Are your patients aware of the effect their shoe choices have?
Inappropriate footwear can have a significant impact on the foot health of people with diabetes, leading to increased risk of complications. It is therefore essential that patients’ footwear is examined at every diabetic foot screen.
In Here we demonstrates the footwear features to examine and discuss during a diabetic foot screen, and the best way to communicate this information to your patients.
The following recommendations are drawn from the Flexitol® Foot Screening presented by Donna Welch, NHS Advanced Podiatrist, Diabetes.
There are several important factors to consider when discussing the shape and fit of the shoe with your patient:
Avoid high heels, which put pressure on the foot.
Avoid shoes which are pointed and taper off at the toes.
Avoid very flat shoes, which provide little shock absorbency.
Avoid open-toed shoes, particularly for patients with neuropathy.
Avoid open back shoes, which can lead to dry skin, which may lead to development of fissures.
Avoid overly worn shoes, which can lead to rubbing, often at the heel or toes.
Do wear shoes that fasten well and so hold the foot still.
Do wear shoes with plenty of shock absorbency.
Patients should also regularly check their footwear for signs of wear, which indicate the shoe may be rubbing or not giving protection, and for foreign objects such as stones, which may cause injury.
In addition to the Foot Screening Flexitol® has produced a Diabetic Foot Screening Toolkit in conjunction with Donna Welch, to support diabetes healthcare professionals to complete thorough foot checks.