Wide-fitting shoes for Men and Women with Diabetes

Why the Right Footwear is so Important for Diabetes Sufferers

Did you know that there are over 4.7million people in the UK living with diabetes? Or that 1 in 10 over 40s have Type 2 Diabetes, with Type 2 Diabetes accounting for around 90% of all diagnoses? [1]

But what is diabetes and why is a wide fitting shoe company writing about it? Well, read on!

Simply, "Diabetes is a serious condition where your blood glucose level is too high"[2]. There are two main types, Type 1 and Type 2, which are different conditions, but both serious.

There are also some other rarer types of diabetes too but we will focus on the main types in this article.

Jump to Shoes for Diabetes

Why DB Wide Fit Shoes for people with Diabetes

What are the Symptoms of Diabetes

Both forms of Diabetes are caused by a failure of our pancreas to create the right amount of an enzyme called insulin - which allows glucose to enter our cells and fuel our body - at the right time. This leads to a build-up of glucose in the bloodstream.

With Type 1 Diabetes, your body doesn't produce any insulin at all but with Type 2 Diabetes your body isn't able to produce the right amount, as a result of the body initially building up a resistance to insulin [3], meaning that too much glucose builds up in your blood, leading to further complications, such as the symptoms of diabetes, including:

  • Going to the toilet a lot, especially at night.

  • Being really thirsty.

  • Feeling more tired than usual.

  • Losing weight without trying to.

  • Genital itching or thrush.

  • Cuts and wounds take longer to heal.

  • Blurred vision [4].

Left unchecked Type 1 diabetes can result in much more serious illness and even death, whilst Type 2 diabetes - being much harder to spot - can creep up and affect major organs including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys.

The link between diabetes and wide fitting shoes

So back to how diabetes affects footwear...

Well, many people might believe that Diabetes is caused by being overweight, which could therefore cause foot issues, but this is not always the case. Around 20% of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are of normal weight, and Type 1 Diabetes might well be normal weight, underweight or even overweight. [3]

The problem caused by Diabetes that will impact our foot health, and hence our footwear, is the link to Peripheral Oedema.

Oedema "is the result of damage to capillaries or increased pressure causing capillaries to leak fluid into surrounding tissues and result in swelling" whilst Peripheral Oedema is "swelling from the collection of fluid in the feet, ankles, and legs."[5]

This often happens because one symptom of Diabetes is that it can cause wounds to heal slowly or not at all, meaning that damaged capillaries will remain damaged and continue to leak fluid into tissue. It can also be caused by taking large amounts of insulin as well as many other factors associated with Diabetes. [6]

Oedema can be very painful indeed and cause a lot of discomfort for sufferers, making it difficult to put on footwear, which can limit activity. This then, can exacerbate the problem, as can be seen below.

See also our blog about Shoes for Oedema & Lymphoedema

Practices to alleviate Oedema in the feet & ankles

There are many practices that you can try to reduce oedema in your legs and ankles, including elevating the feet above heart level regularly, reducing salt intake, remaining active and not sitting down for long periods of time without some activity, drinking more water and other practices aimed at making it easier for the heart to pump blood fully round the body with blockages.

But if you continue to suffer from Oedema in the feet and ankles, then it is vital that you are able to find well-fitting footwear. Firstly because it is likely that you will have to wear footwear - whether because you work, or have to run errands and be on your feet - or because it is so important to remain active, and this is so difficult to do if your shoes cause you so much pain.

Where We Come In

Our shoes are designed to accommodate wide, deep and problem feet, with many features to accommodate different issues.

We also understand though that you don't just want wide & deep footwear, but you want to look as well as feel great. So we offer style & comfort in every pair of shoes.

Some of the benefits of DB Wider Fit Shoes for Diabetes Sufferers

In the first instance, our shoes are wider and deeper than High Street shoes, simply meaning that there is more room in them than you would get from typical High Street shoes - to allow for extra width and less pressure on swollen areas caused by Oedema.

A dangerous effect of peripheral oedema is that it also causes loss of feeling in the nerves in the affected area, and so it is important that the sufferer performs daily checks to ensure they have not injured or cut their feet.

For this reason, correctly fitting footwear is vitally important. Our shoes come in a wide range of fittings, from E to 8E width, and many come with removable insoles, adjustable straps, stretch panels or elasticated straps & gussets to ensure that you can get the perfect fit to avoid rubbing and causing blisters and sores.

In addition, lace-fastening shoes offer the most secure fitting and can be the best way to reduce rubbing as far as possible.

Secondly, our shoes are designed to be as smooth internally as possible, with few internal seams and even styles with seam-free toe boxes, so there is reduced likelihood of rubbing against painful areas or worse, causing sores and open wounds which do not heal, leading to further possible complications in Diabetes sufferers.

On top of this you'll find a host of other features designed to offer style & comfort for wider feet.

Please note that if you have diabetes and a narrow or regular width foot, our shoes are NOT suitable as the foot will move around causing sores and rubbing. It is important that you visit a professional to check the fit of the shoe to know your correct width requirement.

Make an appointment at one of our gold star stockists or visit a qualified podiatrist who will examine your feet and give you expert advice about the most suitable footwear for you.

The Best Shoes For Diabetes

We offer shoes for people with diabetes across our full range, including trainers, boots, everyday shoes and even dress shoes.

The Best Trainers For Diabetes

The best trainers for people with diabetes are well fitting with lace-up design for a secure fit, so there’s no rubbing, with no internal seams and soft materials that offer enough give to reduce rubbing against feet. But they’re lightweight enough for active feet!

Garforth is just the ticket when it comes to meeting these criteria. A classic trainer style with seam-free stretch panel toe-box, flared heel for increased stability and grippy rubber sole for active feet.

Wide-Fitting Boots for Diabetes

Again, finding boots that look great and offer the comfort and support that you need is not always easy for people with wide, deep or problem feet, but we have a whole range of stylish boots for a variety of foot health issues that offer the features you need alongside the confidence that you look great.

Take new sporty boot Santa, with laces for secure fit and adjustment alongside an inside zip for easy access, seam-free stretch panel toe box and our air-bubble sole to make it feel like you’re walking on air.

Or how about biker boots? New style Reef and best-selling Bayeux both offer all the features you need and nobody will ever know you’re wearing wide shoes. There’s even our animal product free, and therefore vegan friendly, biker boot Atlas.


And not to forget our classic boots like Woodpecker and Goldcrest, in super soft leather and air bubble sole it’s the most comfortable boot you’ll ever wear.


Office Shoes for people with Diabetes

When you're at work for 8 hours a day, it is especially important that you spend that time in comfort and in shoes that are suitable for your condition.

With Shearwater you've no worries! Diabetes and bunion-friendly, and great for feet that swell, leather lace-up shoe Shearwater has everything you need!

Additionally, many styles from our Everyday Shoes range, such as Gull, Firecrest or Winnipeg are also ideal for the workplace.


Vegan Shoes for Diabetes

We’ve already mentioned vegan boot Atlas above, but our range of vegan footwear for people with diabetes doesn’t end there.

New sporty everyday shoe Jazz is perfect for all occasions, and our full range of slippers are vegan friendly, with many styles including Vermont, Eliza, Duck, Whitby, Pitsford, Harper and many more, suitable for people with diabetes.


Everyday Shoes for Diabetes

Our Everyday Shoes collection is a range of classically styled casual shoes and boots for pure comfort all day, every day. They include many of our best-selling styles, and it’s easy to see why. Supremely comfortable and with a range of features for wide feet.

Rory offers the ultimate in comfort, available in our widest fitting and opens wide for easy access.

Lace-up style Swan is another classic best-selling style; a classic lace-up that is supremely comfortable and just too cute. They also open wide for easy access, and the laces are easily adjustable - good for swollen feet or feet that can swell during the day.


All our classic casuals feature our Air Bubble Technology Sole to make you feel like you’re walking on air!

House Shoes and Slippers for people with Diabetes

Our house shoes and wide-fitting slippers styles are light as a feather and made with soft textile uppers for comfort on sensitive feet.

Styles with backs have back stiffeners for added support and house shoes come with hard-wearing soles so they can be worn inside or outdoors and are all available in our 2V or 6V dual-width fittings, meaning they’re the perfect fit for even the widest feet.

House shoes Vermont and Eve offer the comfort of a slipper with the support of a shoe, so they can be worn indoors or outdoors. Stretch panels mould to the shape of your foot for an extremely comfortable wear.

Slipper style Chicago is a house shoe in soft velour with a round toe shape and deep, seam-free toe box that gives plenty of room for your toes.

Duck is a super comfy tall slipper that hugs your feet for the cosiest wear around. In patterned fabric with cushioned faux fur collar they’re the perfect gift to yourself or a loved one this year! Tern is another ankle boot slipper in stretch velour that also opens up for easy entry.

Harper, pictured in our vegan section above, is a super-comfy cosy fleece-lined house shoe that opens up extra wide for easy access and offers extra warmth and comfort this winter and PITSFORD has super-cute polka dot design and elasticated insert on the strap to accommodate your feet as they swell through the day or evening.

All of our House Shoes and Slippers are animal product free so, if you’re looking for wide-fitting vegan slippers or house shoes, you’re in the right place!

View all our wide-fitting house shoes now

We also have shoes suitable for people with diabetes across our other ranges too, even including dress shoes, so you can be sure of style and comfort whatever the occasion.

Browse our full range of wide & deep fitting ladies shoes, sandals and boots now

Wide & Deep Fitting Shoes for Men with Diabetes

Of course, men suffer from diabetes and need wide shoes too and we have a huge range of wide-fitting men’s shoes, many of which have features making them ideal for people with diabetes.

Classic lace-up style Chatham comes in soft leather with round and deep seam-free toe-box, soft-padded collar and air-bubble sole for extra cushioning as you walk.

Andy and Archie are stylish, sporty shoes with breathable stretch mesh uppers that mould to the shape of your foot, with either lace-up (Archie) or adjustable strap (Andy) fastenings.

Finally, men’s House Shoe Daniel is both functional and practical, with a single touch fastening strap in soft, comfortable velour. Machine washable to 30°C.

You’ll also find many other house shoe and slipper styles such as Kendal, Tartan, Hallam, or Carlton are diabetes friendly.


One thing is for sure, diabetes related foot issues can’t prevent you from looking, and feeling, great!

In addition to these, browse our full range of wide-fitting men's shoes here.

Use discount code 23AFBDIA at checkout to save 10% on your purchase. Code valid until 29.02.24. Not valid with any other promotion. Only valid against full price products.

Disclaimer: This information is of a general nature and should not be taken as a diagnosis. All questions and concerns should be directed to your Doctor, Podiatrist or other health advisor.