Proper footwear plays a major role in preventing foot problems associated with diabetes. Follow these tips before buying or putting on a pair of shoes:

Measure your feet

The size and shape of your feet can change over time. Have your feet measured before buying a new pair. If an experienced shoe fitter is not around, you can fit yourself. Here is how:

· Trace an outline of your foot on a piece of paper.

· Place the shoe over the outline.

Choose the right shoes

- New shoes should be sturdy and comfortable. They must fit the length and width of the foot (leave room for toes to wiggle).

- Always wear socks or stockings with your shoes. Socks made of wool or 100% cotton offer the most protection. They also keep your feet warm and dry.

- Break in new shoes slowly by wearing them for only one or two hours at a time.

Things to avoid

- Do not wear high heels, sandals, and pointed-toe shoes. They put excess pressure on your feet.

- Do not walk barefoot, even in your own home or at the beach.

- Do not wear mended or seamed socks. They can cause blisters or skin injuries.

- Do not wear nylon stockings if you are being treated for an infection.