Foot care for diabetics. Recommended brands of shoes?

Hi all! I am really worried about my feet and I want to make sure I am as careful as possible. Is there any brands of foot wear out there that you would recommend or have heard good things about? I looked online at a couple of places but wasn’t to pleased. I didn’t know if there were stores that sold good foot wear for diabetics where I could actually go to the store and try them on.

For sports shoes try new balance, not the less expensive ones but something in the 800 or 900 series. I use an 866, which was an older model number that several nurses use. The current 800 model that compares is the 850 or 883. My foot doc liked my choice so i think it is good choice. The thing is to get a general purpose walking shoe or and only if you run, a running shoe. Over 80% of what people do is walk, so if you undecided get the 800 series. If you like a wider shoe, check out the 926, also a fine shoe.

In addition, i use a brand of shoe called Dr. comfort, available only from the foot docs. They are very expensive, but most health plans will buy a pair a year for diabetics, if they have a foot exam, and the foot doc says you need them. Several folks in my area purchase them in December after their deductibles are met. Your foot doc will know the ins and outs of what is covered. However style is not my main thing, im an old guy, so you may not like the styles.

Other than that, the best recommendation is to purchase sturdy well made shoes. Stay away from inexpensive shoes that are found on sale racks. I say that because my wife is nuts about the discount shoe rack. While that is fine for her, it can reek terrible issues for a diabetics. Do not think well I can get by with these ‘cute’ shoes because I will not wear them much. Even an hour in the wrong shoes can be most harmful.

Here are some general dos and dont’s for feet care.

Good luck with the feet thing. I know as a male shoes are less important for me than most women. It is the one thing men have over women in this country, but being careful will give good results.

rick phillips

I am not discounting other shoe brands, I am only commenting that New balance work well for me and that the foot doc liked them. i just do not have good info about other brands.

rick phillips

Good fitting shoes and proper hygene are really all you need… as well as paying attention to your feet daily. “Diabetic” ulcers and other issues don’t “just happen” they take time (and neglect) to develop.

Most “modern” shoes won’t break in the way that full leather shoes do (and by full leather I mean just that - FULL leather, not leather other with synthetic inner) so any signs of pain/blisters/etc are an immediate sign that those shoes won’t work. It may sound gross, but most retailers will accept returns for shoes that hurt your feet.

My advice, is to get fitted by someone who knows what they’re doing, and if you need wide shoes, buy wide shoes, not regular shoes a size or two larger than you need (and I have an EEE foot, there are shoes out there that fit and don’t cost multiple hundreds of dollars like RX shoes can). I generally spend $80-120 on a GOOD pair of shoes, when I’m not wearing my $20 Crocs :slight_smile:

Special insoles or orthotics may also be an option to persue that can help protect your feet if you already have some kind of structural issue that may contribute to problems down the line… but you’d need to talk to someone qualified (like a podiatrist) regarding that.

They’re not always a BAD idea… if you know what you need, you can get good deals… I’ve gotten all but a couple pairs of my new balance that way, and they almost always have birkinstocks, which fit me well. But I know which styles work and what size I need… I wouldn’t advise it otherwise.


I recommend Rockports. I used to get the “World Touring” shoe. That is, until I needed braces and then the insurance company would pay for real diabetic shoes. Time was, I couldn’t even walk a few feet and my tootsies hurt and burned like crazy. Then I found Rockport and floated through the next few years.

Try them on in the store and walk around for a while in the store (and on carpet) to see if they started hurting. I usually spent about $100 for a pair but they lasted.

Good Luck!

Lois La Rose
Milwaukee, WI

Amanda, you are young and presumably in good health with no foot problems. You should be thinking about Milano Blahnik shoes, not prescription shoes. You only need to worry about shoes if you start to have complications. Consult regularly with a podiatrist and should that time ever come you can get recommendations. Go to a good shoe store that can help professionally fit you. If you are active in sports, you should find a store that has a good reputation this. It makes a difference in sports and things like running. If you are pronated or supinated, find out. Once you can determine your special needs, you should buy good shoes and often once you find what you want, you can get that on-line.

And I was not kidding about the Milano Blahnik’s. It is ok to have some splurge shoes when you are young and want to dress stylishly. When you get older, you are going to hate tight fufu shoes and want comfy slippers and Birkenstocks.

My dad was a real estate appraiser, and he had to walk a lot every day, in his job… He swore by his Clarke shoes… And I own some too. I could walk a mile in those things.

I love my Asics! They were also rated very highly recently by Consumer Reports. I even got a pair at a great price at Marshall’s.

I’ve worn Rockports for years. They are worth it. ALso, my pod recommended New Balance. And, by all means, go somewhere where you can try the shoe on. I don’t think I’d ever order a shoe by mail, unless it was a specific brand and size that I’d worn before.

As a nurse I get a lot of continuing education. Listening to a vascular surgeon say,“if you need to break in a shoe then it is not the shoe for someone with diabetes. The shoe should fit perfectly comfortable the first time you put it on.” This made so much sense to me. I wear Earth shoes and I have six different styles and colors and love each and everyone. I bought my first pair in a store where I could try several different styles on and have since ordered them on line because no matter what style they are the same size fits me perfectly.

I bought a pair of shoes online and had to return them. Have to try them on and walk around in them. I wear Rebok Princess which my podiatrist approves of , although I would like to try on Rockports, hear a lot of good things about them.

Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions.

I ended up buying a pair of new balances the other day and they are very comfy. I have had a couple of foot problems over the last couple of years. I first went into to see my podiatrist because of heel issues. Once that got resolved I have had a reoccurring ingrown toe nail on the same foot for over a year. I’ve had the nail cut and removed three times and I am going in for surgery where they remove the actual root of the nail on the end in 2 weeks. This is the only option at this point. I am hoping for good recovery.

I also have a pair of orthotics my doc made for me about a year ago.

I just want to make sure I am doing all I can do!

Thanks all

New Balance. Totally. I have flat feet and neuropathy and am always concerned, too. New Balance are built with a square base and the shoe insert can easily be removed to put in your diabetic inserts if you need them. I got my recommendation from the Wound Center nurses. They were absolutely right. Love mine. I also have a pair of diabetic shoes with special inserts and braces for my ankles but a girl needs a break from those every once in awhile.

Good Luck!


The best and most comfortable shoes for me were Rockports. I started wearing them when I had trouble with horribly aching feet and started limping all around. The “World Touring” shoe was the model I wore and swore by. I bought them until I had to go into braces and then the insurance company would pay for he diabetic shoe.

Hope this helps.


There are some brands that I love. Clark’s, Softspots, Munro (which let you know what last the shoe is made on), Dansko, and Sofft. They are listed as “comfort” brands, but look pretty good. Fit right out of the box.

I don’t know if this shop is only local, but Chic Wide Shoes (regulars too) is my go-to store for shoes.

In some cases the style of shoe can be an issue. I have a bunion, and every loafer-type shoe has seams that converge just where I need extra room. I usually don’t get that style.

Also, consider getting to know your local cobbler/ shoe repair place: If you have specific issues with fit, such as a bunion, they can adjust the shoe to fit you. Myself, I bought some of the equiptment they use, and adjust my shoes and all my friends, but I’m a little OTT about fit and comfort.

Hope this helps!