Shoes for Diabetics – How to Choose

Hunting for shoes for diabetics can be challenging. Swollen feet and the foot pain associated with diabetes require an understanding of the condition of the feet to help them identify specific wants in the shoes they want to purchase.

There are a variety of shoes on the market but making a choice can be difficult. Searching for shoes for my father helped me better understand features to look out for because no two diabetic people experience the exact same sort of foot pain or swelling.

Finding comfortable acceptable “less drab” footwear suitable for all occasions, including social events needed a lot of upfront research for my father which is the information shared in this article.

How does Diabetes Affect the Feet?

The most common complication of diabetes is damage to the nerves of the body, known as diabetic neuropathy – a condition well-known to people living with diabetes. The symptoms can include numbness, tingling, pain, and altered pain sensation, which can lead to damage to the skin.

Diabetes-related foot problems (such as diabetic foot ulcers) may occur, and can be difficult to treat because of the diminished sensation in the feet. This can cause serious infections such as sores, calluses and ulcers in the feet which, in extreme cases, may need amputation.

Diabetic neuropathy also causes painful muscle atrophy and weakness.

With these considerations, diabetics, especially when on insulin may be more prone to falls especially in older people. This is also a major reason why diabetics should ensure that their footwear is comfortable, stable and safe.

Features to Look for in Shoes Designed for Diabetics – Checklist

When looking to buy specially designed shoes for diabetics, there are some general considerations that should be checked. Most designs generally have several of these features but the fit may differ by the shoe brand. The checklist below is a useful guide to follow.

Shoe Must be Designed For Diabetics:

Checklist -Shoes for Diabetics

Shoes to be considered MUST specifically be designated as designed for diabetics OR have a diabetes rating such as Medicare/HCPCS Code = A5500 Diabetic Shoe. Only these shoes are recommended for diabetics to avoid harm, inflammation or infection.

Footwear Fit and Shape:

Footwear must fit properly and accommodate the shape of the foot. Proper fit means that when socks are worn the shoes do not fit tightly or rub against the shoe base.

This can result in reduced sensation in the feet accompanied by inflammation, sores and infection.

Coverage of the Shoe:

Full foot coverage is recommended. High-heeled shoes, shoes with a narrow toe box (pointy fit), sandals or open-toed shoes should be avoided.

This footwear can cause pressure to be applied to certain parts of the foot causing swelling or pain, or can allow debris to enter around the foot which can cause unwanted injury.

Shoe Depth:

Many diabetic shoes are described as having “extra depth,” which speaks specifically to the toe cage of the shoe.

Having additional room in this compartment of the shoe can help protect the skin whenever the foot swells or would otherwise experience additional pressure in traditional shoes

In a diabetic shoe, you want to avoid restriction and instead provide plenty of breathing room.

Wide Toe Box Design:

Check Width and Shoe Depth with a tape measure - Shoes for Diabetics
Check Width and Shoe Depth

This will provide the feet with lots of movement space

Ergonomic Arching and Heel Support:

Provide comfort placement of the foot and eliminate unnecessary grazing that can result in bruises or soreness

Extra Cushioning and Shock Absorbing Pads:

Extra cushioning and support is required to help prevent foot pain and injuries. Most approved shoes provide lots of cushioning around the heel and arch support and around the ball of the foot.

Stretchable Upper Material:

The tops of the shoes should be made from soft fabric to similarly protect the feet. If foot conditions like bunions or hammertoes are present, a shoe with stretchable Lycra material is preferred to reduce friction against the toes.

Weight of the Shoe:

Note that some shoes may be too heavy for certain individuals. If the shoe is too heavy it may cause falls, especially in the case of elderly patients with neuropathy.

Anti-skid Rubber Sole:

This provides stability and prevents unnecessary slips and falls

Ability to Control Tightness of the Shoe:

Shoes with Velcro straps allow users to easily control the tightness of the shoe and also helps those with dexterity issues tying shoe laces

FitVille Shoes for Diabetics – Rebound Core Design

FitVille Men or Women Rebound Core is a popular Unisex design in shoes for diabetics and comes in 5 delightful colors. Because the shoes come in half-sizes, this ensures that a good fit can easily be found. Furthermore, there are wider sizes – Wide 2E and Extra Wide 4E for even more enhanced sizing.

The Rebound Core is designed for people with wide feet. A wide toe box and high in-step design reduce the friction between the feet and the arch support provides cushioning comfort. The manufacturer is recognized for its Patented PropelCore EVA soles and these shoes check off all the features discussed in the checklist.

Coverage: Full

Weight: Lightweight (not provided)

Style: Modern / Stylish


  • Premium quality PU material is used to provide a stable support and wear resistance
  • Patented PropelCore EVA soles provide cushioning
  • Rigid Rubber out soles provide strong grip and motion stability
  • Tie-less closure


  • MEN: 5 colors – Sandy Gray, Majolica Blue, Black, White, Army Green
  • WOMEN: 4 colors – Sandy Gray, Majolica Blue, Black, Army Green


MEN: 6-15; Wide 2E, Extra Wide 4E

WOMEN: 6-12; Wide 2E, Extra Wide 4E

You may also want to check FitVille Diabetic Shoes for Men Slip-On Mules for Swollen Feet Extra Wide Adjustable Clogs Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis Indoors Outdoors

Propet Shoes For Diabetics

In 1949, PRO-Keds was established by Keds as an athletic footwear line primarily aimed at basketball.

Originally released as the “Royal Tread,” the first PRO-Keds product was the classic Royal, a canvas basketball shoe in high and low tops featuring a distinctive red and blue power stripe adjacent to the toe.

It was worn and endorsed by the Minneapolis Lakers, the first NBA Champions who won five consecutive titles in PRO-Keds.

Over time, new styles were added across the categories of baseball, football, tennis, and track and field.

Materials using exclusive shock-absorbent support and cushioning techniques were developed to keep pace with the rapid advancements in footwear technology

Today, Propet is a leading manufacturer of shoes for diabetics and they have a large number of popular designs on the market.

Its top-rated shoes are presented in this round-up overview.

Information presented is based on material type, cushioning level, coverage, style, sizing options and customer reviews.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, ALL THEIR DIABETIC SHOES ARE RATED Medicare/HCPCS Code = A5500 Diabetic Shoe, so if they do not have this rating, no matter how wide they appear to be, they will not be suitable for diabetics.

Propet Women’s Tour Walker Medicare/HCPCS Code = A5500 Diabetic Shoe Sneaker

Coverage: Full

Weight: 334.52 Grams


  • 100% Leather
  • Well cushioned
  • Soles – rubber, non skid
  • Velcro fastener

Colors: 5 colors – Sport White, White, Black, White/Blue, White/Berry

Sizes: 5 -12; Wide 2XX, Extra Wide 3XXX: Half-sizes available

True to size

Propet Men’s M5015 Medicare/HCPCS Code = A5500 Diabetic Shoe Sneaker

Coverage: Full

Weight: 368.54 Grams

Materials / Construction:

  • 100% Leather
  • Well cushioned
  • Padded collar and tongue
  • Velcro strap closure
  • Shaft measures approximately Low-Top” from arch
  • Durable arch support
  • Manmade sole
  • Medicare/HCPCS code A5500 diabetic shoe

Colors: 4 colors – Dark Brown Grain, Black Grain, Dark Brown, Black

Sizes: 7 -15; Reg , Wide (X), Extra Wide (XX): Half-sizes available in 8, 9, 10

True to size – Order usual size

Propet Women’s Vista Strap A5500 Diabetic Comfort Shoes &

Propet Men’s Vista Strap-m A5500 Diabetic Shoes

Coverage: Full

Weight: WOMEN – 340.19 Grams, MEN – 334.52 Grams

Materials / Construction:

  • 100% Leather
  • Well cushioned
  • Shaft measures approximately Low-Top#inches from arch
  • Platform depth measures approximately 4.0972 inches
  • Supple full-grain leather upper with mesh lining
  • Padded collar and tongue with twin-strap closure
  • Firm heel counter with removable footbed
  • PU unitsole provides cushion, traction and durable wear
  • Medicare approved, A5500 coded
  • Soles – rubber, non-skid

Colors: WOMEN -2 colors – Bone Smooth, Black Smooth

MEN– 2 Colors – Brown, Black

Sizes: WOMEN: 6X WIDE -11X WIDE; Half-sizes available in 8 & 9
8X Wide – 15XX Wide: Half sizes in 8 – 11

Fit: True to size – Order usual size

Propet Women’s Stability Walker Medicare/HCPCS Code = A5500 Diabetic Shoe Sneaker &

Propet Men’s Stability Walker Medicare/HCPCS Code = A5500 Diabetic Shoe Sneaker

Coverage: Full

Weight: WOMEN – 300.5 Grams, MEN – 368.54 Grams

Materials / Construction:

  • 100% Leather
  • Rubber sole – non skid
  • Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch
  • Walking sneaker with leather upper featuring rocker profile, D-ring speed-lacing system, and perforations for breathability
  • Molded-EVA midsole
  • Rigid Internal heel counter
  • Removable cushioned orthotic
  • B’ in the physical item denotes Women’s sizing
  • Speed-lacing closure system
  • Medicare/HCPCS code A5500 diabetic shoe

Colors: WOMEN – 4 colors – Black, White, Pewter Suede, Berry Suede

MEN– 5 Colors – White, Black, Grey/Black Nubuck, Chocolate/Black Nuback, Army Green/Black Nubuck

Sizes: WOMEN: 5 – 13, Wide(X) , Narrow & XXX WIDE; Half-sizes available in 5 – 10
7X Wide – 17XX, Wide(X) , Narrow & XXX WIDE : Half sizes in 7 – 11

Fit: This style tends to run small. For an accurate fit the manufacturer recommends purchasing a 1/2 size larger than you typically purchase.

Conclusion – Shoes for Diabetics

People suffering from diabetes cannot afford to wear shoes other than those for diabetics. Wearing the wrong kind of shoes can lead to irritation, inflammation, and infection. They need to be searching for shoes for diabetics with swollen feet.

Many designs are available on the market, but designs of two top manufacturers – FitVille and Propet are compared in this article.

Because diabetic shoes are different from traditional shoes, some options may be pricier than others. Bear in mind that these differences are because they are wider and deeper than average to ensure that the feet can freely move about without brushing against the interior.

Furthermore, most shoes for diabetics are constructed in a manner that they do not include seams. These features are all reflected in the pricing.

Leave a comment below if you find this article informative or if you have a question you would like answered.

Read Related Articles

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Wikipedia. Diabetes

12 thoughts on “Shoes for Diabetics – How to Choose”

  1. That’s a lot of great information! I have a best friend whose father is diabetic and has recently had to amputate a toe. It’s no joke and it’s no fun. I really like the tennis shoe style! They actually don’t look too bad! I’ll send this post over to my friend so she can take a look at it for her dad for a possible Christmas present!

    • Hi Haley,
      Sorry to learn about the toe amputation of your friends Dads. Diabetics really need to be super careful! I love the tennis shoe style myself and will be gifting a pair to a friend this Christmas. I hope your friend will like them as well for her Dad.


  2. Ceci I have to admit, I did not know anything about different foot ware for diabetes, it opened a whole new perspective and a knowledge of understanding to a very serious sickness.
    Describing it with much empathy shows your dedication to bring the best. The options are so fashionable it will pass any catwalk and red carpet test with flying colours.
    Thank you for an excellent article full of helpful knowledge for the ignorant.

    • Hi Estelle,
      Thanks for your kind words and i am glad you found value in the article. I have two dear friends with diabetes for who I researched the article. They, of course, were interested in more fashionable and less “black old people’s shoes” as they described it 🙂

  3. I’m sorry your dad had diabetes and amputations that go along with the disease in general. It truly is an awful disease. When you talked about losing sensation in the feet and causing people to not have sensation, it reminded me of the movie Soul Food where the mother had diabetes and and she couldn’t feel her arm being burned on the stove! Anyway, back to the shoes. I didn’t know there were certain shoes diabetics need to wear. The diabetic sneakers are fashionable. Ultimately, diabetes can be reversed (at least Type II diabetes can) by adopting a low carb lifestyle like keto or atkins and then exercise. Best of luck.

    • Yes, diabetes can be very debilitating to those that have the condition. I was so floored to see more fashionable diabetic sneakers in the market when I researched the topic.


  4. Back in the day I feel like shoes made specifically to help diabetics always had an odd look to them, like they were obviously for some kind of therapy. Not anymore! Several of those look comfortable and stylish! Saving this for my aunt!

  5. Hey Ceci,
    This is really good to know as my mum and other family members are diabetic. I know my uncle always wears socks in his sandals, probably to allow for his swollen feet and pain. So its really good to see there are other options. These are all so more stylish. I will bookmark this post and share to those people.

    Your list of all the features to look for and the detailed specifications of each shoe is really helpful. Keep up the great work. This makes it very easy for buyers compared to the old days of looking around in a shoe store.

    • Hi John,
      Hope this article and other diabetic related ones on this site continue to provide you with necessary helpful information to improve quality of life for your loved ones.


  6. Hi Ceci, Some great information here. I’ve done quite a bit of research for diabetes but not footwear. You have done a good job sharing these I would probably wear a couple of these myself. I think you expect some of these shoes to look bulkier but from the pictures, they just look like regular trainers.

    The first and last ones I think look cool. Hopefully, this information can be helpful for people.

    Best regards;


    • Hi Alex,
      Its amazing how diabetic footwear no longer look dull and dreary, and many of them can easily pass off for regular trainers!



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