Velcro strap to give both comfortable and firm fit. The shoes accommodate extra volume for enlarged feet and ankles. Supplied with comfortable gel insoles and good grip outsole, the shoes can accommodate internal braces and Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFO) and are machine washable. ideal for patients with incontinence.

Safeet® Men’s/ Women’s ‘Globetrotter’ Velcro Slip-Ons
These shoes are made from neoprene-like synthetic material, (FreshFoam™) which stretches to accommodate the exact contours of the foot. The shoes will accommodate swollen feet (ideal for air travel), bunions, and curly toes. The removable insole supports and cradles the foot and keeps it dry. SafeGrip™ rubber sole provides excellent traction. Has a hook-and-loop (Velcro® ) closure and the shoes are machine washable.

Most of these shoes are available through reputable shoe retailers, the web, and surgical suppliers. For those interested in finding out more about diabetic shoes please speak to your physician or podiatrist.

Interesting sites

American Diabetic Association

British Diabetic Association

Canadian Diabetes Association

Custom Design Diabetic shoes

Diabetes Australia

Diabetes New Zealand

Diabetic Dress & Casual Shoes - Fashionable Diabetic Walking Shoes, Work Shoes, Sandals, & Clogs

Reviewed 2/02/2017


Little Wings said...

Informative article. Good post. I think, the diabetes patient must be read it. For another therapy, they can wear it continuously.

David Davis, BS, RRT, CHT said...

Thank you for sharing this article. Diabetic shoes have evolved to the point that they can be quitefashionable. Fashion aside, proper foot care is essential for diabetic patients. Diabetic foot wounds can cause the loss of a limb or even death.

Geoffrey moni said...

I am more than impressed by the number of languages this article has been written> I have never experienced such a thing before. One of the challenges diabetics face is the lack of information on how to go about the killer but preventable disease. Your article, therefore, is a good forum for addressing that issue.Thank you