November is National Diabetes Month. Here at Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC we treat many patients with diabetes and have a great deal of experience in helping these patients prevent potential conditions and injuries that can lead to diabetic ulcers and wounds. One of the best ways for diabetic patients to protect their feet is by choosing appropriate shoes that are properly fitted. Below are some tips for shoe shopping:
·Start with the foot doctor. Regular checkups with the podiatrist should already be part of your health care plan if you have diabetes. Our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight and Dr. Marzana Mleczko will be able to make recommendations for shoe designs to accommodate any toe or foot deformities or other specific foot or ankle conditions that you may have.
·Time it right. Shop for shoes at the end of the day. That’s when your feet have swelled the most and will be at their largest size.
·Bring what you need. Wear the type of socks that you are most likely to use with the shoes you are shopping for. Don’t forget any orthotic inserts if the foot doctor has prescribed them to try on with the shoes you are considering.
·Pay attention to toes. Look for shoe styles that have a wide and roomy toe box and avoid high heels which force toes down and forward. The goal is to avoid toes being squished into each other. This can lead to ingrown toenails and increase the risk of deformities such as bunions and hammertoes. Be sure there is at least ½ inch of space (about the width of your thumb) between the front of the shoe and your longest toe.
·Go for padding. Cushioned soles will go a long way to reducing the pressure put on the bottom of your foot.
·Pick lace up’s over slip on’s. Laces allow for a more stable and secure fit. The more you can limit side to side motion in your shoe the greater the reduction of injury and friction issues.
·Do a final check. Before purchasing shoes, run your hand around the inside of the shoes to be sure there are no rough spots or uneven seams that could rub on your foot and cause a blister or other irritation.