Finding comfortable shoes for exercise when you have diabetes can be a challenge. Are they going to give enough support, have enough room, and be suitable for your sensitive feet? Read on to find out which are the best walking shoes for diabetics.
We detail why you need to take care of your feet and what to look for in footwear when you have diabetes. We then review our top picks.
Here our top 6 picks for the best diabetic walking shoes
1. Brooks Addiction Walker Shoes
These shoes are cushioned and reinforced for comfort. With styles for men and women, there’s a vast selection of sizes and widths. Patented technologies help ensure these shoes give your feet plenty of support.
- HydroFlow technology enhances midsole cushioning and shock absorption with the added placement of dynamic gooey fluid units in the heel and forefoot. Full-length innovative MoGo midsole compound provides a soft yet stable cushy feel that offers increased cushioning and energy return. Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB) presents a robust, dual density post at the medial arch allowing for progressive pronation control. Durable, energy-efficient S-257 Cushsole offers a fle
- Loaded with support for your low arches and control for your overpronation, this casual yet contemporary walking shoe feels great whenever and wherever your everyday takes you!
- Supple full-grain leather upper affords durability and comfort.
- Cushioned tongue is partially sewn.
- Comfortable textile lining and a cushioned removable insert that can easily accommodate orthotics.
- Removable insole is lightweight and provides excellent underfoot cushioning and support for all-day comfort. Features a flat-to-medium arch in the insole area for added support. BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning provides ideal underfoot softness and support while still providing excellent responsiveness and durability. Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB) presents a robust, dual density post at the medial arch allowing for progressive pronation control. Engineered MC Pod Configuratio
- The Brooks Addiction Walker shoe is loaded with support for your low arches and control for your overpronation. This casual yet contemporary walking shoe feels great whenever and wherever your everyday takes you!
- Supple full-grain leather or velvety nubuck upper affords durability and comfort.
- Traditional lace-up style for a preferred fit.
- Breathable mesh lining for a more comfortable interior fit.
2. Propet Life Walker Shoes
Leather uppers secured with straps make these shoes easy to put on. They have orthotic insoles that mold to your feet. A lightweight EVA midsole combined with a rubber outsole provides shock absorption. The wide range of sizes and widths ensure you can find a proper fit.
- Firm heel counter with removable footbed
- Cushioned EVA midsole with herring-bone tread rubber outsole
3. Skechers Performance Go Walk Shoes
These sneakers from Skechers are very lightweight and have a relaxed pull-on style. Almost seamless construction and soft mesh uppers mean they won’t rub your feet the wrong way. There are plenty of support features as well as anti-bacterial odor control built-in.
- Lightweight and flexible
- Responsive 5Gen cushioning
- Skechers Goga Max high rebound insole
- Breathable mesh upper
- Soft fabric lining and padded collar
- Radically lightweight ; Tapering midfoot design for improved arch support ; Side S logo
- Bamboo lined footbed for anti bacterial odor control
- Features innovative and highly responsive 5GEN midsole cushioning and also features featherweight sockliner
4. Hush Puppies Men’s Gil Slip-On Shoes
The ultra-lightweight design of these shoes, combined with a wide opening secured with a strap makes them a good choice for diabetics. While casual, they can be dressed up for special occasions. There’s plenty of choice with three width fittings and 10 colors.
5. Orthofeet Stretchable Women’s Walking Shoes
Lightweight soles and air cushioning help make these shoes supportive and comfortable. The three different widths come with extra depth and a roomy toe box. A seam-free interior lining which is foam padded eases pressure points on your feet.
- 60-DAY WEAR TEST! Test our shoes for up to 60 days, and if you are not completely satisfied return them for a full refund. FREE SHIPPING AND RETURNS. See for yourself why Orthofeet is regarded by millions as the World's Most Comfortable and stylish ORTHOPEDIC SHOES. Try RISK FREE: Walk COMFORTABLE and PAIN FREE or Your MONEY BACK!
- PLANTAR FASCIITIS? HEEL PAIN? FOOT PAIN? Orthofeet orthotic shoes offer the BEST ORTHOPEDIC FOOTWEAR solution. Lightweight ERGONOMIC SOLE with AIR CUSHIONING along with premium ORTHOTIC INSOLES that feature ANATOMICAL ARCH SUPPORT and multiple CUSHIONING layers provide soft, PILLOW-LIKE SUPPORT that works wonders to improve COMFORT and EASE PAIN on the FOOT and HEEL, all the way up your KNEES, HIPS and LOWER BACK caused by flat feet, overpronation, arthritis, neuropathy and diabetes.
- EXTENDED WIDTHS - These SUPER COMFORTABLE Women’s casual shoes with stretchable uppers are available in Medium, Wide and Extra Wide widths, offering a PERFECT, CUSTOMIZED FIT.
- DIABETES? ARTHRITIS? NEUROPATHY? Soft, pliable uppers with SEAM-FREE FABRIC LINING and extra foam padding, provide SUPERIOR COMFORT and protection for SENSITIVE FEET, offering the best solution for women’s diabetic shoes, women’s arthritis shoes and women’s shoes for neuropathy. Certified by Medicare and qualified as women’s therapeutic shoes under code A5500 of the Diabetic Shoe Bill
- Excellent solution for BUNIONS and HAMMER TOES: A wide TOE BOX offers a comfortable, non-binding fit, and eases pressure on bunions, hammer toes and sensitive feet. ORTHOTIC FRIENDLY: Extra depth design with removable insoles (¼” thick in the forefoot area) provides ample space for custom made orthotics. The UNIQUE COMFORT FEATURES help alleviate stress on the joints, enhance stability and add spring to your step to improve mobility.
6. Dr. Comfort Performance Men’s Therapeutic Shoes
These shoes from Dr. Comfort have extra depth and a choice of width fittings and colors. They have elastic lace closures and a seamless padded lining to help prevent blisters. Lightweight but supportive they’re a good athletic style shoe for diabetics.
Reviews of the Best Most Comfortable Walking Shoes for Diabetics
Suffering from diabetes can present you with many challenges. One of these is finding shoes which accommodate your feet and don’t place any stress on them when you exercise. Here are our choices of the most comfortable walking shoes for diabetics.
1. Brooks Addiction Walker Shoes
These shoes come to us from a company that has been distributing footwear worldwide for over 100 years. This walking shoe has motion control features, shock absorbency, and support in the midsole. They’re suitable for flat-to-medium arches.
They come in styles for men and women. There are four width fittings from narrow to extra-wide. The sizes on offer are 5 through 12 for women and 7 to 15 for men.
BioMoGo DNA is a patented soft cushioning which adapts to your feet, weight, speed, and gait. It deflects the impact of your steps as you walk.
They also have a proprietary Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar system. This helps support your whole body, positioning the arch support to promote natural movement.
The construction of the front of the shoe keeps you balanced and stable, while the slip-resistant sole helps you maintain your footing. The insole is removable for those that require more depth in their shoes.
A full-grain soft leather upper has a breathable mesh lining to help prevent blisters, and there’s also a removable sock liner.
A 90-day refund satisfaction guarantee completes the package.
On the downside, the laces might be a little short on days when your feet swell. You could always change them out for some longer ones.
- Range of sizes and widths.
- Support throughout, especially the midfoot region.
- Shock absorbency.
- Sockliner, and breathable uppers.
- Shoelaces could be longer.
|These walking shoes offer support in the midsole and have a roomy, soft interior. The comfort system provides plenty of cushioning for sensitive feet, and the midsole promotes a natural gait.|
2. Propet Life Walker Shoes
Propet has been manufacturing shoes for over 30 years. Its focus is on using the latest technology and quality materials to bring you bio-mechanical footwear.
These leather shoes have supple uppers in three colors, black, white, and sport white. Sizes range from 7 to 15, and there are four width fittings to choose from — regular, wide, extra-wide, and double extra wide.
A similar model for women is the Propet Women’s Tour Walker. There’s also a choice of eight different colors, including black, white, taupe, and other accents on white. The sizes are from 5 to 12 with five width choices — narrow, regular, wide, extra-wide, and double extra wide.
Features are the same for both women’s and men’s shoes. There’s a removable OrthoLite insole to provide arch support, which is great if you require extra depth in your footwear.
Open-cell foam in the construction makes this shoe lightweight but padded. Incorporated into the top layer of the insole is memory foam for added comfort.
The midsole is made from EVA, and the rubber outsoles are flexible. This gives more impact protection to your feet and extra cushioning and support.
Stability comes from a firm heel counter while hook-and-loop straps make securing these shoes easy. The brushed nylon lining, padded tongue, and collar protect delicate feet. These shoes are Medicare-approved for diabetics.
Some find the arch support in these shoes lacking, but the good news is you can change out the insoles for your own orthotics.
- Widths up to double extra large.
- Stable heel counter.
- Removable insole.
- EVA midsole for cushioning.
- Medicare-approved for diabetics.
- Arch support might be insufficient.
|These shoes come in a range of sizes, widths, and colors. The OrthoLite insole with memory foam provides support and cushions your feet; it’s also removable. Hook-and-loop straps allow for easy fitting and adjustment.|
3. Skechers Performance Go Walk Shoes
Skechers is known for their comfortable walking shoes with roomy toe boxes. The “walk” range is no exception with the option of different width fittings.
The ladies Go Walk Joy is available in sizes 5 to 13, in regular and wide, with 10 colors to choose from. The men’s Go Walk 4 comes in sizes 7 to 16, in regular and extra-wide, with seven color choices.
Both styles have breathable mesh uppers designed to expand with your feet to give a natural, comfortable fit. Patented 5GEN cushioning throughout provides padding and comfort for your feet.
The inner construction is almost seamless to relieve potential pressure points from stitching. Skechers Goga Max insoles offer support and more cushioning, while a featherlight inner sock moves with your feet when you walk.
These shoes are very lightweight and let your feet breathe, and they’re easily pulled on via a loop or portal in the padded collar. The men’s version also has a bamboo-lined footbed with an antibacterial treatment to keep odor at bay.
Be careful when purchasing as the women’s shoes seem to run large, while the men’s seem to run small. Check your size with the manufacturer’s size chart.
- Available in wide fittings.
- Comfortable mesh seamless uppers.
- Support and padding throughout.
- Antibacterial treatment.
- Might not run true to size.
|These roomy shoes from Skechers have soft mesh uppers that expand to fit your feet while letting them breathe. The pull-on style makes them easy to wear, and they have plenty of support in the soles.|
4. Hush Puppies Men’s Gil Slip-On Shoes
Hush Puppies is a household name in the realm of comfortable shoes for over 60 years — and if you thought they were just for your grandad, think again.
These shoes come in a range of trendy colors including shrimp pink, green, surf blue, as well as classic black, brown, and white. This makes them a great choice to pair with jeans or shorts for a casual look, or a dressier alternative in the darker colors.
The sizes on offer range from 7 to 16. There are three width fittings for the black, brown, and white options including an extra wide.
Full-grain leather uppers enclose your feet with an easy hook-and-loop closure. This ensures easy on/off and adjustability for those days when your feet swell.
Padding at the collar along with an open-celled mesh-covered insole cushion supports your feet. The shoes are made from patented ZeroG materials in the flexible soles to keep them super lightweight.
PDAC has approved these shoes for Medicare.
It seems the sizing on these shoes is a bit hit and miss. Some find them too small, others find them too big, and others just right.
- Choice of colors.
- Wider widths are available.
- Hook-and-loop closure.
- Sizing can be challenging for some.
|These leather shoes have a hook-and-loop closure and are easily adjusted. They have cushioning and support while being very lightweight. The choice of colors gives you the option of casual or dressy.|
5. Orthofeet Stretchable Women’s Walking Shoes
Orthofeet brings us these shoes for the ladies. Designed to help relieve the pain, and protect feet from many medical conditions, they’re suitable for people with diabetes.
Sizes offered are from a 5 to a 12, and there are three width fittings — regular, wide, and extra-wide. The stretchy mesh uppers have seamfree linings and foam padding to prevent blisters and relieve pressure points. These shoes secure with elastic laces and a leather hook-and-loop closure.
The orthotic-style insole supports arches and has extra layers for comfort. The soles are air-cushioned and have a proprietary Ergonomic Stride design to help correct foot motion.
These shoes are very roomy. They have extra depth, and the insole can be removed completely to give an extra quarter-inch. Alternately, there are spacers that can be removed to provide an additional one-sixteenth or one-eighth of an inch.
A polyurethane foam upper layer on the insoles wicks moisture from the feet to keep them fresh and dry. An antimicrobial treatment has been added for odor control.
The company offers a 60-day risk-free wear test of your shoes. If they aren’t comfortable, you can return them for a refund. It also guarantee defects in materials and workmanship for 12 months.
These shoes aren’t going to win any fashion awards, but comfort tops style for many people.
- Padded stretchy uppers.
- Adjustable depth.
- Cushioned throughout.
- Elasticated laces and hook-and-loop closure.
- Not the most stylish shoe.
|Comfort is oozing in these shoes. They have stretchy padded uppers, air-cushioned soles, and adjustable depth while moisture-wicking and odor control keeps feet fresh. The elasticated laces and hook-and-loop closure ensure a secure fit.|
6. Dr. Comfort Performance Men’s Therapeutic Shoes
Based in Wisconsin, Dr. Comfort produces a range of shoes with diabetics and people with other foot issues in mind. The Podiatric Medical Association approves many of its shoes and they qualify for Medicare assistance.
This athletic-style walking shoe ranges in size from 6 to 15 in three widths — regular, wide, and extra-wide. Choose from six colors which are grey and black with a variety of different accents, including blue, red and yellow.
While these are men’s shoes, they could also be suitable for women wanting a wider, deeper shoe.
Breathable mesh uppers fasten with a toggle-lace closure. The material is seamless and padded, so there are no stitching lines to aggravate your feet. Gel insoles provide cushioning and are removable if you want to use your own orthotics.
The lightweight outsole, along with a firm heel counter, will keep you stable on your feet. These shoes have extra depth and a roomy, protective toe box.
The durability of these shoes might be questionable, with faults appearing after four to six months.
- Extra depth.
- Roomy toe box.
- Breathable mesh uppers with seamless design.
- Might not last long.
|Designed for diabetics, or people with feet issues, these shoes are lightweight and cushioned. The seamless interior is padded to protect feet, and the lightweight sole provides stability. The toe box is roomy, and they have extra depth.|
How Does Diabetes Affect Your Feet?
Diabetes can affect your feet in different ways. These include:
- Diabetic neuropathy: Diabetes, over time, can cause nerve damage making your feet feel tingly or painful, or you might lose the feeling in your feet. This means you’re unlikely to feel something rubbing and causing a blister, which can lead to cuts and sores. If these become infected they can form ulcers.
- Reduced blood flow: The amount of blood getting to your feet can lessen due to the high blood sugar associated with diabetes. Consequently, this makes any infections hard to heal, which could lead to gangrene.
- Gangrene: Lack of blood flow to your feet causes the tissue to die. This could lead to amputation of all or part of your foot, a toe, or your leg to prevent the infection spreading.
Due to these issues with your feet, you might not notice tissue damage.
This video explains the importance of dealing with foot injuries promptly.
You must check your feet every day. If you’re unable to bend to check your feet, use a mirror, or ask someone to look them over for you.
Things to check for include:
- Red spots, sores, or cuts.
- Fluid-filled blisters or any swelling.
- Toenail where the edges are growing into the skin (ingrown toenails).
- Spots of rough skin caused by pressure (corns and calluses).
- Athletes foot, a fungal infection usually found between the toes.
- Hot spots — areas of the feet that feel warmer than the rest.
If you find any of these, you should see your healthcare provider so they can be treated.
In this video Mayo Clinic gives you some advice for caring for your feet.
Tips for Fitting Shoes for Diabetics
Wearing incorrect footwear when you have diabetes can bring negative results, so you should ensure you get a good fitting shoe. Here are some useful tips:
- Get your feet measured regularly. The size of your feet can change over time, and you need to make sure you’re buying the right size. Always go with the size of your larger foot.
- Try on new shoes at the end of the day. This is because your feet may be more swollen than in the morning. It’s especially the case if you have poor circulation.
- Remember to wear the socks you intend to use with your shoes. Thicker or thinner socks can make a difference to how shoes fit.
- If you have custom orthotics or a preferred insole, make sure you put these in your shoes when you try them on.
- Ensure you have enough wiggle room for your toes. There should be a gap about half of the width of your thumb, around a third of an inch, between the end of the shoe and your toes.
- Your shoes should feel comfortable from the get-go. They shouldn’t pinch anywhere or feel tight. Don’t be tempted to think they will break-in as this could cause blisters.
- Wear new shoes for half an hour at first. Check for any pressure points or blisters. If all is well, then increase the amount of time you wear them by half an hour daily until they’re comfortable all day.
- If you can afford it, buy two pairs of shoes and alternate them daily. This way you can spread wear on your shoes. If your shoes show signs of deterioration in the heel or midsole or the lining breaks, it’s time to replace them.
What to Look for in Walking Shoes for Diabetics
Choosing shoes for your diabetic feet can be challenging. You need to be extra careful in making sure they aren’t going to exacerbate existing foot issues. Things to look for include:
- Flexible uppers. Shoes that expand with your feet and give them support will help prevent pressure points. Look for soft leather or stretchable man-made materials like mesh.
- Smooth linings. Sometimes, even small amounts of stitching can rub your feet, leading to blisters and sores. Look for shoes that have seamless, or near-seamless, linings.
- Look for heels that are padded at the ankles and tongues that won’t dig into your insteps. A padded tongue will also help hold your foot more securely.
- Firm heel counter. The back of the heel needs to be reasonably firm to keep your foot aligned, stable and supported.
- It’s not just the top of your feet that need care, the soles do too. Look for EVA midsoles, air pockets or gel that cushions and protects the base of your feet.
- The whole of your feet needs support to help prevent issues such as heel spurs, metatarsalgia, bunions, and hammertoes, to name a few. Look for arch support and orthotic insoles which will bolster your feet.
- Heavy shoes can put undue pressure on your feet and make it harder to walk. Look for uppers and soles made from lightweight materials.
- Width and depth. Due to circulatory issues with your feet, they might be prone to swell. Make sure you choose shoes that are wide and have extra depth. Also, ensure they have a roomy toe box, so your toes don’t get pinched.
- Adjustable fastenings. We’ve mentioned that feet can change size throughout the day. Having fastenings that can be adjusted easily, such as elastic laces or hook-and-loop closures is a bonus.
- Traction and shock absorbency. Good grip will help prevent falls, and shock absorbency can help prevent pain in your feet, legs and back. Look for a midsole or insole with these features, and an outsole with a good tread.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Diabetics Have to Wear Special Shoes?
This is a matter to be decided between you and your podiatrist or healthcare provider. A lot will depend on how your diabetes affects your feet. There are plenty of shoes that aren’t made especially for diabetics which you could wear.
There are a few things you should avoid, such as flip-flops, open-toed shoes or sandals. These offer no protection, and your feet could get cuts, or small stones could get in and rub your feet. Dress shoes and heels should also be restricted to short periods of wear as they can pinch your toes.
How Are Diabetic Shoes Different?
Diabetic shoes tend to have roomier toe boxes and extra width. This discourages blisters from either pressure from the shoes, or your toes rubbing against each other.
They also have smooth inner linings and lots of support and cushioning. Some can be custom made to accommodate your feet. Their main purpose is to protect your feet from harm, which, due to neuropathy, you might not feel.
Are Brooks Shoes Good for Diabetics?
Brooks shoes are orthopedically designed for motion control. They’re cushioned, supportive, and flexible, making them a good choice of footwear for diabetics. The range of widths and removable insoles allow for extra depth and room for your feet and toes.
Making sure you get the right shoes is essential when you have diabetes. You don’t want to aggravate your feet and end up with blisters.
Any of the best shoes for diabetics we have chosen would be a good option. They’ll protect and support your feet for all-day comfort.
We hope you enjoyed our guide and found it informative and useful. Please leave a comment with your thoughts, we would love to hear from you, and don’t forget to share.