If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Footwear News may receive an affiliate commission.
Correct footwear is essential to one’s diabetes toolkit.
“Elevation of sugar levels in the body leads to break down of the nerve endings and the blood vessels,” says Dr. Glenn Davison, founder of Advanced Podiatry in New York City and New Jersey. This becomes especially prevalent in the feet, since they are the furthest extremity from the heart and spine.
Decreased nerve endings means less feeling in the toes and feet, or a condition called neuropathy — which could spell disaster when combined with any sort of foot injury. For example, if a patient with diabetic neuropathy gets an ingrown toenail, they won’t feel it as quickly as someone who experiences normal sensations would, or at all. Leaving this unaddressed, the nail could grow deeper into the skin and bacteria could be introduced through daily living, leading to an infection.
By the time this patient seeks treatment, they could have a full-blown infection. We rely on the blood stream to transmit medication like antibiotics around the body. But with decreased blood vessels in the feet, the patient’s body will have a harder time getting medication to the infected area.
Over a matter of weeks, what started as an easy to fix medical problem could escalate into a dire situation, such as lower-extremity amputation.
A 2020 study published in American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Care publication confirmed diabetes is one of the main causes of non-traumatic lower-extremity amputation, or NLEA, in the U.S. The article also stated that “preventive foot care has been shown to reduce rates of NLEA among adults with diabetes, and the findings of the study suggest that those with diabetes — across the age spectrum — could benefit from increased attention to this strategy.”
According to Dr. Davison, wearing proper footwear even at home is an important preventative step for diabetics. “Diabetics should never be barefoot,” he emphasizes. “They often don’t know what they are on stepping on, and they don’t feel it properly. The bottom line is, each surface potentially could lead to a pressure, tear and an infection, which becomes potentially a huge problem.”
How to find the best diabetic slippers
Similar to what you’d find in the best shoes for diabetics, there are several key features to look for in the best diabetic slippers to wear at home.
Cushioning: Diabetics experience thinning of the fat tissue on their feet, due to atrophy of the natural fat pad between bone and skin. “That leads to pressure and calluses,” Dr. Davison says. Look for a slipper that is “soft, cushy and comfortable,” he advises, and will provide a barrier between your foot and the floor. Cushioning in a shoe essentially replaces your natural padding.
A sidewall: The best slippers for diabetics will be enclosed, with a back and side wall to surround the entire foot. “Your feet stay in them,” Dr. Davison says, so you don’t run the risk of slipping out of them and losing protection. These types of slippers also have the benefit of providing cushioning all around the foot.
Grip: With less feeling in their feet, diabetics are at risk of injury, even around the house. A slipper with good traction will help overall stability.
A seamless interior: “Look for a seamless design inside the slipper,” Dr. Davison says. This will help you avoid any abrasions to the foot, which don’t just come from stepping on a foreign object but often result from chafing and rubbing caused by a shoe or slipper itself. “A soft, flexible slipper will adapt to your foot,” Dr. Davison advises.
A wide fit: For the same reason that having a seamless interior is important, opt for a slipper that doesn’t fit too tight to prevent rubbing.
Extra depth. Edema is a condition commonly related to diabetes, in which veins furthest from the heart don’t close all the way, as blood is pumped back to the heart to be re-oxygenated. This leads to a build up of fluid. A slipper with extra depth will help accommodate swelling, Dr. Davison advises.
Below. shop the 10 best slippers for diabetics to keep feet healthy and pain- and injury-free.
Want to up your shoe game? Sign up for Footwear News’ Weekly Style newsletter to stay in the know on the latest sneaker releases and best footwear finds to shop now.
Top Diabetic Slippers
- LongBay Men’s Memory Foam Diabetic Slippers
- Orthofeet Charlotte Slippers
- Ugg Men’s Ascot Slippers
- Acorn Women’s Spa Wrap Slippers
- RockDove Men’s Nomad Slippers
- Foamtreads Men’s Extra-Depth Wool Slippers
- LongBay Memory Foam Slippers
- Git-up Women’s House Slippers
- Propét Cush N Foot Slippers
- Hammacher Indoor-Outdoor Neuropathy Slippers
LongBay Men’s Memory Foam Diabetic Slippers
The best thing about LongBay’s diabetic slippers for men is the completely adjustable fit. The Velcro closure allows you to actually wrap the outer flap around your feet for a customized fit, making these suitable for narrow to wide feet, as well as feet that vary in size due to swelling. The inside is completely fleece-lined to avoid any rubbing. These slippers feature a non-slip rubber sole and a memory foam insole. Order one size up from your usual size and adjust the closure for the right fit.
Orthofeet Charlotte Slippers
Orthofeet’s Charlotte slippers for women feature a premium orthotic insole with an adjustable arch booster and multiple layers of cushioning underfoot. Walking around in them, you’ll notice the stability and grip in the outsole, which is so tough you can wear these outside. They have a mild rocker design to ease you into each step from heel to toe. For diabetics, the non-binding flexible uppers and extra foam padding offer extra sensitivity and protection for your feet. The toe box is wide and roomy, also helping to accommodate bunions, hammertoes and Morton’s neuroma. Remove the orthotic insoles for your own custom pair if necessary.
Ugg Men’s Ascot Slippers
The Ugg Ascot slipper has a closed toe and side walls to cushion feet the entire way around. The outer is suede and the inner lining includes soft wool designed to feel just like shearling. The durable rubber sole makes these great for wearing even out in the yard. These slippers comes in whole sizes, so order a size up if you’re in between sizes. Over 17,000 customers on Amazon gave the style five stars. One shopper even mentions these are so comfortable, they often forget they’re wearing the style.
Acorn Women’s Spa Wrap Slippers
Super plush material makes the Acorn Spa Wrap slipper a comfortable slipper choice for diabetics. The adjustable strap lets you get the perfect custom fit. These slippers are all about promoting good foot health; they have a contoured footbed with heel and arch support. The memory foam insole provides responsive cushioning. They also have a skid-resistant, weatherproof outsole.
RockDove Men’s Nomad Slippers
The RockDove Nomad slipper for men has a cloudlike midsole with high-density memory foam and two support foams for extra cushioning. It conforms to the foot and equally distributes weight across the footbed. Plush sherpa fleece covers the inside and outside for the utmost comfort. This pair is extra durable, not only because of the rubber sole, but also because the sole is attached to the rest of the slipper with sewn side seams. You can throw these in the washing machine after wearing them all weekend.
Foamtreads Men’s Extra-Depth Wool Slippers
Foamtreads’ extra-depth wool slippers for men have enough space to accommodate swollen feet thanks to their deep footbeds. The hook-and-loop closure opens completely on top so you can get these on and off without hassle, and there’s an adjustable hook-and-loop back strap for even greater ease. Complete with a soft, slip-resistant sole, this lightweight, flexible pair is perfect to wear around the house. These come in a regular or wide fit.
LongBay Memory Foam Slippers
Also from LongBay, these similar-style house shoes are designed for people who suffer from diabetes, edema and swollen feet. An adjustable Velcro closure helps to get them on and off easily and adjust to foot size depending on swelling. They’re equipped with a memory foam insole to conform to the shape of your foot, plus a cozy faux fur or fleece lining. The outer is corduroy that comes in three different shades. They also have a non-slip rubber sole.
Git-up Women’s House Slippers
The Git-up women’s house slippers provide support and safety for diabetics while at home, or even when walking around the neighborhood. Cushioned memory foam supports the foot while relieving pressure. It also adjusts to your specific foot shape for the perfect fit. The adjustable, flexible Velcro closure means these will fit even as feet swell, and an anti-skid rubber sole offers durability and minimizes the risk of slipping and falling. Consider sizing up to get the perfect fit, as these run small. One Amazon reviewer who purchased these slippers as a gift for her elderly mother called them the “best thing [she’s] ever bought for [her] mom.”
Propét Cush N Foot Slippers
Available in extended sizing to suit all foot widths, Propét’s Cush N Foot slipper has an extra-large strap to give you a snug fit and a soft neoprene upper with an extra-large opening that can accommodate swelling. The insole is breathable and moisture-wicking. Opt for a regular, wide or extra-wide pair and try these with a pair of diabetic socks.
Hammacher Indoor-Outdoor Neuropathy Slippers
Dr. Davison recommends “slippers, like moccasins, that have a back, because your foot stays in them,” as well as “a closed slipper that has cushioning on the side.” These indoor-outdoor neuropathy slippers from Hammacher do the trick. They have a wide, deep toe box to avoid any chafing or blisters. They can also be worn with prescription orthotics or the gel inserts that they come with. Customers rave about the pair, saying they’re ideal when you “need not only comfort, but support.”
In addition to wearing diabetic slippers, look for the best diabetic socks for the utmost protection.
Additionally, be sure to check in with a podiatrist regularly for foot upkeep. “Diabetics over 65 can see a podiatrist for routine foot care to get calluses shaved and nails cut by a doctor with sterile instrumentation. This is covered by Medicare for those 65 and older,” he advises.
Check in with your healthcare provider to ensure you’re taking advantage of every benefit you can, as “preventative care is key,” Dr. Davison says.
Meet the expert
Dr. Glenn Davison is the founder of Advanced Podiatry in New York City and New Jersey, which specializes in general and diabetic foot care, ingrown and fungal nails, sports medicine, surgery and more for patients of all ages. He is also a fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.