Some suggested precautions about shoes and
walking if you have peripheral neuropathy...Woman tested!
Updated: Monday, March 08, 2004 12:22:24 PM
- Comfortable walking shoes work the best, but just changing shoes seems to help.
- Due to decreased sensation in your feet, wear protective footwear. Otherwise you can
damage your feet and not even know it.
- Check your feet frequently for signs of irritation or blistering from wrinkles in the
socks or improper shoe fit. Blisters may get infected and then may require professional
- A good pair of walking shoes, especially with arch supports, help with balance problems.
Sandals are no help.
- Ditch the high heals, as they only make it worse.
- Good walking shoes from a specialized shoe store with athletic-type insoles added.
- Orthopedic in-depth, tie-on shoes with orthotics (thick foam inserts fashioned for your
foot by a podiatrist).
- Thick solid socks made of acrylic or cotton. One woman goes to sporting goods stores for
the style WX-13 crew made by Thorlo because the socks have extra padding in the toes and
heels, but the arch fits snugly.
- If you wear orthotics, extra depth shoes are often required. One woman finds that the
"Barefoot Freedom" style made by P.W. Minor works the best with her orthotics.
This company also makes shoes with Velcro closures for those with limited finger use.
- Have your feet measured before every shoe fitting, as feet sometimes change sizes during
- Good quality tie walking shoes are far better than slip-ons, dress shoes with narrow or
high heels, or flimsy shoes (sandals). One article listed the best overall constructed
shoes to be those shoes made by Dexter's, Aerosoles, and Easy Spirit.
- If tying shoe laces is a problem because of neuropathy in the hands, purchase shoes with
velcro fasteners or shoes which have elastic stretching "laces".
- Another found Birkenstock shoes helped because they allow her to spread out her toes.
- On a Neuropathy Bulletin Board, the most frequently mentioned shoe brands were New
Balance and SAS. New Balance shoes are thick soled and have a roll bar as part of the sole
which helps to reduce the risk of turned ankles. SAS has a high toe box and accommodates
orthotics. Both are well cushioned. The sandals have stretch laces which make the shoes
- To prevent tripping or broken toes, always wear shoes or house shoes with firm soles if
toes droop or fold under.
- Soles of shoes should be thicker than 1/2 inch, which will protect the foot from the
trauma of pebbles.
- Magnetic therapy may be highly effective for alleviating foot pain experienced by
diabetics. Patients with foot pain from various conditions enrolled in randomized placebo
study were given one foot pad with magnet and one foot pad without, but were not told
which one had the magnet. The pads were then switched half way through the trial. Only
diabetics found relief from foot pain. Researcher Dr. Micheal Weintraub of New York
Medical College believes magnets create fields, which create ionic flux and electric
energy which then calms disease-related hyperactivity in the small nerves of feet (American
Journal of Pain Management, Jan 1999 and New York Times, 1/6/99, pA-16). One
web site to purchase is http://www.buyamag.com/insoles.htm.
- Keep your toenails trimmed short as that prevents rubbing (irritation) against the shoe.
- If your sheets and blankets irritate your feet, use a foot board or hoop (in medical
supply stores) to raise the covers.
- Digi Cushions for toes are lined with a polymer gel which guards toes against shock,
pressure, and friction. Works better than regular foam sleeves. Tubes can be cut for 12-16
perfectly sized reusable cushions. About $10. Call 1-800-785-0880.