Diabetic Shoes & Socks – How To Choose

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If you happened to have the unfortunate bad luck of developing diabetes, then you are now also at risk of developing diabetic feet, for which you’ll need special footwear. If you have a blood sugar, which is uncontrolled, then this can lead to neuropathy. Simply put, neuropathy is damage to your nerves. This can cause pain or numbness. And when you are a diabetic, your feet are very much at risk for developing neuropathy. You’ll want to avoid this at all costs. But it could be that you already have it. If this is the case, it becomes extra important that you take good care of your feet, starting right now. If you neglect this, you run the real risk of getting bigger complications, which may lead to your foot having to be amputated.

When suffering from diabetes, it’s important that you inspect every area of your foot on a daily basis. Check out the top, the sides, the soles and also your heels. And don’t forget the areas in between your toes. Diabetes is often caused by being too overweight for too long a time. If you are too obese in order to be able to reach your own feet, then ask someone else to inspect your feet for you. Note that not everybody is willing to do this on a daily basis. If you have no such person in your near vicinity, then you better start making friends with such a person.

In order to preserve what remains of your foot health, it’s important that you start wearing the right type of shoes and socks. As a diabetic, you have special feet. And now you need special footwear. A lot of you diabetics out there are afraid that diabetic shoes are going to look bulky and unappealing. However, those days are long gone. These days, there actually exist diabetic shoes that look fairly decent. But how exactly do you go about choosing the right ones for yourself?

How To Choose Diabetic Shoes?

1. Make sure to get shoes that have a moldable footbed. This will keep friction down to a minimum and it will cushion your impacts.

2. If possible, try to get shoes that have a non marking rubber outsole. It also helps if these soles are slip resistant.

3. If you’re a woman, don’t even think about wearing high heels.

4. Never wear shoes with pointy toes. These types of toe boxes are too narrow and will limit the blood supply to your toes. It’s a recipe for an ischemia disaster.

5. Try to go for shoes that have padded bottoms, for that little bit of extra comfort to your feet.

6. Get shoes that you can easily adjust, using velcro straps, buckles or laces. Sometimes, your feet will swell up. It helps to be able to ease the pressure.

7. Make sure to go for closed shoes. So sandals and flip flops are out of the question. Closed shoes give your feet protection from sharp objects that would be able to cut you. Small cuts can lead to infections, which can lead to even more problems.

8. If you can, get a shoe that has a firm heel for good support. Maybe even a tempered steel shank.

9. If you can’t stand your diabetic feet’s odor, then get a shoe with odor control.

10. Make sure to get waterproof shoes, so that your feet are protected from an unexpected downpour.

11. Don’t get shoes made of plastic or other cheap, non breathing materials. Instead, get a shoe made of a quality material such as leather.

12. Get shoes that have extra depth for your diabetic feet. This extra depth helps to accomodate your orthotics.

13. Make sure to wear shoes that are non binding and therefore do not constrict your feet in any way. If you have neuropathy, you can’t always feel pressure sensations that well. If you wear tight shoes, the damage to your feet can become worse without you feeling it.

How To Choose Diabetic Socks?

1. A really great material for diabetic socks, is bamboo fibers. Socks made of these fibers are very soft and do not harbor any odors. Thanks to their natural moisture wicking properties, you will keep your feet dry. They will naturally regulate your feet’s temperature, keeping them warm in the wintertime, but cool during the summertime. They’ll fight foot fatigue prevent slipping. You can wear these every day of your life.

2. Get socks with ridges if you tend to slip and slide within your shoes. Wearing these regularly can sometimes cause ulcers. Do so moderately, and at your own risk.

3. Make sure to go for socks that are soft, latex free and that have antimicrobial properties.

4. Some socks have holofiber technology, which is said to increase oxygen levels in your skin. This can help you in healing and recovery. It will also increase your blood flow and regulate your temperature.

5. Make sure to go with moisture wicking socks, to keep those feet dry.

6. Choose socks that will inhibit growth of fungi and other bacteria, which cause odors.

7. If you have swollen ankles and feet in the evening, then go for stretchy socks that are non binding.

8. If you want longer socks that go to the calves, then get socks with mild compression and gradient support. This is especially important if you have edema, or if your feet simply get tired quickly.

9. If bamboo socks are not an option, get socks that are made of a cotton wool blend, or just wool or just cotton. Just so long as it’s soft and it lets your feet breathe.

10. Seams can cause pressure points, so in most cases it’s best to go with seamless socks.

11. Go for socks that aren’t too tight, since this will inhibit your circulation. Rather, go for non binding socks that are a bit loose and that give your diabetic feet the room they so desperately need.


If you’re a diabetic, you’ve got to take extra special care of your feet. If you do so correctly, you stand a much greater chance of keeping them healthy and avoiding amputation.

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About the author


Hi, I’m Brian Bradshaw. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

2 thoughts on “Diabetic Shoes & Socks – How To Choose”

  1. have been type 2 diabetic for the last more than 25 years and have benefited from the contribution on diabetic shoes by several organizations. My main worry has been injuries to the feet resulting in ulcers and possible amputation plus and including other ailments in the kidneys, eyes, heart etc. Your article is an interesting read for it goes a long way in educating and informing masses on the dangers and remedy through making informed choices on shoes and socks for this slow and silent disease.

    • Hi Geoffrey,

      Sorry to hear about your diabetes. You’ve got to take that disease seriously, or it will get to you. I’m glad you liked my page. Thanks!




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