Photo: Michael Hession

With 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 the following:

  • What are diabetic insoles?
  • Can diabetic insoles cure neuropathy?
  • How to choose the best diabetic insoles?

The #1 Best Insole for Diabetics

What Are Diabetic Inserts?

Diabetic insoles (or inserts) 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 ensures your feet are kept in great shape and relieved from any possible pain. Instead of changing shoes, you have to replace the insoles and the shoes, and your feet are ready for a long journey again.  

Why Do Diabetics Need Orthotic Insoles?

We all know that diabetes is a chronic disease. And the average diabetic tends to deal 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. Orthotics inserts can help prevent any new or further damage to the feet and nerves.

Do Insoles Help With Neuropathy?

Neuropathy can not be cured but can be managed effectively with an orthotic insole. In my case, as I live to travel, I learned to adjust my lifestyle by avoiding uncomfortable shoes and strictly sticking to orthotic insoles. These insoles help to relieve my foot pain (especially heel pain) and burning sensations when I hike or stand for long periods. There are also a number of foot creams for diabetics that I used and reviewed earlier that can potentially relieve you from foot pain or other unpleasant feelings within your legs and kneesDiabetic foot creams help relieve pain when having neuropathy, whereas insoles prevent further nerve damage and foot problems.

What Can You Put on a Diabetic Foot?

The lighter and softer your diabetic shoe or orthotic insole is, the better chance it will relieve your neuropathy faster. If you do not take care of it promptly, the situation can worsen. So diabetic shoes are worth 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 orthotic insoles that treat your feet and offer enhanced arch support.

If you still have pains there is also the option to moisturize your feet with a diabetic foot cream.

‌Can Diabetic Neuropathy Be Reversed?

The simple answer is no. Diabetic neuropathy is irreversible. However, the condition can be managed by taking medications, fulfilling vitamin deficiencies, wearing appropriate footwear (like orthotic insoles), and taking general precautions. Walking or jogging is also recommended to manage 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 that can increase your cholesterol are unsuitable 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 absorb shock and offer a deep heel cup and arch support for flat feet, but a few of them stand out.

2. Superfeet Black DMP Unisex Orthotic Insoles

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 makes it rigid enough for any surface.

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3. Protalus T100 Thin Stress Relief Shoe Inserts
$54.95

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.

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03/16/2024 06:45 am GMT
4. EasyFeet Plantar Fasciitis Strong Arch Support Insoles Inserts for Men and Women
$39.99

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.

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03/16/2024 06:45 am GMT
5. Orthofeet Best Arch Support Insoles
$49.95

When you are choosing an insole, you have to set requirements. It is evident that Orthofeet arch support insoles are among the best for everyone. Let me explain this, the major issue of foot problems of every diabetic occurs due to a flat shoe bottom.

Orthofeet makes these inserts in three layers, each with 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.

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03/16/2024 06:45 am GMT
6. KEEN Utility K-30 Gel Insole (perfect for Work Boots)
$50.00

Diabetes 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.

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03/16/2024 06:45 am GMT
7. Spenco Diabetics Arch Support Insole
$32.99

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 their feet. To tackle this issue, Infusion launched 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. It fits all kinds of shoes, from athletic training to your lounge parties.

Basically, it is a full-length insole with a thin front, so it will not ruin your shoes.

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03/16/2024 06:45 am GMT
8. Infusion Ultra-Soft Padded Diabetic Shoe Insoles
$44.95

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.

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03/16/2024 06:45 am GMT
9. Protalus ET75 Extra-Thin Shoe Inserts
$39.95

The main thing differentiating a regular shoe from a diabetic shoe is the robust build and perfectly 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 more durable insole. The Protalus Extra-Thin fulfills these requirements easily.

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03/16/2024 06:45 am GMT
10. Magnet Massage Acupuncture Insole

Living with diabetes requires care of the feet. Being a diabetic, I know 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, making them sweat-free.

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A Perfect Buying Guide for the Best Diabetic Insoles

To equip yourself with the best diabetic sole inserts, you must clearly know what you want. The ideal insert is not necessarily the most stylish, but that which eliminates foot discomfort. Before making any choice among various options on the market, you need a proper guideline.

That said, let's highlight the main features you should consider when acquiring the best shoe insert. Examples of these top considerations include size, materials, cushioning, and footbeds of the insoles.

1. Footbed

Footbeds are an essential part of diabetic shoes. They provide additional cushioning and act as shock absorbers. They also come in three categories; rigid, semi-rigid, and cushioned; allowing you to go for whichever suits you best. However, a cushioned footbed is more convenient for most users.

2. Size

The size of orthopedic shoe inserts 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.

No matter how excellent the insole is, if you have chosen the wrong size, 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 that they can fit in every shoe.

3. Material

The durability and comfortable nature of orthopedic insoles depend on 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 the EVA quality. Gel-type inserts are washable and anti-microbial. I leave this choice to you.

4. Support

Arch Support is a must for diabetic insoles, especially for diabetic patients with flat arches. 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 damage. 

Conclusion

Summing up the whole article in one line, I can say that inserts are essential to your diabetic life. Diabetic shoes without dynamic insoles with added functionalities (like an arch support) are incomplete. If you are still with me, you have a complete overview of the best diabetic shoe inserts on the market. And I must mention that the PowerStep Pinnacle Supportive Insoles  work best for me. But, of course, it all depends on your needs, budget, and preference.

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About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville, and I am the founder of Diabetic Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996, I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I currently use a Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM and a MiniMed 780G insulin pump with Humalog insulin.

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