Your diabetic inserts are a cornerstone part of a system designed to protect your feet from skin damage due to irritation from shoe contact and excessive pressure from the ground in combination with your foot structure. They are composed of several different materials that are designed to reduce direct pressure to the foot skin, as well as reduce shear forces to the skin which can lead to friction injuries. The top layer of the diabetic insert, called plastizote, can be heat molded to match the foot shape, and needs to be prepared properly to maximize its benefit.
Some diabetics have received custom made inserts due to an amputation or severe foot deformity, and had a foam impression taken of the foot during the diabetic shoe fitting appointment. If you have received inserts like these, you do not have to heat mold the inserts to your foot as they are already custom made.
If you are amongst the majority of people without amputation or severe deformity who have not had to receive custom diabetic inserts, then a brief heat molding procedure needs to be performed prior to wearing your inserts. If you have just received your shoes and inserts from our office, the first pair was already heat molded in our office at the time of dispensing. Your other two pair will need to be molded before use. Your diabetic inserts should be exchanged every four months, assuming they are not damaged.
To begin the heat molding process, remove your inserts from their packaging and apply a hair dryer to their top surface for approximately one minute, moving the hot air across the entire surface of the insert.
Next, place the inserts quickly in your diabetic shoes before they have a chance to cool down, and place your feet in the shoes while wearing a pair of socks to insulate your skin from the warmth of the heated insert. Stand in your shoes for approximately thirty seconds, and then remove the shoes, allowing for a cool down period.
Your diabetic inserts are now ready for use!