Photo: Michael Hession
When you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, slow but gradual nerve damage occurs due to unregulated blood glucose levels. This complication is diabetic neuropathy. One of the best insoles or shoe inserts for diabetics can cure or soothe the burning pains in your feet.
In this Diabetic & Me article you will learn about:
- What are diabetic insoles?
- Can diabetic insoles cure neuropathy?
- How to choose the best diabetic insoles?
What are diabetic inserts?
Basically, inserts are the same as insoles. They are the footbed of any standard shoe but an external one can improve the footbed. From slippers to diabetic work boots with a steel toe or just regular diabetic shoes, inserts are the central part of any diabetic shoe. In fact, a good insole can make your shoe durable and comfortable. It also makes sure your feet are kept in great shape and are relieved from any possible pain. Instead of changing shoes, you just have to replace the insoles and the shoes and your feet are ready for a long journey again.
Why do diabetics need orthotics?
We all know that diabetes is a chronic disease. Sooner or later, every diabetic will have to contend with potential nerve damage. It's a common issue. The burns and pains you feel in your feet are one of its symptoms. Mostly it's a weakness, or you can say numbness in muscles that occur mostly in feet. More commonly known as neuropathy. Diabetic orthotics can help prevent any new or further damage to the feet and nerves.
Do insoles help with neuropathy?
There is not only a single and easy way to cure neuropathy. In my case, as I live to travel, I improvised my lifestyle by using diabetics shoes and diabetic inserts. They help to relieve any tension and burning sensations when walking a lot. There are also a number of foot creams for diabetics that I used and reviewed earlier that can potentially relieve you from any pains or unpleasant feelings. Diabetic foot creams help you in pain relief when having neuropathy, whereas insoles avoid further damage.
What can you put on a diabetic foot?
The lighter and softer your diabetic shoes are, the more chances to treat neuropathy faster. If you do not take care of it timely, then the situation can be worst. So diabetic shoes are worthy of buying. Now a question comes to your mind, what if you don't have a diabetic shoe? If you don't want to wear your favorite shoe pair, then there are also diabetic shoe insoles that treat your feet.
If you still have pains there is also the option to moisturize your feet with a diabetic foot cream.
Can diabetic neuropathy be reversed?
To be honest, a straightforward answer to this question is entirely unjustified. But yes, it can be reversed by taking medications, fulfilling vitamin deficiencies, wearing appropriate footwear, and taking precautions. Walking or jogging is a perfect solution to diabetic neuropathy as it enhances your metabolism and lowers cholesterol levels.
Which foods to avoid in diabetic neuropathy?
Every fast food or processed meal can be dangerous for you. The reason is the number of salts and seasonings in it. Deep-fried snacks or chicken, and all the foods which can increase your cholesterol are not suitable for diabetic neuropathy. And as a diabetic, it's always better to eat healthily.
What are the best diabetic insoles?
Below you can find the list of the 10 best insoles for diabetic neuropathy according to my findings. They all have great arch and heel support for your feet but a few of them stand out.
Powerstep Insoles are highly supportive and designed for all feet. For flat feet, high-volume cushioned foam is used to protect the more fragile points. A thick heel is used to save your ankles from pains. The anti-microbial technology is not common at such a cheap price tag.
Four layers are embossed in such a compact form that it looks like a single-layer diabetic foot insert. Moreover, quality EVA foam is used. Full-length insoles always improve running and provide better motion control.
4.5/5 stars and 12,380 ratings
Keeping the feet aligned is not as easy as it looks. One must need shoes with arch support insoles. These Superfeet insoles are best if you're a diabetic or having an issue with your feet or knees. To treat any issue, you must know its causes and consequences.
Superfeet inserts are scientifically designed for both men's and women's feet. The footbed is rigid from the bottom and cushioned from the top. A top-notch quality memory foam is used, offering an extreme comfort level. Washable, so wear as much as you want. The heel cap at the bottom make it rigid enough for any surface.
4.5/5 stars and 522 ratings
If you're a person who spends most of the time in fieldwork, you know the importance of good shoes. The biggest flaw of modern shoes is that they are more fashion-oriented than healthy. To make your trendy shoe wearable and diabetic friendly you can use inserts.
When we talk about diabetic shoe insoles, then Protalus will be on top of the line. Plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and diabetes are focal customers of these inserts. The new T100 series are thin but comfortable inserts for everyone. The footbed is made up of high-end quality rubber, and the top is built with nylon fabric.
5/5 stars and 8 ratings
When I talk about shoes for diabetics, it's surely related to foot issues and diabetes. Although there are not many diabetic-friendly shoes I have a perfect solution to make them a bit more diabetic-friendly. EasyFeet Insoles can cover all your neuropathy and foot issues related to diabetes.
With a built-in weight limit of 225lbs and extra-strong high arch support, EasyFeet designed the newest line of orthotics just for men and women who weigh over 200 pounds. They are podiatrist recommended and professional-grade quality!
These plantar fasciitis insoles will help stop foot pain while reducing leg and back strain caused by standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time.
4.5/5 stars and 419 ratings
When you are choosing an insole, you have to set requirements. It is evident that Orthofeet arch support insoles are one of the best for everyone. Let me explain this, the major issue of the foot problems of every diabetic occurs due to a flat shoe bottom.
Orthofeet makes these inserts in three layers and each layer has a separate role. The first bottom layer acts as a shock absorbent, the second layer act as arch support, and the third layer makes sure to lift your feet and is responsible for foot stability.
Plantar fasciitis and flat feet are reasons to make these insoles padded enough. A thickness of ¼" is enough for any shoe footbed.
4.5/5 stars and 250 ratings
Diabetes is doesn't only have an impact on the eyes and organs but also has a significant impact on the feet. According to the National institute of diabetes and digestive and kidney disease, diabetic neuropathy is spreading vigorously among diabetics.
A perfect shoe insert can be beneficial for the knee and foot. The KEEN K-30 gel insole is entirely synthetic. The whole insert is a perfect fit for any individual feet. Anti-odor material is used to avoid all bad odors. This insole is also perfect for work boots.
4.5/5 stars and 182 ratings
The importance of shoes is equal for everyone. But we all know that diabetics should not wear ordinary shoes. There are several reasons, like diabetic neuropathy. To make them feel comfortable, arch support insoles provide better comfort. Spenco insoles are best for feet and knee pains.
These well-balanced and spongy insoles give you stability and resist all kinds of bad odors. The soft frontal bottom of this insole saves your feet from shocks. A central uplift makes it a stress-releasing insole.
A premium Spenco memory foam gives you comfort and helps in managing your diabetes complications.
4.5/5 stars and 177 ratings
Sometimes choosing the right pair of shoes is not enough. A perfect insole can make your experience better. When you have diabetes, it can be a bit more beneficial for your foot pains. Usually, diabetics feel itching and numbness in the feet. To tackle this issue, Infusion launches its new versatile Ultra-Soft padded insoles.
It is a gem for people with diabetes. A customized cushioned footbed embedded with urethane layers provides extreme comfort.
A purely US-made product meeting all quality standards can give you a long-life experience. From athletic training to your lounge parties it fits all kinds of shoes.
Basically, it is a full-length insole with a thin front so it will not ruin your shoes.
4/5 stars and 210 ratings
The main thing which differentiates a regular shoe from a diabetic shoe is the robust built and perfect cushioned soles. To treat diabetic neuropathy, the shoe sometimes must have a better sole. The Protalus extra thin shoe inserts are perfect and made for longer use.
Like other diabetic shoe inserts, they do not have multiple layers or cushioning. The material is quite long-lasting and washable. The design is just perfect for combating muscle fatigue. Usually, cushioned inserts don't always suit diabetic shoes, they need a thinner and durable insole. The Protalus Extra-Thin fulfills these requirements easily.
4/5 stars and 53 ratings
Living with diabetes requires care of the feet. Being a diabetic myself, I know that chronic pains can and will always be an issue. Doctors recommend different massages for different body parts. Feet pains are most common among diabetics.
We all know that if you have the right pair of shoes, then half of your problems will be eliminated. These magnetic inserts are extremely diabetic-friendly, so you don't require any separate massager. It has 68 different acupuncture points. After walking for about 20 to 40 minutes you will feel like being in heaven. Moreover, the best part is they are made from waterproof material, which makes it sweat-free as well.
3/5 stars and 18 ratings
A perfect buying guide for the best diabetic insoles
To equip yourself with the best diabetics inserts, you must have a clear idea of what you want. An insert that improves your shoe style can never be a better choice. To buy anything, you just need a proper guideline. Below you can find some of the main features you should consider when acquiring the best shoe inserts. You must consider multiple factors, like size, materials, cushioning, and footbeds of the insoles.
The footbed is an essential part because it acts as a shock absorber. If you want to categorize, then you have three ranges; rigid, semi-rigid, and cushioned. You can get the one as per your desire, but a cushioned footbed is more convenient.
The size matters the most. It varies from person to person and shoe designs. As far as I know, there are two sizes one is full-length for exercise purposes, and the second is the 3/4 size for short or trendy shoes.
If you have chosen the wrong size, no matter how excellent the insole, it will not comfort you. As we discussed above, there are two sizes, ¾ size, and a full-length insert. To keep it simple, I always prefer full-length inserts because they can also go with athletic footwear. Some of them are trimmable so they can fit in every shoe.
The durability and comfortable nature of insoles depend upon their material. Eva foam and gel are two types of top-quality materials that are used widely. Both have their own pros and cons as per user needs. If you're going for a foam footbed, then you must check that EVA quality. Gel type inserts are washable and anti-microbial. I leave this choice to you.
Arch Support is a must for diabetic insoles. If you wear the shoes quite often, arch support allows you to wear them for a longer time. Heel support usually acts as a shock absorbent and saves you from further damages.
Summing up the whole article in one line, I can say that inserts are an essential part of your diabetic life. Diabetic shoes without dynamic insoles are incomplete. If you are still with me, then you have a complete overview of diabetic shoe inserts. As far as my opinion, the PowerStep Pinnacle Supportive Insoles are the best on the list but of course, it all depends on your needs, budget, and desires.