Corrective shoes are recommended for people with chronic foot injuries, deformities, and medical conditions like diabetes that put them at a higher risk of developing foot problems. If a patient is experiencing foot numbness or neuropathy, one of the first things a podiatrist will suggest is a switch to corrective shoe wear to protect against blisters and ulcers.
Every corrective shoe is different, but they all have a few things in common, including:
- More padding in the shoe
- More space to accommodate insoles and orthotic devices
- Smooth interior construction
What to look for in corrective shoe wear
Corrective shoes are designed to address trouble areas on the feet. For example, if you have fallen arches, you can find a corrective shoe with a built-up arch to provide much needed support.
Corrective shoes can also be built wider to accommodate bunions or built with a higher toe box to avoid putting pressure on hammertoes. The goal is to stabilize the deformity, reduce pain, and stop the progression of the deformity.
For diabetics, corrective shoes help to reduce pressure. Areas of pressure on the feet, or hot spots, can lead to skin breakdown and the formation of ulcers. Diabetics should also look for corrective footwear that limits motion of the joint. This can help reduce inflammation and stabilize the foot.
Types of corrective shoe wear
There are several different types of corrective shoes available, including the following:
Custom-made shoes: A podiatrist can construct a custom pair of shoes based on a model of the feet.
External modification: The outside of shoes can be modified to stabilize the foot. This may include changing the shape of the sole.
Healing shoes: These are shoes worn after surgery or ulcer treatment. They are worn during recovery and help patients transition to a regular shoe.
In-depth shoes: An in-depth shoe is an athletic shoe that has extra depth to allow room for orthotics and protects the foot from deformities.
Orthotics and shoe inserts: Orthotics provide relief from pressure on certain areas of the feet and help absorb shock.
Talk to a podiatrist about corrective shoe wear, and find out if orthotic shoes can help relieve your foot pain.