As a person living with diabetes, taking care of your feet is critical to maintaining good health. One of the ways to keep your feet healthy is by wearing diabetic shoes. But what are diabetic shoes? In this article, we’ll delve into what diabetic shoes are, why they’re important, and how to choose the right pair for you.

What Are Diabetic Shoes?

Diabetic shoes are specialized footwear designed to provide comfort, support, and protection for people with diabetes. They are made with soft, breathable materials and come in a range of sizes and styles to accommodate different foot shapes and conditions. Diabetic shoes have several unique features that make them different from regular shoes, including extra depth, wide toe boxes, and insoles that can be removed or adjusted to fit orthotics.

The Importance of Diabetic Shoes for People with Diabetes

For people with diabetes, proper foot care is essential to prevent serious foot problems such as ulcers, infections, and even amputations. Diabetes can cause nerve damage and poor circulation in the feet, which can lead to reduced sensation and slower healing of wounds. This makes it easier for foot problems to go unnoticed and untreated, which can quickly escalate into more severe complications.

Diabetic shoes are specifically designed to reduce the risk of foot problems by providing the necessary support, cushioning, and protection that diabetic feet require. They are engineered to accommodate the unique needs of people with diabetes, such as reducing pressure points, increasing circulation, and preventing friction and blisters.

How Do Diabetic Shoes Work?

Diabetic shoes work by providing a comfortable and supportive environment for the feet, which helps reduce the risk of foot problems. They are designed to be wider and deeper than regular shoes to allow for extra room and to prevent rubbing and irritation. Diabetic shoes are also made with soft, breathable materials that help keep feet dry and prevent bacterial growth.

The insoles of diabetic shoes are specially designed to provide extra cushioning and support for the feet. Quality diabetic shoes should come with removable insoles that can be replaced with custom orthotics to provide additional support and comfort.

Who Needs Diabetic Shoes?

Diabetic shoes serve as a critical tool in promoting foot health and preventing complications for individuals with diabetes. They are particularly beneficial for those who have specific risk factors or pre-existing foot conditions. Here are the situations in which diabetic shoes are highly recommended:

  1. History of Foot Problems: Individuals with diabetes who have a history of foot problems, such as ulcers, calluses, or corns, can greatly benefit from wearing diabetic shoes. These issues are common among people with diabetes due to reduced sensitivity, slower wound healing, and susceptibility to infections. Diabetic shoes provide the necessary cushioning, support, and protection to prevent the recurrence of such problems.
  2. Poor Circulation or Nerve Damage: Poor circulation and nerve damage (neuropathy) are common complications of diabetes that significantly increase the risk of foot injuries and infections. Diabetic shoes are designed to alleviate pressure points and minimize friction, reducing the chances of ulcers and blisters. Additionally, their supportive features contribute to improved blood circulation in the feet, aiding in wound healing and overall foot health.
  3. Foot Deformities: Individuals with deformities like bunions, hammertoes, or flat feet require footwear that accommodates their unique foot shapes. Diabetic shoes with features like extra depth and wide toe boxes ensure that these deformities are not aggravated by ill-fitting footwear. By providing adequate room and support, diabetic shoes help prevent discomfort and potential complications associated with deformities.
  4. Specialized Foot Conditions: Diabetic shoes are essential for anyone with a foot condition that demands specialized care. These conditions can range from structural abnormalities to chronic issues that require precise footwear modifications. By addressing the specific needs of these conditions, diabetic shoes assist in preventing further deterioration and supporting the healing process.

In essence, diabetic shoes are a valuable asset for individuals with diabetes who are prone to foot-related complications. They serve as a preventive measure, offering comfort, protection, and support to maintain foot health. If you fall into any of the mentioned categories, consulting a healthcare professional or a podiatrist is crucial in determining if diabetic shoes are the right choice for you and finding the best-fitting pair to suit your needs.

Features to Look for in Diabetic Shoes

Selecting the right pair of diabetic shoes goes beyond style – it’s about prioritizing foot health and comfort. When embarking on the search for diabetic footwear, there are specific features that can significantly enhance your overall experience. These features are tailored to the unique needs of individuals with diabetes, and by paying attention to them, you can make an informed choice that contributes to your well-being.

  1. Extra Depth for Custom Orthotics and Comfort: Diabetic shoes with extra depth offer a valuable advantage – they can accommodate custom orthotic inserts. These inserts are often prescribed to individuals with foot complications to provide targeted support and alleviate pressure points. By having sufficient depth, diabetic shoes allow room for these inserts without causing discomfort or unnecessary friction against the foot. This feature is crucial for maintaining proper alignment and mitigating potential foot issues.
  2. Wide Toe Box for Adequate Space: A wide toe box is another vital attribute to consider. It ensures that there’s ample space around the front of the shoe, preventing crowding of the toes. This extra room is essential for reducing irritation, blisters, and pressure that can lead to foot injuries. Additionally, a wide toe box accommodates any swelling that might occur throughout the day, enhancing overall comfort and preventing constriction.
  3. Soft and Breathable Materials for Foot Health: The choice of materials used in diabetic shoes plays a pivotal role in foot health. Opt for shoes made from soft, breathable materials that allow proper ventilation. This prevents moisture buildup, which can create an environment conducive to bacterial and fungal growth. By keeping your feet dry and free from excessive moisture, you reduce the risk of infections and other complications.
  4. Removable Insoles for Customization: Many individuals with diabetes require custom orthotic insoles to address specific foot conditions. Diabetic shoes with removable insoles provide the flexibility to use these customized inserts. This customization enhances comfort, support, and the overall fit of the shoes, catering to the individual needs of each wearer.

When shopping for diabetic shoes, keep these features in mind to ensure you’re making a choice that aligns with your foot health goals. These attributes collectively contribute to the effectiveness and comfort of the shoes, helping you manage your diabetes with confidence while prioritizing your overall well-being.

Types of Diabetic Shoes

There are several types of diabetic shoes available, each designed to address different foot conditions and preferences. Some common types of diabetic shoes include:

  • Diabetic sandals: These are open-toed shoes that provide ventilation and comfort during warm weather.
  • Diabetic dress shoes: These are formal shoes that provide the necessary support and comfort for special occasions.
  • Diabetic work shoes: These are shoes designed for people who are on their feet for long periods, such as nurses or restaurant workers.
  • Diabetic athletic shoes: These are designed for people who exercise regularly and require extra cushioning and support.

How to Choose the Right Diabetic Shoes

Choosing the right diabetic shoes can be challenging, but there are a few things you can do to ensure that you find the best pair for your needs. Some tips for choosing the right diabetic shoes include:

  • Consult with your doctor or podiatrist to determine what type of diabetic shoes you need.
  • Consider the activities you’ll be doing while wearing the shoes, such as work, exercise, or special occasions.
  • Look for shoes that have the features you need, such as extra depth, wide toe boxes, and removable insoles.
  • Try on different sizes and styles to find the most comfortable and supportive fit.
  • Make sure to break in new shoes gradually to avoid discomfort or blisters.

Men’s Diabetic Shoes

Shoe Brands to Consider for People with Diabetes

When it comes to finding the right diabetic shoes, there are several brands that specialize in providing comfortable and supportive footwear for people with diabetes. Here are four brands to consider:

  • Propet
    Propet is a well-known brand that offers a wide range of diabetic shoes for both men and women. Their shoes are designed to provide extra depth and a roomy toe box to accommodate custom orthotics and prevent rubbing and irritation. Propet shoes also feature removable insoles and soft, breathable materials to keep feet comfortable and dry.
  • Orthofeet
    Orthofeet is another popular brand that specializes in diabetic footwear. Their shoes are designed to provide excellent support and cushioning for people with diabetes, with features such as extra depth, wide toe boxes, and removable insoles. Orthofeet shoes also come in a range of styles and colors to suit different preferences.
  • Dr. Comfort
    Dr. Comfort is a brand that is known for its comfortable and supportive diabetic shoes. Their shoes are designed to reduce pressure points and provide excellent cushioning and support for people with diabetes. Dr. Comfort shoes come in a range of styles and sizes, including extra-wide options to accommodate different foot shapes.
  • Pilgrim Shoes
    Pilgrim Shoes is a lesser-known brand that specializes in high-quality diabetic footwear. Their shoes are designed to provide excellent support and cushioning, with features such as extra depth and soft, breathable materials. Pilgrim Shoes also offer a range of styles and colors to suit different preferences.When choosing diabetic shoes, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences and to consult with your doctor or podiatrist to determine the best options for you. These four brands are a great place to start in your search for comfortable and supportive diabetic footwear.

Tips for Wearing Diabetic Shoes

Wearing diabetic shoes is a crucial step towards maintaining foot health, especially for individuals managing diabetes. To make the most of these specialized shoes and ensure their longevity, incorporating good practices into your daily routine is essential. Here are some valuable tips for wearing diabetic shoes:

  1. Wear Socks with Your Diabetic Shoes: To minimize the risk of friction and blisters, it’s recommended to wear moisture-wicking socks with your diabetic shoes. These socks help in maintaining a dry environment within the shoes, reducing the likelihood of skin irritation and discomfort. Opt for seamless socks that won’t rub against your skin and cause abrasions.
  2. Check Your Feet Regularly: Consistently monitor your feet for any signs of irritation, redness, or injury. People with diabetes are more prone to reduced sensation in their feet due to neuropathy, which can make it challenging to notice minor problems. Regular visual inspections can help you identify potential issues early on and seek medical attention if needed.
  3. Avoid Extended Wear: While diabetic shoes are designed for comfort, it’s still important to avoid wearing them for overly extended periods. Prolonged wear can lead to foot swelling and discomfort. Take breaks, allowing your feet to breathe and relax without the pressure of shoes. This is particularly important if you spend long hours on your feet.
  4. Maintain Cleanliness and Dryness: Keeping your diabetic shoes clean and dry is essential to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. Clean the shoes regularly according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and allow them to thoroughly air dry. Moist environments can lead to infections and other complications, so ensuring your shoes are dry before wearing them is crucial.
  5. Replace Worn-Out Shoes: Diabetic shoes, like any other footwear, will eventually show signs of wear and tear. Pay attention to the condition of the soles, insoles, and overall structure of the shoes. When you notice significant deterioration, it’s time to consider replacing them. Continuing to wear shoes that have lost their supportive features can compromise foot health and comfort.

By following these practical tips, individuals can maximize the benefits of diabetic shoes and effectively manage their foot health. Remember, these shoes are an integral part of diabetes care, and their proper use contributes to the prevention of foot complications that could otherwise lead to more serious medical issues.

Common Misconceptions About Diabetic Shoes

Despite their critical importance in diabetes management, there are various misconceptions surrounding diabetic shoes that can hinder their perceived necessity and effectiveness. Dispelling these myths is essential for individuals to grasp the true value of diabetic footwear in maintaining foot health. Let’s address some of these common misconceptions:

  1. Diabetic Shoes are Ugly and Unfashionable: One prevalent misconception is that diabetic shoes are unattractive and outdated in terms of fashion. However, this is far from accurate. Modern advancements in footwear design have led to the creation of diabetic shoes that are both stylish and functional. These shoes come in a variety of styles, including sneakers, sandals, loafers, and even dress shoes, allowing individuals to maintain their personal style while prioritizing foot health.
  2. Diabetic Shoes are Only for People with Severe Foot Problems: Another misconception is that diabetic shoes are only necessary for those with severe foot complications. In reality, diabetic shoes are beneficial for all individuals with diabetes, regardless of the severity of their foot conditions. They are designed to provide extra cushioning, support, and protection to prevent potential foot problems from arising. Wearing diabetic shoes can help manage common issues like neuropathy and poor circulation, reducing the risk of more severe complications down the line.
  3. Regular Shoes are Just as Good as Diabetic Shoes for People with Diabetes: It’s essential to understand that diabetic shoes are specifically engineered to address the unique needs of individuals with diabetes. Unlike regular shoes, they offer features like extra depth, wider toe boxes, and seamless interiors to minimize friction and pressure on the feet. These attributes are crucial in preventing the development of ulcers, blisters, and other foot injuries that can be particularly problematic for people with diabetes due to reduced sensation and slower wound healing.
  4. Diabetic Shoes are Too Expensive and Not Covered by Insurance: While cost can be a concern for some, it’s important to note that many insurance plans do cover diabetic shoes as part of comprehensive diabetes care. Additionally, viewing diabetic shoes as an investment in long-term foot health can help shift the perspective on their value. The potential costs associated with foot complications far outweigh the initial expense of acquiring diabetic footwear. It’s advisable to check with healthcare providers and insurance companies to explore coverage options and financial assistance for obtaining appropriate diabetic shoes.

By dispelling these misconceptions and recognizing the true benefits of diabetic shoes, individuals with diabetes can make informed decisions about their footwear choices, thereby safeguarding their foot health and overall well-being.

Do Diabetic Shoes Really Help Prevent Foot Problems?

Yes, diabetic shoes can help prevent foot problems by providing the necessary support, cushioning, and protection that diabetic feet require. Research has shown that wearing diabetic shoes can significantly reduce the risk of foot ulcers, infections, and amputations in people with diabetes.

The Cost of Diabetic Shoes

The cost of diabetic shoes varies depending on the type and brand of shoes you choose. Some shoes can cost as little as $50, while custom shoes can cost hundreds of dollars. However, many insurance plans cover the cost of diabetic shoes, so it’s important to check with your provider to see if you’re eligible for coverage.

How to Take Care of Your Diabetic Shoes

Proper care of your diabetic shoes is essential to ensure that they last as long as possible and provide the necessary support and protection for your feet. Some tips for taking care of your diabetic shoes include:

  • Keep your shoes clean and dry to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Store your shoes in a cool, dry place when not in use.
  • Replace your insoles regularly to maintain proper support and cushioning.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach to clean your shoes.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and care.


Diabetic shoes are an essential part of foot care for people with diabetes. They provide the necessary support, cushioning, and protection to reduce the risk of foot problems such as ulcers, infections, and amputations. When choosing diabetic shoes, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences and to consult with your doctor or podiatrist to determine the best options for you.

Disclaimer: Educational Information Only

The information provided here is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment, including any foot-related concerns. If you have any health issues or questions about your feet, please consult a qualified healthcare professional, like a doctor or podiatrist. Don’t ignore medical advice or delay seeking help based on what you read here or elsewhere. We’re not responsible for any harm caused by using this information. Everyone’s response to treatments can be different, and medical recommendations may change over time. If you experience a medical emergency or serious foot problem, seek immediate medical attention or call your local emergency services. By using this resource, you agree to these terms and understand the importance of getting personalized medical advice from a qualified professional.

Women’s Diabetic Shoes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We collect cookies ok?