Do’s and Don’ts for Choosing Shoes if You Have Diabetes


If you are a patient with diabetes you know that your feet need extra care and protection. What may seem like a minor foot problem—athlete’s foot, blisters, etc.—can become a major worry if a wound or ulcer begins to form. Also, since loss of sensation (neuropathy) can make it difficult to feel pain or irritation in your feet, special precautions are necessary when choosing shoes. In honor of National Diabetes Month, we at Gentle Professional Foot Care would like to offer the following do’s and don’ts for shoe shopping if you have diabetes:

Do: pick lace up shoes over slip-ons. Shoes that hold the foot securely and limit side to side motion offer the best protection.

Don’t: choose shoes with heels over 2 inches high. High heels are less stable and more likely to result in a fall or ankle injury.

Do: look for shoes with roomy toe boxes. When toes are squeezed together in a narrow space for long periods of time, ingrown toenails become more likely and foot deformities such as bunions and hammertoes can develop.

Do: go for soft leather and other natural materials that will give a little and be less likely to rub on your skin and cause a blister.

Don’t: skip getting your foot professionally measured when shoe shopping. Foot size can change over time.

Do: get a padded sole. This will act as a shock absorber and decrease pressure to the bottom of the foot.

Don’t: forget to wear the same type and thickness of socks you’ll be typically using with the shoes you’re a buying to ensure a proper fit.

Do: shop for shoes at the end of the day—that’s when your foot is at its largest size.

Don’t: continue to wear shoes that are worn out or are showing signs of wear in the sole, heel or toe box. This increases the risk of tripping and also of rubbing or friction issues with the skin.

Do: visit our Venice office and let our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, examine your feet. The foot doctor can make specific recommendations to suit your individual feet. Contact us for an appointment at: 941-493-7999.