By Consultant Surgeon Prof. G. Sivakumar
Diabetic patients need to choose proper footwear. Footwear made of hard synthetic materials acts as ledges and traumatizes the foot. Good insoles and MCR (microcellular rubber) footwear are very useful to prevent foot ulcers. The patient must follow certain important steps in selecting and using footwear.
- They should be light-weight, flexible and have a good shock absorbing sole.
- Well fitting shoes must be used. Tapering shoes produce crowding of the toes. They must be avoided.
- Check that the shoes are deep, wide and long enough.
- Do not wear ‘slip on’ shoes. A shoe requires some type of fastening in order to hold your foot firmly and securely.
- Don’t forget that your feet can change shape as you grow older and frequently inspect yours.
- Shop for your shoes in the afternoon or after exercising, in case your legs or feet swell.
- Don’t walk barefooted.
- Avoid wearing slippers for any length of time as they encourage a shuffling gait and offer no support.
- Always check inside your shoes before wearing them as there may be impaled nails through the sole.
- Smooth out wrinkles in socks. Socks must be loose and preferably made of cotton so that your feet can breathe. Make sure that your feet are not too moist or too dry.
Also read: Diabetics and dental care
Tips to remember when buying shoes:
- Have both feet measured,
- Have shoes fitted at end of day or after exercise when your feet may be swollen,
- Walk around the shoe shop for 10 – 20 minutes and not only on the carpet.
- While walking, check that your foot remains well seated in the shoe and doesn’t slip up and down.
- Buy the shoe to fit now – don’t expect it to stretch.
- Shoes should not need to be ‘worn in’, however, it is a good idea to wear new shoes for a short time only for a couple of days and check carefully for any red marks, pain or rubbing from the shoes.
- Shoes that are too big can cause a problem as shoes that are tight, narrow or short do.
- Always take the socks or stockings you intend to wear with the shoes to the fitting.
- Make sure your doctor examines your feet and the footwear at each visit.
Also read: Top 10 queries on diabetic foot