Shoes for patients living with diabetes are made of special protective inserts and soft shoe materials to accommodate for conditions, such as neuropathy (numb feet), poor circulation and foot deformities (bunions, hammertoes, etc.). The shoes decrease the chance of foot sores (ulcers), which can be caused by friction and pressure. This may lead to infection, gangrene or even amputation.
The foot and ankle surgeon may measure the patient's foot and have the shoes made at a specialty laboratory. In some cases, s/he will give the patient a prescription to have the shoes custom made.
For more information on how diabetes affects your feet, see Diabetic Complications and Amputation Prevention, Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, Diabetes Foot Care Guidelines.