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Q: I am diabetic and my doctor is recommending that I use diabetic shoes. Is this really necessary?

Diabetes can cause neuropathy—nerve damage that leads to numbness in your feet and toes. People with this condition often don't know when they get an injury on their foot, because they can't feel it. Diabetics are also much more vulnerable to infection, because of poor circulation to the legs and feet, and because their white blood cells aren't able to migrate properly into tissues to fight off bacteria.

Unfortunately, this is why it's not uncommon for someone with diabetes to start out with a small sore on their toe and end up losing the foot or their entire leg.

Diabetic shoes are designed to cushion pressure points and protect feet from scratches. They really can make a difference in preventing these potentially serious blisters and sores from developing.

Above all, anyone with diabetes should avoid wearing slippers, as they offer no protection or cushioning for your feet at all.

Robert H. Connaughton, MD

Vascular Surgery, General Surgery

Robert H. Connaughton, MD
Maui Memorial Medical Center Outpatient Clinic
85 Maui Lani Parkway
Wailuku, HI 96793