6 steps to smart shoe shopping for diabetics

Finding shoes that fit is important for anybody, but doubly so for people with diabetes. Follow these six steps to score comfortable shoes right off the rack.

6 steps to smart shoe shopping for diabetics

1. Follow three fit factors

Don't settle for any shoe that doesn't meet all three criteria for a good fit:

  • The tip of the shoe should extend about the width of your thumb beyond your longest toe
  • The ball of your foot should fit comfortably — without cramping the toes — into the widest part of the shoe
  • The heel should fit snugly without slipping when you walk

2. Measure every time

  • Don't just tell the salesperson your size — get a new measurement
  • Changes in weight, blood circulation and foot structure can make your foot a different size or shape than it was

3. Try on both shoes

  • It's likely that one of your feet is slightly larger than the other, so make sure shoes fit both feet
  • If necessary, buy for your larger foot and see your podiatrist about padding the other shoe

4. Don't assume it will stretch

Shoes may mold better to your feet the longer you wear them, but don't let a salesperson tell you the basic fit will improve with time. The shoe should fit — now.

5. Buy late in the day

Feet swell by as much as five percent over the course of the day, so shopping in the late afternoon or evening will ensure that feet aren't cramped when you put new shoes on in the morning.

6. Ask about returns

  • If you've lost sensation in your feet, you can't trust how shoes feel in the store
  • Bring them home and wear them around the house for half an hour, then check your feet
  • If you see areas of redness, which indicate pressure from a poor fit, bring the shoes back

Your podiatrist can always help if you have trouble finding the right footwear, but if you follow these steps you should be able to treat your feet to the comfort they deserve.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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