Caring for Your Feet With Diabetes
Use this simple test to see if your shoes fit correctly:
- Stand on a piece of paper. (Make sure you are standing and not sitting, because your foot changes shape when you stand.)
- Trace the outline of your foot.
- Trace the outline of your shoe.
- Compare the tracings: Is the shoe too narrow? Is your foot crammed into the shoe? The shoe should be at least 1/2 inch longer than your longest toe and as wide as your foot.
Proper Shoe Choices for Those With Diabetes
When choosing the proper footwear if you have diabetes:
- Buy shoes with closed toes and heels.
- Buy shoes with leather uppers but without a seam inside.
- Make sure there is at least 1/2 inch extra space at the end of your longest toe.
- The inside of the shoe should be soft with no rough areas.
- The outer sole should be made of stiff material.
- Your shoe should be at least as wide as your foot.
Tips for Foot Safety
To keep you feet safe if you have diabetes:
- Don't wait to treat a minor foot problem. Follow your health care provider's guidelines and first aid guidelines.
- Report foot injuries and infections to your health care provider immediately.
- Check water temperature with your elbow, not your foot.
- Do not use a heating pad on your feet.
- Do not cross your legs.
- Do not self-treat your corns, calluses, or other foot problems. Go to your health care provider or podiatrist to treat these conditions.
When to Call Your Health Care Provider
See your health care provider if you have diabetes and any of the following problems with your feet:
- Athlete's foot (cracking between the toes)
- Sores or wounds on your feet
- Ingrown toenails
- Increasing numbness or pain
- Blackening of skin
- Hammer or mallet toes (when the middle joints of toes are permanently bent downward)