Diabetic shoes are also referred to as extra-depth, therapeutic shoes or Sugar shoes. They are specially designed shoes or shoe inserts, intended to reduce the risk of skin breakdown in elderly diabetic people with pre-existing foot disease. Elderly people with diabetic neuropathy in their feet sometimes do not realize the level of risk that their feet are actually at. An ulcer under the foot can develop in a couple of hours. The primary goal of diabetic shoes is to prevent complications, which can include strain, ulcer, calluses and even amputation for the elderly suffering from diabetes and poor blood circulation. Neuropathy can also change the shape of a person’s feet, which limits the range of shoes that can be comfortably worn. Diabetic shoes must be prescribed by a physician and fit by a certified individual such as an orthotist, podiatrist, therapeutic shoe fitter or a pedorthist. Moreover, diabetic shoes can be covered by Medicare.
Walking is a beneficial activity to maintain health and for controlling blood sugar levels in a normally functioning younger adult, but for an elderly person with diabetes it comes with a risk of injuries. Fortunately, most of these foot injuries can be prevented by taking proper care of the feet and by wearing diabetic shoes. One might wonder what the specialties of diabetic shoes are. The special features of the diabetic shoe can be listed out as follows:
- Protective interior: The diabetic shoes for the elderly is made with soft leather with no stitches protruding as even the smallest prominence can irritate the skin and cause blisters.
- Non-binding uppers: The upper in the front part of the shoe is soft and has no overlays across the bunions to eliminate pressure points.
- Stretchable uppers: For seniors who need extra protection, it is better to go with shoes that have stretchable uppers that shape to the contours of the deformed feet.
- Orthotic support: The insoles in diabetic shoes provide support to the arch of the feet.
- Extra depth: The shoes are made with extra depth to accommodate diabetic insoles.