An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure

Insoles Really Work

| Jun 1, 2004

Foot ulcers are dangerous and painful, but simple relief can be obtained with therapeutic footwear, according to a recent study of patients with neuropathy and a history of previous foot ulcers.

Researchers in India studied 241 people attending a specialized foot clinic who have been diagnosed with diabetes for an average of 12 years and were considered to be at high risk for recurring foot ulcers. The researchers divided the patients into four study groups: three using therapeutic footwear and a group of 50 who used their own footwear.

One therapeutic group of 100 wore sandals with insoles made with microcellular rubber; a second patient group of 59 members wore sandals made with polyurethane foam; and a final group of 32 wore sandals with molded insoles. All the patients in the three therapeutic footwear groups demonstrated lower foot pressure (average score of 6.2 to 6.9) compared with the fourth (control) group score of 40.7. Moreover, the onset of new lesions in the fourth group was 33 percent, compared with just 4 percent in all other groups.

Use of therapeutic footwear can also reduce the amputation rate in the diabetes population as well as the onset of new ulcers, say the authors.

—Diabetes Care, February 2004

What is the take-home message of this study?

People with diabetes must be told by their primary care physicians, endocrinologists, diabetes educators and podiatrists that they may be able to prevent foot ulcerations by wearing appropriate shoes and insoles. Moreover, if they are not told, they must ask. Since ulcers are often precursors to infection and amputation, preventing ulcers can save limbs and lives. The right shoes and innersoles are one fairly simple step in the right direction.

What can people with diabetes do/where can they go to get these types of insoles?

The first place people with diabetes should go for advice about shoes, innersoles or any other foot-related issue is to their podiatrist. If they do not have a podiatrist they should find one. Podiatrists are trained to recognize current and potential foot problems and can advise their patients about appropriate footwear. People who have diabetes and who are also insured by Medicare should also ask if they qualify for the Therapeutic Shoe Program. This Medicare program pays for 80 percent of the cost of shoes and special innersoles for these patients. Certain qualifications must be met such as a foot deformity, poor circulation, prior ulcerations or neuropathy and calluses. Even if you don’t qualify for funding, buying quality shoes and innersoles may be one of the most important purchases you make. Look for a store with a certified pedorthist— a professional trained to fit your shoes properly.

Neil M. Scheffler, DPM, FACFAS
Baltimore Podiatry Group Baltimore, Maryland

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Foot Care

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (1)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Posted by idarodriquez on 11 November 2007

I am having serious pains on my lower leg, just above the iner ankle. There are a large area which is very hard discolored and painful. There are also, two lumps that are now visible that are getting discolored and very painful.
Please help.

Much thanks


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.