feet require specially designed shoes, ask your insurance plan about
covering the cost of the shoes. Medicare will cover foot exams and special
(orthotic) shoes or shoe inserts. Some medical supply shops specialize in
designing custom-fitted shoes for people with
diabetes who have abnormally shaped feet or pressure
sores on their feet.
Good shoes should fit well. To ensure that
your shoes fit well:
Buy shoes in the evening when your feet are
more likely to be swollen. This will give you a better fit throughout the
Tell the store clerk that you have diabetes. (If the clerk
doesn't know why that matters, find a store with a clerk who does
Look for shoes that have roomy toe boxes (the space around
the toes). Shoes with roomy toe boxes (not pointed toes) will help prevent
bunions and blisters.
Try on shoes wearing the kind of socks you
will usually wear with the shoes.
Good shoes should be made of comfortable materials. Good
shoes are made of materials that are flexible and breathable (don't make your
Athletic shoes are usually made of comfortable
Soft, flexible leather is a good shoe
Wear insoles if there is room in your shoes for
Good shoes should protect your feet.
Do not buy shoes with plastic tops or uppers or
sandals that have straps between the toes. Avoid plastic shoes in general. They
may rub your feet and cause blisters. They may also make your feet
Do not wear sandals. Sandals don't protect your toes and
feet from scrapes or cuts.
Do not buy shoes with very thin soles.
Thin soles can be easily punctured. They also do not protect your feet from hot
pavement or cold weather.
Do not go barefoot, even when you are
Good socks should protect your feet.
Socks should be cushioned. The best socks are
thick and cushioned.
Cotton or wool socks are better than polyester
or nylon socks.
Socks without seams are best because seams often
irritate toes or bony areas of the feet. If you wear socks with seams, position
the seam before putting on your shoes, and wear shoes that do not rub your
Stockings or nylons need to fit loosely around your toes to
leave room for movement when walking. Put them on, then pull at the toes to
create some wiggle room. Do not wear short stockings (thigh-highs or
knee-highs) or garters because these can interfere with your blood
When you wear new shoes, check your feet for
pressure spots, redness, or blisters twice a day. New shoes should be broken in
slowly. The first week, wear your new shoes only 1 to 2 hours a day. The second
week, wear your new shoes 2 to 3 hours a day. Increase the amount of time you
wear the new shoes each week. It is especially important to break in leather
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.