Wrong Sized Shoes

Diabetic Neuropathy

What is Diabetic Neuropathy?
Neuropathy Affecting The Feet
Advice on Cutting Your Toenails
Symptoms of Neuropathy Affecting Your Feet and Hands
Heel Fissures
Charcot Foot
Wrong Sized Shoes
Neuropathy and Antidepressants
Diabetic Holiday Foot Syndrome
Patient and Family Carer Experience
Diabetes and Hearing Loss May be Due to Neuropathy


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Wrong Sized Shoes

A study at Dundee University of 100 people with diabetes found that 63 had badly fitting shoes – the wrong size and mainly the wrong width. [Int Journal of Clinical Practice, Nov 2007] People with diabetes who also have neuropathy [nerve damage] can lose the sensation in their feet and so damage from ill-fitting shoes can go unnoticed.

If shoes are too narrow, tight or loose, they can cause blisters or ulcers which can be slow to heal and lead to infections. People with neuropathy may choose shoes that are too tight because the increased pressure makes them feel the right size. In addition, feet get larger and broader in older people but they often continue to buy the same size. The study showed that a third of the patients said they took a different shoe size from the one they were actually wearing, probably due to the fact that shoes sizes vary from maker to maker. It also showed that only 29% of people checked their feet and legs regularly for any sign of damage which could lead to problems and 22% never checked their feet.

There is a call for shoe manufacturers to standardize their shoe sizes and increase the range of width fittings. But there is a clear message here for people with diabetes – having well-fitting shoes may be expensive but not as costly as the damage that can be done by not doing this!