What Kind of Shoes Should Diabetics Wear?

Many people with diabetes fail to take proper care of their feet. This could result in serious foot ulcers and even amputations.

Most diabetes patients know that proper foot care and fitting shoes are important, but many of them fail to follow through.

Wearing the appropriate shoes can help prevent diabetes-related foot problems.

You should check the size of your foot at a shoe store to see what kind of shoes will fit. Also, avoid shoes that are too big or too small for your body.

A study conducted by the University of Dundee in the UK revealed that about 6 out of 10 people with type 2 diabetes wear the wrong size shoes.

For those who suffer from diabetes, one of the more pressing issues is your feet. Having diabetes means that your feet take longer to heal from injuries, may suffer nerve damage which causes pain and discomfort. And in some cases, issues caused by diabetes may cause extreme responses such as amputation.

How to Choose the Right Shoes for Diabetics?

If the shoe’s insole has been removed, take it out and step on it. Fit the foot with no overlap. If it’s bigger than the shoe’s width, it will be crammed inside.

High heels can cause balance issues if they’re worn on the heels. Also, they can put pressure on the ball of the foot.

Wearing open-toe shoes can cause bruising and soreness to the parts of your foot that handle them. These can also make them prone to injury.

If your feet are a bit swollen after a day, try on shoes at the last moment. They will feel fine the rest of the day.

You should buy shoes that are comfortable to wear. However, don’t take them off after a couple of hours to find red spots and tender spots.

Buy at least two pairs. You’ll probably have different pressure points in each pair.

Medicare covers the cost of shoes for people with diabetes, though some conditions are more severe. Before you can get them, however, you must meet certain requirements.

Why is it Important to Have the Right Shoes for Diabetics?

Just because you are not suffering from any issues associated with the damage diabetes may cause to your feet does not mean that it will not happen.

The sooner you can address potential issues, the more likely it will be that you can reduce your risk of nerve damage, poor circulation, and other problems that may spin out of control. The best shoes for diabetics can address the following:

  • Healthy blood circulation prevents damage to the nerves, blood vessels, and skin
  • Reduces the chances of developing hammer toes and other painful conditions
  • Cushioning in the right places may avoid bruising or ulcers from developing
  • Proper arch support helps keep the feet aligned to reduce the chances of injury
  • Collateral issues such as bunions, fungal infections, corns, and even gangrene may be avoided

To help avoid such issues, finding the right pair of shoes is a must. What follows are considered the best shoes for diabetics on the market separated into various categories. Let’s take a look at them and see what users are saying:

Best Overall: Skechers Performance Go Walk 4

This shoe is the best overall for those who suffer from diabetes. The Skechers Performance Go Walk 4 which is designed for men and women offer a comfortable, lightweight, yet durable design that is also easy on the wallet. The 100% mesh fabric allows your feet to breathe while still providing plenty of support. The combination of high-tech materials with superb design and easy use makes the Go Walk 4 version simply the best.

Who is this for?

This is for men and women who want a comfortable shoe to wear around the house, at work, or doing light exercise. Despite the name, there are arguably better walking shoes for diabetics available. However, the Go Walk 4 offers the best combination of features that makes it the perfect shoe for home and the office.


  • Mesh fabric design offers comfort and style
  • 5gen midsole provides exceptional cushioning
  • Soft fabric lining
  • Light and durable
  • Affordable


  • May not be best suited for those with narrow feet

User Experience

For the most part, these shoes have enjoyed exceptional reviews. Comfort, style, and affordability are some of the main attributes.

  • “They’re great! I marked these as somewhat large and they fit my feet fine”
  • “Love these! They slip on easily, my inserts fit without causing my heel to come out … “
  • “They are so comfortable and lightweight.”

FAQ: Does this shoe stretch at the top? I have a high in-step and need it to stretch some. Answer: Yes they stretch at the top.

FAQ: Are these just for summer shoes?  Answer: No. I’d say three season shoes. Not for winter.  

FAQ: Has anyone walked with these shoes in Europe for hours? How do they hold up?  Answer: Yes. I have. I own 2 pairs and wore them every day while sight seeing during 2 trips in Europe. Great shoes. Very comfortable and they breathe.


The Skechers Performance Go Walk 4 are exceptional shoes for those who have diabetes. They are lightweight, comfortable, provide plenty of support, and will last for a long time with the proper care.

Best Budget: New Balance Women’s WW411v2 Walking Shoe

Soft, comfortable, good support, and a low price is the combination offered by the New Balance Women’s WW411v2 Walking Shoe. It is a great shoe for home, the office, and exercise. The durable materials make it a fine choice for those who are on a budget.

Who is it for?

The most obvious group to benefit are those who are on their feet all day such as nurses. However, they are great shoes for anyone who wants a comfortable fit without breaking the budget.


  • 100% Leather
  • Rubber sole
  • Solid fit
  • Breathable
  • Low price


  • Very few poor experiences

User Experience

The shoes have generated plenty of excellent comments with few poor experiences save for those who may have purchased the occasional defective shoe.

  • “These shoes are absolutely perfect”
  • “Finally something that doesn’t blister my feet and easy on my back.”
  • “Great shoe for people who are constantly on their feet for long periods of time.”

FAQ: I have problems with my arches and need a shoe with a higher arch support. Answer: This show has some arch support, but it may not be sufficient for your condition.

FAQ: Does the ankle support hit your ankle? Answer: The side panels will hit most people right at or slightly below the ankle.

FAQ: Do your feet get wet in the rain because of the mesh? Answer: No, not under most conditions. I don’t think you can ‘wade’ through water without getting wet, but average usage in the rain is just fine.


There is a lot to love about the New Balance Women’s WW411v2 Walking Shoe. It uses proven materials that are breathable, lightweight, and will last for quite a while. Plus, it is the perfect shoe for being on your feet all day, walking around the park, or just relaxing at home.

Best Walking Shoes: Orthofeet Women’s Sneakers

If you are looking for the perfect walking shoe, then the Orthofeet Women’s Sneakers may be just the answer. It is soft, lightweight, yet highly durable. Designed for many hours of walking, this shoe offers the comfort you need while being perfect for those who suffer from diabetes.

Who is it for?

This shoe is perfect for those who walk or jog for exercise. It is also a good exercise shoe even thought it is not specifically designed for cross training.


  • 100% Synthetic mesh
  • Midsole cushion for maximum pressure relief
  • Molded external heel for better stability
  • Contoured orthotic insole
  • Solid fit for most sizes


  • A bit high on the price

User Experience

For the most part the user experience has been quite good according to the Amazon reviews. There is the occasional negative review, but they mostly are about the occasional defective products that are common with all shoes.

  • “First walking shoe that’s wide enough and doesn’t need my specially purchased orthotics.”
  • “This shoe is so well made and comes with extra inserts to fill in the gaps if needed.”
  • “They were comfortable from the first day I put them on.”

FAQ: Will these provide same support as my orthotics or do I need to use them also? Answer: I have orthotics that were special made for me and I don’t use them. These shoes are amazing.

FAQ: I don’t have a flat foot, can they still be good for me? Answer: Yes, they have a couple of different types of special insoles which are removable.

FAQ: Can you wear these shoes walking in the city in the snow? Answer: These shoes are not waterproof.


Overall, the Orthofeet Women’s Sneakers is the perfect walking shoe for those who love to exercise or are on their feet all day. They do cost more than the average shoe, but for the many who own them they have been a great investment.

Best Shoes for Pain: Orthofeet Carnegie Walking Shoes

If you are suffering from pain caused by nerve damage, plantar fasciitis, or other pain issues associated with your diabetes, then the Orthofeet Carnegie Walking Shoes may be the answer. Crafted from durable materials, these shoes offer considerable comfort and cushioning in the right places that help your feet to feel more comfortable.

Who is it for?

The shoes are designed for anyone who is suffering from pain issues, even if they do not have diabetes. These are not sneakers or tennis shoes, but instead designed for casual and office settings.  


  • Leather materials
  • Designed to provide maximum cushioning and comfort
  • Lightweight, ergonomic design
  • Variable widths available
  • Large toe box to accommodate hammer toes and bunions


  • Priced higher than similar brands

User Experience

The overall user experience at least according to the Amazon reviews has been excellent. Most people have been quite pleased with their purchase. There are occasional reviews that seem mostly related to the occasional defective product that is not uncommon with all shoes.

  • “Orthofeet Carnegie Men’s shoes are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever put on.”
  • “Getting into and out of these shoes is great.”
  • “The best part is the easy closures that allow me to slip them on and off frequently without the hassle of laces.”

FAQ: Do they run true to size, or do they tend to run larger or smaller? Answer: They are a little bit smaller than normal size. Comfortable and nice shoes.

FAQ: Are Orthofeet shoes slip resistant? Answer: they are made well and definitely not a smooth, slippery sole. But I cannot say that any shoe is slip resistant. It all depends on the ground conditions.

FAQ: What is the weight of these shoes? 1.6 ounces sounds light? Answer: I did not weigh them, but it was light on my hand, unlike my husband’s hiking boots. I say 1.6 oz. seems to be right.


Although perhaps a little pricy, the Orthofeet Carnegie Walking Shoes have proven to be a superior shoe for most conditions. They are not designed for jogging, running, or exercise, but in almost every other situation they are perfectly suited. For those who suffer from foot pain due to diabetes, they provide maximum comfort in a lightweight design. Plus, they are well suited to deal with other painful conditions such as plantar fasciitis as well.

Benefits of Good Diabetic Shoes

There are several advantages to choosing the right pair of diabetic shoes. For those who have never considered such shoes before, you may be surprised to learn that many brands are reasonably priced and come in different styles for work, casual, and exercise. What follows are the main benefits of wearing diabetic shoes.

Comfort: First and foremost, the main advantage of the best shoes for diabetics is their comfort level. This may seem trite at first, but comfortable feet means that they are not suffering from pain, blistering, or other issues that might have serious complications.

Improved Blood Circulation: Diabetes damages the blood vessels. In turn, such damage can create additional issues that may include nerve pain. By improving the circulation of the blood, you keep the nerve endings from becoming damaged or dying due to lack of oxygen from not enough blood flow. In addition, improved circulation helps prevent fungal infections from getting out of hand.

Reduced Risk of Developing Ulcers: This type of damage to the skin usually results from a combination of poor circulation that reduces healing, shoes that do not fit correctly, and small injuries that go unaddressed over time. Ulcerations can lead to further complications, but you can reduce or even prevent them from occurring with the right footwear.

Cushioning for Foot Related Issues: The complications of diabetes may be accompanied by other issues associated with the feet such as plantar fasciitis. This is a condition where considerable pain comes from near the heel areas. A good pair of diabetic shoes helps cushion these areas which makes

Improved Movement for Exercise: Getting the right diabetic shoes for exercise, particularly jogging means having the flexibility needed to maximize comfort and support. Undo pinching or pressing on the foot may only cause further damage to develop.

Attributes of Diabetic Shoes

When you are shopping for the best shoes for diabetics, you will need to have a few attributes in mind. In many ways, it is just like shopping for shoes even if you did not have diabetes with a few additions. You can start with advice from your physician or podiatrist, but there are some basic rules which apply to most diabetic patients.

Size & Width: Just like standard shoes, the right size and width makes all the difference. You want the shoes to fit snug, but not too snug around the feet. The exception is the toe area where you want plenty of room. A good size toe box helps prevent issues such as hammer toes to develop. So, be sure that you have plenty of distance between your toes and the front of the shoe.

Depth: Another attribute of the best shoes for diabetics is the greater depth to provide additional room. Although the standard depth of ¼” to ½” may not sound like much, that extra room can help provide the space needed for conditions such as hammer toes and callouses. 

Cushioned Support: The placement of the cushions is crucial towards keeping your feet protected. Repeated bruising or the development of callouses can accelerate the damage caused by having a diabetic condition. This means that cushioning that supports the feet while providing enough room to breathe is so important.

Lightweight Design: It may seem counterintuitive to think that a well-cushioned shoe will be lightweight as well. However, thanks to new materials along with new manufacturing, you can now find comfortable, lightweight shoes that are ergonomically designed for those who have diabetes.

Customization: In certain circumstances, you may need a customized shoe for your feet. This is because diabetes may change the shape of your feet which then requires adjustments not found in standard shoes. Consult with your physician or podiatrist for further information on finding the best-customized shoes for your needs.

Healing Shoes: If you have undergone foot surgery, have a painful area of the foot, or simply need to avoid creating further damage, then healing shoes might be the answer. These are shoes designed to provide maximum comfort while being lightweight and ergonomic in design. While such shoes are not right for everyone, they may be the answer if you suffer from a specific condition or are having surgery on your feet.


Understanding the best shoes for diabetics means getting more than just the right size and width. You will need to have all the attributes of proper diabetic shoes to help reduce the risk of developing complications. Get the type of shoes that best fits your needs, ensure that they are light and comfortable and that they provide the proper support with plenty of cushioning to lower the risk of complications.

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