Why do you need Diabetic Shoes?
A common side effect of diabetes is "peripheral neuropathy," which causes loss of sensation in the extremities. Ill-fitting shoes which rub or pinch the feet excessively can lead to ulceration and foot injury, simply because the diabetic does not feel the injury until it is too late.
Properly fitted diabetic shoes are very important in preventing such injuries. Companies specializing in pedorthics -- the design of footwear and specialty insoles to help alleviate and/or prevent foot pain and injury -- manufacture special shoes and insoles for diabetics.
Diabetic shoes are often wider and deeper than regular shoes, to make room for special diabetic insoles. Pedorthic insoles for diabetics are generally custom made for the patient's feet, to ensure proper fit and minimize rubbing and uneven weight distribution, preventing injury. It is also important for a diabetic to have shoes with good air circulation, meaning a lot of diabetic footwear features fabric or sandal-style uppers.
It is very important for a diabetic to have their shoes custom fitted by a trained professional, since they may not be able to feel an improper fit, due to peripheral neuropathy. By ensuring proper fit and good air circulation, properly designed diabetic shoes and insoles prevent pressure ulcers, encourage good blood circulation, and allow the skin to breathe.
Some things to look for in good shoe designs for diabetics are:
- Diabetic Shoes need to have a breathable construction - sandals and fabric shoes are good for this.
- Deep and wide designs that allow room for custom pedorthic insoles.
- Designs with no interior seams (or covered seams) to prevent rubbing injuries.
- Diabetic Shoes need a roomy "toe box" to prevent pinching or squeezing of the toes.
- Elastic or easily adjustable fit, to prevent the diabetic shoe from sliding around on the feet.
Shoes and custom insoles which are specially designed to meet the needs of diabetics' feet will often be partially or fully covered by Medicare or private insurance, offsetting the cost of the customization.
In January 2011, Medicare changed the standards for getting diabetic shoes and inserts. Here are those new requirements:
The patient must have diabetes and one of the following qualifying conditions. These conditions below MUST also be noted in the patients chart by the physician that is treating the patient for diabetes.
- Specific foot deformity (ie. Bunion, hammer toe, high arch, bony prominence etc.); or
- The location of a foot ulcer or pre-ulcerative callus or history of these: or
- Prior ulceration or partial foot amputation: or
- Symptoms, signs, or tests supporting diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy plus the presence of a callus; or
- Poor circulation- a diagnosis of venous or arterial insufficiency or signs or symptoms (non-palpable pulses, decreased or absent hair growth, thin shiny skin), or test documenting one of these diagnoses.
At Huntington Comfort Shoes and Orthotics LLC, we are happy to work with you and your physician to get this required paperwork so that you can get your shoes and inserts in a timely manner!
Orthofeet, Inc. was founded in 1984 by the Bar brothers, Aharon, a PhD in biomedical engineering, and Michael, a mechanical engineer.
During the first 15 years of its operation, Orthofeet developed and manufactured innovative orthotics that have been sold primarily to the orthopedic market.
With a 135-year history, Drew has refined and mastered the science of therapeutic comfort footwear. The entire Drew Collection is an inventive combination of function and style, working to keep the feet healthy—and looking great. In addition to the Drew footwear brand, the company offers the fashionable Barefoot Freedom®
Dr. Comfort was founded in 2002 and is the worldwide leading provider of diabetic footwear. We became the leader by recognizing the need for STYLE, COMFORT and QUALITY in the therapeutic shoe industry. Today, our family of comfort footwear line includes diabetic shoes, prescription and non-prescription inserts, diabetic socks, slippers, sandals and compression hosiery.