Are you tired of uncomfortable shoes exacerbating the pain and discomfort of diabetic neuropathy? If so, you've come to the right place. In this article, we will dive into the world of the best shoes for diabetics, exploring the most innovative and comfortable options on the market. From New Balance's Made in USA 990v5 to the Altra Footwear Escalante 2.5, we've compiled a comprehensive review and buying guide to help you find the perfect fit. So, lace up your shoes, kick back, and let's discover the footwear that will keep you walking comfortably all day long.
Review of Shoes for Diabetic Neuropathy
Finding the right shoe for diabetic neuropathy is crucial. It should have the perfect combination of cushioning and support, enough room for the toes, and breathable antimicrobial fabric.
Here are our top choices for both men and women.
Best Men's Shoes for Diabetic Neuropathy
Orthofeet Edgewater Stretch is a great option for men. These shoes have Orthotic insoles that provide excellent support and cushioning for the feet while walking. They also feature cushioned foam layers, arch support, and heel padding for extra safety and comfort. The spacious toe box allows for free movement of the feet, while the stretchy uppers prevent friction injuries. The anti-odor foam and fabric insole keep the feet healthy by preventing bacteria buildup.
- Removable insoles: Can be replaced with preferred insoles
- Anti-odor foam and fabric: Keeps feet healthy and dry
- Cushioning foam insole: Adds support and relieves pressure
- Available in various width options: Suitable for different sizes and those needing extra room
- Outsole may not have enough traction in wet conditions
You can buy these shoes on the Orthofeet website.
Apex Lace Walking Shoe is another excellent choice. These walking shoes are designed to relieve pressure and pain in the feet, allowing for a more comfortable walking experience. The firm heel collar provides stability, making them ideal for those with balance-related neuropathy symptoms. The leather and open-air mesh uppers keep the feet dry and healthy, while the two removable layers allow for customization of the shoe's depth. The durable rubber outsole supports the feet and absorbs impact from walking.
- Extra-depth: Provides room for comfortable movement of the toes and feet
- Shock-absorbing outsole: Minimizes additional foot pain from walking
- Antimicrobial mesh lining: Keeps diabetic feet healthy and prevents bacteria growth
- Mix of leather and mesh materials may be harder to clean
You can purchase these shoes on the Apex website.
Skechers GO Walk Evolution Ultra-Impeccable Sneaker is a slip-on sneaker that provides ample cushioning features for individuals with neuropathy-related foot pain. It features Ultra Go technology in the midsole for an extra spring in your step and a Goga Mat insole for a customized fit. The soft canvas upper is breathable and lightweight, keeping the feet healthy and dry. The rubber outsole with Skechers Ultra pillars provides support and cushioning with each step.
- Durable rubber outsole: Protects against impact
- Slip-on design: Easy to wear and remove
- Soft canvas upper: Breathable and comfortable
- Slip-on design may not offer as much support as lace-up or hook-and-loop closure styles
You can buy these sneakers on Amazon.
Best Women's Shoes for Diabetic Neuropathy
Orthofeet Francis No-Tie Neuropathy Shoes are highly recommended for women. These shoes offer incredible relief from neuropathy pain. They come with removable orthotic insoles and anatomical arch support, which help realign the foot and improve posture. The wide toe box and padded fabric interior eliminate irritation and provide excellent protection. With three width sizes and five color options, these shoes are perfect for women experiencing foot sensitivity.
- Premium orthotic insoles: Provides great support
- Wide toe-box: Alleviates pressure on swollen feet
- Bungee lace closure: Easy to wear and remove
- Bungee closure design may not offer as much support as lace-up options
You can purchase these shoes on the Orthofeet website.
Orthofeet Joelle Sneaker is a lightweight option for women. Despite being lightweight, it still offers advanced neuropathy support like its heavier counterparts. It features a hook and loop strap with an elastic cord for easy wearing and removal.
- Lightweight: Ideal for an active lifestyle
- Sporty: Suitable for various activities
- Not suitable for rainy or snowy conditions
You can buy these sneakers on the Orthofeet website.
Propet Women's Olivia Walking Shoe is a fantastic choice for women with swollen feet or those needing extra width. Propet offers these shoes in four different width sizes to ensure a perfect fit. The dual-layer insoles provide excellent support and can be removed for more breathing room or to accommodate orthotic inserts. The upper leather materials conform to the feet's contours, making them ideal for diabetes patients prone to sores, corns, or bunions. The slip-on design and adjustable straps provide convenience, support, and security.
- Stretchy leather upper: Prevents friction injuries
- Removable dual-layer insoles: Provides depth and accommodates orthotic insoles
- Slip-on design with adjustable straps: Offers convenience and extra support
- Four width sizes: Prevents feet from feeling constricted
- Distinct visual design that may not appeal to everyone
You can purchase these shoes on Amazon.
If none of the above shoes are perfect for your needs, I highly recommend visiting the Orthofeet neuropathy shoe store for a wide selection of options.
Guide to Buying Shoes for Diabetic Neuropathy
Wearing the right shoes is crucial for individuals living with diabetic neuropathy. Here are some important factors to consider when purchasing your next pair of shoes.
Find the right shoe size
A study conducted by the University of Dundee found that six out of ten people with diabetes wear the wrong shoe size. It is important to wear properly fitting shoes that match the shape of your feet. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause the feet to slide, resulting in calluses, blisters, and sores, which can be dangerous for individuals with diabetes. Neuropathy symptoms can mask pain from tight-fitting shoes, leading to cuts and injuries that may become infected. It is recommended to have your feet measured at a shoe store to ensure the best fit.
Features to look for in diabetic shoes
After determining the correct shoe size, here are some features to look for when shopping for diabetic shoes.
Cushioning and support: Diabetic shoes should provide excellent support and cushioning for the feet. Look for shoes with arch and heel support, as well as cushioning around the balls of the feet. The tops of the shoes should have softer fabric to prevent cuts and irritation. Avoid very elastic or rigid shoes, as they may not be comfortable and can cause sores and blisters.
Toe box depth: Extra-depth shoes, with a deeper toe box, provide additional room for toes and feet, especially when they experience extra pressure or swelling throughout the day. These shoes should not be restrictive but should allow for proper airflow. Extra-depth shoes also accommodate orthotic inserts if needed.
Closed toe full coverage: While there are diabetic sandals available, it is generally advised for individuals with diabetes to opt for closed-toe options. Closed-toe shoes offer better protection against injuries and damage. They should cover the feet well without being tight or constricting to avoid rubbing and the development of calluses and sores. Open-toe shoes increase the risk of cuts and injuries.
Orthopedic shoes: Orthopedic shoes are designed for individuals with foot problems, including those related to diabetes. These shoes have features such as a strong outsole and midsole, a sturdy heel counter, multiple width options, and removable liners for custom orthotic inserts. Orthotics, which are shoe inserts designed for comfort and pressure relief, can also be purchased separately.
Types of shoes to avoid
Here are some types of shoes that individuals with diabetes should avoid:
- Shoes with pointed toes, as they can affect circulation and irritate the toes.
- Shoes without sufficient arch support, as they can lead to tissue deterioration.
- Poorly fitting shoes, as they can cause foot injuries.
- High heels higher than two inches, as they can cause foot issues and injuries.
Avoid wearing open-toe shoe designs like sandals or flip-flops, as the straps can add extra pressure on the feet, leading to blisters and calluses. Open-toe shoes also increase the risk of cuts and injuries from small stones and debris. It is advisable to have at least two pairs of shoes designed for individuals with diabetes to allow for airing out and drying when not in use. Breaking in uncomfortable shoes is not recommended, especially for those with diabetes. Shoes should be comfortable from the first time they are tried on. If red or sore areas appear after wearing new shoes, they should not be worn again.
Avoid going barefoot
After finding properly fitting and comfortable shoes, it is important to wear them consistently. Never go barefoot, even at home. Neuropathy symptoms can cause individuals to step on small objects without feeling pain, increasing the risk of foot injuries. Even small cuts can lead to serious infections for individuals with diabetes. Wearing slippers or shoes indoors, even for quick trips to the bathroom at night, is highly recommended.
What to Look for in Shoes for Diabetes
When shopping for shoes that can help alleviate the symptoms of diabetes, there are a few key features to keep in mind.
Comfort is always important when choosing shoes, but it becomes even more crucial for individuals with diabetes.
Dr. Robinson advises that softness is essential to prevent ulcerations on the top of the foot. The shoes should be able to rest gently on the foot without causing any damage.
Shoe depth is another important factor, as it prevents rubbing on the toes and other parts of the foot. According to Dr. Hanft, having extra depth in the toe box and upper space of the shoe can promote foot health.
Many individuals with diabetes have structural issues like calluses, in addition to peripheral neuropathy. It is crucial to have proper support in the shoe to prevent injuries caused by instability. Dr. Robinson emphasizes the importance of support, especially because individuals with diabetes may not feel injuries in their feet.
Dr. Robinson cautions against rigid or tight shoes, as they can cause injuries and ulcerations on the top of the foot. It is recommended to choose shoes with a wide and high toe box to provide enough room for the toes.
Shop More of Our Picks for Great Shoes
by Sara Coughlin by Jenn Sinrich by Kayla Hui by Jenn Sinrich
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.
New Balance Made in USA 990v5
Best Shoes for Diabetics with Neuropathy
Individuals with diabetes and neuropathy are particularly prone to experiencing numbness in their feet. Therefore, it is essential to choose shoes that provide a roomy fit to prevent harmful rubbing and chafing that may go unnoticed. Dr. Rushton recommends New Balance as they make excellent diabetic shoes that are covered by Medicare. The New Balance Made in USA 990v5 features an Ortholite insert and a firm-yet-supportive midsole. Its wide toe box is ideal for individuals with neuropathic diabetics.
Altra Footwear Escalante 2.5
Dr. Rushton recommends Altra shoes for diabetics because of their wide toe boxes that prevent rubbing and thick soles. The Escalante 2.5 is highly rated and offers neutral support, making it suitable for both physical exercise and daily activities.
Brooks Catamount Sneaker
Best Running Shoes for Diabetics
Podiatrists agree that the Brooks Catamount sneaker is one of the top orthopedic shoes for women and a great option for men. It features a padded tongue and collar for easy access and comfort, preventing unnecessary rubbing and blisters. The soft mesh lining ensures breathability, while the insole provides ample cushioning and responsiveness.
Nike Zoom Winflo 6 Running
Reviews rave about these Nike sneakers, commending their excellent arch support and lightweight design. They also offer a soft lining, responsive cushioning, and a knit upper that conforms to the shape of the foot for ultimate comfort.
Adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Qt Racer
Adidas' Cloudfoam Qt Racer is known for its softness. It features a breathable, lightweight knit upper and cloud-like cushioning in the outsole. With nearly 8,000 positive reviews and a 4.5-star average rating on Amazon, these sneakers are a reliable choice for running, walking, or everyday activities.
Skechers Women’s Go Walk Joy Walking Shoe
Best Diabetic Shoes for Standing All Day
These Skechers walking shoes for women are praised for their super-responsive cushioning with a high-rebound insole. They are considered some of the best shoes for standing all day due to their lightweight and flexible fit. The breathable mesh upper allows for air circulation, while the soft fabric lining ensures comfort from all angles. Additionally, the outsole offers great traction, making them an excellent choice for everyday wear. They are available in both wide and regular fit options.
Hoka One One Sky Kaha Hiking Boot
Best Hiking Shoes for Diabetics
Hoka's Sky Kaha hiking boot is highly regarded as one of the best hiking shoes on the market. It offers a super-soft lining that protects the feet from chafing and blisters. The shoe is durable, lightweight, and provides excellent grip, making it ideal for challenging terrains.
Vionic Relax Slippers
Best House Shoes for Diabetics
Vionic Relax slippers are highly recommended for their supportive ergonomic footbed. They feature plush terry cloth fabric, a flexible midsole, and a hook and loop closure for a customized fit. These slippers have garnered praise from celebrities like Oprah Winfrey. Unfortunately, this specific model is not available for men. However, there are also excellent options for men that you can explore.
Yibobay Diabetic Shoes
Best Velcro Diabetic Shoes
Yibobay's diabetic shoes are designed to be extra-wide, providing ample space for diabetic feet. They are highly praised by elderly customers and offer a soft, padded tongue and collar. The velcro strap ensures a proper fit, and the memory foam insoles distribute weight evenly with each step.
Other products that help diabetic neuropathy
After finding the right diabetic neuropathy shoes, it is also worth considering other products that can help prevent or manage neuropathy. Here are some of the products that have been reviewed:
Finding the best shoes for diabetics is crucial for managing diabetic neuropathy and preventing further complications. Whether you're looking for running shoes, walking shoes, or slippers, there are plenty of options out there that prioritize comfort, support, and protection. From trusted brands like New Balance, Altra Footwear, Brooks, Nike, Adidas, Skechers, and Vionic, to specialized diabetic shoes like Yibobay, you can find a wide variety of products that are designed to address the specific needs of those with diabetic neuropathy. Remember, taking care of your feet starts with choosing the right shoes, so don't hesitate to explore these options and find the perfect fit for your feet.