How to Choose Shoes for Diabetic Feet

There are many foot problems associated with long-term or poorly controlled diabetes, such poor peripheral circulation, poor foot sensation and structural changes such as claw toes. It is crucial to look after your feet to prevent any further complications. There are many features to look for in a shoe that will prevent the shoe from causing more problems and to actually aid the health of a diabetic foot. How to choose a shoe for a diabetic foot is explained below.



Things You'll Need:

  • Podiatrist
  • Specialist shoe store
  1.  1

Have both feet measured. Always buy shoes to fit the larger or wider foot. One foot may be larger than the other at the end of the day due to poor circulation, so always shop for shoes at the end of the day when your feet will be at their largest.

  1.  2

Find a shoe with a lace or a strap. A lace or a strap also holds your foot in place so that it does not slip forwards in the shoe and is well supported. Tie them tightly or fasten the strap firmly. You may find it easier to use a Velcro strap if you have difficulties reaching your feet.

  1.  3

Avoid shoes with stitching or seams in the shoe. This will only add pressure to your susceptible feet and can cause corns, calluses or blisters. You should use your hand to feel the inside of your shoe, or have someone do this for you if you have poor sensation in your fingers.

  1. 4

Look for elastic uppers for the front area of the shoe. Elastic can stretch and will accommodate any toe deformities that are often associated with long-term diabetes.

  1. 5

Choose a shoe that is firm and supportive. You should squeeze the heel of the shoe and make sure it does not compress too easily and bend the shoe at the ball area to make sure it is not too flexible. Your podiatrist will be able to give you detailed footwear advice.

  1. 6

Visit a specialist shoe store that stocks wider and deeper fitting shoes especially for diabetic feet. Take your orthotic with you to make sure you achieve the perfect fit while wearing the orthotic. Otherwise, when you later place the orthotic in the shoe, the shoe will be too tight.

  1. 7

Always take your new shoes to your podiatrist to be sure that they fit correctly. They may be able to adjust them slightly by placing padding in the shoe or arranging for the shoes to be adjusted by a prosthetics or orthotics. They may refer you to a shoe maker to have a pair of shoes made specifically to your measurements.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear the shoes around at home before wearing them outside so that you can return them to the store if they are not comfortable or if you see any signs of irritation to the foot such as redness. Have someone else check your feet if you are unable to see them.
  • Never squeeze your foot into a shoe and hope that it will stretch and eventually fit well.
  • Always take your orthotics with you when buying new shoes. Your podiatrist would have prescribed them for you if they felt it was necessary in you particular case. You should be under the care of a podiatrist if you have diabetes


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