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Growth expected for diabetic footwear market

The ongoing battle against this serious condition is anticipated to boost the growth of the diabetic footwear market.

Image © | travenian

Diabetes mellitus, commonly known simply as ‘diabetes’, is a medical condition caused by the body’s pancreas failing to produce enough insulin, or the cells of the body not responding properly to the level of insulin that is produced. A person suffering from diabetes is more likely than a non-sufferer to develop wounds, ulcers or a lack of sensation in any part of his body, but particularly in his or her feet.

The potential lack of feeling in the extremities – especially toes – can lead to serious complications if the footwear exerts pressure on the foot. In extreme cases, this can result in gangrene and the need to amputate toes. Appropriate footwear must be custom-made, with the last reflecting the shape and size of each foot, and the use of soft materials will reduce or eliminate pressure.

There is a long-established sector of the footwear industry which provides products for customers who have special difficulties in finding shoes that fit. This can often include people who have medical conditions (such as diabetes) or those with injuries to their feet that affect them. These customers typically access bespoke footwear through medical centres or specialists such as podiatrists and chiropodists, who measure their customers’ feet and provide detailed information to the lastmaker and shoemaker.

Future needs

According to recently-published research considering Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America, the market for diabetic footwear is anticipated to develop with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.0 per cent between 2018 and 2025. The publication suggests that people with diabetes make up about half of all hospital admissions for amputations. Within the UK, diabetes is said to account for 73 per cent of emergency room admissions for minor amputations and more than 40 per cent of hospitalisations for major amputations.

Most diabetic footwear is reportedly worn by elderly people, and specialised shoes are said to be gaining in popularity due to what are claimed to be growing concerns over the side effects associated with synthetic medicines. The study’s authors expect that technological advancements and medical upgrades will lead to market growth in forthcoming years. They highlight how research and development which is leading to enhanced and innovative versions of therapeutic footwear will drive the market in a positive direction as newly introduced products improve on the level of comfort provided.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 6 of the March 2020 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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