Best Work Boots For Diabetics: Protect Your Feet Against Injuries And Infection

Diabetes is no picnic if you will forgive the choice of words. As if constantly having to check your glucose levels and taking insulin injections weren’t bad enough, diabetics are at a higher risk for foot issues. What diabetes does is cause an excessive amount of sugar to be circulated through the blood-stream, which in turn causes nerve damage and poor blood flow. High glucose levels contribute to bad circulation which can severely damage the nerves of the feet, a condition known as neuropathy.

This situation can lead to some serious foot problems. What’s more, diabetic patients can experience a loss of feeling in their feet. Loss of feeling in the feet combined with bad circulation can make it more difficult for injuries and infections to heal. Therefore, it is important that you wear therapeutic diabetic work boots to guard your feet against injuries and infection.

Diabetics can reduce the chances of having foot complications by wearing safety footwear for. Diabetics should be educated on the importance of taking proper care of their feet. This is why the choice of safety footwear is such a key factor. When it comes to selecting the correct safety footwear for diabetics, it is vital to choose a model that fits the shape of the foot and distributes the weight evenly.

Diabetes can cause a person to ultimately lose a foot or leg if not treated properly due to poor blood circulation and nerve damage. Such things can lead to an infected sore which could become gangrenous.

What to Look for in a Good Diabetic Shoe

Wide is the way to go here. You must be on the lookout for a wide and long toe box to guard the toes against bumps. You have to get something with a lot of wiggle room as well. Crowded toes can make for poor circulation and foot wounds.

As for construction material, look for shoes made with natural materials such as leather and knitted or crocheted fabrics. These are the best ones for safety shoes for diabetics as they provide much-needed support and limit perspiration. You definitely want something breathable in order to discourage the build-up of bacteria that can lead to infections.

What you really want is something hard on the outside but soft on the inside. A tough sole will protect your foot from sharp objects. The design should be completely closed. A foot that is completely covered is protected from grit, splinters, pebbles, loose nails and any other debris that can be hard to notice by those who have decreased sensation in their feet. The interior should be seamless and the insole should be cushiony fit. The heel and arches should all be fairly low.

It is more important than you would think to have shoes that have an adjustable closure. The swelling of the feet during the day may require a fit that can be easily adjusted. Boa System and Lock System are both well known for being user-friendly. Velcro fasteners are also a popular choice.

List Of Work Boots Reviews That Are Best Suited For Diabetics

The hunt for a suitable work boot for a diabetes patient can be difficult but it need not be impossible. Below are five of the best models of work boots for people with diabetes.

1. Dr. Comfort Men’s Boss Diabetic Boots

Dr. Comfort Boss is a boot that epically blends art and technology. It is the ideal amalgamation of durable leather, a brand new tough high abrasion, an oil-resistant outsole, not to mention rugged good looks. Admittedly, this is not at all intended for a construction type of work environment.

It does come in a variety of styles in order to meet all of your needs. Should you be looking for a little added comfort and accommodation, try out their stretch Lycra styles. For those seeking out outdoor adventure, the Ranger hiker boot will give the best in comfort.

If what you need is a comfortable work boot, try the Boss or the Protector, which features steel toe protection. The classic craftsmanship and sophisticated style of Dr. Comfort are what anyone in search of the finest quality in a comfort shoe could desire. While designed as a therapeutic shoe, Dr. Comfort also provides many of the protective and comfort features anyone may be on the lookout for.

Features and Benefits:

This shoe is made out of all-natural leather. Dr. Comfort Gel Insert is included. It has a lace closure and the boot is lightweight. Also included are leather uppers with seamless and padded lining. Natural materials support the foot and limit perspiration.

Anything that will make your shoes more comfortable is welcome. Laces are adjustable for a better fit. Lighter boots are more comfortable. The materials and construction will make for a breathable and comfortable boot.


  • First and foremost, these shoes feel good on your feet, which is the first thing you should look for in any shoe.
  • The heel is very low and the boot is very lightweight.


  • The fit around the ankle is a bit loose.
  • The laces are somewhat weak and may need to be replaced.
  • Some consumers find them a little too lightweight.

2. Propet Men’s Cliff Walker Boot

The name really says it all! The Cliffwalker from Propét is a tough, athletic boot that grapples outdoor adventures with delightful ease. It features a waterproof leather upper, breathable nylon mesh lining plus an efficient hook and loop lace system that allows you to get on your way swiftly. This hardy shoe is designed for hiking.

The Cliffwalker also hosts a flexible rubber outsole that has a one of a kind self-leaning design that makes for a steady step on all types of terrain. Since 1985, Propét has created a stellar reputation as a comfort footwear constructor with a focus on the use of only the best quality materials, constructions and technologies.

In every time and place, this company has offered men’s and women’s styles in a full array of sizes and five widths to ensure a perfect fit, especially for hard-to-fit feet. Whether what you need is cold weather boots, outdoor hikers, lightweight walkers, sandals, biomechanical footwear, they have it!

Even if you’re just in the market for socks and insoles, Propét is devoted to crafting the most comfortable, stylish models that will transport consumers to wherever it is they want to go in their daily lives.

Features and Benefits:

This boot is constructed from pure leather. This style has been approved for reimbursement under the Medicare Therapeutic Shoes for Persons with Diabetes Benefit (also known as the Therapeutic Shoe Bill).

The Sealtex bootie and laminate construction makes the boot waterproof. The Cliffwalker comes with footbeds that can be removed in order to accommodate custom orthotics. The Cliffwalker comes in three different widths plus a variety of sizes for the perfect fit.

Leather is a natural material that makes for a breathable shoe. You may not have to pay out of pocket for this shoe. Waterproof shoes keep feet warm and dry. If you need a foot brace, it is good to have shoes that can adjust to fit them. If you have diabetes, the wider the shoe the better.


  • They are attractive, very well-made and sturdy with plenty of toe room.
  • They have ample arch support and cushioning.


  • The eyelets make it difficult to make the laces fit.
  • They’re a little on the heavy side.
  • The fit can be inconsistent.

3.Dr. Comfort Ranger Men’s Therapeutic Diabetic Extra Depth Hiking Boot

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Dr. Comfort Ranger Boot is a rugged hiking boot that fits all standard foot shapes and is available in widths up to 6E. Each shoe has two removable inserts that accommodate three different size widths that are built right into the shoe.


This work boot was fabricated for the most demanding of work environments such as construction and the great outdoors. Dr Comfort therapeutic and diabetic footwear features the most advanced in functional orthopedic shoe technology that is built right into the shoe.

Features and Benefits:

It is, of course, made of leather. The boot is lightweight with three-eighths of an inch of extra depth. It has a seamless construction as well as Achilles tendon support, a rocker sole, a Thomas heel, a rigid shank, and a reinforced counter.

You can’t go wrong with leather when it comes to breathable footwear. Seamless construction makes a comfortable fit as do the support features. A short heel is best for people looking for therapeutic shoes. This shoe is not only comfortable but durably constructed.


  • They are not very heavy. The fit is very good.
  • The spacer insoles and inserts are replaceable.
  • A seamless lining makes for a comfortable fit.
  • Conditions such as bunions and hammertoes will be supported.


  • They could stand to be wider.
  • The seams are a bit weak.
  • The padding tends to come off easily.
  • The sizing may differ from advertised.

4. Drew Shoe Men’s Rockford Boots

The Rockford boot for men is in a category of its own as a truly one of a kind comfort boot. These popular men’s orthotic boots provide twice the added depth complements of the two replaceable footbeds that are found in the patented Plus Fitting System. It is perfect for extra-thick orthotics!

Drew Rockford boots will accommodate for even the most radical of foot conditions. The boots come complete with waterproof leather uppers and linings that will keep the foot comfortably dry. With a slip-resistant design, the Drew Rockford men’s comfort boot is the superior work boot as well as an everyday boot for men.

 Features and Benefits:

The heel is less than an inch in height. It has two removable footbeds for added and double depth. The leather upper and membrane lining are all waterproof. The heel is cushioned. The boot is both slip and oil resistant. They should accommodate the most prescribed orthotics.

Low heels are the preferred choice for diabetics. Double-depth is always a good feature to look for in diabetic boots and removable footbeds are convenient. A waterproof shoe makes for healthy feet. A cushioned heel is comfortable. Slip and oil resistance reduces injury from falls. If you wear orthotics, you need a boot that will fit them.


  • These boots are super comfortable and they look good whether you wear slacks or jeans.
  • They are comfortable once broken in and are long-lasting.
  • They are very wide.
  • They have good tread and traction for snow.
  • They are also waterproof and warm.


  • You may have to go a size bigger than you usually wear to get a perfect fit.
  • They are not as breathable as they could be.
  • A substantial break-in is required.

5. Apis Mt. Emey 504 Men’s Therapeutic Triple Depth Boots

The Apis Mt. Emey style 504 boots are designed specially to accommodate maladies such as severe hammertoe, bunions, and deformities. They are Supra (triple) depth and have a high-density EVA flexible outsole. The uppers are constructed of genuine leather and possess a high-density EVA flexible outsole. Comfort Collection is a part of the Apis Mt Emey brand that is an orthopedic line that provides Casual Walking, Leisure and Sandal Shoes.

The Triple Depth shoes (one-quarter of an inch in depth) for temperate to severe swelling, fleshy foot accommodates AFO, KAFO and foot orthotics; straight last sole and a Charcot lash to fit the worst deformities. Three removal layer inserts provide you with the flexibility to make adjustments or to make the shoes fit better. Insert layers can be added or removed for a better fit.

Features and Benefits:

Made with leather. The boots have a symmetrical straight last. The toe box is broad and high. This style of the boot provides superior accommodation for orthotics, Ankle Foot Brace (AFO), and other internal modifications.

The padded collar is better for gripping the heel. The removable inserts are for flexible fitting. The all-natural leather ensures a shoe with breathability. The last makes the shoes fully adjustable. A broad and high toe box ensures the toes are not crowded.

If you have foot problems that require a brace, this shoe can accommodate it. The padded collar makes for a fit that is firm yet comfortable. Removable inserts provide for a comfortable, custom fit.


  • These shoes are wide enough to take on any size foot and are surprisingly lightweight.
  • They are very comfortable and the side zipper makes a good fit.
  • Extra depth means an extra quarter inch.
  • Double extra depth is a half-inch and triple means an extra three-quarter inch.


  • The ankle area is a bit big.
  • The boot overall is not very durable.
  • The quick lace eyelets are a bit too open so the laces may not stay in place.
  • Craftsmanship needs work.

The Dos and Don’ts of Diabetic Work Boots

Here are some important things to remember about wearing diabetic work boots.

You must always…

  • Wear the correct size of shoes. Shoes that are too loose will be a problem when moving around and may cause you to trip. On the other side of the coin, too-tight shoes can cause blisters and bruises.
  • Replace your old work boots. Old boots can quickly lose the ability to guard your feet from injury.
  • Wear socks. Socks increase air circulation and minimize the accumulation of sweat. Most importantly, they provide a comfortable layer for your feet.

You must never…

  • Wear boots with high heels. These sorts of boots put more unneeded pressure on your feet’s support joints. This can cause both callusing and nerve damage.
  • Wear boots that have neither a cushioned sole nor tongue. The cushions act an extra layer of protection that lessens friction between your foot and the interior lining of the work boot.
  • Wear boots made with artificial interiors such as plastic and faux leather. The reason for this is such materials hinder air circulation which increases heat and sweat. This can lead to infections.

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet On The Job

There are three major ways diabetes affects your feet, which can impact your productivity:

  • Untreated Injuries

You may unknowingly injure your feet and lesions on your feet can become infected. The extra glucose in your blood may also feed an infection which will only make it worse. Nerve damage can in many cases cause pain, foot deformities and alterations in the muscle and bone structure of the feet which in the end alters their shape

  • Nerve Damage

Diabetes can oftentimes be the cause of nerve damage which can mean that the nerves in the body slow down and send signals at the wrong time or even stop sending signals altogether. This nerve damage may cause a patient to lose sensation in their feet, making it so that they will not feel the heat, cold or pain but numbness.

  • Poor Blood Flow

Poor blood flow means basically that there is not enough blood circulating to the legs, feet and other extremities. This then makes it much more difficult for an infection to heal, which usually results in gangrene. Because diabetes causes excess glucose in the bloodstream, the patient may develop poor blood circulation.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may have some more questions you want to be answered. Here are some concerns many diabetics have about their feet and what to put on them.

Will my insurance pay for diabetic footwear?

It is a possibility. Insurance companies typically process shoes and inserts under two different categories, i.e. orthopedic and therapeutic. Orthopedic shoes are those that are Oxford, high top, depth inlay, or custom non-diabetic shoes. Insurance companies usually only cover these items under special circumstances. Many insurance companies will only pay for the shoes and inserts should they be an integral part of a covered leg brace.

Therapeutic Shoes are those that are considered extra depth shoes or custom-molded shoes. Shoes and inserts typically are covered in certain patients that have diabetes for the prevention or treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Many insurance companies will cover a single pair of shoes for each calendar year. Go over your policy and discuss it with an agent.

What is the best way to minimize slippage?

The foremost way to minimize heel slippage is to wear a lace-up shoe. Different lacing techniques may help lessen heel slippage. If a hook and loop closure is the only option you have, place a tongue pad under the tongue of the shoe in order to reduce heel slippage. It is not recommended for diabetics to make use of heel grippers.

How can I prevent diabetic ulcers?

Diabetic ulcerations are very common as one of the initial signs of complications from diabetes in the lower leg. These ulcers (or sores) can start from even a small wound on the foot that is slow to heal. If left untreated, ulcers can become larger and get more difficult to treat successfully which can lead to amputation. However, if the ulcer is discovered early and treated by a podiatrist, it can in most cases be successfully healed without resorting to amputation.

What should I look for when checking my feet?

You should be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary regarding your feet. Are they unusually hot or cold? Are they paler, redder or bluer than usual? Is the skin dry or cracked? Do you have any cuts, corns, blisters, calluses or sores? Use a magnifying hand mirror to get a better look at your feet. Any lesion, even if it is not painful (perhaps especially if it’s not painful) must be reported to your doctor. Do not try to treat anything on your own as this may lead to an even worse infection.

Should I wear diabetic socks?

Without a doubt. If you are at high risk for foot complications due to neuropathy and decreased circulation then diabetic socks will definitely be helpful. What’s more, those who have excessive foot moisture or sweat may find these socks have a superb ability to keep feet dry and lessen the recurrence of fungal infections. Speak with your health care professional to get their advice and recommendations.

What is the best way to clean my feet?

You must use lukewarm water, the same temperature you would use to bathe a baby. Gently wash them with mild soap and a soft cloth or sponge. Dry them by gently blotting your feet with a towel. Don’t forget to get between the toes. This does not apply to moisturizer, as putting that between toes can lead to a fungal infection.

How should I trim my toenails?

Toenails should be cut straight across. After a bath when the nail is soft is the best time to do this. Rough edges should be filed down. If you have trouble seeing well or it is difficult for you to reach your feet, ask your podiatrist to trim your toenails. If you want to treat yourself a professional pedicure, check first to see if the salon is clean. Remember to let the person doing your pedi know you have diabetes. For extra safety, bring your own pedicure tools if you can.

Why can I never go barefoot?

Something as small as stubbing your toe on a coffee table or bumping a football at the park can result in a serious foot ulcer. Even walking on the beach barefoot is discouraged. Seashells, coral, glass, litter, driftwood or debris from the ocean can puncture the skin which causes damaging infections that can often be worsened by diabetes.

For a diabetic with circulation problems or neuropathy when sensation in the feet is diminished, taking a walk barefoot on hot pavement is extremely dangerous and may very well lead to serious burns and infection. There are a plethora of closed-toe beach shoes on the market that will help guard feet against these types of injuries. Invest in a couple of pairs for any pool-side or beachfront activities. You can make your own summertime fashion statement.

How can I improve the circulation in my feet?

You can start by putting your feet up while sitting. If you don’t have a recliner, an ottoman will do the job. Two or three times a day for five minutes you should wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down. Do not sit with your legs crossed for a long period of time. You may also want to consider giving up smoking if you do.


Diabetes is a difficult condition to live with. Getting the right kind of footwear can make things a little more bearable. Remember to eat well, get the right amount of rest and exercise and always check your glucose level. Feel the inside your shoes before putting them on each time in order to make sure that the lining is smooth and there are no stray objects inside.

An Egyptian physician called Hesy-Ra first documented diabetic symptoms in 1552 BC, so this is not a new disease by far. The Greek physician Arateus in 150 AD described diabetes as the melting of flesh and limbs into urine. In fact, “diabetes” comes from the Greek word diabainein, meaning “to siphon” referring to how the patient would constantly urinate only to eventually waste away.

Hippocrates found that a low starch diet and exercise might extend a person’s life. Life with diabetes was short, disgusting and painful. It wasn’t until 1921 when Sir Frederick G. Banting, Charles H. Best, and J.J.R. Macleod discovered insulin at the University of Toronto that diabetic patients lived more than a year or two after diagnosis. Today, a diabetic can expect to live a long and happy life with proper care, nutrition, exercise, and medical treatment.

Stephen Ogedengbe, MD, a researcher at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital in Benin City, Nigeria reports that ”There is no such thing as perfect footwear for persons with diabetes mellitus. However, there are shoes that can help prevent or delay the onset of foot ulceration in diabetes.

There are also shoes that can cause or help accelerate the development of foot ulceration.” Listen to Dr. Ogedengbe! While he may be right about perfect footwear not existing, some of the above come very close. Find out what’s right for you and your feet will stay on the legs they were attached to.

Diabetic Footcare by Mission Viejo FootAnkle - Diabetic Footcare
An infographic by the team at Diabetic Footcare

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