Best Diabetic Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Comfort
People with diabetes are more susceptible to foot problems. This health affliction can lead to nerve damage that affects a person’s ability to grasp the exact moment when their feet are injured. Consequently, diabetes elevates the risks of getting serious wounds and ulcers on the feet, which may also become serious enough to lead to amputation. Furthermore, diabetes also impacts the ability of the body to heal. This is because the feet receive less blood and oxygen, therefore it takes more time to recover from even a minor skin irritation. A diabetic foot is also more prone to swelling or edema.
You can minimize the risks of both short term and long-term foot injury, as a diabetes patient, by wearing a pair of good diabetic shoes (other shoes are only okay before symptoms occur). These are available in various types – such as diabetic dress shoes, work shoes or casual shoes. Whatever the type, good diabetic shoes are unified in eliminating the risk of diabetic foot injury and the benefits they offer to the wearer. The optimal diabetic shoes are generally made from breathable materials like suede and leather and are created to cushion and support the heel and ankle. Such shoes also help in the even distribution of weight of the body across the foot to eliminate the problem of pain in the pressure points.
- Skechers Go Walk
- Rear Heel Pull
- New Balance MX608V4
- Forefoot Cushion
- Propet Vista Strap
- Comfort Footbed
An optimal diabetic shoe also comes with more depth to accommodate custom orthotics. This feature makes all the difference between how the foot feels at the end of a long day. A diabetic person also has to be careful about the prevention of foot problems like calluses and blisters. If you are a diabetic patient and wearing the wrong pair of shoes, then it can lead to various types of walk related injuries too. Thankfully, many such diabetes-related foot problems and foot injuries can be avoided if you wear a good pair of diabetic shoes. To help you make the right selection, we have compiled a list of the ten best diabetic shoes available in the market.
10 Best Diabetic Shoes
1. Skechers Go Walk
These shoes are immensely flexible, which is good for accommodating the swollen foot of a diabetic person. The rubber sole offers three layers of protection to withstand any type of surface or weather.
The shoes feature a memory foam cushion that is a good shock absorber for a diabetic foot. This diabetic footwear also uses Resalyte cushioning in a slip on construction that makes the shoe even more comfortable.
Cost and Value
These mid-range diabetic shoes are reasonably priced for the multiple features that they offer. The GOimpulse sensors will give your foot responsive feedback and you can walk anywhere in these shoes.
- Rear heel pull
- Flex comfort outsole
- Lightweight Resalyte cushioning
- Memory foam cushion
- Sole Wears Quickly
2. New Balance MX608V34
This footwear is a versatile cross-trainer that is good for preventing a diabetic foot from swelling or feeling uncomfortable. The wearer can also participate in sports activities without having to worry about hurting their feet due to inadequate shoes.
The shoe has a dual-density collar that includes a firmer density foam for support as well as a softer density foam against the foot ideal for cushioning. All in all, the features make the shoe idea to rock from the ground up.
Cost and Value
New Balance MX608V4 is a mid-range pair of diabetic shoes that will help your feet from hurting or swelling. The cross trainers will help you manage high impact moves efficiently, without adversely affecting your feet. leading to pain. This is a good reason enough to buy this pair.
- Eazy Pull Loop
- Mesh Tongue
- ABZORB Cushion
- Exceptonally Comfortable
- Durability Issues
3. Propet Life Walker Strap
The perforated durable leather upper used in the shoe effectively helps in promoting air circulation. The shoe’s deep-cut grip rubber-treaded sole is effective in absorbing shock which ensures safety over multiple surfaces.
This sturdy shoe provides good cushioning and complete protection. The fully padded lining and footbed of the shoe will help you feel good with every step. The straps with hook-and-loop fastenings make it convenient to easily wear and remove the shoes.
Cost and Value
These mid-range pair of diabetic shoes are a good option due to the various features they provide to the wearer. The Propet Life Walker also scores high on durability that makes sure that you get what you shelled out money for.
- Helps Control Pronation
- Removable Insole
- Padded collar and tongue
- Dual heel counters
- Easy On Easy Off
- Heavier Than Others
4. New Balance MW928V2
It can be difficult to find shoes that fit your swollen feet due to limited width options. When you buy this shoe you will have an expansive choice of widths. This will allow a more customized fit and keep your feet feeling great no matter how much swelling you may encounter.
The thick rubber heel of the New Balance MW928V2 includes a patented Abzorb technology that gives up to 10 percent added cushioning. This technology also helps with shock absorption and distribution. You won't feel a thing while wearing these exceptionally comfortable shoes.
Cost and Value
The cost of these shoes could be reimbursed in many cases through Medicare. This makes the mid-range priced New Balance MW928V2 a good diabetic shoe to invest in if you are afflicted with diabetes-related problems.
- Leather Upper
- Comfort Tongue
- Compression Molded EVA
- Odor absorbing
- Seamless Liner
- Longer Break In Period
5. Propet TravelActive
This adorable little shoe consists of a rubber, sturdy sole, cushioned and plush for each step you take. Its perforated uppers are designed to help keep ventilation and breathability, so feet won’t swell from heat or activity standing or walking. An adjustable strappy and stretchy hook and loop closure allows for the perfect fit, important when dealing with diabetes and potential medical foot issues such as swelling.
Within the TravelActive Mary Jane is a removable footbed, so should you choose to have insoles or custom orthotics for individual support, it’s an easy exchange. The outsole is made to be lightweight and flexible, reducing foot fatigue during wear. And, with the number of color options available, you’re sure to find a favorite!
Cost and Value
Averagely priced for our top ten list, if you’re in search of a more stylishly designed pair of footwear, that can accommodate some more special requirements of those with diabetes and resulting edema, the Propet TravelActive Mary Jane is a great option to consider. It’s asymmetrical stretchy strap and colors make it cute and stylish, perfect for work or getting out on the town. Adjustability and breathable perforations help make this a smart choice if dealing with edema.
Good Work Shoe
Not for Athletics
6. Skechers Afterburn Strike
Edema can sometimes be an issue in lower extremities of those with Diabetes, and it helps to have footwear that can adjust to meet the fit of your feet on any given day. The Afterburn M. Fit Strike has a dual-strap Velcro, hook and loop closure, that allows you to manipulate the feel and fit of your sneakers. It’s and ideal method for keeping comfort when your feet have more swelling on some days that usual, and won’t prevent you from getting out there and doing your thing!
Along with the adjustable fit closure, the Afterburn M. Fit Strike has a lugged outsole, thick and cushioned for each step, and can be worn on the street, or on the trail. A padded tongue and collar allow for cushioning to prevent blistering, and its leather and textile uppers help maintain shoe shape and durability, as well as add breathability. With either white or black options to choose from, you’ll be able to pair with any workout attire, shorts, or jeans.
Cost and Value
Similarly priced to other Skechers footwear, the Afterburn M. Fit Strike is averagely priced, and won’t put a dent in your wallet. With removable memory foam footbed, shock absorbing midsole, and it’s plush adjustable comfort, you’ll rock the next workout you have with this pair of sneakers. Great for anyone looking for a pair of active footwear.
Adjustable Strap Closure
Shock Absorbing Midsole
7. Hush Puppies Gil
The use of Zero G Technology keeps this shoe lighter than most. It removes the heavy insoles that most shoes use. It also makes the outsole exceptionally lighter than most shoes in this category. Keep it light and keep yourself moving longer and easier when you try a pair of Hush Puppies Gil shoes.
The footbed of this shoe is made of EVA foam which is exceptionally comfortable and does a great job of absorbing shock. However, when you need to use your own orthotic insert you will be able to easily remove the manufacturer's insole and replace it with your own. In this shoe, it is very important considering it is a bit shorter than some others we have included.
Cost and Value
This shoe carries a slightly higher cost compared to others in our guide. With advanced features and a classy look, they are not unreasonable. Most people will be able to work them into their budget without much of a problem.
- Everyday Comfort
- Easy to Adjust
- Exceptionally Lightweight
- High Quality
- Good Support
- Stiff Upper
8. Rockport Eureka
We all know how important it is to keep your feet dry, especially when dealing with Diabetes. The mesh lining used in this shoe is excellent at wicking moisture away, allowing the foot to stay dry. In addition, a mesh is exceptionally breathable and lightweight. It will dry quickly and won't drag you down.
When your feet hurt or you have sustained some sort of injury a rubber outsole can make all the difference in the world. Keeping your feet firmly planted under you with great traction and grip can help you heal faster. It can also reduce the risk of falls and slips.
Cost and Value
The cost of this shoe falls about midway in our guide. Offering a great look and comfort for all, the Rockport Eureka is sure to please. Most people will be able to afford this shoe and we are sure you will be more than satisfied with the way they fit and feel while you are wearing them.
- Excellent for Walking
- Exceptionally Durable
- Casual Yet Classy
- Quality Stitching
- Room for Orthotics
- Sole Separation Issues
- Longer Break In Period
9. New Balance MW577
This shoe provides the winning combination of stability and comfort. They can be worn daily for long walks over various surfaces like mud, concrete, trails, grass and other uneven grounds.
No Break In Time
The leather used in the New Balance MW577 is quite soft. The inside of the shoe well padded so break-in time is almost non-existent. The footwear feels comfortable from the very first time you step into it.
Cost and Value
These shoes are ideally priced for the support, cushion, and flexibility that they offer. Consequently, your feet will be safe from the toll of diabetes’ adverse effects, making it a good pair to invest in.
- Walking Strike Path outsole
- ABZORB midsole cushioning
- Walk-specific comfort footbed
- Soft leather
- Can squeak
10. Propet Vista Strap
the Propet Vista Strap has a PU unit sole to help provide traction, cushion, and durability throughout the lifespan of the sneaker. A firm heel counter helps keep you stable with a removable footbed should you prefer custom orthotics or over the counter insoles. Full grain leather uppers combined with a mesh lining help keep a breathable element to the sneaker, so you can walk your way to a better you!
The Propet Vista Strap is approved by the AMPA, so you can rest assured you have the backing of podiatrists that recommend the support features and design of the Vista Strap. It’s also Medicare approved with an A5500 code, so should you need reimbursement, check that your health care can cover these for diabetes. Available in several neutral color choices, you are certain to find a pair that you can wear with your wardrobe!
Cost and Value
Pricing can vary slightly depending on the width you select, but for a sneaker which is AMPA approved, and Medicare A5500 coded, it’s a no-brainer if you are able to purchase and get reimbursed due to diabetes as a medical need. All the comfort and support you’d expect from Propet, in an easily adjustable sneaker that will help you get out, get active, and feel better!
Medicare A5500 Coded
Dual Strap Closure
While purchasing shoes meant specifically for diabetes, it is best to purchase footwear that has no inner seams. The presence of these can rub against swollen feet and cause a hot spot or blister. Therefore, before buying a pair, run your fingers around the interiors of the shoes to ensure that the lining is smooth. This can save you a lot of pain and other issues that commonly occur when dealing with diabetes.
Always keep in mind that slip-on shoes are not a good choice if you are suffering from diabetes. This is because your feet can swell over the course of the day as you stand on your feet, consequently, slip-on shoes could cut off the circulation to your feet or chafe them. Usually, shoes that are lace-ups or have velcro fasteners make the best diabetic shoes.
A good diabetic shoe is one where the insoles can be removed, giving the wearer a choice to easily replace it with an orthotic insole, in case your doctor has prescribed special ones. Also, do remember to keep the correct measurements of your feet in mind to get a shoe that fits perfectly. It is imperative to measure your feet in the afternoon, instead of the morning, as the diabetic feet tend to swell up by afternoon – as a result, you will be able to know and buy the correct sized shoes for your feet.
Criteria for Evaluating the Best Diabetic Shoes
The number one factor that we have kept in mind for evaluating the shoes on the list is the comfort. Comfort is an important factor that is a prerequisite for any kind of shoe; however, for diabetic shoes, this feature becomes even more important. The ideal pair of shoes for a person afflicted with diabetes should be able to cater to various needs, including skin sensitivity and numb toes.
It is normal to take three or four times wearing a shoe to break it in and even a slightly tight shoe stretches gradually over time. However, a diabetic patient cannot always afford to indulge in the luxury of breaking in their shoes. This is because their feet lack the sensitivity to understand that their footwear is too tight until blisters gradually appear. Therefore, a good pair of diabetic shoes is one that gives the foot comfort and ample room for movement, right from the beginning. The sizing, material, and design of the shoe also add to its comfort level. It is important to note that if your shoes are just slightly too tight there are some great shoe stretchers on the market that may give you the added space you need.
A comfortable pair of shoes meant for diabetic feet is also one that has an overall good fit. The shoe should not be too large as then your feet will not be able to keep their balance, nor should the shoe be so closely fit that there is no room to wiggle your toes or facilitate natural movement.
AirFlow / Temperature Regulation
The material of a diabetic shoe can make or break the pair in being listed as an appropriate shoe. Shoes that are too hot can cause extra moisture. This can lead to skin breakdown and major trouble if you are suffering from diabetes. Let’s take a look at the best material for this type of shoe:
- Flexible Soft Mesh
- Perforated Leather
- Soft Synthetic Leather
- Textiles with some stretch
Keep in mind heavy shoes add heat so Boots can be a problem. You want to make sure the shoe is comfortable, flexible, and offer some sort of added breathability systems. Keeping your feet cool and dry is essential to anyone when it comes to overall foot health. Dry feet are less susceptible to blisters, sores from raw rubbed areas, and fungal or bacterial growth. When you have diabetes that becomes one of the key factors to keeping your feet in optimal condition.
Shoes crafted from a hard material such as plastic do not let the foot breathe and can gradually make the foot susceptible to injuries. Shoes made from cheap and hard materials can cause the skin of the foot to blister or chafe. Good diabetic shoes, like the ones we have named, will not give you these problems.
A good pair of diabetic shoes is recognized for its ability to accommodate orthotics or insoles. This is because many people with medical conditions may have their own personalized orthotics, consequently finding the insoles that come with certain shoes uncomfortable.
This is specifically important if a person wears custom-made or doctor recommended orthotics based on their sensitivity level and made after a detailed foot and ankle evaluation. Some of these insoles can also have ergonomic or gel ridges to facilitate natural movements and motion. Orthotics also help in stabilizing the foot and controlling the joints’ motion to cater to a lack of feeling due to numbness of the toes or feet. Therefore, any shoe you pick should be able to adapt to your orthotics.
- Extra Depth
The depth of shoes also plays a major role in ranking it as a suitable pair of footwear for people with diabetes. The ideal diabetic shoes should have a depth that is 1/4 to 1/2 inch more than regular shoes. The additional space is crucial for accommodating foot changes like hammer toes and calluses. Furthermore, shoes with more depth are also good for easily accommodating inserts and orthotics. In addition to all of this, a deeper shoe also offers more stability. In case, you are confused about the exact depth suitable for your feet, do consult your doctor.
Stability and Toe Box
If you have diabetes then you need shoes that help you keep stable when on your feet by giving sufficient support. Shoes that provide more stability will keep you safe, which is extremely important to a diabetic person’s injuries take more time to heal, or in some cases do not heal that well. A good stable diabetic shoe has a supportive upper portion and a well-cushioned heel. In addition, the medial post of the shoe can prevent an excess of outward and inward motions. Knowing your feet and your problem areas are key to making sure you buy shoes with the correct support. You may overpronate, which means the ankle rolls inward and the arch flattens, this will require some arch support when looking at stability. Different foot issues require different attention for support, diabetic shoes are made to support your feet. If you suffer from ankle issues you may want to look at a shoe that offers a higher top for added support.
- Toe Box
No matter your situation allowing your toes to move in your shoes is very important. Our toes naturally splay and grip to help with balance and maneuvering while walking. When you are diabetic allowing your toes to move becomes even more critical. Squished toes can lead to ingrown toenails, infection, blisters, and painful areas that may open and become a serious problem. If you wear a normal width, it may be advantageous to purchase your shoes in a wide width to add room in the toe box. You need to be careful because you don’t want to sacrifice the fit of the shoe.
Adjustability and Outsole
When looking for the perfect pair of shoes when you have Diabetes can be frustrating. There are so many factors to consider, and adjustability is one that is necessary. The type of closure plays a large role in adjustability. Here are the best types to look for.
- Long Strap and Buckle
- Stretch Laces
- Velcro Straps
When your feet start to swell it can happen very quickly. Having the ability to adjust the fit of your shoe in a hurry can be important. Pressure points can become a problem and anyone that has dealt with this in the past will agree. Changing the fit of your shoe as soon as you feel any swelling start is imperative.
A shoe meant for a diabetic person should be able to save their foot from getting hurt due to the impact caused by hard foot-to-ground strikes. Therefore, a favorable feature of diabetic shoes is an outsole that absorbs shock easily and effectively.
Some of the outsoles that shoe manufacturers use can be very hard and not disperse the shock that your feet make very well. Most Diabetic shoes take shock into consideration. It is important to note that the insole of your shoe also plays a role in shock absorption. If you are using a custom insert this won’t play a role, however, if using the manufacturer’s insert you want something made of EVA foam. There are many materials that absorb shock quite well, you want to look for the following as they are the best in shock absorption.
- Blown Rubber
- Thermo Plastic Rubber
- Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA)
All shoes have seams because all shoes are made by joining various parts together. However, some seams are smooth and cannot be felt whereas others are not and may feel rough against the skin – it all depends on how the shoe was constructed. Diabetic people should wear footwear where the seams cannot be felt while wearing the shoe. Before buying a shoe, reading over some reviews can give you valuable insight into how the seams feel and if they will be a problem.
We have kept such factors in mind while choosing the best diabetic shoes for you. Do keep in mind that if you buy shoes where the seams rub against your foot, then there will be more chances of blisters developing on them. This can not only cause you pain but also impact your total strolling posture – and you don’t want that.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need a special shoe prescription from a doctor to buy appropriate diabetic shoes?
A: In most cases, a prescription is not required to buy diabetics shoes as they are usually worn as a remedy or a protective measure by a person who already knows about their medical condition. Diabetic people usually purchase suitable shoes to prevent associated risks and symptoms. All you have to do before purchasing such shoes is to consider the basic factors related to the specific problems that you are facing. However, having said that, if your doctor prescribes a specific pair of shoes for therapeutic purposes for diabetes then it is possible you will need a prescription.
Q: Can I add my own orthotics or insoles in a newly purchased diabetic shoe?
A: When you are buying a diabetic shoe you most certainly want to purchase one that will allow you to use your orthotics. Many shoe manufacturers use a removable insole which allows you to easily place your insert into the shoe. Others allow a deeper space, thus allowing you to put your insert on top of theirs. A great way to know if there will be room for them or if the insole is removable is to read over reviews. A little extra research can mean the difference in healthy happy feet and the exact opposite.
Q: What is the correct way to measure my feet to buy the right diabetic shoes?
A: This is a fantastic question. You want to avoid measuring your feet in the morning. At this time your feet are at their least swollen and if you use that measurement your shoes may end up too tight as the day goes on. Measuring your feet in the evening, when they tend to be the most swollen, will give you an accurate size ensuring your shoes fit great all day long.
Q: When should I replace diabetic-friendly shoes?
A: Diabetic shoes should be replaced when the mid-portion of the shoes wears down, the inner lining tears, the heel begins to collapse on one side or both, or when the heel wears down. If you notice any discomfort from your shoes or certain areas rubbing this may be a good indication that it is time for a new pair. Replacing your shoes often can help combat symptoms and problems associated with Diabetes.
Q: Are all good diabetic shoes made from leather?
A: Although many types of good diabetic shoes are made from leather, this does not mean they are the only perfect material suitable for diabetic feet. Any material that will offer you breathability and flexibility will work well. In addition, you want something that offers support and stability, there are many materials that will meet the specified criteria.
Q: Do all diabetic shoes look plain and dull?
A: Diabetic shoes are often equated with plain and dull shoes that look more suited for the interiors of a hospital. However, this is a misconception and you can’t be further than the truth if this is your belief too. There are many types of designs available in diabetic-friendly shoes, a lot of which look smart, formal, suitable for work or dressy. In fact, our list of best diabetic shoes features footwear that is pleasing to the eye, apart from being therapeutically beneficial and effective.
Q: How often should I wear diabetic shoes?
A: If you are afflicted with diabetes then it advisable to wear diabetic shoes at all times to protect your feet in the best manner possible. Shoes that don’t offer correct support and structure will lead to skin break down. Wearing flip flops or restrictive shoes can cause skin breakdown, this will not only be painful but may lead to serious issues for a person suffering from Diabetes.
Q: What type of footwear should I avoid as a diabetic person?
A: You should take care to avoid shoes with open toes like Flip-flops, thong sandals, strappy floaters. They expose your feet to the risk of injury due to inadequate cover or protections. Pointed toe shoes are another type to avoid as they can restrict circulation and aggravate diabetic–related problems in your feet. Also, remember to steer clear of heels and under no circumstance should you wear ill-fitting shoes or shoes without adequate arch support – the latter can adversely impact the tissue in your foot.
- Find the Right Shoes for Diabetes, ,
- The Best Shoes for People with Diabetes, ,
- The Best Walking Shoes for Diabetics, ,
- Do I Need Diabetic Shoes?, ,
- Best Diabetic Shoes for Men in 2017 Tested and Reviewed-Buyer’s Guide, ,
- Footwear for People with Diabetes, ,
- Diabetes Footwear: Tips for Buying Shoes, ,
- Why Wear Special Shoes for Diabetes?, ,
- Diabetic Shoes, ,
- Diabetic Shoes, ,