UGLY! That’s what comes to mind when people think of diabetic shoes but thankfully times have changed! When diabetic shoes and therapeutic shoes first came to fruition, there was a limited selection available for men and women. Although shoes were manufactured by different brands, all of them looked the same with simple designs and bland colors. Limited selection and unattractive styles played a large factor in whether or not a patient with diabetic foot problems would wear their prescribed shoes. Ugly diabetic shoes were a main cause to why patients chose not to wear their shoes, defeating the entire purpose of diabetic shoes in the first place.
Jump forward to the present year (2015) and brands have finally gotten a clue as to what the patient wants regarding footwear – something attractive and stylish with all the comfort features that come standard for diabetic shoes. Leading brands like Apex Foot, Drew Shoes and Propet have made huge strides in improving the design of diabetic shoes for women by focusing on form and function. Diabetic shoes can be categorized as athletic, therapeutic, dress and sandals. In this post, we’ll be focusing on womens diabetic shoes as there are more options available for them.
Athletic shoes seem to be the most popular choice for diabetics because of their multipurpose use and cushioning support, however not until recent developments have athletic shoe designs really stood out to catch the attention of diabetic patients. Previous styles were very plain and limited in color options such as black, white taupe, or bone. Styles have become more trendy, while still offering the same great comfort, support, and option of being a lace-up or adjustable strap.
When it comes to therapeutic shoes, there are the least popular among diabetic women with feet problems because they are simply unattractive. Styles of old had the same bland colors of white, black, and taupe with style cues taken from our great-grandmother. Therapeutic shoes styles are what most people think about when they hear the term diabetic shoes but nonetheless, there is still high importance placed on therapeutic shoes because they are made to accommodate various diabetic foot conditions such as edema (swelling of the feet). The ugly design has a purpose, and they aren’t disappearing anytime soon.
Next on the list of diabetic shoe choices for women are dress shoes, which has actually been a recent development in diabetic shoes. Previously, the only available diabetic dress shoes are plain styles mary janes or loafers. Because it isn’t recommended for diabetics to wear heels, due to excessive pressure being placed on the ball of the foot as well as limited availability of width, women with diabetic feet will continue to wear mary janes or loafers for their dress shoes. But not worry because different patterns and print choices have made these simple shoes really stand out!
Now no list of diabetic footwear would be complete without mentioning diabetic sandals! For diabetics, they need to be aware that not all sandals are made equal and there are some sandals that should be avoided at all costs, specifically thong sandals or toe-post sandals. The reason for this is that the toe post can cause rubbing/friction which can lead to blistering and ulceration. Even if we are excluding thong sandals or sandals with toe-posts, there is still a wide selection of fashionable and attractive sandal choices for diabetics. Many diabetic and therapeutic sandals now come equipped with full length orthotic footbeds that can also be replaced to fit personal orthotics.
Although the level of comfort that shoes provide is of utmost importance, the style and attractiveness of shoes continues to outweigh the need for comfort. This is no different for women with diabetes but luckily manufacturers have heard their voices and acquiesced to their request. New patterns, fashion forward styles, and bright colors have all played an important part in encouraging and promoting women to wear their diabetic shoes!