Although scientific interventions have resulted into a lot of advancement on diabetes treatment, diabetic foot disease is still a devastating complication.
As a result, it is important to focus on all possible remedies that can help alleviate this challenge. Research has shown that footwear is among the leading factors that influence the development and advancement of foot problems in diabetes patients. This article focuses on the best walking shoes for diabetic foot and their importance.
NB: As we recommend the best walking shoes for diabetic foot, we provide an overview of the condition and link it to the role of the shoes that you wear.
Diabetes exposes the feet to risks of pathological repercussions such as tissue destruction and related infections, ulceration and peripheral vascular disease.
Some of these risks especially foot ulceration are quite common. Research estimates show that approximately 15% of diabetes mellitus patients develop foot ulcers at some point in the course of the disease.
The biggest challenge associated with diabetic foot is the potential risk of amputation as a result of severe health problems. It is estimated that individuals who suffer from diabetes and foot problems at the same time are fifteen times likely to undergo lower extremity amputation when compared to non-diabetic individuals. Conclusively, it is clear that foot problems are extremely serious challenges for diabetes patients.
Diabetic Foot Classifications
Clinical practitioners classify diabetic foot into two categories known as the neuropathic and ischaemic foot. Mostly, the ischaemic foot is referred to as the neuroischaemic foot.
This is because cases of purely ischaemic foot are uncommon. In most cases, links of neuropathy manifest in ischaemia cases.
Characteristics of the Neuropathic Foot
- In some cases, bone and joint problems can be experienced
- Reduced or diminished sweating
- Clawed toes and raised foot arch
- Development of ulcers in the sole
- It can make the skin dry
- Necrosis can be experienced in cases of severe infection
- The foot is usually warm and well perfused
Characteristics of the Neuroischaemic Foot
- In severe cases, the color of the foot changes to pink or red. However, it does not look unhealthy. The changes occur because the capillaries dilate as they try to cause improved perfusion.
- When accompanied by other infections, necrosis is likely to occur.
- Ulceration is very common in the neuroischaemic foot. Mostly, the ulcers develop in areas around the toe tips and back of the heel. The ulcers are mainly associated with trauma.
- Normally, the foot becomes cool and pulse-less with significantly reduced perfusion
- Plantar pressures are usually high but planter ulceration is uncommon.
- Sometimes when cardiac or renal failure occurs, the foot experiences swelling.
- Sometimes, the neuroischaemic foot can be warm. This is a deceptive characteristic.
- In some cases, neuropathy leads to absence of intermittent claudication.
Footwear and Diabetic Foot
Although there are other factors that influence the risk of infections in diabetic foot, shoes are identified among the key factors.
According to Bergin (2013), in a study that was conducted in the United Kingdom, rubbing from shoes was linked to 35% of the foot ulcers cases for the subjects involved in the study.
In another follow-up study that involved 472 diabetes patients from The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Centre in Australia, it was revealed that 54% of the participants had developed foot ulcers because of footwear trauma.
Therefore, it is recommended that all diabetes patients (with or without foot infections) wear the right shoes to prevent their feet from potential risks.
Furthermore, for patients who manifest “loss of protective sensation from peripheral neuropathy,” ignoring footwear advice can be fatal (Bergin, 2013). Even though ulcers might not develop, ill-fitting shoes can cause blisters, corns and other related infections.
These infections pave way for more severe infections and whenever they occur immediate intervention is fundamental. Otherwise, it might be impossible to avoid ulceration and eventual amputation.
Past evidence demonstrates that appropriate and prescribed footwear leads to significant reduction of plantar foot pressure thereby preventing the development of callus and related diseases and ultimately foot ulcers.
In most cases, patients are advised to undergo a basic foot assessment to ensure that they understand their feet thoroughly. The issues evaluated in the assessment mainly include foot deformity, peripheral neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease.
Besides, individuals should be able to track personal activity levels (movement, occupational related factors, etc). They provide background information for the necessary shoes.
For example, if your work involves a lot of movement, always ensure that diabetic shoes you wear are light and comfortable. Similarly, if you work in a site that requires customized shoes, ensure that you buy shoes that meet industrial standards.
Low Risk: Low risk are people who lack identifiable risk factors for ulceration. Accordingly, their record lacks risks associated with foot deformity, peripheral neuropathy, amputation history and peripheral arterial disease. Such individuals can use personal knowledge to select shoes because their feet can accommodate a variety of footwear. The most important thing is to ensure that the shoes fit appropriately and they are comfortable for the intended activity.
At Risk: These are individuals who show potential risks of developing ulceration during assessment. Their results might indicate the presence of peripheral neuropathy, foot infections, and/or peripheral arterial disease. Although they can buy off the shelf footwear, it is important to ensure that they focus on the width and length of the shoes. Some individuals with peripheral neuropathy tend to buy ill-fitting shoes with the aim of stimulating sensory feedback. The most important thing is making sure that shoes meet the criteria provided in table two. If you have realized that your foot is at risk of developing ulceration, always check for danger signs whenever you remove your shoes. Some of these signs include: development of ulcers, trauma and pressure. In addition, always inspect your shoes every time you intend to wear them. Foreign objects can be very dangerous to feet that are at risk of ulceration.
Also read: Diabetic shoes for men
High Risk: Individuals who have undergone amputation previously, and those with foot deformity are usually at a high risk of developing foot ulcers. People with a history of foot ulcers are also highly exposed to the risk of developing the problem again. As a result, the recommended approach for high risk individuals is to wear prescribed footwear. Normally, the prescription of the shoes is determined by the nature of the deformity. Sometimes, the cost of medical grade footwear can be prohibitive. Similarly, treatment of some of the problems that arise from diabetes is very costly. Patients should always ensure that they apply for government medical incentives in case of future emergency medical problems. Government funding can assist in purchasing medical grade footwear.
In the meantime, consider using the best shoes to prevent future problems.
Reviews for Best Walking Shoes for Diabetic Foot
Undoubtedly, the above information has demonstrated the importance of purchasing diabetic shoes. In addition, it has equipped you with knowledge concerning the factors to consider when purchasing diabetic shoes. There are diabetic shoes that are better for walking than others.
This is based on the fact that all shoe designs do not focus on ease of walking as the primary factor. For instance, some shoes are designed for specific work places, whereas others are designed for cold days. Below is a list for the best walking shoes for diabetic foot.Best walking shoes for Diabetic Men:Buy This Shoe On Amazon
These shoes are not only good looking but also comfortable. They are specifically designed for diabetic and sensitive feet. As a result, the inside is quite roomy. These factors enhance comfort and ease of use. Their lightness make them the perfect walker shoes.
- Made of leather
- The shoes have a synthetic sole
- Dual straps to enhance comfort
- They have a padded collar
- The insole is cushioned and removable
- They are lightweight
- Good for sensitive feet
- Enhanced comfort
- Suitable for long distance walking
- Con be worn comfortably for long hours
- Too much for indoor use
- The straps are relatively short
These casual shoes are extremely comfortable good looking at the same time. Their lightweight design make them appropriate for indoors walking. In addition, they can be worn for many hours without any serious challenge
- These shoes are made from neoprene
- They feature a manmade sole
- Specially designed for older diabetic patients and indoor walks
- They have a synthetic upper and round toe
- These shoes are available in two colors black and espresso
- The stretchy neoprene material provides enhanced comfort for sensitive foot
- These shoes are extremely soft and comfortable
- They are light weight which makes it easier for you walk
- These shoes are designed especially for older patients because they mostly walk indoors.
- These shoes cannot be worn formally because of the casual design
- They are soft and not designed for the rigid environment so it is best to use these indoors.
These life walker shoes are light weight and comfortable. Perfect for the outdoor environment and they provide a great walking experience. The built-in contoured heel stabilizer provides an excellent and firm support for sensitive feet. Extra room gives freedom of motion to your feet’s moving parts.
- These shoes feature a man-made sole
- The insole is removable
- These shoes are available in 3 colors black, white and sport white
- Double arch support and removable cushion
- Supple leather uppers and lightweight midsole for shock absorption
- They feature a wide sole
- The interior provides extra room for the feet
- The shoes are designed for walking and thus, they provide a perfect walking experience.
- They feature a removable insole and leather uppers. This means that these parts can be easily washed.
- The double arch support and midsole allows shock absorption.
- They are good looking
- The shoes come in a variety of colors
- These shoes might wear out sooner than expected
These shoes are designed specifically for elders with diabetes and other foot related issues. They are extra wide and can accommodate even the most swollen feet. These shoes feature a memory foam insole which gives you the ultimate comfort. These are so lightweight that you won’t even feel that you are wearing something. The material used is also antibacterial which can control odor and stains.
- These are woven shoes
- The insole is made up of memory sole and is antibacterial
- These shoes are skid resistant
- They adjust completely to the feet’s size
- These shoes are available in 3 different color and patterns black, beige tartan and blue tartan
- The shoes are lightweight
- These shoes are soft, lightweight and comfortable and perfect for indoor usage
- They are designed especially for elders with feet related issues and diabetes
- They are also skid resistant so you don’t have to worry about slipping while wearing these shoes
- Excellent for swollen feet
- The wide fitting is for swollen feet. They might become lose if the swelling stops
- They are not great for walking outside the house
Treat your feet to the ultimate comfort by buying these pedwalker shoes. These shoes have a double insole that provides double cushioning. It takes pressure off your feet and allows you to take long walks even if you are diabetic. The leather finishing not only gives it strength and durability but it also enhances the fashionable design of the shoes.
- These shoes are made of leather and nylon
- Doubled insole
- Tongue and strap closure system
- Mesh lining and padded collar
- Leather finishing for excellent durability
- Rubber sole
- They have a fashionable design that can work for both casual and formal settings
- The shoes provide ultimate comfort and allow you to take longer walks.
- They take maximum pressure off of your feet and gives them the proper treatment they need.
- Their lightweight enhances ease of walking
- There are numerous cases of size related issues and it is important to read the reviews before making a final decision
- They are available in a variety of colors
These double depth shoes are an excellent choice for diabetic patients who require extra volume because of swollen feet. These shoes are made of lightweight lycra which is soft and gives excellent comfort. The best thing is that these shoes are machine washable and hold their shape even after hours of washing.
- These shoes are made of stretchable lycra.
- Specially designed as therapeutic shoes
- These shoes are machine washable
- One strap enclosure
- Seamless and padded lining
- Available in black only
- The sophisticated design and excellent comfort make these shoes perfect for everyday casual and formal use.
- These lightweight and washable shoes allow you to take long walks even with swollen feet.
- The fabric is stretchable and very durable.
- You must be extra keen when choosing the appropriate size. A size that might appear fitting can turn out to be extra tight.
These Dr. Comfort shoes feature one hinge design and can even accommodate internal braces and AFOs. These shoes have more than one inch of Velcro on each side which not only gives you maximum comfort but also enhances the excellent fitting that the shoes provide. Leather and mesh upper give them strong and durable finishing. They are perfect for long outdoor walks for diabetic patients.
- Made of leather and excellent quality mesh
- These shoes are available in black only
- Over one inch Velcro on both sides for amazing comfort and fitting
- Perfect fitting for people who require extra volume
- Seamless upper and padded lining offers great looking finishing
- Available in various sizes
- These shoes are filled with therapeutic and protective features that are necessary for people with swollen or sensitive feet.
- The leather and mesh finish gives it a sophisticated and stylish look
- These shoes are available in double depth for maximum comfort
- With more than one inch of Velcro on each side and padded lining, they provide you top notch comfort
- These shoes are difficult to put on so older patients require help when putting them on.
These Orthofeet shoes come with unique features that give excellent and unmatched comfort to your feet. They are designed especially for sensitive and diabetic feet. Regular use of these slippers can provide your feet with the proper care they need. These shoes are designed in such a way that they give maximum protection against the pressure points.
- Leather finishing for amazing durability
- Orthotic support to enhance comfort
- Extra-depth design makes these shoes perfect for swollen feet
- Lots of room and excellent cushioning
- Available in all the sizes
- Lightweight sole
- Available in a variety of colors
- Designed for ultimate comfort these shoes will protect your feet against all kind of pains.
- These shoes are perfect for both indoor and outdoor usage
- The lightweight sole enhances movement
- The air cushioning facilitates comfort
- They help in reducing foot and heel pain.
- The design enhances ease of use particularly for elderly patients
- These shoes are designed for casual wear and cannot be worn formally
This Dr. Comfort’s double depth shoe is the ultimate lightweight cross trainer. A unique arch stabilizer is added in these shoes for extra and enhanced support. They are perfect for people with swollen feet because they can easily accommodate extra volume. Perfect for outdoor activities and can be used for long walks, jogging and even hiking. Leather and mesh finishing gives them a trendy finishing that is missing from most diabetes shoes.
- These shoes have leather and mesh finishing
- Sophisticated and trendy design
- Enhanced extra depth design
- Elastic lace enclosure
- Seamless and padded design
- Available in black color only
- The double depth design makes these shoes comfortable for patients with swollen or sensitive feet
- These shoes are extremely durable and are perfect for outdoor activities like running and climbing. These are your perfect workout shoes.
- The elastic lace enclosure gives you amazing fitting
- Because of their tight fitting, these shoes are not recommended for elder patients as it will be difficult for them to put these on
- The padding in these shoes is less as compared to some other shoes mentioned in our list
These amazing outdoor shoes have an anatomical arch support and a relaxed fitting to give maximum protection to your pressure points. Additionally, have a deep toe box design that gives you more room to move your feet. This feature allows them to accommodate swollen feet as well. Using advanced technology of Orthofeet these shoes are designed especially for sensitive and diabetes feet. One of the most amazing features of these shoes is the gel orthotic insole which offers extra cushioning for added comfort.
- Leather finishing
- These shoes have orthotic support and gel padded heel seat
- The extra depth design makes them comfortable and roomy
- Padded interior and wide toe box
- Available in three colors
- Gel orthotic insole
- The gel orthotic insole provides cushioning that enhances stability making these shoes ideal for running climbing and long walks.
- The leather finishing gives them durability and a sophisticated finishing
- The sole is soft and provides amazing grip on road
- These shoes are designed specifically to offer the best solutions to diabetes feet problems.
- It is difficult for older patients to use this product because of the sophisticated design
- These might be too loose for some people because they are very roomy
These amazing diabetic hiking boots are suitable and durable enough for all of your outdoor adventures. Do not let diabetes or any other feet related disease to stop you from having fun. These amazing hiking shoes will definitely satisfy your desire for some outdoor action. They are comfortable and stylish at the same time. These lightweight and athletic footwear are a must have if you are conscious about your physical activities.
- A hard and durable leather finishing
- Available in 2 colors black and chestnut
- Rugged and sophisticated design
- Comfort gel insert gives maximum comfort
- Elastic lace enclosure and Velcro strap
- Seamless and padded lining
- These shoes have leather finishing which makes them extremely durable and perfect for all types of outdoor activities.
- The sole of these shoes offer excellent grip making these ideal for hiking and climbing
- Lightweight and comfortable even in heavy sporting activities.
- The shoes know how to take care of your sensitive and swollen feet even in the harshest environment.
- Not recommended for older customers as they might be hard to handle for them
- The sole of these shoes is a bit harder than other shoes mentioned in our list
Best Walking Shoes for Diabetic Women
These classical shoes by Dr. Comfort are specially designed for women with diabetes. They feature double depth design that can easily accommodate swollen feet which are common in diabetic patients. The shoes are made of very soft and light weight lycra which is stretchable and gives you amazing comfort.
Related article; Diabetic shoes for women
- Made of soft and comfortable lycra
- Sophisticated and classy design
- Machine washable
- Double depth design to accommodate swollen feet
- One strap Velcro enclosure for ease
- Available in black color only
- These shoes are soft and comfortable and perfect for walking indoor as well as outdoor.
- The shoes are extra deep and can accommodate deformed and swollen feet
- They are light weight and have a one strap Velcro enclosure which is easy to use.
- These shoes are ideal for older women because they are light and easy to put on
- They might be too loose for some women
- The design is so plain. Stylish women might overlook them
These classic “Mary Jane” styled shoes are designed to give extra comfort, amazing fitting, and excellent functionality. Extra cushioning in the heel and flex points of the feet gives you maximum protection against the pressure points and keep them safe. Impact protection and shock absorption technologies used to give you extra comfort and make your walks easier. The removable insole allows you to adjust the fitting according to your own comfort.
- Made of comfortable and stretchable lycra
- Light weight and comfortable
- Custom fit system features removable insoles for better fitting
- Velcro strap enclosure
- Slip resistant outsole and seamless lining
- Available in brown color only
- These shoes are well equipped to keep your feet comfortable during walks and other activities throughout the day
- They can be used in formal gatherings and official environment
- The slip resistant outsole and removable insole makes your walking experience fun and comfortable even with swollen feet
- A few women found the length of these shoes to be too short and complained about them not fitting properly. Be keen on the size. You might experience the same challenge
- Available in one color only.
These amazingly comfortable Chelsea shoes are designed especially to give maximum protection against the pressure points in your feet. The deep toe box design gives extra room to your toes and gives them freedom of movement. The gel insole is the most exciting feature of these shoes because it gives your enhanced comfort. The cushioning in the sides make them even more comfortable and enhances the stability.
- Made of high-quality leather
- Orthotic support for maximum comfort
- Extra-depth design
- Comfortable and light weight sole
- Gel insole and air cushioning
- Wide toe box design
- Available in black color only
- These shoes are classy and fashionable and perfect for outdoor usage and formal wear
- They are easy to put on and take off and can be easily by elderly patients
- The air cushioning and gel insole makes them lightweight and very comfortable for sensitive feet
- They are good looking
- The leather fabric enhances their durability
- They can get damaged easily in long walks and rough roads
- The heel of these shoes is a bit too big and some women did not find that comfortable
These stretchable strap shoes are comfortable because they provide extra room for your feet. The shoes provide you with a relaxed fitting to protect the pressure points on your feet. They have a specially designed gel insole which protects your sole. Their enhanced features make them shock absorbent and perfect for long walks and outdoor activities. They have a wide toe box that can accommodate swollen diabetic feet easily. These shoes are fashionable and can be used in formal gatherings.
- Feature a rubber non-slip sole
- Orthotic support ideal for diabetic feet
- Easy gait
- Extra-depth design to accommodate swollen feet
- Velcro one strap closure
- Available in 2 colors black and beige
- These shoes are light weight and extremely comfortable and are perfect for diabetic women
- They have a Velcro one strap enclosure that enhances the ease of use
- These shoes can be used by women of all ages as they are fashionable and comfortable at the same time
- The protect the users against foot and heel pain
- The Velcro fitting makes it too small for women with high arch
Don’t let any hinder you from leading a healthy and active life. These comfortable running shoes will be your best companion in long walks and runs. These ultra-light and comfortable shoes will help you remain active and fit. These shoes come with a gel insole that increases the comfort manifold. They have leather and mesh finishing and unique feminine design. With these cross trainers, your feet will feel relaxed even after a long day.
- Fabric and leather finishing ensures durability and comfort
- Rubber sole
- Gel plus insoles for added comfort
- Designed specifically for diabetic foot
- Available in three different color combinations: Lime, blue and pink.
- Light weight and comfortable
- Made for outdoors these shoes are perfect for long walks and running
- They have a unique arch stabilizer that protects your feet’s pressure points and keeps them comfortable
- They provide enhanced support and comfort to your swollen feet
- These shoes have extra bright colors which some of the women did not like very much
Specially designed for elderly women these extremely comfortable shoes are perfect for indoor use. These shoes are very easy to put on and take off. The extra wide slippers can accommodate even the most swollen feet easily. They have a no-slip rubber sole. They feature a memory insole which guarantees ultimate comfort. These slippers can also be worn as shoes.
- Blended high-quality fabric
- Best slippers for diabetic feet
- Extra wide
- Memory foam insole
- Very comfortable and cozy
- Skid resistant rubber sole
- Available in 4 different colors
- These extra wide slippers are perfect for comfortable casual use indoors.
- The memory foam insoles gives ultimate comfort and keeps your feet warm and cozy
- These adjustable wide width slippers make the best diabetic shoes for women
- These shoes are not recommended for outdoor use.
- There some users who complain that these shoes are not as light as described by the manufacturer.
These breathable and comfortable shoes are specially designed for long walks and other outdoor activities. They can accommodate swollen feet easily as they are stretchable. Velcro enclosure makes sure that the fitting is perfect for outdoor activities. The leather finishing makes these shoes rugged and durable. These lightweight walking shoes will help you in maintaining a good and healthy routine.
- Made of stretchable lycra
- Classic and sophisticated design
- Available in 4 different colors that include black, brown, white and blue
- Gel insert insole for added comfort
- Seamless and padded lining
- Lightweight shoes with Velcro enclosure
- These shoes are fashionable and trendy and are also perfect for official environment
- The gel insoles won’t let your feet get hurt or tired and will give you a comfortable fitting
- These lightweight shoes are the best for long walks as they can accommodate swollen diabetic easily because of stretchable lycra
- Your feet may get hot on these shoes and as a result, they are not recommended for hot days
- The design can hardly blend with dresses
These amazing shoes are built a full ½ inch deeper than usual shoes available in the market to accommodate diabetic feet. The trainers have arch stabilizers that increase the stability and give your feet maximum support. Specially designed for outdoor activities, they are perfect for walks and running. These shoes will help you in maintaining an active lifestyle even with your disease.
- Leather and mesh finishing for excellent comfort and durability
- Classic design for outdoor usage
- Gel insert double depth insole for added comfort
- Two strap Velcro enclosure
- Lightweight athletic shoes
- Available in white and black
- Seamless and padded lining
- The leather and mesh finishing gives these shoes durability and comfort
- These shoes are your perfect workout partner even with swollen feet
- Two strap Velcro enclosure makes it easy for you put these on and take them off
- These shoes are quite expensive
- The fitting might be lose for some women
These diabetic-friendly therapeutic slippers are just what you need for your swollen feet. They offer maximum comfort whether you wear them indoors or outdoors. The toe box is designed in such a way that it provides extra width and depth to keep the pressure off the sensitive areas in your feet. The luxurious fleece lining will reward you with the amazing soft feeling that your feet deserve.
- Extra-depth design to accommodate swollen feet
- Available in camel color
- Slip resistant high-quality outsole
- Gel insert adds to comfort
- Microfiber upper and fleece upper lining
- Can be cleaned by scrubbing gently with soap and water
- The extra depth design of these shoes provide comfortable fitting for swollen feet
- These shoes are specifically designed for elder patients and indoor use as they are easy to put on and take off
- The fleece upper lining and gel insole gives you amazing comfort
- These shoes are nice and comfortable but they are not wide enough for some users
- These shoes can be used for walking outdoor but not for running
These ultra-light refresh trainer shoes will keep you active and comfortable all day long. These shoes are ideal for the gym, walking, running and other outdoor activities. They are truly lightweight and have a unique arch stabilizer that gives your feet specialized support and protects its sensitive pressure points. Your feet will surely feel good even after a long day. These athletic shoes have a gel plus insole which adds to the comfort.
- Leather and mesh finishing
- Includes a free pair of gel plus insoles
- Available in 5 different color combinations
- Unique arch stabilizer for extra support
- Specially designed for young and athletic women, they are perfect for outdoor activities like jogging and long walks.
- They target diabetic women. As a result, the offer maximum comfort.
- These shoes can be useful for feet suffering from other foot conditions such as flat foot, neuropathy etc.
- The elastic lace enclosure makes these shoes a bit tight.
Now you know the importance of diabetes shoes and the benefits that they offer. You are also aware of the best available shoes that will not only give you ultimate comfort but also help you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Start living a healthy and active life again without worrying about the safety of your feet. Order from the products we have mentioned and we guarantee that you will not be disappointed.
Bergin, S. M., Nube, V. L., Alford, J. B., Allard, B. P., Gurr, J. M., Holland, E. L., … & Warnock, J. T. (2013). Australian Diabetes Foot Network: practical guideline on the provision of footwear for people with diabetes. Journal of foot and ankle research, 6(1), 6.
Pendsey, S. (2010). Understanding diabetic foot. International journal of diabetes in developing countries, 30(2), 75.