Let’s talk diabetic shoes….

By Teri Robertson, Certified Diabetic Shoe Fitter, New England Home Medical Equipment

Did you know…..

… that people with diabetes and neuropathy could be entitled to one pair of diabetic shoes, per year? Medicare Part B may cover 80% of the cost of the diabetic shoes, when specific requirements are met. And, if there is a secondary Insurance, the secondary may pick up the remaining 20%. Some other insurance programs also participate in a coverage of yearly diabetic shoes as well.

What is a Diabetic Shoe?

The word diabetic shoe seems to form an image in our mind of a large clunky shoe. But that’s not true - diabetic shoe styles have come a long way! There are choices now in color and style just like regular shoes, as well as attractive and fun socks. Yes, socks! The sock is just as important as a proper fitting shoe. A diabetic sock should have a seamless toe and have moisture wicking with padded forefoot and heel for true comfort. It is very important that the sock doesn’t wrinkle or bunch in the shoe, as this could cause sores. A diabetic shoe should have a firm sole and be slip resistant and is specially constructed to protect the foot. They are extra-depth to accommodate special inserts and keep the top of the shoe from rubbing on the top of the foot. The special inserts will either be heat moldable or custom made. The insert type will be determined by your doctor for your needs.

How We Can Help

If you feel that Diabetic Shoes may be helpful, our team of certified fitters can guide you through the process. After a discussion with your physician who will provide a written order or prescription, the next step would be the in-person fitting. Then the team at New England Home Medical Equipment will follow-up with your physician to get all the Medicare required documentation.

The shoe fitting will consist of an initial fitting which includes measuring each foot and doing a physical check of each foot making notations of any sores, neuropathy, etc. If your doctor has prescribed custom inserts, we will then take a scan of your foot. This scan is sent to the shoe lab where they will build an accommodative insert with good arch control and a standard 15 mm deep heel cup for maximum medial and lateral support according to the personalized scan of your foot. If your doctor has prescribed a heat moldable insert, when you come in to pick up your shoes, we will heat mold each set of inserts to your foot while you are at the premises. At the completion of the initial fitting and review of your prescription, we will discuss shoe options including looking at the different styles and choosing the style that meets your foot and lifestyle needs.

Diabetic Shoes are only one part of Good Foot Care

Remember, it is not only the good shoes…

+ Check your feet daily for cuts, sores, swelling or infected toenails.
+ Wash your feet in warm water daily. Be sure to dry between your toes. Use talcum powder or cornstarch to keep the skin between your toes dry.
+ Keep your skin soft and smooth. You can moisturize the top and bottom of your feet. Just don’t moisturize between your toes.
+ Keep your corns and calluses smooth, use callus stone and rub gently in one direction.
+ Keep your toenails trimmed, squared-don’t cut the corner of the toenails.
+ Wear shoes and socks at all times – NO BARE FEET
+ Protect your feet from hot and cold