Podiatrists share their top picks for sandals for people with diabetes

·5 min read

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Try these on for size. (Photo: Amazon)
Try these on for size. (Photo: Amazon)

Picking out the right pair of sandals to carry you through the summer is crucial. After all, these are the shoes you'll wear day in and day out when the weather is warm. But selecting the perfect sandals when you have diabetes can be a little tricky.

If your diabetes is under control and you're not struggling with weakness, numbness or pain in your feet from nerve damage (aka neuropathy), you're probably okay to wear most sandals, Richard H. Graves, DPM, of Sol Foot & Ankle Centers in Longwood, Calif, tells Yahoo Life. But if you do have neuropathy, you're going to need a different type of sandal, he says. 

People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing infections and sores, which can play a role in picking the right footwear, says Melissa Lockwood, DPM, a podiatrist at Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates in Bloomington, Ill. "They are also slower to heal if they get an infection or sore, so wearing sandals or footwear that doesn’t fully cover their feet can be dangerous," she says.

If you have diabetes, podiatrists recommend looking for these features in a sandal:

  • A thicker, more rigid sole. "Not thin, flimsy soles like discount store specials," Graves says.

  • Good arch support. This will help support your feet while you walk and lower your risk of developing foot issues.

  • A heel strap. This isn't mandatory, Graves says, but it can be helpful if you tend to be unstable on your feet.

Lockwood also recommends avoiding thong sandals "as they can rub in between the toes and cause a sore."

Want to get shopping? These sandals are podiatrist-approved for people with diabetes.

Vionic Shore

These slides support your feet — and look gorgeous. (Photo: Amazon)
These slides support your feet — and look gorgeous. (Photo: Amazon)

The Vionic Shore sandals have the American Podiatry Association Seal of Acceptance — meaning, they're podiatrist-approved. They also get the thumbs up from Graves. The company was founded by a podiatrist, and it shows in this Orthaheel sandal. The two-bar slide has a biomechanical orthotic footbed with deep heel cup to help support and realign your feet. A lightweight and flexible midsole absorbs shock to reduce pressure on your feet, ankles and knees. A durable rubber outsole provides traction as you go about your day. "I own a dozen pairs of Orthaheel women's Vionic shoes and sandals and these are the most comfortable, absolutely perfect ones I own," a happy customer wrote in the reviews. "Both straps are adjustable, the footbed is more cushioned than other Orthaheel styles, the arch support is excellent and the sandal is perfect if you have a high instep."

Shop it: Vionic Shore, $55, amazon.com

Dr. Comfort Women's Breeze Diabetic Fisherman Style Sandal

This sandals offer maximum support while letting your toes breathe. (Photo: Amazon)
This sandals offer maximum support while letting your toes breathe. (Photo: Amazon)

Want a sandal with plenty of support? These Dr. Comfort shoes will give you that and more— and Lockwood is a fan. These shoes "protect the feet but are stylish," she says. The sandals have an open-air design to help keep your feet cool, while keeping things like dirt and rocks from easily reaching your toes. They're also made with durable leather to help prevent your skin from getting irritated. 

Shop it: Dr. Comfort Women's Breeze Diabetic Fisherman Style Sandal, $101.50, amazon.com

Spenco Women's Wave Slide Sandal

Two straps make it easy to get these sandals on and off. (Photo: Spenco)
Two straps make it easy to get these sandals on and off. (Photo: Spenco)

These Spenco Women's Wave Slide Sandals don't just look great — they're incredibly comfortable, according to reviewers. "These are my new go-to shoes around the house!" one fan wrote. "They are beside my bed each night so when I wake up I have these comfortable slide-ins ready to take me across our tile floors." The sandals are easily adjustable, which can be helpful in case of foot swelling. The rubber sole offers strong support and grip, while an orthotic-grade arch support and compression molded EVA footbed ensure you'll stay comfortable on your feet. Graves is a fan of the brand, too.

Shop it: Spenco Women's Wave Slide Sandal, $57 (was $70), amazon.com

Oofos Women's OOahh Luxe Slide Sandal

They're perfect for the beach or pool. (Photo: Oofos)
They're perfect for the beach or pool. (Photo: Oofos)

The Oofos Women's OOahh Luxe Slide Sandal is specially designed to reduce stress on sore feet, knees and your lower back, while also allowing you a natural range of motion. Graves likes the brand for its support. These sandals also have a minimalist design and are machine washable. "So comfortable and great support," one fan wrote in the reviews. Another called these a "dream shoe," adding, "I LOVE these! Perfect support, comfortable, so functional!"

Shop it: Oofos Women's OOahh Luxe Slide Sandal, $66, amazon.com

Teva Women's W Midform Universal Wedge Sandal

Get the perfect fit, every time. (Photo: Amazon)
Get the perfect fit, every time. (Photo: Amazon)

Teva sandals have earned a reputation as being ultra comfortable, thanks to having several adjustable straps, and the Teva Women's W Midform Universal Wedge Sandal is no exception. This strappy sandal has a rubber sole and thick cushioned platform to help protect your feet from harsh pavement. The webbed polyester upper can easily tackle wet conditions and dries quickly after getting soaked. Graves also likes the brand. "The material they are made out of is so comfortable, I wear these more than my tennis shoes now!" one fan said in the reviews.

Shop it: Teva Women's W Midform Universal Wedge Sandal, $60, amazon.com

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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