Diabetic insoles can put a spring in your step
Shoes that fit properly can help those with diabetes avoid foot injuries and subsequent complications. Among the options for well-fitting shoes are customized insoles, known by the professionals as orthoses.
What are the options for diabetic insoles?
Just as there are numerous companies that make therapeutic shoes specifically designed for those with diabetes, there is also a wide variety of insoles available. Most insoles are removable, though they can also be built into the shoe. The insoles provide pressure relief, shock absorption and protection for your foot. Also available is a custom-made insole called a 'total contact orthosis.' This is made from a model of your foot and is used for significant pressure relief and comfort, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.
In order for the insoles to do their job, they must be paired with a proper pair of shoes designed for those with diabetes. The US National Library of Medicine recommends shoes with a broad toe box, no interior seams and an adjustable fit. Shoes that have laces, Velcro or buckles are perfect for this. The shoes should be made of a breathable material, such as canvas, leather or suede. Shoes with open toes or high heels are not recommended.
When you have new shoes fitted, don't forget to tell the supplier that you might need to use custom insoles. This can affect the size and design of your shoe.
Does insurance cover diabetic insoles?
Fortunately, many insurance policies do cover diabetic insoles if they are deemed a necessity by your doctor. Medicare Part B also covers this product; however, keep in mind that the guidelines for obtaining the insoles can be very strict. Begin by speaking with your doctor about the need for customized shoes or insoles, as a prescription is a necessary first step toward getting the insoles covered by Medicare.
American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, "Shoes and Orthotics for Diabetes"
MedlinePlus, "Diabetes Foot Care"