How To Select Shoes For Neuropathy

Do you have neuropathy? Neuropathy is a condition in which the peripheral nerves — those outside the spinal cord — become damaged and fail to send and receive messages properly. This damage most often affects areas of the hands and feet but can also affect the arms and legs.

As you read this, you may already have a burning sensation in the soles of your feet. It's called a 'burning foot.' It's a common symptom of peripheral neuropathy. If your soles are burning, probably your toes are too. A numb foot can become a burning foot. A burning foot will usually feel worse at night. I was diagnosed with severe diabetic neuropathy 3 years ago at age 58. I was on med changes and not seeing any results until my body was on the brink of kidney failure and about to be put on dialysis. After 4 months of dialysis my kidneys told me they had enough and voided the contract. Time for a change! There are three characteristics of neuropathy that are particularly disturbing. First, unlike other problems, neuropathy never gets better on its own. Second, the prevailing mindset is that there's not much to be done about it. Third, because of the nature of your involvement with it, neuropathy causes you to feel hopeless and helpless. 

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What are the best shoes for neuropathy?

Good-fitting shoes can be a challenge with neuropathy. Neuropathy alters the way your feet feel pressure. Because feet with neuropathy are unable to sense extreme pressure, shoes should not be too tight. Shoes that are too big may also cause problems, because an ill-fitting shoe leaves room for friction that can lead to blisters or nerve damage.

Colberg-Ochs says “even the shoes that are neuropathy-friendly might not feel comfortable at first, but will be better for you in the long run. The key is to find your perfect fit!” Carolyn Ross, MS, RD, C.D.E., a Sports Dietitian in Kansas City, Missouri, agrees with Colberg-Ochs. “Frequently the skin on the bottom of the feet is very sensitive and delicate,” she says. “The movement of shoes over this skin will cause problems if not properly fitting shoes are worn. Neuropathy is primarily an issue in persons with diabetes; however other conditions can cause this including Vitamin B12 malabsorption and spinal cord injuries.”

There are several different ways to measure for proper support. Look for shoes that have an orthotic, or store-bought inserts, or removable liners that can correct your feet's misalignment.

Go shopping for a good pair of walking shoes the same way you would shop for a new car. Test drive a few pairs, and pick the one you like best. The salesman may try to steer you toward a particular model, but a good shoe salesman will let you choose whichever model fits your feet best.

 An important part of this is choosing shoes based on whether you rotate your feet inward (or overpronate) or rotate your feet outward (or supinate) when you walk. “If your shoes do not compensate for this, you you’re irritating the muscles and joints of your feet. That means you’re setting yourself up for injury and pain.

What to look for in shoes for neuropathy?

  • Smooth, Padded interior
  • Soft foam padding
  • Soft upper
  • Wide toe area
  • Cushioning heel
  • Premium Orthotic insole
  • Ergonomic Cushioning sole

The following are the key takeaways;

  • If you have diabetes, it's important to wear shoes that fit and support your feet.
  • The best shoes for people with diabetes are the ones that support your arches, feel comfortable and allow you to move easily.
  • It is vital to maintain healthy feet and take note of any signs of injury or infection.
  • If you can't walk properly, it's hard to find a pair of shoes that is both comfortable and supportive.
  • If you have trouble with your feet, or if you think you might, call a doctor. 

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Solethreads flip flops are an excellent choice for people with diabetes, or anyone who is concerned about potential foot health issues. The specially designed sole features a variety of grooves and channels that help to wick away moisture and relieve pressure on the feet without draining much needed blood. These grooves also allow airflow to constantly refresh your feet, helping prevent odours and sweat from building up. Our moulded contour midsole absorbs shock and helps you avoid injuries while walking all day long. With adjustable straps that can be loosened or tightened for added comfort, these flops have a supportive arch that keeps your feet strong.