Individuals with Neuropathy Must Choose Footwear Carefully

If you or a family member suffers from neuropathy, one of the most important things you can do is to choose your footwear wisely.

Neuropathy means nerve damage. The peripheral nervous system ranges all over the body and links the spinal cord and brain to the internal organs, skin, muscles and glands. Peripheral neuropathy causes pain and numbness in the extremities like the feet and hands.

Diabetes is one of the most common causes of neuropathy but not the only one. Traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic disorders and toxin exposure can also cause this nerve damage. Neuropathy causes a loss of sensation in the extremities or burning, tingling, weakness or paralysis.

Protect Your Feet

It’s easy to see that because neuropathy impairs sensation in the feet, patients with neuropathy must always protect their feet by wearing shoes. Never go barefoot – even a minor cut or sore on the feet can get infected and worsen into an ulcer if it’s not spotted. Patients with neuropathy may also injure themselves by falling because they can’t feel the walking surface under them.

Be a Smart Shoe Shopper If You Have Neuropathy

If you have any questions about the right kind of shoes to wear, come visit us at Your Next Step. We will give your feet a comprehensive exam and discuss any foot deformities or abnormalities along with your neuropathy. Our In-Office Shoe Store has a wide variety of shoes that address many foot problems.

Follow these shopping tips for shoes that are both comfortable and protective:

  • Shop late in the day when your feet are largest. Ask the shoe salesperson to measure both feet each time.
  • Look for shoes made of stretchy, soft leather. Lace-up shoes stay on your feet better than slip-ons.
  • Choose shoes with extra cushioning that feel really comfortable right away.
  • Shoes specifically made for patients with diabetes are good choices for anyone with neuropathy. They offer good protection and comfort with a rounded toe box to allow the toes plenty of room.
  • Specially prescribed therapeutic shoes are good options especially if you have any foot deformities along with neuropathy. Some therapeutic shoes are extra deep with custom-fitted inserts to redistribute pressure.
  • High heels worn for short periods are allowable for women with neuropathy. But if you also have poor blood circulation or a foot deformity like hammertoes or bunions, leave those high heels in your closet.
  • Avoid flimsy sandals as they offer little protection. Don’t wear sandals with straps between the toes that can cause undetected irritation or blistering.

Neuropathy Requires Extra Foot Care

Don’t take shortcuts with foot care or footwear if you have neuropathy. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, board certified and qualified podiatrists have the right expertise and experience to treat any foot problem caused or intensified by neuropathy. You can find all contact information on our website for our Ardmore, Paoli and Downingtown offices. Take good care of your feet so small problems don’t escalate into long-term trouble.

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