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Table 2 Shoe features that clients should be aware of when purchasing footwear

From: Australian Diabetes Foot Network: practical guideline on the provision of footwear for people with diabetes

     Shoe features

Criteria for choosing protective footwear features


These should be made from leather or a combination of materials (such as those used in sports shoes) with smooth inner lining and no bulky seams at the toe area.

Correct length

1 cm from end of longest toe when client is standing.

Correct depth

Accommodate the toes without causing pressure.

Correct width

The sides of the shoe should not bulge over the last (sole) when worn.

Low heels

Less or equal to 2 cm.


Adequate fastening such as laces or Velcro to keep the foot from sliding forward.

Cushioned outer and inner soles

Approximately 0.5-1 cm thick under the forefoot.

Enclosed heel

Open backed shoes can result in injury to the skin around the heel and usually require the individual to claw their toes in order to keep them on, also increasing risk of ulceration.


Non slip.