How to Pick the Right Shoes When Youre Diabetic

From foot ulcers to sensitive toes, managing foot pain is one of the many challenges of diabetes; here's how to pick the right shoes for comfort and good health.

Diabetic patients often struggle with finding comfortable shoes because nerve damage in on the base of the feet can cause pain, discomfort, and even swelling. From foot ulcers to sensitive toes, managing foot pain is one of the many challenges of diabetes; finding the shoe that fits is even more important for sufferers, and many people are simply wearing the wrong type of shoes.

According to WebMD's summary of a British research study about feet and shoes in diabetic adults, only one in three adults with diabetes are wearing the right shoe size and type. If you have diabetes and need a more comfortable pair of shoes, here's how to pick the right pair:

1. Choose a wide-width style and wear them with thicker socks. Wider sizes are perfect for diabetic patients because they provide just enough room for diabetic socks and support cushions if you need it. Look for your favorite shoes in a wider style, or jump online for the exact size and style if the store doesn't carry it.

2. Find out your real shoe size from a professional. Having your feet sized by a professional is the best way to determine your actual size, then work from there. They'll be able to measure both length and width for optimal fit. It's a good idea to measure your feet throughout the day for any noticeable changes, and accommodate for the right size accordingly.

3. Don't buy shoes online (unless it's an exact match of something you found in store). The best way to gauge for comfort and support is by trying them on and walking around. Avoid the hassles of buying and returning shoes you've spotted online and head to the store instead. You'll save both money and time by finding the perfect pair after trying on a few different sizes and styles.

4. Shop for shoes after 2 p.m. Your feet are usually swollen after getting up int eh morning, and you could be picking the wrong size if you head out for an early-morning shopping spree. Wait until after lunch when your water weight has stabilized and your feet are less swollen. You'll have a more accurate fit, and can look for shoes with just a little extra space to accommodate for the swelling.

5. Skip the super-high heels. No matter how attractive those pencil thin heels may look, you'll need to choose something with no more than a 2" heel. Flats are best, according to RN Joy Pape of Dlife.com. Lower your risk of cramps, muscle soreness, and joint pain by keeping your legs healthy with a conservative heel.

6. Invest in quality running shoes for day-to-day activities. Running shoes provide extra support and cushioning that can be especially valuable for your joints. Take the pressure off your lower back and knees with a high-quality pair of running shoes for errands and workouts. Gel insoles are another way to increase the comfort level for your shoes.

Wearing the wrong shoes can lead to serious health consequences if you're diabetic, especially if you have significant nerve and muscle damage in your feet. Find a quality pair of shoes that can accommodate for your feet's changing size, and protect them with extra cushioning, insoles, and thick socks.