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5 Best Women’s Shoes for Diabetic Neuropathy

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(Last Updated On: April 20, 2019)

Women’s Shoes for Diabetic Neuropathy

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When it comes to their feet, diabetics have to be very careful.

One of the most common issues a diabetic may have with their feet is diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

By making sure you’re wearing the right shoes, you can avoid getting neuropathy, or help relieve pain if you already have it.

Best Women’s Shoes for Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is “a serious and common complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It’s a type of nerve damage caused by uncontrolled high blood sugar levels” (Healthline.com). Symptoms include a pins-and-needles sensation in your feet, sensitivity to touch, a loss of sensation, numbness or pain in your extremities, and difficulty with coordination when walking (Healthline.com).

If you think you may have diabetic neuropathy, please consult with your physician. Early treatment may prevent problems later on.

There are different types of neuropathy, but this article will focus peripheral neuropathy, which “typically affects the feet and legs and sometimes affects the hands and arms” (niddk.nih.gov). This is the most common type of neuropathy, and about one-third to one-half of diabetics have it (niddk.nih.gov).

There is no known cure for the nerve damage caused by neuropathy, but goals to treating it are to “slow the progression of the disease, relieve pain, and manage complications and restore function” (mayoclinic.org).

One of the ways to avoid getting neuropathy—or relieve pain if you have it—is to protect your feet. Wear shoes and socks that fit well, and get special shoes if needed—Medicare may pay for special shoes if you need them. If interested, please consult with your healthcare team (diabetes.org).

Shoes should be spacious and padded to help avoid nerve damage. However, they also shouldn’t be too roomy. Too much friction may cause sore on the feet that could lead to infection. This will also relieve pain if you already have neuropathy.

Because having the right shoes is so important, every shoe in this article has been given the Seal of Acceptance by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).

The APMA has created a Seal of Acceptance, which it awards to different shoes and brands that “have been found beneficial to foot health and of significant value when used in a consistently applied program of daily foot care and regular professional treatment.” To determine who and what earns the Seal of Acceptance, podiatrists at the APMA review the products to ensure they promote good foot health, and a committee later reviews other data, such as the product’s safety and quality control (apma.org).

Even though all of these shoes have gone through a rigorous approval process, please consult with your physician if you have diabetic neuropathy before buying shoes.

Quick Comparison

Altra Women's Provision 2.5 Running Shoe
Dr. Comfort Womens Shannon Diabetic Orthotic Thong Slipper
Dansko Women's Pro Xp Mule Shoe
Vionic Women's Honor Ashby Loafer
FitFlop Women's Mukluk Shorty II Boot
Product
Provision 2.5 Running Shoe by Altra
Shannon Sandal by Dr. Comfort
Pro XP Mule Shoe by Dansko
Honor Ashby Loafer by Vionic
Mukluk Shorty II Boot by FitFlop
Cushioned
Yes
Yes
Yes
Some
Yes
Spacious
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
APMA Seal of Acceptance
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Price
from $63.37
from $58.99
from $90.95
from $46.75
from $85.49
Altra Women's Provision 2.5 Running Shoe
Product
Provision 2.5 Running Shoe by Altra
Cushioned
Yes
Spacious
No
APMA Seal of Acceptance
Yes
Price
from $63.37
Dr. Comfort Womens Shannon Diabetic Orthotic Thong Slipper
Product
Shannon Sandal by Dr. Comfort
Cushioned
Yes
Spacious
Yes
APMA Seal of Acceptance
Yes
Price
from $58.99
Dansko Women's Pro Xp Mule Shoe
Product
Pro XP Mule Shoe by Dansko
Cushioned
Yes
Spacious
Yes
APMA Seal of Acceptance
Yes
Price
from $90.95
Vionic Women's Honor Ashby Loafer
Product
Honor Ashby Loafer by Vionic
Cushioned
Some
Spacious
Yes
APMA Seal of Acceptance
Yes
Price
from $46.75
FitFlop Women's Mukluk Shorty II Boot
Product
Mukluk Shorty II Boot by FitFlop
Cushioned
Yes
Spacious
Yes
APMA Seal of Acceptance
Yes
Price
from $85.49

#1 – Best Athletic Shoe – Provision 2.5 Running Shoe by Altra

Altra Women's Provision 2.5 Running Shoe
  • Lace-up running shoe featuring FootShape toe box and built-in stability wedge
  • 5mm contoured footbed
  • Ultralight EVA midsole with a-bound top layer

About Altra

Founded in 2011, Altra has been the recipient of many awards and accolades—including the Runner’s World Best Debut designation, comfiest ride, best traction, and editor’s choice. Altra has a history of making high-quality footwear, and many of its shoes have received the APMA’s Seal of Acceptance. What makes Altra shoes so superior are their three core technologies: FootShape, ZeroDrop, and Fit4Her (altrarunning.com).

  1. FootShape: means that more room is left in the toe box of the shoe, “for a more powerful toe-off.” Not only is this optimal for running, but it also provides the kind of space a diabetic needs. This will keep circulation strong in the foot and toes.
  2. ZeroDrop: Their ZeroDrop technology ensures that a cushioned platform that positions the heel and forefoot equidistant from the ground. This position “aids in optimal alignment, cultivates better form, and encourages a low-impact landing.” Alignment is important in promoting good blood circulation, and the padding will make sure that there is not unnecessary friction within the shoe.
  3. Fit4Her: Finally, the Fit4Her technology—which is, admittedly, mostly just exciting for women. The Fit4Her technology caters to the female foot. Female feet have “a narrower heel and midfoot, a higher instep, a longer arch and unique metatarsal spacing.” Altra shoes account for this, which is why I’m so excited about the Provision Running Shoe.
Click to view all top-rated Altra shoes on Amazon.

Review

The Provision 2.5 Running Shoe is for “runners that want to improve their form without losing the supportive features of a traditional stability shoe” (altrarunning.com). It supports failing arches, and has a cushioned zero-drop platform and midsole (altrarunning.com).

This shoe is meant to keep your foot stable, while absorbing the shock of every step. However, it is lace-up, so you will have to be sure that you don’t tie them too tight.

Pros
  • Cushioned
  • Arch support
  • APMA Seal of Acceptance
Cons
  • Lace-up shoe, not too spacious

#2 – Best Sandal – Shannon Sandal by Dr. Comfort

Dr. Comfort Womens Shannon Diabetic Orthotic Thong Slipper
  • Sizes Available: 5 through 10
  • Widths Available: Wide (C/D)
  • Features a dual density midsole, integrated post and shank and comfortable cushioned...

About Dr. Comfort

Since 2002, Dr. Comfort has sought to “help make life easier for people living with diabetes and other conditions affecting the feet.” To them, this means more than just shoes. While it may have begun as a shoe company for diabetics, Dr. Comfort also offers prescription inserts, non-prescription inserts, custom made inserts, diabetic socks, slippers, sandals, compression hosiery and more (drcomfort.com).

Click to view all top-rated Dr. Comfort sandals on Amazon.

Review

The Shannon Sandal features “a dual density midsole, integrated post and shank, and comfortable cushioned footbed” (drcomfort.com). It comes in a variety of widths, and offers support for sensitive arches.

Being a sandal, it is definitely spacious, and it does have a good amount of cushioning. However, diabetics do have to be careful with opened toed shoes. Be sure to check your foot for any cuts or scrapes periodically throughout the day.

Pros
  • Cushioned
  • Spacious
  • APMA Seal of Acceptance
Cons
  • Open-toed

#3 – Best Clog – Pro XP Mule Shoe by Dansko

Dansko Women's Pro Xp Mule Shoe
  • Slip-on leather mule featuring roomy toe box and anti-fatigue rocker bottom
  • Heel height is 2.00 inches
  • Memory foam footbed delivers optimal cushioning and support

About Dansko

Dansko, meaning “Danish shoe” first began when its founders discovered the Danish clog. Today, Dansko shoes “are for people who strive to get the most from life.” They are meant to be good for your feet all day, every day. They are for the active and fashionable (dansko.com).

Click to view all top-rated Dansko clogs on Amazon.

Review

The Pro XP Mule Shoe looks good while also being great for an active workday. It’s made of leather and features “a roomy toe box and anti-fatigue rocker bottom.” This is ideal for diabetics, ensuring that blood flow does not become compromised, or feet forced into a strained position (dansko.com).

The Pro XP Mule also has a memory foam footbed for optimal cushioning and support, as well as a padded instep for comfort when walking. This is s shoe that promotes comfort and support, something that is necessary for a diabetic. By keeping your foot secure, you reduce your risk of nerve damage and impaired blood circulation (dansko.com).

Clogs and clog-like shoes are great for diabetics. They tend to be spacious without being too loose. Not only does this prevent irritating friction, but allows the foot to swell without too much discomfort—which does happen with diabetics from time to time (nicershoes.com).

Pros
  • Cushioned
  • Spacious
  • APMA Seal of Acceptance
Cons
  • Price varies by size

#4 – Best Slip-on Loafer – Honor Ashby Loafer by Vionic

Vionic Women's Honor Ashby Loafer
  • Leather or Haircalf Upper
  • Removable Microfiber Wrapped EVA Footbed
  • Durable Rubber Outsole

About Vionic

Established in 1979, Vionic began with podiatrist Phillip Vasyli. Described as a “pioneer and innovator in the field of lower-limb biomechanics,” Vasyli wanted to make orthotic treatments more affordable and accessible. This philosophy led to the creation of the Orthaheel orthotic, “the world’s first and only true orthotic available without a doctor’s prescription” (vionicshoes.com).

Vionic describes their shoes as being where “science meets style,” and having “orthotic relief without the orthotic look.” They changed their name from Orthaheel to Vionic to better represent their “fresh, modern, and technical” company (vionicshoes.com).

Click to view all top-rated Vionic loafers on Amazon.

Review

The Honor Ashby Loafer is perfect for both work and casual wear, and comes in a variety of colors. It’s made of breathable leather, and has a removable microfiber wrapped EVA footbed. It also has a durable rubber outsole and comes in a variety of widths (vionicshoes.com).

The shoe provides good arch support, cushioning, and will fit perfectly if you make sure to buy the right size.

Pros
  • Cushioned
  • Spacious
  • APMA Seal of Acceptance
Cons
  • Price varies by size

#5 – Best Boot – Mukluk Shorty II Boot by FitFlop

FitFlop Women's Mukluk Shorty II Boot
  • Foot-hugging suede upper, treated with 3M Scotch Gard for water repellence. On FitFlop's...
  • American Podiatric Medical Association.

About FitFlop

FitFlop is an eleven-year-old company that believes its youth gives it “the freedom to dream. To see footwear with fresh eyes – and deliver equal parts fun, fearlessness, and functionality.” They don’t believe that comfort and style have to be mutually exclusive, and promise that “in our shoes, you will both look and feel good, all day every day (fitflop.com).

With a team of expert biomechanics (testing conducted at the Human Performance Lab in Calgary), FitFlop created a triple-density Microwobbleboard midsole, and launched it with their first sandal. This midsole is designed to absorb shock and diffuse underfoot pressure by increasing the surface area between the foot and the midsole. This triple-density Microwobbleboard midsole is now found in many of FitFlop’s shoes, boots, clogs and sneakers (fitflop.com).

FitFlop footwear is designed using science for all-day comfort. Click to learn more about FitFlop’s technology.

Click to view all top-rated FitFlop boots on Amazon.

Review

In addition to featuring FitFlop’s comfortable Microwobbleboard midsole and underfoot cushion, the Mukluk Shorty II Boot is very spacious. It’s meant for those with average to wide feet—although you can just wear thicker socks if you have slim feet (fitflop.com).

The boot is also very breathable, and also has a water repellent Scotch Guard to keep your feet nice and dry. Because the boot doesn’t go all the way up your calf, you’ll be able to avoid any circulation problems.

Pros
  • Shock absorption
  • APMA Seal of Acceptance
Cons
  • Price varies by size

Conclusion

It was a close race between FitFlop and Dansko, but in the end, I prefer the Dansko Pro XP Mule Shoe for diabetic neuropathy.

They’re very spacious and cushioned, and can be worn in most seasons—something you can’t exactly do with the fur-lined Mukluk boots.

No matter what shoe you buy, you should be sure that it provides adequate padding and lets your feet breath.

Before committing to any shoe, get your physician’s approval, and ask if it may be covered by insurance.

Sources & Additional Reading

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