What Makes Diabetic Shoes Unique? How Does Custom Footwear Help to Prevent Diabetes Complications?

The gold standard in footwear is well-fitted, custom-made shoes because they essentially distribute body pressure evenly across the entire area of the foot sole, reducing high-pressure points. In addition to absorbing shock and lowering pressure, this also aids in preventing ulcers, corns, foot pain, and ankle pain.

We must first understand why people with diabetes or other conditions may experience foot issues or pain in order to better comprehend this.¬†Everyone is born with a distinct foot shape. Furthermore, the shape of the individual foot changes over time, especially in diabetics. The distribution of pressure and high-pressure areas are impacted by this. Because of this, some people experience greater pain when they walk. Therefore, it is crucial that the shoe’s insole, if made specifically for it, distributes pressure (offloading), reduces pressure areas, protects the feet, and prevents ulcers, infections, and injuries. The best way to accomplish this is to prepare a shoe specifically for each foot by evaluating its shape, pressure, curves, and angles. Only that individual and those feet may use this. Contact American Heelers if you need your shoes customized in any way.

Why do diabetics develop corns, ulcers, or other foot issues?

When we walk normally, the sole of the foot absorbs the pressure of the entire body. The pressure is typically dispersed over a wide area.

However, in diabetics, there are high-pressure areas that concentrate all of the body’s weight in a small space. After repeated walking, the skin in those areas begins to deteriorate. This aggravates the condition because the person is unaware that damage is being done, especially when combined with a lack of pain perception (caused by neuropathy, a diabetes complication). The skin in this area eventually gives way and breaks down, forming an ulcer. So, in diabetics, the ulcer almost always starts from within. In more than 80% of cases, this is the source of the ulcer.

Other factors include poor general health, insufficient blood flow, sensitive skin, weakened immunity, elevated blood sugar levels, and delicate skin. According to research, diabetics can avoid nearly 85% of amputations by using diabetic footwear and other preventive foot care techniques.

How is non-diabetic foot pain alleviated by custom footwear?

Some people are born with slightly abnormal foot structures, such as high-arched or flat feet. Others have some degree of leg length deformity, while some have weak ligaments and joints. This causes high-pressure points and strains on the foot arches, along with the hard, flat, and artificial surfaces we walk on. Some of these issues can be alleviated by customizing footwear. Customized footwear is the best way to balance your body because it distributes pressure evenly across the entire foot, reduces pressure points, absorbs shocks, provides arch support, and corrects tilt/angulation. This can alleviate many foot/ankle pains without requiring surgery. 

What are the various types of shoes that are relevant to diabetes or foot pain?

Customized Shoes: Customized is unquestionably the best option. The shape is recorded, preferably by hand by a skilled individual using a mold, or by scanning, and the insole is prepared.

Post-surgical Shoes: After surgery, one may receive either front or heel wedging

Air cast shoes: Air forms a cushion to hold the leg. Useful in ankle problems

What should I do if I can’t find specially-made diabetic shoes or footwear?

The availability of specially made shoes and footwear for diabetics may not be widespread. One may wear athletic shoes while following the advice of nearby professionals. It is recommended that it be at least one size larger than your foot to serve the following purposes:

Soft insoles absorb shock and relieve pressure.

Protects and covers the foot on all sides

Avoids crowding by being broad in front and allowing space for the toes.

Don’t be concerned if you don’t find anyone nearby. American Heelers employs the best orthopedic shoe repair specialists and has a system in place to accept your shoes and deliver them to your address after the necessary modifications have been made.

How often should diabetic shoes/footwear be replaced? 

Depending on the material, we recommend replacing insoles every 6-12 months. Not only do the insoles/heel lifts wear out, but the shape, dynamics, and pressure areas of the foot change necessitating insole replacement. This is by far the simplest and least expensive way to avoid foot complications.

Do all diabetics require special footwear?

Yes. For the reasons listed above, diabetics are more likely to experience foot issues. The risk multiplies once neuropathy develops (which typically manifests as a loss of sensation, which is why the patient never complains). Treatment is costly and risky when an ulcer or infection occurs. Therefore, the best ways to prevent any foot issues in diabetes are diabetic footwear or shoes and diabetic foot care. According to studies, wearing a pair of specially made shoes can prevent 85% of foot issues and amputations.

The best treatment is prevention.

It is less expensive and safer than treatment.
American Heelers is the company to turn all kinds of orthopedic shoe customization. Feel free to call 216-378-2686, or e-mail info@americanheeler.com for more information about our services.

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