Last updated on March 1, 2022 – Published on November 25, 2021
Diabetic shoes play a major role in the foot health of people living with diabetes and neuropathy. Due to higher risks of foot complications, diabetics must take extra care of their feet and be very careful with footwear choices.
Therapeutic shoes for diabetes are designed by foot experts to prevent and alleviate diabetic foot pain. They promote blood circulation, support the foot, improve traction, protect fragile skin, absorb impacts, and considerably enhance the overall comfort.
I’ve researched and scrutinized dozens of shoes for diabetics to review here 10 of the best ones to protect your feet in 2022.
Best Overall for Women: Orthofeet Wichita Stretchable Diabetic Shoes
Best Overall for Men: Sprint Tie-less Diabetic Sneakers
Best for Neuropathy: Apex Ambulator T2000 Stretchable Velcro shoes
Best for Walking: New Balance 813V1 Medicare Diabetic Shoes
Best Budget: Skechers Walk Joy Comfortable Slip-on Shoes
Best Extra-Wide: Propét LifeWalker Diabetic Shoes with Extended Widths
Best Work Shoes: Orthofeet Cobalt Therapeutic Composite Toe Work Shoes
Best House Shoes: Apex Basis Sock-like Slippers for Diabetes
Best Women’s Dress shoes: Celina Therapeutic Mary Jane Flat Shoes
Best Men’s Dress Shoes: Dr. Comfort Wing Men Diabetic Extra Depth Shoes
Orthofeet Wichita Stretchable Therapeutic Shoes
Orthofeet is the most podiatrist-recommended orthopedic shoe brand for diabetics in the USA. Wichita stretch shoes check all the boxes of the ideal diabetic footwear for women: they’re fully adjustable and absolutely non-binding so they put no pressure points and help boost blood flowing to your lower limbs. The uppers are made with super stretchable material. The closure is a simple hook and loop velcro strap and the tongue completely opens for an easy and pain-free foot insertion.
The interior lining is seamless and foam-padded so you’re protected against blisters and skin wounds that could lead to diabetic foot ulcers. The toe box is wider than in regular shoes. It allows you to keep your toes moving to promote blood circulation while preventing toe stubbing. Like every style from Orthofeet, the Wichita Stretch comes in a wide range of widths. On top of that, fitting spacers are included to help you find the perfect fit.
Regarding foot support and stability, these orthopedic shoes are great too! They come with Orthofeet’s premium orthotic insoles ($40 value included), providing enhanced arch support and excellent cushioning.
If you’re concerned about the financial cost of such high-quality diabetic shoes, these are Medicare-approved under code A5500 so they might be covered by your insurance. Last but not least, Orthofeet offers a 60-days wear test and a 100% money-back guarantee.
There are more than 60 women’s shoe styles for diabetes and neuropathy on Orthofeet’s catalog, including sneakers, sandals, dress shoes, work shoes, boots, casual shoes, and house slippers. Have a look!
Orthofeet Sprint Tie-less Shoes for Diabetes
Just like for women, the best diabetic shoes for men are from Orthofeet which crafts and ships worldwide state-of-the-art orthopedic shoes offering ultimate comfort and protection to diabetic feet. The Sprint sneakers for men are designed so you feel no pressure on your foot and your blood circulation is boosted. The interior is highly protective, seamless, and foam-padded to avoid any rubbing on your skin.
The extra toe room helps prevent toe injuries and favors movement inside the shoe. Finding the perfect fit that’s neither too tight nor too loose is essential when buying diabetic footwear. Like any Orthofeet shoes, the Sprint diabetic sneakers for men are available in 3 different widths: medium, wide, and extra-wide. They also come with fitting spacers and optional arch boosters.
Orthofeet’s premium orthotic insoles are included ($40 value). Their 4-layers unique structure re-aligns the foot and the body to ease pain from the soles up the knees, hips, and lower back. The top layer is made with an anti-microbial foam that keeps the feet in a healthy environment away from fungus and bacterial growth.
Another great feature here is the innovative Tie-less lacing system. Fastening and unfastening are very convenient, especially for people who have difficulties bending down. The additional heel straps provide superior rear foot support for an overall excellent foot stability.
Last but not least, Orthofeet offers a 60-days wear test and a 100% money-back guarantee.
Orthofeet offers the largest shoe catalog for men with diabetes and neuropathy foot problems. Browse through therapeutic sneakers, hiking boots, steel toe work shoes, loafers, dress shoes, sandals, or even slippers:
Apex Unisex Ambulator T2000 Velcro Shoes
Apex biomechanical footwear meets the highest standards for patients suffering from diabetes and neuropathy foot problems. The Ambulator T2000 style has been specially designed to alleviate the strongest foot pain.
They’re made with a super-stretchy synthetic material that conforms to the shape of the feet without stressing them. The interior is very soft and entirely seamless to prevent friction on the skin. The velcro straps and the wide throat opening make the foot insertion easy and pain-free.
What’s best about these neuropathy shoes is their great adjustability. People living with peripheral neuropathy often have poor blood circulation causing swollen feet and further foot complications. To promote blood flow and limit stress on the foot, neuropathy footwear must fit perfectly. That’s why the Apex Ambulator T2000 style comes in 4 different foot widths and includes 1/2″ removable depth as well as 3 removable layers for fitting flexibility. Plus, the insoles are removable so you can also accommodate your own orthotics.
These stretchy pain-relieving shoes are PDAC-verified for code A5500. It means they meet all the criteria from the Coding Guidelines for Off-the-Shelf Diabetic Shoes. All Apex products are shipped for free and can be returned hassle-free. Apex also offers a 4 interest-free payment option if you can’t afford the price at once.
With more than 50 orthopedic shoe models designed by foot experts, Apex has one of the largest diabetic shoe catalogs for men and women!
New Balance 813Hv1 Medicare Diabetic Walking Shoes
New Balance is one of the world’s major footwear manufacturers that distinguishes itself with technical comfort features such as gel inserts, heel counters, foot stability, great cushioning, as well as a wide range of fit, widths, and support options. The company has worked on several styles that qualify under Medicare Code A5500 as therapeutic shoes for diabetics.
The 813Hv1 sneakers are a great choice for walkers with diabetes. Their iconic Rollbar stability post along with a great rearfoot control provides exceptional foot stability and improved traction. They combine thick supportive foam midsoles as well as great shock-absorbing rubber outsoles.
The interior of the shoe, the collar, and the leather uppers are smooth and padded to prevent blisters and skin irritations that could lead to infections or diabetic foot ulcers. The adjustable uppers with hook and loop velcro straps allow an easy foot entry and provide a custom fit without having to tie laces.
These New Balance diabetic shoes are available in narrow, regular, wide, and extra-wide to accommodate every foot type without pressure and stress. Last but not least, they’re durable and great value for money!
All New Balance’s shoes are renowned for their great comfort and most of them would be suitable for diabetic feet. However, not all New Balance’s styles are Medicare-approved to qualify for the Diabetic Shoe Bill. Browse through Medicare-only models here:
Skechers Go Walk Joy & Evolution Slip-on Sneakers
Skechers is another iconic footwear brand with diabetes-friendly shoes. The Go Walk Joy for women and the Go Walk Evolution for men are extremely lightweight and flexible walking shoes that make a great cheap choice for diabetics. The upper mesh fabric is highly breathable and naturally expandable to create a natural fit without pressuring the foot. The collar is padded and the uppers are seamless to prevent blisters.
These slip-on walking Skechers shoes with pull-on loops also feature air-cooled insoles with a moisture-wicking treatment to block fungus growth and keep the feet healthy. The high-rebound 5gen cushioning insoles offer great protection against shocks and injuries.
They’re available in different width options. You might not get the same quality as with top orthopedic brands, but they’re super comfortable and value for money is unbeatable.
Propét LifeWalker Strap A55000 Diabetic Shoes
Propét has a wide range of high-quality comfortable shoes that qualify as diabetic shoes. If you have wide, very wide, or swollen feet, search no more: Propét shoes are available in 3 to 6 different widths depending on the styles.
The LifeWalker sneakers for men and the TourWalker ones for women are 100% full-grain leather with an incredibly comfortable foam-padded interior. The insoles provide real arch support and are well cushioned. They’re removable so you can also choose to wear these shoes with your own diabetic insoles.
The adjustable upper velcro closure makes it easy to find the perfect fit and to readjust your shoes as the day goes by if your feet swell. The rearfoot is well supported with a contoured heel stabilizer.
There’s enough room for your toes to be protected from stubbing and to keep moving during the day. Plus, the leather exterior provides extra protection from falling objects and toe injuries. These are Medicare-approved diabetic shoes.
Orthofeet Cobalt Orthopedic Safety Work Shoes for Men
Diabetic work shoes’ choices are extremely limited. Work shoes can be very stiff and put pressure points on your feet which you want to avoid when living with diabetes and even more so with diabetic neuropathy. The Cobalt Safety Work shoes for men are the most comfortable and protective you can find.
They’re crafted in a non-abrasive fabric with a seamless foam-padded interior that guarantees you won’t have blisters even if you wear them all day. They come with premium removable orthotics that provide great cushioning and enhance foot support. It’s easy to find the perfect fit thanks to a wide range of widths available as well as removable fitting spacers. The toe box is extra roomy and the soles are very lightweight to help improve traction.
On the safety side, these therapeutic work shoes have a composite toe and meet most hazardous work areas requirements, including impact, compression, and electric hazard resistance. The outsoles and slip-resistant.
Orthofeet offers a 60-days wear test and a 100% money-back guarantee on all their shoes.
Compare these with 10 more work shoes for diabetics on Orthofeet’s catalog:
Apex Basis Slip-on House Shoes For Diabetes & Neuropathy
Apex slip-on diabetic house shoes are quite unique! These sock-like no-feel slippers combine the support of a shoe and the comfort of a thick sock. They’ve been specially designed for people suffering from foot pain. They’re the ideal diabetic slippers for those who suffer from neuropathy symptoms such as extreme sensitivity to touch, numbness, or stabbing pain.
The breathable fabric is stretchable like in a sock and there are absolutely no pressure points on your foot. The oversized pull-tabs make it super easy to put on and off. There’s no bulky seam inside that could cause friction.
These slip-on house shoes feature real insoles that provide great cushioning and effective arch support. Both the footbeds and the depth inserts are removable. The outsole is thick and slip-resistant so you can safely wear these slippers even on slippery floors. There’s also a rearfoot reinforcement for enhanced stability.
Apex basis diabetic house shoes are unisex and available in all women’s and men’s sizes as well as extended widths.
Orthofeet Celina Mary Jane Leather Shoes
Stylish dress shoes for women with diabetes are rare gems. Because of the uneven weight distribution and the pressure they put on the foot, heel shoes are not recommended for diabetics. It’s better to choose flat dress shoes. Or, if you absolutely want to wear heels, you must choose real orthopedic heel shoes.
The Celina Mary Jane Flats from Orthofeet make a great compromise between style and diabetes. The heels are cushioned, the toe box is wide enough you don’t stub your toes, and the interior lining is seamless and protective.
This pain-free dress shoe style comes with removable premium orthotic insoles ($40 value included) that bring real anatomical arch support and great cushioning. The upper straps reinforce instep support, while the ergonomic sole helps reduce fatigue and pressure on the foot, and alleviates long-term foot, back, and knee pain.
They’re available in different widths to be sure you find the perfect non-binding fit. Besides, Orthofeet offers a 60-days wear test and a 100% money-back guarantee on all products.
Choose from 6 diabetic dress shoe styles and 7 Mary Jane’s for women on Orthofeet’s catalog:
Dr. Comfort Wing Men’s Diabetic Dress Shoes
Offering any kinds of shoe styles for diabetics, from sneakers to leather dress shoes passing by house slippers and loafers, Dr. Comfort is a leading company in the diabetic footwear market. The company’s products are top-quality and well-worth their (expensive) prices.
The Wing’s therapeutic extra depth diabetic dress shoes for men are made with 100% leather (black or brown). They offer the diabetes-friendly protective features: extra-depth, wide toe box, smooth interior, padded collar, cushioned heel, great insoles, and lightweight flexible outsoles.
Even though you won’t be as comfortable as in diabetic sneakers or house shoes, the design is non-binding and there’s more cushioning than in regular men’s dress shoes.
The footbeds are removable so you can wear them with custom orthotics. All sizes are available and you get to choose from different widths. These are top-quality durable orthopedic leather shoes with subtle details and a hand-burnished finish you won’t find anywhere else.
Diabetic shoes are different from regular shoes in that they’re professionally designed to address foot conditions that are particular to persons with diabetes. They’re often referred to as therapeutic shoes, orthopedic shoes, extra-depth shoes, or even sugar shoes.
High blood glucose levels damage the nerves over time. This is called Peripheral Neuropathy and it generally affects the feet and the lower limbs. Symptoms vary from mild to extremely painful and include numbness, extreme sensitivity to touch, tingling, burning, sharp pain, cramps, or others.
On the other hand, Peripheral Artery Disease reduces blood flow in the extremities of the body. The hands and the feet receive less oxygen which leads to a slower healing process and higher risks of infections, ulcers, and gangrene sometimes requiring a partial amputation.
These two conditions are responsible for most diabetic foot problems. People living with diabetes, and even more so with neuropathy, often suffer from foot ulcers, swollen feet, diabetic foot pain, calluses, cracked skin, blisters, fungal infections, and more. Along with a good foot care routine and periodic foot exams, diabetic shoes are designed to help prevent or alleviate most of these problems.
The purpose of diabetic footwear is to prevent common diabetes-related foot problems from appearing and to alleviate the pain and discomfort they cause when they’re already here. The construction, design, and material of therapeutic shoes for diabetes offer numerous advantages and help:
If diabetic shoes used to have an unpleasant bulky medical look, progress in shoe technology now allows manufacturers to design therapeutic shoes that look like any other shoes from the outside.
There is no such thing as the best diabetic shoes. It all depends on your own feet and foot conditions. But you should know that poor quality footwear causes lots of foot problems. If you’ve been recommended to wear special shoes for diabetes you should look for quality ones from real orthopedic footwear.
The 10 shoes selected for this article are the ones that have the best features to protect diabetic feet. But you must choose the style that offers the advantages you most need according to your problems.
If you suffer from severe neuropathy foot pain or swollen feet, prefer a stretchable style. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis pain, choose shoes with enhanced arch support and orthopedic insoles. If you have foot skin problems, get the ones with the smoothest interior linings. If your feet tend to sweat a lot and you often have fungus infections, get a moisture-wicking and breathable shoe fabric.
Last but not least, the absolute most important feature is a proper fit. You can purchase the best diabetic shoes on earth worth hundreds of dollars but they won’t solve any problems if they don’t fit properly. You might have to try several styles, sizes, and widths out, and customize your fit adding or removing fitting spacers before you find the perfect fit you feel comfortable in.
The first step before buying diabetic shoes is to visit your primary care doctor, endocrinologist, or podiatrist and ask for needs and recommendations. You can buy orthopedic shoes through an orthotist, a pedorthist, a pharmacy, a specialty shoe store, or even online.
People most commonly buy their therapeutic shoes from orthopedic footwear companies. Orthofeet, Apex, Dr. Comfort, and Propét are well-known brands that have large choices of quality shoes for diabetes and neuropathy.
Some popular footwear brands such as New Balance also make shoes for diabetics. Walmart and Amazon also resell diabetic shoes from other companies.
Diabetic shoes can cost anything from $30 to $300. However, if you’re looking for quality and durable products, you should aim for an average price of $70 to $180.
If you have special needs or severe foot deformities, you might need custom-made shoes. They’re constructed from a cast or model of your foot. They come at a higher price (from $200 to $800) and require a multi-step process with several office visits, foot exams, and fitting. Ask for your podiatrist’s advice and recommendations first.
Yes, Medicare can cover the cost of therapeutic shoes for diabetics under certain conditions. You will first need to ask your doctor to fill a Certificate of Medical Necessity (CMN) and provide you with a Shoe Prescription that must be approved and co-signed by a Podiatrist or a foot professional.
Then, you will need to get your shoes from an eligible supplier. Be sure the particular shoes you’re buying have received the Medicare / HCPCS Code A5500 to be eligible for reimbursement under the Therapeutic Shoe Bill.
Medicare covers 80% of the cost of diabetic shoes. Private insurances might supplement the remaining 20%. Medicare can pay for one custom pair of folded shoes or one pair of extra-depth shoes per calendar year. You can also be eligible for reimbursement of two extra pairs of diabetic insoles for custom-molded shoes or three pairs of inserts for extra-depth shoes per year. Here’s the FAQ about Medicare coverage for diabetic shoes.
I hope you’ve find answers to your questions here. Do not hesitate to ask, share, and comment in the section below. What are your favourite diabetic shoes?