Diabetic Shoes

Diabetic shoesAccording to the World Health Organization, more than 400 million people in the world were living with diabetes in 2014, up from 108 million in 1980. The International Diabetes Federation predicts this number will reach 645 million by 2040. Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called juvenile or childhood-onset diabetes, occurs when a person’s immune system attacks the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. As a result, people living with Type 1 diabetes must take insulin on a daily basis. There is no known way to prevent Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when a person’s body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Most of the people with diabetes have this form of the disease, including 90-95% of people with diabetes in the United States. People with excess body weight and who are physically inactive are at a higher risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes as are those with a family history of Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes, but in recent years this condition has been seen in children also. While some people with Type 2 diabetes can control their blood sugar with diet and exercise, others need medications to do so. Some classes of medications to treat Type 2 diabetes either help the body secrete more insulin or improve the body tissue’s sensitivity to insulin in order for the body to use it more effectively. In some cases, those with Type 2 diabetes have to take insulin also. Other types of diabetes include gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy and goes away after the baby is born; monogenic diabetes, which is an inherited form of diabetes; and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes.

If a person’s blood sugar is not properly controlled, high blood glucose levels can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, dental disease, nerve damage, poor circulation and foot problems. Because of poor circulation, any injury to the foot may take longer to heal or lead to infection. If there is nerve damage, a person may not realize that they have a foot injury and the problem could be exacerbated. Nerve damage can also change the shape of the foot making regular shoes feel uncomfortable. Diabetic shoes are a type of orthopedic shoe for people with neuropathy, nerve damage, a foot deformity or an existing foot injury. They are designed to relieve excess pressure on the foot, reduce shock, reduce joint motion and provide extra room for custom orthotics. These shoes can be custom-made from a mold of a person’s foot to provide a better fit.

Today’s market size shows the total global sales of diabetic shoes in 2015 and projected for 2024. In 2015, more than half of sales—$2.54 billion—were in the United States. As the number of people with diabetes increases, the population ages, disposable incomes rise, and innovations in design create more comfortable and stylish shoes, the market for diabetic shoes is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.1% from 2016 to 2024.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2015 and 2024
Market size: $5.0 billion and $9.9 billion, respectively
Sources: “Diabetic Shoes Market,” Transparency Market Research Report Preview, February 2017 available online here; “Diabetes,” World Health Organization, November 15, 2017 available online here; “What is Diabetes?” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, November 2016 available online here; Stephanie Watson and Kathryn Watson, “Do I Need Diabetic Shoes?” Healthine, July 15, 2016 available online here; “Type 2 Diabetes,” Mayo Clinic available online here.
Image source: Brainy J [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons, July 8, 2014 available online here.