Increasing prevalence of diabetes has propelled demand for diabetic shoes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of patients suffering from diabetes has nearly quadrupled since 1980. Around 422 million people across the world are suffering from diabetes. Diabetes accounted for 1.5 million deaths across the globe in 2012. According to the American Diabetic Association, around 600,000 diabetics in the U.S. suffer from foot ulcers every year, leading to about 80,000 amputations. Growing awareness about diabetes and counseling for proper foot care are likely to accelerate the growth of the global diabetic shoes market.
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Extensive research by shoe manufacturers regarding the development of innovative diabetic shoes is anticipated increase demand for diabetic shoes. A majority of diabetics does not wear the prescribed footwear and usually demand customized diabetic shoes. Technologies such as shoe implants are expected to address these issues. Shoe implants can remind patients to wear their shoes and can detect weaknesses in the soles of feet with the help of sensor mats. Manufacturers are also focusing on lighter, pressure-reliving diabetic shoes or sandals as patients find them easier for indoor use.
The global diabetic shoes market operates through a network of store-based and non-store-based retail distributors. The store-based distribution channel has been further categorized into departmental stores and chains, specialty stores, shoe stores, and others. The non-store-based distribution channel has grown significantly in the past couple of years due to the introduction of e-commerce. The non-store-based distribution channel includes the online channels of various participants in the supply chain of the market.
The global diabetic shoes market has been segmented into four key regions: Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, and Rest of the World. Demand for diabetic shoes is significantly high in North America due to increasing prevalence of the disease and availability of new and innovative diabetic shoes. The market in Asia Pacific is expected to grow rapidly during the forecast period due to rising awareness about diabetes.
Key players in the global diabetic shoes market are Aetrex Worldwide, Inc., Podartis S.r.l., Orthofeet, Inc., Drew Shoe, Etonic Shoes, and Dr. Comfort. Market players are focusing on the manufacture of low-cost diabetic shoes to attract consumers in the emerging economies, especially in Asia Pacific. This niche market holds immense potential and hence, various shoe manufacturers are expected to enter the market in the near future.
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