Choosing the Right Shoes (Don’t Forget the Socks!)

When you have diabetes, proper foot care will help prevent problems with your feet and will help ensure prompt medical care when problems occur. This applies to choosing the right shoes and socks for exercise – and for your daily activities as well.

To prevent injury to your feet, don’t go barefoot even around the house. Buy shoes that fit properly. Buy comfortable shoes that do not fit tightly and that provide support cushioning for the heel, arch, and ball of the foot. Avoid narrow shoes that crowd your toes. If one foot is bigger than the other, buy shoes in the larger size. Your doctor may recommend specially designed shoes (orthopedic shoes) that fit the exact shape of your feet, cushion your feet and evenly distribute weight on your feet.

Wear clean, dry socks. Wear socks made of fibers that pull (wick) sweat away from your skin, such as cotton and special acrylic fibers – not nylon. Avoid socks with tight elastic bands that reduce circulation, as well as think, bulky socks that often fit poorly and irritate your skin.
Schedule regular foot checkups. Your doctor or podiatrist can inspect your feet for early signs of nerve damage, poor circulation or other foot problems. Schedule foot exams at least once a year or more often if recommended by your doctor.

Take foot injuries seriously. Contact your doctor if you have a foot sore that doesn’t begin to heal within a few days or other persistent problems with your feet. Your doctor will inspect your foot to make a diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate course of treatment.

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