Most people with diabetes mellitus feel anxious and afraid during their activity. They sometimes worry to get exposed to gravel or get stumble that may cause injuries. It is indeed very reasonable because injuries that occur in people with diabetes are difficult to recover.
Diabetics have an increased risk by 29 times to get diabetic ulcers. Complications in the form of smelly wound on the surface of the skin often occurred in patients with diabetes. It happened partly because of the use of inappropriate footwear, which contributed 99.9% to the exposure of diabetic ulcers.
The fact is encouraging four UGM students to create shoes for diabetics. They made a new breakthrough in the manufacture of shoes, especially in the foot sole that promotes safety, comfort, and ease to do activity for diabetics. The four young students are Vivi Leona Amelia (Nursing), Erlisa Diah Pertiwi (Statistics), Oktiyanto Ade Saputro (Industrial Engineering), and Arini Giska Safitri (Nutritional Health).
Arini Giska Safitri told reporters on Tuesday (26/7) at the UGM Faculty of Medicine that people with diabetes do not realize the event of foot injury because of neuropathy: the nerves cannot feel the pain that occurs in that section. Therefore, it is very important for diabetics to use footwear that will protect the patient in order not to get hurt or extend the wound unobservable by the patient.
The diabetes shoes are made using combined materials in order to achieve comfort and suitability for diabetic foot conditions. The basic materials of the shoes are made of the best quality cow and lamb leather. The use of leather is because it matches the patient's feet humidity that should not be too moist, thus will not cause bacteria and infection as well as bad odor. In addition to using the leather, they also added merimes, a type of suds fabric, on the inside to reduce feet friction with shoes to minimize the occurrence of blisters.
The shoes that are developed by Arini and company are designed to prevent injury or the addition of foot wounds for diabetics. The shoes are made using best choice quality materials to reduce the risk of wound extension in the foot. "In addition to preventing the expansion of injuries in the foot, this shoe is also designed to enhance the diabetics’ comfort of footwear use in everyday activities. So, they do not have to worry anymore when walking," she said.
Unlike general shoes on the market, the shoes made by the four students have a different size between the right leg and left foot, depending on the feet condition of the diabetics. Before it is manufactured, firstly patient's foot are measured in accordance with the foot ergonomic, then their situation are analyzed, whether they are injured, swollen, or allergies. Having obtained a result, then the size, model, and the leather material are determined according to the patient's leg condition. “Most shoes that are sold in the market have the same size of the left and right foot, whereas people with diabetes who have ulcers are likely to have different size of the foot because of swelling. The use of footwear that does not match the size of the foot can aggravate existing injuries. Our shoes are made in accordance with the size of the diabetic foot. This is one of the hallmarks of our products," said the student class of 2009.
Arini added that the diabetic shoes are marketed in three categories, namely for normal foot that has not been injured, for foot that have swollen or injuries, and for amputated legs. As for models, they offer two types. The first type is for people with normal legs and who have suffered injury or swelling in the legs. Furthermore, the second type is for people with amputated foot. In this model Arini adds ribbon fasteners at the top to enhance user comfort.
The two designs were created to facilitate wearers because the foot can be directly slipped in without having to be scratched. Meanwhile, in the middle there are air holes for foot ventilation so the foot is not exposed to heat and humidity. "We also use adhesive that can be tailored to the size of the feet so that when the feet are swollen, they can use the shoes by loosening up the adhesive," said the alumnus of SMU N 1 Gombong.
The shoes for diabetic patients are sold in the market at a price range of 400-500 thousand rupiah. This product is not only able to provide comfort for people with diabetes in their activity, but also made these young men to win the gold medal in the poster category of PIMNAS XXIV at Hasanuddin University, Makassar, some time ago.