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Why Diabetic Shoes Are Recommended for People Diagnosed with Diabetes

Updated on April 21, 2015

Quick Facts About Diabetes

Whether you are young or old, both juvenile diabetes(type1 diabetes) and diabetes mellitus(type11 diabetes) have shown to take a major toll on the feet. For this reason, if you are diagnosed with either of the above type of diabetes, your choice of shoes is very important.

According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse(NDIC) 2011 statistics, about 215,000 people younger than 20 years have diabetes(type 1 or type 2). This figure represents a 0.26 percent of all people in this age group. There are others who have not been diagnosed, however, no data is currently available for this group. Again, because of the impact of diabetes on the nerve and blood vessels of the foot, if you are a diabetic, taking care of the feet which also includes avoiding flip flops, open toe shoes, tight shoes, and other types of footwear, is of paramount importance!

Important Shoes Recommendation

  • Seams, rough areas, or torn pieces in any shoes that are worn by diabetics can cause excess pressure or irritation that may result in blisters which can exacerbates into sores or wounds over time; so always make sure you thoroughly inspect the inside of your shoes.
  • You should practice changing the pressure points off your feet throughout the course of the day, especially if you have been diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy. You can do this by simply changing or temporarily removing your shoes, after every 5 hours of wearing them during the day. This will also help with swelling.
  • Always try to wear comfortable, good-fitting shoes that has plenty of room in them. You shouldn't buy shoes that fit too closely, hoping that they will eventually stretch over time. Closely fitted shoes will only create a tremendous amount of pressure on the feet, which is not good, especially when you have experienced nerve damage in the feet. Severe nerve damage in the feet may prevent you from being able to sense pressure from poorly fitted shoes. The tip of your shoes should be at least 1/2 to 1 inch in distance from your longest toe.
  • You should wear only shoes made of canvas, leather, or other breathable materials. Plastics, and other materials that don't breathe are not suitable choices. Thong sandals, pointed or open toes such as high heels, flip-flops, or other sandals, are not recommended either.
  • It's better to wear shoes that can be easily adjusted. They should have laces, Velcro,or buckles.

Special Designed Shoes for the Diabetic

There are shoes specifically designed for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes. These shoes are highly recommended. If you have medical coverage, you can purchase these special diabetic shoes through your insurance.

Based on finding, Medicare will cover the cost of one pair of these shoes plus inserts, for people with diabetes, if you can prove that you have a medical need for them. However, your insurance company will need proof that they are necessary and reasonable for protection of insensitive feet or nerve damage in the feet.

To qualify for a pair of these diabetic shoes through your health insurance there are certain steps that you have to follow. One of these steps for example, is that your doctor has to complete a certificate of medical necessity for therapeutic shoes and document the need in your medical records. If you don't have medical insurance, you will have to pay out of pocket.


To summarize, anyone who has been diagnosed with diabetes, a comfortable fitting pair of shoes based on the above recommendations, is very important. Another important thing to remember is that, a Diabetic shoes may not appear fashionable, but they are highly recommended, especially for people with diabetic neuropathy and other feet complications. Remember, It's not about fashion, your health comes first!

(C) I.McFarlane 2012


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    • mackyi profile imageAUTHOR

      I.W. McFarlane 

      6 years ago from Philadelphia

      You are welcome Cathleena Beams. Yes, you should try changing the pressure point off your feet by removing your feet from your shoes regularly throughout the day. While your feel is out of your shoes, gently massage your feet/heels to increase circulation. Another advice -- try not to sit with one leg crossed over the other for long as this impedes circulation.

    • Cathleena Beams profile image

      Cathleena Beams 

      6 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      Thank you for sharing this. I didn't realize that I should be changing the pressure points in my feet by removing or changing my shoes throughout the day. Can't wait to try this to see if it helps with the pain I've been experiencing lately in my heels. The "diabetic" shoes I've been wearing haven't helped. Crossing my fingers that this will do the trick. :o)


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