Summer is here, and people are taking off their shoes to go barefoot in the house, in the grass, on the beach—there is even such a thing as a barefoot saddle if you want to go riding sans shoes. If you have diabetes, though, you should resist. As much as you might love the feel of bare feet, it’s best to confine that feeling to when you’re sitting watching TV or sleeping in bed. The rest of the time, keep your feet protected. Stylish shoes for diabetics make it possible to feel the summer air and keep your feet safe at the same time.
Why spare your bare feet? Because people with diabetes have a greatly increased risk of developing foot ulcers from even the smallest injuries. Fluctuating sugar levels do a number on the walls of your blood vessels, weakening them or allowing them to build up plaque that impedes blood flow. Lack of blood flow means you heal more slowly, and serious ulcers can develop.
The other problem is your nerves. Again, unregulated glucose levels can damage the nerves in your feet and legs so that you can’t properly feel what is around you. You could step on something sharp or scrape the sidewalk and not even know you’re hurt. You might then keep walking on the injury and make it even worse.
In the house, wear socks or slippers—or even flip flops—to protect your feet. For outdoors, shoes for diabetics should have good support and protect your feet, and still have enough ventilation to enjoy the warm summer air. Croc-style shoes might work for the beach or pool area. Sturdy sandals with some arch support and protection along the side are better for more vigorous walking. Do an internet search and you will find plenty of guidance.
Chiropodist Tony Abbott specializes in diabetic foot care and can give you lots of other tips on protecting your feet. Give Abbott Foot & Ankle Clinic in Collingwood, ON, a call at (705) 444-9929 or check us out on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.
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