Diabetic Shoes Question

By MEGriff1950 Latest Reply 2011-09-26 17:32:36 -0500
Started 2011-09-11 18:14:31 -0500

My doctor has been harping at me trying to get me to get diabetic shoes. He complains that I wear sandles with no white cotton socks. I might have neuropathy but it is hard to tell because of the nerve damage in my back and neuropathy acts much the same. I wear flip flops in my home and yard. In my feet I only lack sensitivity on a small area along the side of my big toes and where the bottom of my foot rubs on the strap of the flip flop. Otherwise I can definately feel if I step on anything. I have cleared up my athletes foot with epsom salt soaks and athletes foot cream. I wipe the insides of my sandles and flip flops with streight vinegar after every wearing plus wash them with my laundry often. When I do wear my athletic shoes (mens cause of fat feet) with socks my feet sweat badly and bring on the athletes foot problems.
I visited a podiatrist just over a week ago. He knows that I am diabetic and said that my feet looked great! He did not say anything about diabetic shoes and neither did I.
My medicare hmo will only pay 80% of the cost of diabetic shoes leaving me with about $150 or more to pay. My Nikes usually run about $60 on sale. Due to my back problems I am partially disabled and mostly house bound.
Keeping in mind that I am poor and really only wear real shoes on very rare occassions, and wearing shoes and socks brings on athletes foot. Can anyone give me a good reason to spend that kind of money on diabetic shoes?
Online all I have found is that diabetics feet are not able to feel objects and the shoes are to prevent injury. I can feel the cats whiskers on my feet if they walk by, so my feet are sensitive.
Thank you for all input.

27 replies

stormz 2011-09-26 17:32:36 -0500 Report

Megriff1950 I have similar issues with my feet. In fact I need another surgery on my right ankle, which I will have in April of 2012. So after I got out of my cast last Dec. I did have to get another pair of shoes. I knew that the right one was not going to fit right, not be wide enough. Like you I had the same problems with my insurance. They did not want to cover it all. I have medicare/medicade private insurance and I have state insurance. I too don't have enough money. So I called around to see who would take my insurance's, what I mean is take all of them so I would have no co-pay. After being on the phone half the day I finally found a place that wasn't far from my home. I was shocked. I don't wear them much but when I do it sure is worth it. My feet are more comfortable I don't sweat in them they have special inserts in them fit for my feet. I can only suggest you do some research in your area. I do have neuropathy in my feet and legs and it hurts really bad I would not wish that on any one. I hope you never get that. I know you say you don't wear shoes that much but neither do I. But, when I do a sturdy shoe is best for your feet and ankles. Specially as we get older. Do get out the phone book and call places and ask if they will take all of your insurances, I wish you luck.

Bogy 2011-09-26 17:09:46 -0500 Report

MeGriff, I am also on Medicare and a secondary insurance to cover the 20% Medicare does not cover. I've been wearing diabetic shoes for over 4 yrs.Have you checked into other sources to obtain shoes. Podiatrists usually charge more than some alternative sources.Some shoe stores offer these shoes and are less expensive. I wish you and yours all the best . Pete

MarkieMarkie 2011-09-14 09:37:47 -0500 Report

I wear flip flops too. Can't stand for my feet to be closed in… I lave ess feeling in my right leg than my left so I'm extra careful with the way I place my feet and refuse to do things that I think might put me in a distressful situation, like feeding Robert's dog who he keeps in the backyard… not letting her knock me down. I do however get a flip flop that has a higher sole than just a normal flip flop as the softness seems to help.

Unfortunately I do have to wear regular shoes to work, but I still try to wear a soft opentoe shoe… don't know what I will do in the winter… figure it out when it gets here… I have a hard time knowing when my feet are actually cold, but I found out if my big toe on my right foot seems to be more bothered that if I cover it and get it warm and the pain reduces this means my feet are cold…

Even placing a blanket over this foot sometimes offers pain so I tend to sleep with my foot sticking out of the cover… might not be a good idea in the winter, but will have to test that method when it turns cool. If I have to wear a sock… I prefer very soft socks.. and soft shoes (if I absolutely have to have a closed in shoe). I gave up hills about a year ago and mainly wear something that has arch support.

Hope this helps.. I don't know… I guess we just do the best we can.. but I can not afford diabetic shoes either.. and the cost of managing this disease is astronomically expensive…

Good luck with that..


MEGriff1950 2011-09-14 13:50:40 -0500 Report

Markie, during the winter months wear appropriate shoes or boots for the conditions outside. Change footwear when you get there. To ease the pain but keep your feet warm while sleeping many sites are suggesting wearing socks. Maybe an oversized pair might do the trick.
Thank you,

sue11542 2011-09-13 11:03:11 -0500 Report

I know the value of diabetic shoes and I hear your problem with athletes foot, why don't you ask your MD and podiatrist about a pair of Crocs, they come with silver impregnated and hard toes for diabetics, also have air circulation holes in upper part of shoe. If you check at Crocs.com on line you will see that they cost about $60.00 give or take a few dollars and shipping is usually free. They really are sanctioned by podiatrists and have excellent support. Check them out and let us know what your docs say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MEGriff1950 2011-09-13 11:09:32 -0500 Report

Sue, thank you for your reply. My concern is that I might only wear real shoes one or 2 days a month during the winter. My nikes give me all the support that I need. For now my athletes foot is gone but when I enclose my feet in shoes they sweat. Also as my feet get hot the swell more as Bill mentioned below. Several mentioned the diabetic socks I will check into those for the rare times I have to trap my feet into real shoes.

sue11542 2011-09-13 11:31:13 -0500 Report

I hear what you are saying but if you insist on not wearing shoes in the hose please make sure to check your feet every evening to make sure there are no problems, anything that is there that shouldn't be there get in touch with your posiatrist immediately!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Please.

Auburn Bill
Auburn Bill 2011-09-12 16:32:01 -0500 Report

I was waiitng to reach my $300 deductible to get diabetic shoes! Well, guess what, U need to have a foot exam from a Fott doctor (my cost $30/visit) then send it in. Wait for someone to tell you when he is in th eatra, get an appointment, get meausred, wait for shoes! What happens if my feet swell or bloat up! Then what, No thnak you, i'll wer my 2 strapped Dr Scholds shoes, I got for $16 on sale! Got a high arch on left foot, no thanks, I'm poor also! Grandpa Bill

Type1Lou 2011-09-12 15:25:29 -0500 Report

Contrary to my MD's advice, I do wear sandals. (It's too hot in Florida not to!) I also wear well-fitting flats and have stopped wearing heels…I'm no longer a slave to that fashion. I have neuropathy in my feet. The key is to examine your feet daily to make certain you have not hurt yourself and didn't feel it. I also recently threw out a new pair of shoes that gave me a blister…didn't want to invite trouble.

Sidehack 2011-09-12 12:38:37 -0500 Report

When, and if you start getting "diabetic ulcers" on your feet; you'll shop for diabetic shoes without being told to!.

margokittycat 2011-09-12 11:54:23 -0500 Report

I know the doctor said to buy diabetic shoes, but that is a little overboard if you ask me when you aren't having all the problems. If you want so really good shoes that will protect your feet but also give you the comfort for your back, ARIATS are great. The are cushioned by air inside and last for years. I own several different pairs, two being cowboy boots and ropers, another being a tennis shoe type shoe that is brown, a few pairs of sandles as well. I can not stan shoes on my feet other than sandles and flip flops, but have to wear them due to farming and other things. Find a good breathable pair of the. Don't do all leather because the leather does not let your feet breath which causes the other problems of sweating feet and athelets foot.

MEGriff1950 2011-09-12 10:06:18 -0500 Report

Thank you all for your input. I think my doctor is great and this is the only advise he has ever given me that I have questioned. I feel that I am doing the right thing for my feet.
God be with you all,

realsis77 2011-09-12 09:38:29 -0500 Report

Hi. I also wear flip flops. I have the same problem of getting a fungus between my toes when I wear other shoes. I dread winter because that means its cold and I have to wear shoes! Ugh that means the fungus! I would weigh my pros and cons carefully and see if the diabetic shoe is for you. I too am on medicare and completely understand what its like to have to pay that percentage! I am also disabled and on ssi. So before I spend a lot of money on something I have to carefully weigh out my options. I do know they have diabetic socks. This might help ? I've not tried them myself but many people like them! Good luck and God bless!

MEGriff1950 2011-09-12 10:02:23 -0500 Report

Thank you realsis for your reply. This helped me with my decision. As I seldom leave my house I do not think that I need diabetic shoes for winter. My mens nike's fit well with room to plenty of room. I have used gold bond in my shoes and on my feet before wearing real shoes and it helps with the sweat issue. My thought here is that maybe the dr does not always know what is best for our lifestyle. If I was working or spending a lot of time on my feet diabetic shoes might be necessary.

realsis77 2011-09-12 11:30:04 -0500 Report

Yes, I agree with you! As I to am on disability income and have to ration my check I understand . Sometimes the doctors don't think of those things. Also they might not understand our lifestyles! However you might want to give those diabetic socks a try! I know they sell them in rite aid and they just might make a big difference in your comfort of your feet and lower legs! Make sure to bring a tape measeure with you because I believe to size them you need to measure with a tape measure! They stores usually do NOT have a tape measure avaiable! So these socks are pretty precise in size. I'm thinking of buying them for myself for the winter months. They can be a little pricey as I believe they are about 15.00. However they can last for quite some time if laundered correctly. I also looked into the shoes and decided that it was not something that I need at this time because I no longer work. I was a dental nurse RDA for 20 years and if I was still on my feet then perhaps I would. Also then I would have a "paycheck" and it would make more since. But since I'm disabled and at home I can't see spending that money. God knows I need every penny for bills and my son. So instead I'm considering the socks! :) its something that I can afford. And I believe they will make a difference! Good luck and God bless!

MEGriff1950 2011-09-13 16:26:02 -0500 Report

Realsis, At walmart today I found diabetic socks 2 pair for $6.97. I did not have time to go to RiteAide to compare the quality. The ones I saw were a crew sock with the thicker absorbant foot with the tops being loosely knit. I assume that loose knit top is to allow for swelling so they do not restrict blood flow to the foot. Thanks for the tip on diabetic socks.

realsis77 2011-09-14 13:27:07 -0500 Report

im sooo glad you got the socks i will be getting mine next month when i get paid again this month i had some extra bills come up. im sure hoping they make a difference in your comfort level :) I think they will. I have the same problem of getting the fungus and hopefully these socks will help that as well! God bless you!

MEGriff1950 2011-09-14 13:54:40 -0500 Report

Thanks Realsis, I did not get them yet but it will be at least 2 months before real shoes are needed outside here. Right now that $7.00 may as well be 7 million. At least we know where more affordable socks are.

realsis77 2011-09-14 14:55:43 -0500 Report

Ooh yes! Thank you! :) maybe next month I'll get mine :) it sure beats the 15.00 from rite aide :) thank you and take care and God bless!

pixsidust 2011-09-12 08:01:39 -0500 Report

I bought some really good shoes but not ones labeled diabetic. I went on line at Ebay and bought some clog style shoes with the brand name of Ariat. They are soft supple leather, leather lined with great arch support. The boxy shape of the toe give me lots of toe room. The soles are sturdy and provide cushion as I walk. The doctor complimented them.

I bought them used but by the pictures I could tell they had barely been worn. I paid around $30 including shipping for shoes that normally run $120. I like them because I can slip them off my feet under my desk or partially out of them to keep my feet cool. I am warm in them in the winter just can not step in snow. I bought a half size bigger as they run a little small. These are my favorite.

Other brands I have had good luck with is Born, timberland earth keepers, and birkenstock. I do not like thin soles or the lack of arch support. I do not think I will ever look to pay full price again

jayabee52 2011-09-12 01:02:01 -0500 Report

Here is a discussion on the same topic from a while back. http://www.diabeticconnect.com/discussions/39...

As long as the shoe fits the parameters required to give good support to the foot of the Person with Diabetes, it does not HAVE to be designated "diabetic shoe" IMO

MEGriff1950 2011-09-12 09:56:09 -0500 Report

Thank you Jay for that link, I tried to find one here but guess I did not use the right search wording. It was very helpful.

Dixiemom 2011-09-11 20:02:49 -0500 Report

The shoe problem again. My neurologist wants me to wear braces. I don't say they won't help, but I do not wear shoes in the house. I go barefoot. Yes, I know this is a no-no for some but as long as I can remember I never wore shoes in he house. I have a neuropathy from way before I was diagnosed with T2 in Feb. so I feel as long as my floors are clean I don't worry. Wear what you feel comfortable in.

Abby888 2011-09-11 19:52:15 -0500 Report

I also wear flip flops. They are easy to slip on but I do wear sneakers when I take walks. I developed pressure sores on both feet which are sometimes painful plus I now have neuropathy in my feet. I can still feel when something touches them…they are just painful and tingle (like pins and needles). My doctor told me not to walk barefoot even in my apt but I can't stand having socks on. I don't know much about the benefits of diabetic shoes. I would think that a good pair of sneakers would be sufficient. Good luck with everything :)

Carol2x 2011-09-13 16:41:19 -0500 Report

Shoe size can be a big issue as well. One needs to wear a wider shoe just a touch longer to give your feet room to breathe. I have found that it is more comfortable that way.

MEGriff1950 2011-09-13 17:03:56 -0500 Report

I agree Carol, that is why when I shop for shoes you will find me in the men's shoe section. Womens athletic support shoes are made for slender women. Men's athletic shoes not only give my feet the width I need but extra toe room on the sides. The best part is most people can't tell that I have on men's shoes unless they know that the soles of the shoes often are wider then the shoe itself. For those that know I have on shoes that are men's I really do not care. PS I wear men's sandles too. Thank you guys :)

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