According to research in the November issue of the International Journal of Clinical Practice, more than six out of ten people with diabetes are walking around in the wrong sized shoe, which could potentially cause serious foot problems. An ulceration of the foot can have serious implications for patients, such as impaired quality of life, increased amputation risk, and elevated death rates. The World Health Organization has stated that the number of people suffering from diabetes could double to 366 million by 2030 and 80 percent of diabetic foot amputations could be prevented. Researchers studied a hundred patients, aged 24 to 89, who volunteered to participate in a shoe-size study carried out at a general diabetic clinic. Patients who were attending foot specialist clinics and those who had problems standing or were wearing special footwear were excluded from the study. The results showed that 63 percent of patients were wearing the wrong sized shoes. Approximately 45 percent were wearing the wrong width fitting, and the majority had shoes that were too narrow.
Of the observed volunteers, 45 percent had experienced previous problems with their feet, including ulcers, callouses, bunions, corns or swelling. Despite this, 22 percent never checked their feet and and only 29 percent examined them on a daily basis.
To reduce foot problems, podiatry experts would like to see shoe stores offer foot measuring services. Additionally shoe manufacturers could lend support by developing standarized shoe sizes and expanding the range of shoe length and width fittings for those who have no feeling in their feet.