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What is the Difference Between Diabetic Shoes and Regular Shoes?


Diabetic shoes are obviously shoes made specifically for a diabetic. But, what do they have that regular old sneakers don’t have? Diabetic shoes aren’t just comfy sneakers that feel like slippers just because. No, every single part of a diabetic shoe is carefully crafted for a specific purpose. Every factor is taken into consideration when the shoe is made. Like shoe height, width, materials, size, posture, deepness, collar size, etc. Yeah, these shoes are incredibly important. Most doctors who specialize in diabetic patient care will tell you that diabetic shoes simply save feet from harm.

Foot ulcers are problems diabetics need to monitor all the time. Sometimes, it is unpreventable, and if a foot ulcer gets worse, it may result in having to amputate the foot. That is a horrible scenario that no one should have to endure. But, sadly, there are tens of thousands of people who must have amputation procedures completed because of prior problems.

Diabetic shoes can prevent the minor problems that turn into big problems from occurring. But, that doesn’t mean that if you don’t have the exact right shoes, you’ll end up at the hospital with major problems, either. Diabetes can be scary sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be if you do your homework on what shoes provide the most benefits for your feet.


Diabetic Shoes and Regular Shoes in Comparison

Regular old sneakers are made from rubber, synthetic materials, leather, mesh, plastic, metal, and sometimes even wood. Usually, the casual shoe doesn’t have any wood or metal in it though. Large shoe manufacturers also use a thin type of textile or synthetic mesh for the upper portion of the shoe, followed by polyurethane rubber or sometimes even recycled rubber from old car airbags and other things.

These materials are the cheapest that money can buy. They are designed to be cheap. Even though some are outrageously expensive. They are thin, so they don’t have any type of support for the foot. The soles are usually a thin rubber encased around another material. The inside soles are an uncomfortable rubber EVA type of material that forms to the foot but is so thin that it doesn’t provide any cushion. Those types of insoles are great at making your feet hot though.

The characteristics mentioned above are prevalent in shoes under a $50 price range. There are great shoes out there from major brands and small businesses all around the world that benefit your feet instead of causing more problems. But, a diabetic needs a different kind of footwear. But, not even just a diabetic. Anyone can find a ton of comfort in shoes designed for diabetics.

Advantages to Diabetic Shoes

Diabetic shoes are engineered for maximum comfort and blood flow. They are designed to be as sleek as possible without compromising the quality of the materials needed to protect the foot in any situation. Specifically, a diabetic’s feet are prone to swelling and decreased blood flow caused by many factors. Their feet also need extra support because a diabetic can experience loss of feeling or numbness at any time, which can make a person extra clumsy and in danger of hurting themselves or others by falling.

So, diabetic shoes are made to alleviate all the conditions mentioned above and to provide comfort, stability, mobility, and to still be priced affordably. It’s no easy feat. If you go to a store, or talk to someone else about diabetic shoes, they may refer to them as therapeutic shoes, extra deep shoes, or an older term: ‘Sugar shoes.’ They are called this because of the room they give for a diabetic’s feet to swell if they need to safely while ensuring maximum blood flow.

The materials used for diabetic shoes aren’t all that dissimilar from regular shoes. The design is what makes them special. Diabetic shoes do not have a single stitch that protrudes on the inside of the shoe. This is because the skin on the foot of a person with diabetes can be very sensitive, and even the smallest stitch can cause irritation, which can lead to infections, or blisters, and if left unchecked, some major problems. The interior of the shoe is also protected with a soft material because they do fit somewhat different than regular shoes. They provide room above the foot so that when swelling occurs, the person can leave their shoes on. Which is great, because when the foot does swell, the shoe hugs the foot gently, which promotes better blood flow throughout the foot. It also provides comfort to a painful, swelled up foot.

All diabetic shoes are different, but most have some sort of soft cushion technology on the heel portion of the insole and sole of the shoe. Some will have air pockets that provide extra support and comfort that the heel can hug and conform to. Others have soft material that won’t compress to much and break down over time, but generally do the same thing. The insoles of a diabetic shoe are made so that it conforms to the bottom of the user’s feet. They are cushioned with a little extra material that will shape right with the natural arch and the balls of your feet and toes. People with hammertoe and other deformities of the toes find that diabetic shoes have the most room for their feet to fit. They use these types of shoes to fit custom made inserts into so that the bones can eventually correct themselves into the correct positions.

The outside of a diabetic shoe isn’t much different than a regular shoe. You’ll find that quite a few models of shoes don’t have laces, but straps instead. This is because the user always needs to fit the shoe snugly to their feet, so having a pin and hook or a buckle strap is the most convenient way for them to do that. But, you can also find plenty of shoes with laces or even boots with zippers or slip ons.

Diabetic shoes can also be custom made for anyone. Not just sole inserts, but the entire shoe itself can be made just for you. There are plenty of options available for anyone wanting superior comfort and provided benefits from their shoes. Anyone without diabetes can use these shoes to enhance their overall foot health as well.