Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Choosing Shoes For Foot Health

Foot health should be a major factor to consider when purchasing shoes. Here are a few tips to selecting shoes that will not jeopardize foot health.

Try on shoes before you buy. It is best to go shopping for shoes in the late afternoon or evening. This is because feet naturally expand throughout the day. When first waking in the morning, the feet had been relaxed during the night. The pressure exerted on the feet while walking will slightly expand the feet. Shoes should be bought to fit at the time of day when feet are at their largest.

Choose shoes with wide toe boxes. Shoes that are too narrow should be avoided. Even if the shoes fit, if they cause pressure on the toes or any other part of the foot, it can cause problems. When trying shoes on, pay attention to any friction caused by the shoe.

If heels are desired, choose a moderate to low heel. High heels can cause a variety of problems including hammertoes, corns, tight heel cords, and metatarsalagia. High-heeled shoes can also worsen bunions and bunionettes.

Shoes should provide proper support. Flimsy soles do not provide the support needed. Sandals often lack even minimal support. If sandals are to be used for any significant length of time, look for sandals that provide some cushioning and substantial soles.

The back of the shoe should not be overly stiff. It should yield to the movement of the foot. Hard backs to heels and other shoes can irritate the back of the foot. Friction from stiff shoe backs can lead to the development of Haglund’s deformity, otherwise known as “pump bump.” Haglund’s deformity is the formation of a bony lump on the back of the foot accompanied by irritation and pain.

Everyone buying shoes should try on both shoes. Taking the shortcut of only trying on one of the shoes can cause problems since it is common for one foot to be slightly larger than the other. Sometimes people buy shoes that are too tight thinking that they will be “broken in.” This practice should be avoided. With a little care and common sense, shoes can be supportive of good foot health.


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