How to Protect Diabetic Feet

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"My grandma lost her toes from diabetes!"

Raise your hand if you've heard that one before!

Fellow diabetics, if you take pretty good care if yourself, you will not lose toes. It's that simple. You don't even have to have an A1C of 5... you just have to care. A few iffy days here and there won't lead to chopped off toes. 

Keeping that in mind, there are a few things you can to do help keep your feet in tip-top shape with type one diabetes.

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1. Keep 'em clean.

This probably goes without saying, but keeping your feet clean is pretty important. On the chance you get some sort of cut or scrape on your foot, clean feet will help prevent infection.

  • Rinse your feet after a long day. You can even use wipes to clean your feet after taking off your shoes if you feel the need.

  • Treat yourself to a simple foot spa using a glass dish or bowl (if it fits, I sits) or even one of these.

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2. Moisturize dry skin.

Dry skin leads to cracking. Cracking leads to possible infection. Infections = no bueno for diabetics (or anyone, really...).

  • Keep feet soft and smooth with something like Bag Balm, especially during the dry and cold months. Bag Balm is simple, non-toxic, and really works. Put some on underneath socks before sleeping or leaving the house and you’re golden.

  • Try aloe socks!

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3. Watch out for extreme temperatures. 

Drastic temperatures aren't the best for our feet. For starters, as we age we lose some of the feeling in our feet. If we are in an area that is too cold or too hot, we can cause permanent damage. For those of us who don't have the tightest blood sugar control, circulation can also become an issue. When your feet become too cold, circulation slows down even more. 

  • Invest in some waterproof boots that actually keep you warm…or your stiff feet will rebel!

  • Have enough thick socks clean each week so that you’re prepared when running out the door.

  • Cozy up with some microwavable booties and tea.

  • In hot weather, slip on some sandals before walking on hot sand, pavement, or slate around a pool!

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4. Go for comfort.

Yo. Let's be real. High heels are not comfortable. If you are someone who finds heels comfortable, you go girl. Sometimes they're unavoidable, but oftentimes we go for comfort 100%.

  • Prioritize comfy feet when shoe shopping.

  • Find some awesome wedges for when you crave some height.

  • Stick to cool sneakers when you can, or other supportive shoe.


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Footwear

Recommendations from the
@chronicallyhealthy community


Vionic | @vionicshoes
“cute but pricey sandals that give me the support I need”

Clarks Shoes | @clarksshoes
“have some amazing shoes recently! […] I’ve been in flat shoes for over a year now”


Dune London | @dune_london
“beautiful flat or low heel shoes”


Dansko | @dansko
“the perfect strap/clog”


Baretraps | @baretrapsshoes
“sandal with good support and a strap”


Fit Flops | @fitflop
“I was just diagnosed with RA […] I bought a pair of Fit Flop flip flops and have loved them”


Vibram | @vibram
“you may not like looking at them but I wear Vibram 5 finger shoes. They are excellent for walking, training, etc.”
New Balance has a Vibram sneaker that I love—I can’t wear the ones with toe separations so they are perfect for me”

Have you ever thought about protecting your feet? If so, what do you do?