What Is the Difference Between Diabetic Shoes & Regular Shoes?
Nerve damage — known as neuropathy — is a side effect of diabetes that may cause a patient to develop foot sores or ulcers. If these problems are not treated promptly, infections may occur and the foot or toes could end up being amputated. Proper care of the feet and specialized shoes may prevent problems or slow the progression of existing ones.
Foot Care Tips
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, thoroughly check your feet each day for sores or breaks in the skin. Also check for ingrown toenails, swelling and bruising. Wash your feet with a mild soap.
Specially designed footwear is available for diabetics. Diabetic shoes are wider and deeper than regular footwear in order to make room for the special insoles known as pedorthics. The removable pedorthics prevent rubbing and uneven weight distribution, making injury less likely.
Other Footwear Features
Some diabetic footwear features adjustable closures, such as Velcro or buckles, to ensure proper fit. Other shoes may have fabric or sandal-style uppers allowing for air circulation.
Obtaining Diabetic Shoes
Diabetic shoe inserts are custom fitted and are prescribed by a physician, usually a podiatrist. Some doctors have their own stock of inserts and shoes while others obtain them from special companies.
Medicare Shoe Bill
The Medicare Shoe Bill reimburses 80 percent of the allowable amount for one pair of shoes and three inserts per year for diabetic patients who have had a history of foot ulcers or partial or complete amputation of the foot.