Walking is one of the most effective ways to support your body’s health, especially if you have diabetes. Walking helps to stimulate circulation, particularly in the lower extremities, like the feet. Since diabetes often affects the feet, it is important to choose the right pair of diabetic walking shoes and diabetic socks so your feet are comfortable, safe and properly supported.
In this blog post, you can find:
- - How does diabetes impact foot health?
- - Features to look for in the best walking shoes for diabetics?
- - Our picks for the best women’s walking shoes for diabetics
- - Our picks for the best men’s walking shoes for diabetics
How does diabetes impact foot health?
Diabetic neuropathy is a condition that affects 60-70% of people with diabetes. It causes damage to the nerves in your legs and feet, which can cause you to lose sensation in the affected areas. Consequently, you may not be able to feel cuts or sores on your feet, or feel extreme temperatures, which can lead to serious infections or foot health issues.
Approximately 1 in 3 people with diabetes over the age of 50 have a condition known as peripheral vascular disease. This condition causes decreased blood flow, which can significantly slow healing time for sores or cuts. As a result, those with diabetes and PAD are more at risk of developing serious ulcers or gangrene that may require amputation.
Since we have just established that the diabetic foot is extra sensitive and requires special care, the decisions about what shoes to buy should not be taken lightly. There are multiple important features that make a diabetic shoe a good one so we have eliminated all the guess work for you and outlined them below.
What features should I look for in the best walking shoes for diabetics?
- • Seamless Interior: walking shoes for diabetics should be made with soft, protective linings that don’t have any protruding stitching, as protrusions can cause irritation and lead to foot health issues like ulcers or sores.
- • Padded Interior: soft foam padding inside the shoes will act as buffer between the foot and the harmful exterior. The foot will be protected in case it is struck and fit comfortably without any pressure.
- • Non-Binding, Stretchable Uppers: the best walking shoes for diabetic foot pain need uppers constructed of a soft, stretchable material that will move with the foot and help eliminate pressure. This will also accommodate swollen diabetic feet throughout the day. Avoid shoes that have constricting overlays across the foot as they add pressure & create potential friction.
- • Extra-Depth: footwear for diabetics should have added depth inside the shoe to allow for proper movement of the foot while creating a pressure-free environment. Diabetic sneakers with extra depth also accommodate diabetic insoles or custom orthotics comfortably.
- • High, Wide Toe Box: toe boxes should be deep, offering more room inside the shoe and alleviating pressure or friction in the toe area.
- • Multiple Widths: since creating a non-constrictive environment is especially important, diabetics often need to wear wider shoes. Multiple widths allow for customized fit and protection.
- • Ergonomic Soles: diabetic walking sneakers should feature a lightweight sole that improves mobility and function.
- • Adjustability features: the more adjustability features the shoe has, the better it will fit the diabetic foot. Good shoes will include straps in several places or laces that will allow you to customize the fit to your particular needs.
Our picks for the best women’s walking shoes for diabetics
1. Coral Stretchable Women’s Diabetic Sneaker
Orthofeet’s Coral women’s lace up sneakers incorporate cutting edge footwear technologies to help absorb shock and alleviate pain, pressure and friction making them a top choice for the best walking shoes for diabetics.
Coral’s multi-layer construction incorporates a premium orthotic insole designed to reduce over pronation, plantar fasciitis and other common foot pain. The footbed has air and foam cushioning pockets to disperse shock forces during impact so feet feel comfortable and supported.
The footbed cover is made from an anti-microbial fabric to wick away moisture, keeping feet clean, cool and dry, which is especially important for people with diabetes.
The wide toe box & soft, padded uppers create a supportive, yet pressure free environment that allows for maximum toe movement, making Coral ideal for those who may have bunions, hammertoes, arthritis, neuropathy, diabetes or swollen feet.
Coral’s protective interior offers a soft, seam free lining that eliminates pressure points and friction against the skin. The soft, padded collar at the heel helps to prevent feet from slipping in your shoes, while offering cushioned support at the back of the heel.
*If you are looking for these walking shoes in a version designed for men, shop for Lava Men’s Stretch Knit Walking Shoes
2. Verve Tie-less Lace Women’s Walking Shoes
Orthofeet’s Verve has a unique, customizable fit system that ensures your feet have all the support they need to feel their best. The one-of-a-kind Tie-less lace system combines laces and straps on both sides of the shoe, eliminating the need for tying laces. The adjustable heel strap allows you to adjust the grip around the heel for a fully customized fit and to ensure you don’t have any heel slippage.
Verve includes premium insoles that feature an antimicrobial topcover that wicks moisture away from the feet to keep them healthy & clean. The insole’s arch support properly aligns the feet & lower body to optimize your movement while walking.
The sneaker features a seam-free interior, non-binding uppers and a wide toe box to protect and support feet, while allowing for biomechanical gait. It works well for narrow heels, wide feet, Edema and to accommodate braces and AFO’s.
*If you are looking for these walking shoes in a version designed for men, shop for Sprint Tie-Less Men’s Walking Shoes
3. Sanibel Women’s Mary Jane Walking Shoes
Orthofeet’s Sanibel Mary Jane has a flattering silhouette and full adjustability. Featuring a hook and loop strap across the top of the foot, as well as at the back of the heel, this shoe is the ultimate in comfort. Adjustability in both these areas ensures that your feet never slip or rub inside the shoe, which is important for those with diabetes.
The high, wide, rounded toe box provides ample room inside the shoe to ensure your feet move properly and never feel pressure or irritation.
Sanibel includes a premium orthotic insole and ergonomic soles to support the arch, align the body, cushion the feet and facilitate proper movement. Added depth allows space for a custom orthotic or diabetic insole if needed.
The seamless linings & soft, pillow soft interior keep feet cushioned and protected to ensure there is no irritation or pressure inside the shoe. And since this is a Mary Jane style, it can be comfortably worn without socks and still offer gentle contact with the skin.
Sanibel is offered in extended widths from narrow all the way up to extra extra wide, allowing it to fit any foot type and shape.
4. Verona Women’s Walking Sandals
Verona women’s sandals by Orthofeet are engineered with the most advanced footwear technology to enhance comfort and alleviate pain, in an upper that promotes air circulation and is perfect for warmer climates.
Lightweight, mild rocker soles absorb impact and cushion every step, improving the ease of walking and reducing pain.
The closed toe design offers increased protection to the forefoot or anyone who is not keen on showing their toes. Verona offers adjustable fit with both a hook & loop strap across the heel, and a toggle at the forefoot to help prevent slippage. It is also one of few sandals where the orthotic can be removed to accommodate a custom device.
Superior arch support and 5 layers of hi-tech cushioning improve leg & ankle alignment, enhancing comfort and easing stress and pain on the heel, ball of foot, knees, hips and back.
Verona is available in staple black and pewter that pairs well with any outfit color scheme.
*If you are looking for these walking sandals in a version designed for men, shop for Alpine Men’s Walking Sandal
5. Joelle Stretchable Women’s Walking Shoe
If you are looking for an easy on/off shoe, look no further. The Joelle is an everyday casual walking shoes that feature elasticized laces and a hook and loop strap for an adjustable fit and easy slip on.
The fabric uppers incorporate spandex giving it a 360 stretch that can expand and contract depending on your foot size and shape.
A non-binding fit and smooth, seamless interiors, combined with a high, wide toe box offer maximum protection against pressure points and prevent friction when you walk.
Joelle offers removable depth to accommodate orthotics and includes an anatomical orthotic insole and cushion system with air pockets designed to cradle and support the foot inside the sneaker.
Foam padding along the forefoot, as well as a soft, padded collar at the heel help to cushion and protects the foot in the most vulnerable areas.
Joelle is available in multiple widths up to extra extra wide (4E) so you can ensure the perfect fit for your particular foot type. A classic black or neutral silver/grey will make you tempted to buy both colors!
These sneakers are certified by Medicare and are qualified as women’s therapeutic shoes under code A5500 of the Diabetic Shoe Bill, offering an excellent solution for those seeking women’s diabetic walking shoes.
Our picks for the best men’s walking shoes for diabetics
1. Sorrento Men’s Outdoor Walking Shoes
Sorrento Outdoor Men’s Shoes are lightweight shoes that offer comfort and protection for those who enjoy time walking or hiking outdoors. The durable upper along with the forefoot toe guard, and metal lace eyelets make this shoe prefect for your rugged adventures.
The soft, protective interior is constructed with seam-free linings to eliminate pressure points and friction against the skin, which is especially important for those with diabetes.
Foam padding at the heel and along the forefoot of the shoes offers additional cushioning and support, while creating a relaxed, comfortable fit.
The stretchable uppers, along with the deep, wide toe box provide extra room for toe movement while alleviating pressure on bunions & hammertoes.
Sorrento Outdoor Men’s Shoes include a removable anatomical orthotic insole and an ergonomic sole to facilitate proper alignment and gait.
2. Hunter Men’s Walking Boots
Orthofeet’s Hunter Men’s Walking Boots are a staple for every wardrobe. Whether you are working 12 hours days, taking a wander on the off beaten path or simply running errands, this shoe will deliver it all. Thanks to its advanced engineering, the Hunter alleviates foot and heel pain and enhances ankle stability, leaving you comfortable all day long.
The removable insole is constructed with a unique air pocket under the heel to add cushioning to the naturally thinning fat pad and disperses shock forces for a softer stride. Covered with an anti-microbial top cover, the insole uses state-of-the-art materials to drive away bacteria and fungi and keep feet clean and odor free even on the toughest days.
The flexible and durable fabric upper ensures a pressure free environment for your feet including those with bunions, hammertoes or sensitive feet. Coupled with the padded interior, notably around the heel and tongue, these shoes will keep your diabetic feet protected and blister free.
Although a boot, Hunter is constructed on a lightweight, ergonomic sole with a mild rocker bottom that provides superior cushioning and propels feet forward with minimal joint motion.
These boots offer the protection and durability of a boot with the comfort and support of a sneaker, making them a superior option for those who enjoy spending time outdoors.
3. Ventura Men’s Walking Shoes
Ventura Men’s Walking Shoes are made with full grain leather uppers to offer long lasting durability yet soft enough to create a pressure free fit for the foot.
Three hook and loop straps across the instep offer maximum adjustability and make them super convenient to put on and take off. This is really helpful for those with arthritis or who have difficulty bending down eliminating the need to lace constantly.
Ventura is designed with an anatomical insole that supports the arch, aligns the feet and body and keeps everything in the optimal neutral position. Its cushioning footbed is made with multiple layers of shock absorbing foams and gives you the feeling of walking on air.
Diabetic feet will experience comfort and protection with the completely seamless interior and plush padding around the foot. No longer will your heel experience blisters or your instep get irritated thanks to the extra cushioning in those areas.
A round and generously wide toe box will promote maximum toe mobility, minimize overlapping and friction and create a pressure free fit no matter how wide your forefoot is.
These sneakers are certified by Medicare and are qualified as men’s therapeutic shoes under code A5500 of the Diabetic Shoe Bill, offering an excellent solution for those seeking men’s diabetic walking shoes.