It seems that no matter what else you were told about diabetes, somewhere along the line, doctors and other medical professionals have warned you about the many potential complications. They told you about things like blindness, possible amputations, slow healing, foot ulcers, kidney damage, heart disease, and stroke. And they probably mentioned that you should check your feet each day for possible sores or injuries. They may not have told you about diabetic shoes for women.
When first diagnosed, I had a basic understanding of the potential complications, but I didn’t necessarily understand what caused them. When I was first told to check my feet daily, I was not given a reason. It made no sense to me as I did not have issues with diabetic neuropathy. But then I began reading whatever I could find on diabetic complications. When I read stories of people developing ulcers from something as simple as a bruise or small scratch or a crack in dry skin that would not heal, it all started to make sense.
And it wasn’t just about injuries not healing. It was about protecting your feet from any injury.
Why Diabetic Shoes Are Recommended
Diabetic shoes are recommended for a number of reasons, but mostly to support the foot and protect it from injury. The best shoes for diabetics, whether specifically diabetic footwear or not, include features such as extra cushioning, adequate arch support, a padded collar on the heel, wide toe boxes, and adjustable fit, whether through Velcro straps or laces.
What is Different About Women’s Diabetic Shoes?
Shoes designed specifically for diabetic patients, take into account the many things that can cause foot injury. They are designed to be supportive without putting unnecessary pressure on any part of your feet. If properly fitted, they should not rub or cause blisters.
They come in different widths, including wide widths, so you can find a shoe that truly fits your feet. They should be comfortable shoes with no pressure points and plenty of extra space, especially around the toes. They should be sturdy shoes with a roomy toe box. The toe box is more generous, again, not to put unnecessary pressure on your feet.
Foot problems and the need for proper footwear are nothing new to me. Finding the right pair of shoes has always been an issue. I was born with broad toes, normal to narrow heels, and sensitive skin. I spent my childhood and adolescent years wearing sturdy leather tie shoes because they were the only shoes available in a wide width at the time. Cute, stylish shoes were not an option. Instead, I got clunky and tease-worthy. Most of the time, I preferred to go barefoot.
Every year as school started, my parents spent more on a pair of shoes for me than they did my entire clothing wardrobe for the year. There was even a pair of horrid “oyster” colored orthopedic shoes I had to wear in the fifth grade. Yes, they were so bad that I still remember the name of the color and could draw you a picture of exactly what they looked like.
And then in later years, there were the custom-made skating boots. Always something out of the ordinary needed for my feet.
Adding a diabetes diagnosis was just one more complication in the process.
Easing Into Diabetic Shoes
The first couple of years after diagnosis, I continued wearing regular shoes. They were classic SAS shoes that I had worn for years. They were good quality walking shoes that were supportive and fit well. They had plenty of room and were available with the extra width for a comfortable fit. They worked well for casual shoes.
However, for times when a casual or athletic style wasn’t appropriate, I found I needed to try something different.
If you have peripheral neuropathy, please consult your medical provider about proper footwear. They may recommend therapeutic shoes or custom orthotic insoles, depending on your personal situation. The diabetes experience is different for everyone. The degree of damage from high glucose levels is different for everyone.
Ordering Diabetic Shoes for Women Online
About a month ago, I finally tried a pair of shoes specifically designed for diabetic feet. They don’t look like the “clunky” orthopedic shoes I wore as a child. And I successfully ordered them online. I can confidently say I will be doing this again.
Ordering shoes online was not something I thought I could ever do. My routine was to visit six or more shoe stores to find something that fits. The style was never the top priority. So ordering online and having it work for me was a great time saver.
Ordering from Orthofeet
I was looking for a general style of shoe—a Mary Jane in black, preferably with a strap that fastened close to the ankle. History tells me that this option or ties are the best choices for keeping my narrower heels snug in my wider shoes.
The perfect pair, the Celina, was located on the OrthoFeet website. I did have one concern, and that was the width of the heel. I wasn’t sure if it would be too wide or not. It wasn’t easy to tell from the photographs.
I checked their website pretty thoroughly and decided to order. OrthoFeet did have a free shipping/return policy, so I felt pretty safe in ordering.
The shoes shipped within a couple of days, just as stated on their website.
Exchanging the Shoes
And when my new shoes arrived, I got to try out their return policy. Oops! It was no fault of the company. I needed a half size larger than what I had ordered.
I unpacked the box to try the shoes on and found their instructions on how to adjust the fit with the additional inserts they provide. Everything looked great, except they were just a bit too short.
Their return process was seamless. With the online system for returns, I was able to print out a mailing label and return slip and have the shoes shipped back within a few hours of receipt.
Waiting on the return of a new pair took longer than the first order, but was within the time frame they listed in their paperwork.
The new pair arrived in the correct size. I did need to use a couple of the inserts to adjust the size a bit. Their system worked perfectly for this.
I have been wearing the shoes for a week now. They were comfortable from the very beginning. And I do feel they are more protective than some of my softer leather shoes.
UPDATE: now have been wearing these shoes for over 2 years. Still love them!
Do your feet a favor and consider trying shoes designed for the needs of diabetic patients.
Why You Should Take the Care of Your Feet Seriously
Taking care of your diabetic feet includes more than avoiding foot pain or injury. If you have the right shoes, it makes maintaining a healthy lifestyle so much easier. Staying active is one of the best things you can do to help yourself.
Not controlling your blood sugar and not protecting your feet is what often leads to foot ulcers.
What is a diabetic foot ulcer? It is an open wound that looks somewhat like a small crater, often in the bottom of the foot, that resists healing. They require medical treatment and can take months to heal. Severe cases are what leads to the majority of lower limb amputations.
I will spare you the images of diabetic foot ulcers here. If you are interested, Google it.
Keeping blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible goes a long way in preventing the complications associated with diabetes. Investing in and wearing appropriate shoes will further protect your feet.