Diabetic shoes are extra-depth shoes that prevent foot trauma and foot ulcers, explains Advanced Foot & Ankle Care. They feature a higher toe box than most shoes and little or no stitching on the inside of the shoe. They also have extra padding around the ankles, and the tongue is extra thick to help keep the foot firmly in the shoe. Good diabetic shoes also have a special insole that prevents back-and-forth movement of the foot.
The purpose of diabetic shoes is to reduce the risk of skin breakdown, which is often a serious issue for people with diabetes, especially those who have nerve or circulation problems or foot deformities such as hammer toes, according to Advanced Foot & Ankle Care.
A simple blister or small foot ulcer in someone with diabetes can lead to an infection that doesn't heal, the American Diabetes Association explains. Especially in people with poor circulation, this sometimes results in amputation of the foot.
Proper foot care is essential for anyone with diabetes, states the American Diabetes Association. This includes wearing properly fitted diabetic shoes and socks at all times, getting regular exercise and keeping blood sugar under control. Keeping the feet clean, using foot lotion and trimming the toenails regularly is important as well.