For most people, a bad shoe day means a blistered heel or painful arch that goes away quickly. But for people with diabetes, poor footwear can trigger serious problems, such as foot ulcers, infections, and even amputation.
Foot problems aren’t inevitable, though. Ralph Guanci learned the hard way to pick his shoes with care and to stick with wearing them because they’re good medicine for his feet.
Guanci, 57, a businessman in Carlisle, Massachusetts, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 25 years ago. For the first two decades, his feet seemed fairly normal, and he gave little thought to footwear. “I wore anything I wanted,” he says.
But a few years ago, he developed foot trouble: a foot bone injury that prompted recurring, infected blisters on his sole. After doctors cured the problem with surgery and antibiotics, Guanci started wearing only one brand of comfort shoes called SAS that his podiatrist had recommended.