Socks and Shoes

At McDermott Footcare, assessing the client’s current footwear and providing teaching about proper footwear is part of our comprehensive service.   McDermott Footcare understands the relationship between healthy feet and footwear and strives to convey this information to our clients.

The following guidelines are intended for everyone and will help to make shopping for socks and shoes easier.  As well, McDermott Footcare’s proper footwear recommendations are useful for diabetics.

  • Diabetic socks are not just for diabetics.  They are also useful for anyone with circulation issues because they do not constrict blood flow and allow the foot to breathe.
  • Diabetic socks may be purchased at all major drugstores and major department stores.  They are available in different thicknesses, colours and styles.
  • When trying on shoes, wear the socks you intend to wear with them.
  • If you wear orthotics,  place them in the shoes you are trying on.
  • Have both feet measured each time you shop for shoes.  Factors such as weight fluctuations and changes to the arch of the foot will affect shoe size.
  • Shop for shoes later in the day since feet are larger in the afternoon or evening due to swelling.
  • If one foot is larger, size the shoe to fit the larger foot.
  • The widest part of the shoe should accommodate the widest part of the foot.  If you have bunions, allow enough width to fit them.
  • The toe box should be deep enough and wide enough to offer wiggle room for the toes.
  • The toe box should not cause any pressure on existing hammer toes.
  • Shoes should not have to be broken in.  Walk around the store to make sure the shoes are comfortable.
  • Shoes with laces or velcro fasteners are preferable to slip-ons.  The laces or velcro fasteners adjust the fit of the shoes.
  • Slip-on shoes are made narrower so that the foot will not slip out.  These shoes are not the best option.
  • New shoes should be worn for only 1 – 2 hour intervals for the first few days.  Always check for redness or blisters.
  • Leather shoes allow feet to breathe.  
  • Choose shoes with a cushioned insole and soft upper material.
  • High heels place enormous pressure on the forefoot.  For daily wear, choose shoes with a 1″ heel or a kitten heel.
  • If wearing high heels, vary heel heights frequently and save very high, fancy shoes for special occasions.
  • Run your fingers along the inside of the shoe to check for seams or rough spots that could rub against the foot and cause irritation.
  • Wear shoes at the beach or pool.  Never go barefoot, even in water.  This is especially important for diabetics or anyone with circulation issues.
  • Sandal straps should not rub against side of the baby toe or the big toe as this can cause blistering.    
  • If you experience any numbness or tingling in your feet, be especially careful that shoes are not too tight.
  • As an added precaution, you may trace your foot on a piece of paper and compare it with the insole of the shoe you are considering.  This is also a recommendation if purchasing footwear for someone who is unable to travel to the store.
  • Keep shoes in good repair.
  • For diabetics, always wear shoes to protect the feet from injury or skin breakdown that can lead to ulcers.

Copyright Terry McDermott. May not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission of author

3 thoughts on “Socks and Shoes

  1. Pingback: Care of Corns and Calluses | McDermott Footcare

  2. Pingback: Bunions (Hallux Valgus) | McDermott Footcare

  3. Pingback: Foot Care Presentations to Toronto Community Groups | McDermott Footcare

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