Wearing the proper type of shoes is especially important for those with diabetes. Shoes that fit correctly can help prevent diabetes-related foot complications.

Diabetic Foot Podiatrist Dr. Bruce Scudday

Tips for Diabetic Shoe Shopping

If you have your blood sugar controlled and have no prior history of foot complications such as foot ulcers, poor circulation, or nerve damage, then you may not need special shoes. For those with uncontrolled sugar levels or foot ulcers, however, specialty shoes or inserts are ideal for preventing complications. 

When shopping for shoes, there are many tips to consider to make sure your shoes are not only comfortable but can protect your feet from injury. Some tips to consider include:

  • Look for a material such as leather that is soft, stretchable, and will protect your feet.
  • Choose shoes that have laces or an adjustable closure so that you can put them on with ease and adjust them as needed when your feet swell.
  • Choose shoes with a wider toe box so that they will not compress the toes.
  • Look for shoes with a cushioned insole that will support your feet and provide comfort.

For those with diabetes, socks and inserts can add comfort and protection for your feet. You will want to avoid sandals, flip flops, or open-toed shoes as well as shoes with higher heels and no support.

Your podiatrist can recommend the type of shoe for your condition. Some options for specialty shoes for diabetics include:

Custom shoes.

This type of shoe can be custom-made by your podiatrist based on a mold of your foot. It is designed for those with nerve damage, foot injury, or deformity. 

Orthopedic shoe.

This type of shoe is made to provide additional comfort if you have a foot condition such as a bunion or corn. You can find orthopedic shoes at many retail stores, pharmacies, and specialty shoe stores.

In-depth shoe.

This type of shoe is ¼ to ½ inches deeper than a traditional shoe. The added depth is ideal for those with a hammertoe or callus.


An orthotic is worn inside the shoe and can modify a shoe that you already wear. Orthotics can add comfort and reduce pressure on certain areas of your feet.

Finding the Right Fit

Every shoe is different so it is important to try the shoe on to determine if it fits you properly. You may even want to get your feet measured each time you plan on purchasing since feet can grow over time. 

Some tips to consider in order to find the right fit for your shoes include:

  • Shop in the afternoon when your feet swell.
  • Bring the type of socks you plan to wear with the shoes.
  • Make sure the shoes fit snuggly around the heel and do not rub.

Replacing Your Shoes

It is important to regularly check your feet but also your shoes. Shoes can wear out and cause problems with your feet. You should replace your shoes when:

  • The lining of the inside of your shoes becomes torn and worn out.
  • The heel collapses to one side or is worn down.
  • There are holes in the shoe itself.

Insurance Coverage for Diabetic Shoes

There are many types of diabetic footwear covered by your insurance. If you are diabetic and have Medicare coverage, you may qualify for a discount or reimbursement for your therapeutic shoes or inserts. In order to qualify, your podiatrist will need to prove that you have diabetes, a history of foot complications, and a need for specialty footwear. If you think you are eligible, speak to your podiatrist or consult with your insurance company to verify if you have coverage for therapeutic shoes and inserts.

Are You In Need Of A Diabetic Foot Care Specialist?

If you're diabetic and are sufferring from foot issues you should speak with an experienced diabetic foot care specialist as soon as possible. Please contact us online to schedule your appoinment or call one of our convenient El Paso offices directly. To reach our Sierra Tower Building podiatrist office please call 915.533.5151. You can find driving directions here. To reach our George Dieter Drive podiatry office please call 915.856.3331. Driving directions are available here.

Dr. Bruce Scudday
Serving El Paso, Texas area patients with over 20 years experience in podiatry and foot and ankle health.
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Sierra Tower Building
  • 1700 Curie Drive, Suite #4000
    El Paso, TX 79902
  • Phone: 915 533-5151
  • Fax: 915-533-5187
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George Dieter Drive
  • 1400 George Dieter Dr #230
    El Paso, TX 79936
  • Phone: 915-533-5151
  • Fax: 915-533-5187
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