Foot health is essential for all of us. For people with blood sugar concerns taking care of foot health is especially important. High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves and blood vessels in the feet over time. Keeping an eye on your feet and talking to your doctor about your concerns is essential.
Part of taking care of your feet is wearing good shoes and knowing when to change your shoes. Some people believe that you should swap between different shoes every day. Having multiple pairs of shoes and swapping them out daily keeps pressure off the same points repeatedly. It can prevent rubbing injuries and help your feet avoid soreness. It can also extend the life of your favorite shoes if you aren’t wearing them day in and day out.
However, if you wear orthotics or have found a type of shoe that works for you, wearing the same pair might work better for you. But did you know that athletic shoes wear out in an average of three to six months? The soles wear out. But, additionally, the support and cushioning become compacted by wear and your body weight. They are only designed to be worn for 350 to 500 miles.
You can tell if your shoes are “dead” from obvious signs. If they are worn down around the ankle, they should be replaced. If there are wrinkles on the sides or bottoms of the sole, the support and cushioning is breaking down, and the shoes are worn out. If the tread pattern or heel is worn down, it’s like a car tire — replace them.
Wearing shoes that lack the proper support can lead to pain in your feet, knees and legs. It can also cause plantar fasciitis or iliotibial band syndrome. For people with blood sugar concerns, shoes that fit and protect the feet are especially important.
Some people get attached to their shoes and wear the same pair for years. That can be a problem. It’s not simply an issue with wear. But also the fact that your feet change over time. We all think that we will finish growing as adults. But our bodies change as we age. Gravity takes its toll, and our feet become longer and wider as we age.
“The ligaments and tendons that support the arch in your foot become worn from use,” said podiatrist Nicole Nicolosi. “As that happens, the arch slowly collapses — and that flattening results in your foot getting a bit longer or wider.”
Fat pads on the bottom of your feet become thinner as you age, making shoes fit differently. Thinner fat pads also mean your feet absorb less shock than they used to, making proper support even more important. Additionally, bunions, hammertoes, corns and callouses all add up as we age.
Visiting a podiatrist for suggestions about your shoe needs can help you find the proper footwear for your needs. Once you’ve found a solution, keep an eye on how they’re aging to ensure your shoes and feet are taken care of!