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Healtheuniversity > English > Diabetes College > Get Active > Safe Exercise > Foot Care and Exercise

Foot Care and Exercise

You are more prone to get sores or blisters on your feet because of diabetes. Take action to prevent getting foot wounds when you exercise.

  • Do not exercise if you have an open sore or a blister on your foot. Exercise can make sores and blisters worse.
  • Use running shoes for your exercise. Running shoes are more stable, have cushions and support.
  • Wear the right kind of socks to prevent rubbing and help you find foot wounds.
  • Check your feet regularly for wounds.

You are more prone to get sores or blisters on your feet because of diabetes. You are more prone since diabetes impacts the flow of blood to your arteries and veins, and this includes the flow of blood to your skin.

Sores and blisters make walking uncomfortable. The sores or blisters will get worse with walking.

  • Do not exercise if you have an open sore or a blister on your foot. Sores and blisters take longer to heal when you are living with diabetes. Wait until your sores and blisters heal before you start your walking program or they could get much worse. Talk to your podiatrist or chiropodist. These two professionals are specialists in foot care.

Since your skin needs to be free of sores and blisters, ensure you wear the right kind of socks and shoes. 

What Shoes Do I Wear?

Use running shoes for your exercise. Do not use cross trainers, court shoes or walking shoes. Running shoes are more stable, have cushions and support.

Shopping for running shoes

Have your feet checked and the way you walk observed before you buy running shoes. This kind of check is done by a professional and a qualified salesperson to determine your specific shoe needs.

Shop for shoes during the middle of the day. Shop at this time since your feet naturally expand due to swelling and activity.

Your shoes must fit you well. 

  • Try different models of shoes. If the shoes are too tight, you can get blisters, sores and bruises. 
  • Have 1 cm or 1/2 inch width of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. This extra space allows for swelling when you exercise.

Wear your shoes indoors only for first 1 to 2 weeks. This time indoors determines if the shoes will work for you. 

Running shoes last 6 to 12 months or about 500 miles (800 to 1200 km).

What Socks Do I Wear?

  • Wear socks without seams on the inside. The seams may lead to rubbing, blistering and foot ulcers. 
  • Buy socks made of synthetic materials (such as polyester) to help take away moisture from your feet. Diabetic socks or usual sport socks are made to take away the moisture. 
  • If you use sport socks, turn them inside out to avoid the seams. Cut the top elastic off too so the sock doesn't dig into your skin.
  • Light coloured socks help you find any wounds. You will see blood from blisters with light coloured socks.

Check your feet regularly for wounds.

Last Reviewed: 10/16/2016