10 Best Diabetic Shoes Reviewed

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 for 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 receives 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.

Best Diabetic Shoes-Shoes for people who have diabetes

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. These are available in various types – such as diabetic dress shoes, work shoes or walking 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.

Last Updated: June 21, 2017
By Daniel Gonzalez:

The latest update includes a revised list of the top 10 shoes for diabetics. This list features shoes from brands such as Skechers, New Balance, Propet and Orthofeet (who are all know to provide the most comfortable, cushioned & specialized shoes around). We’ve also included the criteria we used to evaluate the best diabetic shoes, and some of the most frequently asked questions about the subject.

Featured Recommendations

Skechers Performance Go Walk
  • Skechers Performance Go Walk
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Rear Heel Pull
  • Price: See Here
New Balance MX608V3
  • New Balance MX608V3
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Forefoot Cushion
  • Price: See Here
New Balance MW577
  • New Balance MW577
  • 4.2 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Comfort Footbed
  • Price: See Here

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 Performance Go Walk

The Skechers Performance Go Walk is the ultimate in performance and comfort for people with diabetes. The shoe provides a natural stride that actually responds and interacts aptly to a myriad type of surfaces. Your foot will be saved from getting stressed by uneven grounds in this ideal diabetic shoe. The 1.5 inch high heel and rubber sole keeps the foot nicely protected.
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Performance/Use
These shoes are immensely flexible, which is good for accommodating the swollen foot of a diabetic person. The rubber sole offers three layers of protections to withstand any type of surface or weather.

Comfort/Cushioning
The shoes features 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/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.
Pros

Rear heel pull

Flex comfort outsole

Lightweight Resalyte cushioning

Memory foam cushion

Cons

Sole can wear away fast

2. New Balance MX608V3

This flexible pair of shoes can rise to any occasion, making it a suitable diabetic shoe. The dynamic MX608V3 cross-trainer from New Balance provides the performance and versatility a diabetic foot requires. This footwear comes with a shock minimizing absorb heel that protects the foot from hard impacts on striking the ground. The non-marking outsole and flexible midsole add to the benefits one can get from the shoe.
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Performance/Use
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.

Comfort/Cushioning
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 makes the shoe idea to rock from the ground up.

Cost/Value
New Balance MX608V3 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.
Pros

Pull-loop at heel and mesh tongue

ABZORB heel and forefoot cushion

Dual-density cushioned tongue and collar

Cross-training shoe

Cons

Can be low on durability

3. New Balance MW577

The New Balance MW577 has a synthetic support overlay and leather layer that adds comfort while walking, making it a good diabetic shoe in general. This footwear has reflective detailing that helps in enhancing visibility that makes it ideal for evening and night wear. The rubber outsole of the shoe gives it a long life that makes it good for even the roughest use.
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Performance/Use
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.

Comfort/Cushioning
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/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.
Pros

Walking Strike Path outsole

ABZORB midsole cushioning

Walk-specific comfort footbed

Soft leather

Cons

Can squeak

4. Propet Life Walker Strap

4. Propet Life Walker Strap
The Propet Life Walker is the perfect solution for people afflicted with diabetes.This footwear is Medicare approved and good for wide feet as well. These shoes are also ideal for providing excellent support to the ankles. The Rocker feature helps in propelling the wearer forward without the tension of getting foot stress. The midsole of the shoes provides extra arch support.
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Performance/Use
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.

Comfort/Cushioning
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/Value
These mid-ranged 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.
Pros

Arch-Bridge helps control pronation

Removable cushioned orthotic

Padded collar and tongue

Dual heel counters

Cons

Shoe is medium weight

5. Propet Stability Walker

5. Propet Stability Walker
The Propet Stability Walker is one of the most sought after diabetic shoes, which is specially designed with a wider forefoot and heel base to accommodate swelling and provide extra stability. This footwear is a soft leather and lightweight sneaker that will hug your feet with perfection. The shoe features a multi-directional tread that gives ideal traction on multiple surfaces.
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Performance/Use
This is a good walking shoe for diabetic people, which can be worn for both play and work. The sneakers are available in sizes that range from extra wide to narrow, as a result most fits are available.

Comfort/Cushioning
The padded collar and tongue of the sneaker offer optimum ankle support. The shoe features a pu insole with a heel pad and cushioning ridges that lend maximum comfort to the wearer.

Cost/Value
Propet Stability Walker is priced reasonably in comparison to the features that they come with. This pair of shoe will not disappoint and offer good value for the bucks that you will spend on them.
Pros

Heel counter and extra arch support

Multiple groove grip traction sole

Reflective strips for more safety during early or late walking needs

Removable insole

Cons

Wearer has to choose size carefully

6. New Balance MW928V2

6. New Balance MW928V2
The New Balance MW928V2 with its Roller and Walking Strike Path tech is a good diabetic shoe that will aid in propelling you forward with each step. The inside arch support of the shoe will also help with any other or ongoing non-diabetic-related foot problems that you have. This pair of footwear fits well and will help in providing diabetic pain relief. The shoe also comes with a seamless liner that absorbs odor.
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Performance/Use
The New Balance MW928V2 health walking shoes are a good buy for people with diabetes. These shoes are available in both men’s and women’s models and the sizes include wide and extra wide.

Comfort/Cushioning
The thick rubber heel of the New Balance MW928V2 includes a patented Abzorb technology that gives up to 10 percent added cushioning. The comfort collar foam feature adds to the feel good factor on wearing these shoes.

Cost/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.
Pros

The shoe features a full grain leather upper

A comfort tongue is present

Includes Compression Molded EVA

Odor absorbing seamless liner

Cons

These shoes are not feather-light shoes, hence can take some time to get used to it

7. Propet Mary Jane

7. Propet Mary Jane
The Propet Mary Jane is a pair of an orthopedic and diabetic approved dress shoes. They make for a good footwear option when you have to go out for a formal occasion or party. These shoes come with removable insoles that can be replaced with podiatrist prescription insoles. These dress shoes also come in different wide sizes to accommodate all types of foot swelling.
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Performance/Use
These classic pairs of shoes feature an upper created with soft grain leather that imparts a smooth yet smart look. The shoe also provides additional volume fitting. The heel counter of the shoe is extended to give you ample support all day long.

Comfort/Cushioning
These shoes have a padded lining and footbed that will keep the wearer absolutely comfortable with each step that you take. The closure of these shoes has a hook-and-loop system that gives this feminine footwear an adjustable fit. The Propet Mary Jane comes with a rubber sole that adds total traction for getting a strong yet flexible grip on every type of surface.

Cost/Value
The Propet Mary Jane is listed among the best diabetic shoes; however, this does not mean they are sky-high in price. These shoes fall in the mid-range bracket and buying them will give you more than the value for the money spent.
Pros

Features padded collar, arch support, and  adjustable hook-and-loop strap

Shoe has Polyurethane unit sole for durability and shock absorption

Internal heel counter provides added support

Feminine look

Cons

Can feel a bit heavy

8. New Balance MW840

8. New Balance MW840
The New Balance MW840 may look like the quintessential pair of athletic shoes; however, these sneakers have many great features that make them absolutely suited for those with diabetes. The upper of these shoes is made is made from synthetic material that features mesh material and perforations for air circulation. Swollen foot, which generally accompanies diabetes, can be nicely accommodated in the wider forefoot area of the shoe.
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Performance/Use
These sneakers are the best bet if your feet has a more than normal tendency to swell, even if you stand for just a few hours. This pair of shoes also has ample room for orthotics.

Comfort/Cushioning
The New Balance MW840 has been created specifically to give a higher instep with the rubber sole shape. This also provides more support and helps prevent too much pressure on the feet.

Cost/Value
These mid-range sneakers are a steal for the flexibility and comfort they give to the wearer. The appearance of the trainers, which will add to the overall style of your ensemble, is an added bonus.
Pros

The outsole sole is created with blown rubber

Ndurance traction

Midsole cushioning has impact-absorbing ABZORB technology

Shoe has mesh collar/tongue

Cons

Can wear out quickly

9. Dr. Comfort Carter

9. Dr. Comfort Carter
The Dr. Comfort Carter is a stretchable diabetic shoe made with Lycra, which has been created specifically to fit swollen feet. This footwear has a soft fabric lining to prevent chafing. The shoe also features supportive inserts that add extra cushioning to the shoe to protect the feet from the stress of hard impacts on the ground. The entire shoe, along with its insert, can be machine washed without any change in its shape or features.
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Performance/Use
This is a lightweight pair of diabetic shoes that provides heavy protection to vulnerable feet. These shoes have double the depth of normal shoes which ensures stability to a diabetic person’s feet.

Comfort/Cushioning
The Velcro closure gives added flexibility to the wearer and also accommodates foot deformities such as hammertoes or bunions. The shoe also comes with two different pairs of insoles and a shoehorn with every purchase, which allows the wearer to adjust the shoes for optimal comfort.

Cost/Value
These shoes are priced slightly on the higher side; however, do not let the cost deter you from buying them. The Dr. Comfort Carter has many beneficial features that make them a great diabetic shoe.
Pros

Upper has seamless and padded Lining

Can accommodate internal braces

Lightweight washable casual shoe

Includes Dr. Comfort Washable Insert

Cons

Not padded on the inside

10. Orthofeet Avery Island

10. Orthofeet Avery Island
The Orthofeet Avery Island has been crafted specifically for people with diabetes. The arch support of this footwear is meant to minimize back, leg and foot pain. People who have a problem standing on concrete all day long will benefit greatly from these shoes. Moreover, unlike other many other types of orthopedic shoes that have a tendency to squeak on polished floors, the Orthofeet Avery Island will stay quiet on any type of surface.
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Performance/Use
These shoes have a sturdy rubber sole that provides adequate traction and support. The padded interior and linings of the shoe are apt for sensitive diabetic feet. This footwear also comes with extra width and depth that allow the toes more space to move around freely.

Comfort/Cushioning
These shoes come with soft interior cushions that actually provide the most comfortable sensation of standing on pillows to the wearer. The shoe features gel padded heel-sea forms that give the perfect cushioning to the foot’s contours.

Cost/Value
These shoes are priced in the higher range, and it is not surprising due to the plethora of unique features that the shoes come with. Buying this footwear is an investment that you will not be complaining about.
Pros

Shoe includes Ergonomic-Stride(TM) design facilitates foot motion and enhances stability

Non-Binding, Extra Depth Design

Soft and seam-free interior lining

Lightweight sole with air cushioning softens step

Cons

Can feel a bit big if sizing is not chosen carefully

 

How to Choose Shoes for Diabetics 

While purchasing shoes meant specifically for diabetes, do ensure that the footwear 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.

Best Diabetic Shoes-on grass-diabetes

Always keep in mind that slip-ons 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 Evaluation

 

Comfort

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.

Best Diabetic Shoes-swollen feet

It is normal to take three or four wears to break into a new shoe, and even a slightly tight shoe stretches over gradually. However, a diabetic patient cannot afford to indulge in the luxury of breaking in their shoes. This is because their feet lacks 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. In addition, diabetic shoes also have adequate foaming and padding around the edges to keep your foot safe from rubbing.

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. MedlinePlus recommends shoes made out of suede, canvas or leather for people with diabetes. These materials add breathability and flexibility to the shoe, making it comfortable and appropriate as diabetic footwear.

Best Diabetic Shoes-airflow-tempurature-regulation-breathability

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.

 

Accommodates Orthotics/Insoles/Inserts

A good pair of diabetic shoes is recognized by its ability to accommodate orthotics or insoles. This is because many people with medical conditions may have their own personalized orthotics, consequently finding the orthotics that come with certain shoes uncomfortable.

Best Diabetic Shoes-orthotics

This is specifically important if a person wears custom-made or doctor recommended orthotics based on their feet’s 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

Best Diabetic Shoes-stability and support

If you have diabetes then you need shoes that help you keep stable on your feet by giving sufficient support. Shoes that provide more stability will keep you safe, which is extremely important as 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.

 

Toe Room

Your diabetic shoes should have adequate space to spread and move around your toes more freely. This will help in keeping your toes from rubbing, and in the process developing sores.

 

Easily Adjustable

An ideal pair of shoes for diabetes should be adjustable so that the requirement for special padding or a swelling foot can be easily accommodated. Good diabetic shoes are those that have buckles and laces that can be loosened with ease, without having to spend too much effort or time on them. In fact, some of the best diabetic shoes come with velcro straps that are easy to open and fasten, while at the same time provide flexibility and can be easily adjusted. Do remember to stay away from shoes featuring high heels or flip flops, thong sandals and other open-toed designs. They do not provide adequate protection indoor or outdoor and can make your foot more at risk to injuries.

 

Shock Absorbing Outsole

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.

Best Diabetic Shoes-shock absorption

Here, it should be mentioned that rubber soles are usually the most suitable for absorbing shocks. Some of the best diabetic shoes, like the ones mentioned in our top ten list, also include myriad technology molded into the sole that helps them in performing optimally. Diabetic shoes also provide good traction and cushioning.

 

Smooth Seams

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 on wearing the shoe. Before buying a shoe, always ensure that it has smooth seams by placing your finger in the interior of the shoes and feeling around. We have already 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 walking posture – and you don’t want that.

 

FAQs

Q: Where can I buy good diabetic shoes? 

A: Most general shoe stores cater to the special needs of customers and therefore sell diabetic-friendly shoes. Apart from this, wellness stores and online shops also provide many options when it comes to picking up a good diabetic shoe. Amazon is a good store online where you will find a nicely sorted and myriad variety of diabetic shoes.

 

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 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 Medicare can cover their cost – but you need to know about the coverage clauses from your insurance provider first.

Also, if you are not too convinced about buying shoes without prescription, then consult your podiatrist, endocrinologist or primary care doctor to understand if there are special considerations that you as an individual should be careful about.

 

Q: Can I add my own orthotics or insoles in a newly purchased diabetic shoe?

A: This varies from shoe to shoe. Some diabetic shoes have space to insert your own orthotics and insoles, whereas others do not. Therefore, while buying ensure that you buy a pair that caters to your needs regarding inserts.

 

Q: What is the correct way to measure my feet to buy the right diabetic shoes?

A: Always measure your feet after they have swollen to get the right size. Measuring your feet during the second part of the day will help you choose a shoe with the apt fit.

 

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.

 

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. Suede and canvas materials also make ideal diabetic shoes.

 

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.

 

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 at no circumstance should you wear ill-fitting shoes or shoes without adequate arch support – the latter can adversely impact the tissue in your foot.

 

Q: Can I never wear heels as a diabetic person?

A: If you must wear heels then choose shoes that have heels below 2 inches. It will not be prudent to wear higher heels.

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