Earlier this year, new guidelines on footwear for people with diabetes were published. While the guidelines are aimed at health professionals working with people with diabetes, if you are living with diabetes it’s important that you know about the recommendations made within the guidelines.
So what are these recommendations? They are broken into three categories:
- Recommendations for everyone with diabetes;
- Recommendations for individuals with a high risk of foot ulcers; and
- Recommendations for people with a foot deformity or previous ulcer.
Recommendations for everyone with diabetes
Choose the right shoes. This means shoes that fit well and which protect and accommodate the shape of your feet. They should be the right length, width and depth and the toe area needs to match the shape of your forefoot and toes. Enclosed rather than open heel shoes are also recommended as these provide additional support and prevent injury to the heel area.
Don’t forget your socks. The guidelines recommend that people with diabetes always wear socks within their footwear, to provide additional protection for the feet and reduce rubbing. Socks should be made mostly from natural materials (to avoid excess moisture), be seamless and should not have elasticised tops.
Understand the importance of having the right footwear. The guidelines emphasise the need for all individuals with diabetes (and their family and caregivers) to be aware of the importance of having and wearing the right footwear, to help in preventing foot complications, including ulcers. Having regular foot checks is also essential.