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Diabetic Shoes

Diabetic shoes, sometimes referred to as extra depth or therapeutic shoes, are specially designed shoes or inserts intended to reduce the risk of skin breakdown in diabetics with co-existing foot disease.

People with decreased feeling in their feet may have a false sense of security as to how much at risk their feet actually are. An ulcer under the foot can develop in a couple of hours. The primary goal of therapeutic footwear is to prevent complications, such as: strain, ulcers, calluses, or even amputations for patients with diabetes and poor circulation. In addition to meeting strict guidelines, diabetic shoes must be prescribed by a physician and fit by a qualified individual, such as a certified pedorthist. The shoes must also be equipped with a removable orthotic. Foot orthotics are devices such as shoe inserts, arch supports, or shoe fillers such as lifts, wedges and heels. The diabetic shoes and customized insoles work together as a preventative system to help diabetics avoid foot injuries and improve mobility.[1]

Types of Diabetic Shoes

There are two types of diabetic shoes: custom molded and depth shoes.  Custom molded shoes are shoes that are:

  • constructed over a positive model of the wearer's foot
  • made from leather or other material of equal quality
  • have removable inserts that can be altered or placed as the wearer's condition warrants
  • have some form of shoe closure, such as lace or velcro

Depth shoes are shoes that:

  • have a full length heel to toe liner that, when removed, provides a minimum of 3/16 inch of additional depth used to accommodate custom molded or customized inserts
  • made from leather or other material of equal quality
  • have some form of shoe closure, such as lace or velcro
  • are available in full and half sizes with a minimum of three widths [2]

Diabetic shoes should prevent the risk of wounds and infection. That is their specific purpose.

To see our complete list of diabetic shoes, click here:   Shoe Catalog.

  1. 1^ Speciality Shoes and Diabetic Supplies
  2. 2^ http://www.preferredcare.org/benefitsdisplay/medicalpolicies/2007/01_01_07/diabetic_therapeutic_shoes.pdf

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