Shoes, a diabetics best defense.

Diabetes is a chronic condition associated with abnormally high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Diabetes affects the lives of nearly 26 million people in the United States and nearly seven million don’t even know they have the disease yet.   Up to 25% of those with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer. Diabetes can mean double trouble for your feet. First, diabetes reduces blood flow to your feet, depriving your toes of oxygen making it more difficult for blisters, sores, and cuts to heal. Second, diabetic nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy can keep you from feeling sores or cracks in your feet.

Untreated, the sores and cracks can become deeply infected, and lead to amputation. If you have diabetes, shoes can be one of your best defenses for protecting your feet. Your foot doctor will recommend wearing shoes specifically designed for diabetics. When looking for a pair of shoes, you want to make sure it has proper ventilation, which allows the feet to reduce dampness and heat. Sweat often is an ideal environment for bacteria and infection to grow.

When choosing a shoe, you want to make sure the toe and heal curve slightly, forcing your feet to be in balance when you walk. To prevent injury to susceptible and sensitive toes, the shoe’s toe box should be high and durable. The shoe should also be lightweight and seamless to prevent any irritation like calluses, infection or blisters. When measuring for diabetic shoes you will need to stand on a measuring device. The measuring device measures the length of the foot from the heel to the longest toe and the width at the widest part.



Choosing your Footwear

  • Choosing improperly fitting shoes and socks can cause foot trauma.  Remember to:
  • Wear shoes and socks that fit well.
  • Wear shoes and socks made from natural materials –they allow for healthy air circulation.
  • Change your shoes at least once each day.
  • Purchase your shoes in the afternoon, when your feet are at their largest size.
  • Look for shoes that have a lot of “wiggle room” for your toes. Do not choose shoes that feel tight.
  • Take time to break in your new shoes. Wear them for 1-2 hours each day to begin with.


Sandals and flip flops are cute, but they don’t offer your tootsies any protection. If you want shoes to wear in hot weather that will keep your feet cool, look for shoes that offer coverage but are made of materials that give some ventilation.



Although there is no cure for diabetes, there is hope. With proper diet, exercise, medical care, and careful management at home, a person with diabetes can avoid the most serious complications and enjoy a full and active life. Your podiatrist plays a key role in helping patients manage diabetes successfully and avoid foot-related complications.

Podiatrist  Dr. Olga Garcia Luepschen  and the Gentle Foot Care Center are located on US 27.  For more information on avoiding diabetic  foot  complications visit or call 314-9255(walk).


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