Diabetic Shoes : DME (Durable Medical Equipment)

Diabetic Shoes

by Connie Taylor on 10/05/16

What is so special about Diabetic Shoes?


According to the American Diabetic Association, nearly 5 million Americans currently suffering from Diabetes will develop foot problems as a result of diabetic complications.  Many people with numbness in their feet (known as Diabetic Neuropathy) don't realize just how much their feet might be at risk.

A lot of times it only takes a few hours to develop a sore, which could develop into an ulcer on the foot due to badly fitting shoes.  When skin damage starts to occur, the body would normally begin to heal the damage, but because of poor circulation in those who are diabetic, the body has a hard time healing.  This can cause an infection which makes the situation worse.  If the infection spreads or it isn’t possible to heal the ulcer, amputation may be needed.

 In 1993, Medicare began covering most of the cost of one pair of Diabetic shoes per year.  The CDC states that since the 1990’s, the rate of amputations due to complications from diabetes has fallen by more than half.

So what is so special about Diabetic Shoes?  Why are they so expensive?  Simply stated – They are made differently.

  1.  The shoes are made of leather or other breathable synthetic fabric.
  2.  They are wider and deeper in the toe box than regular shoes to make room for special diabetic insoles.  The diabetic insoles are to minimize rubbing and uneven weight distribution.
  3. Diabetic Shoes are designed with either no interior seams or covered seams to prevent rubbing injuries.
  4. The shoes have to have either a Velcro or lace-up closure to allow for easily adjustable fit and prevent the feet from sliding around.
  5. The soles are thicker and wider to cushion the feet from wear and tear.

 It is very important that Diabetics have their shoes custom fitted by a trained professional since they may not be able to feel an improper fit due to Neuropathy.  Also, consider waiting until the afternoon to shop for Diabetic Shoes.  Feet tend to swell later in the day.

Finally, always try on the Diabetic shoes before leaving the store to make sure they fit properly.

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