DISCLAIMER:  Let me start by saying that I HATE WEARING SHOES!  My utopia is BAREFOOT! 

OK, that’s out of the way … true but not wise!  Please bear with me as I make my case for wearing foot covering. We all know we should NOT go barefoot.  During this strange time of Covid and sheltering in, when we are home a lot more, there is a tendency to run around the house barefoot. 

Just suppose you are barefoot in the kitchen … and you drop a can opener on your foot.  Hurts like the dickens … it bleeds and swells.  Next thing you know, you are on your way to the ER, during the Covid crisis.  NO, YOU DO NOT WANT THIS!

What I am about to say is only because I care about you and your journey living with T1D.  You must know that it is really a bit reckless, especially during this Covid crisis, to put your foot health at risk, right? 

I’ve banged my feet enough and stubbed my toes too often … and even tripped a few times.  BUT I seriously DO NOT WANT to have to go to the hospital for ANYTHING these days. 

CONCLUSION:  WEAR SHOES!!!  Or at least something that covers your feet and protects them from harm. 

What about sandals and flip flops?  Well, if that’s the best you will do, that’s better/safer than totally barefoot.  Still, really?!?!?  You want to play with fire? 

So … I went in search for what I can wear and feel almost as comfortable as barefoot, I asked my local T1D network for recommendations … and then I went on a shopping spree on Amazon. 

Let me say that we are all individuals … and our feet are unique to us, in size, width, warmth and sensitivity.  So what works for me might not work for you … YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) … and you’ll need to shop around for what works best for you. 

Here are the comments and results of my search, to give you a leg up (or is that a “foot” up?) on your search for the ideal “shoe-free” foot coverings.  I’ve divided the information into 3 sections:  Shoes/Slippers, Socks and Sandals. 

My best advice:  shoes give you the MOST protection.  But for those times when you just don’t want to be wearing shoes, protective sandals or socks with grippy soles will work.

At the end of this post, I’ve included some comments from my podiatrist plus a review of foot creams and, on the serious side, an article from Physician’s Briefing, 29 July 2020, about the higher incidences of foot amputations reported in Italy during the Covid-19 lockdown … due to ulcer and foot skin wounds.  Please take care of your feet!!!

Please, if you have any other suggestions, PLEASE share them in the comments section.  We’d love to know what works for you!

SHOES and SLIPPERS (please consider shoes as your BEST option!)

  • I love Sofft and Sperry slip-ons.  Wonderfully soft, protective, can dress up or down, closed toe and heel.  They have saved me on many large dog visits with sharp toenails, as well as dropped kitchen utensils that fortunately did not need a podiatrist appointment.  They are also no slip, for water on tile conditions. 

Also less to pack for trips as they can be both out and about shoes as well as slippers after a quick wipe down.  I have very soft feet and even I can wear them “no socks” without blistering. (Marianne)

  • Ooo I love my Dansko clogs. We don’t wear shoes in our house but with hard floors and tiles, my feet were hurting. I went to the podiatrist and he recommended them inside the house all the time. My feet crave them. They are so comfortable. And it’s protective if something falls out of the freezer onto your foot!

Sometimes Costco has them, sometimes I find them at Nordstrom rack on sale or at REI even. I find they fit differently and they stretch with wear slightly also.  (Sara)

  • Within the past year, my podiatrist said to NEVER go barefoot in the house and recommended Dearfoam slippers if I really didn’t want to always wear shoes. I bought 3 pairs (3 styles) and the plush mule styled ones are the most comfy!  (Julie)
  • I have been wearing “barefoot” shoes for years now, inside and outside.  They do not have a raised heel and are called 0 drop because the heel is not elevated.  I have found a better connection to the earth and what I’m stepping on! Absolutely the only, “almost nothing” shoe I have ever had.  (Cj)

MY INPUT:  I LOVE Merrell “Barefoot” Vapor Glove Trail Runners!!!  I mostly wear them all day with short peds … JUST LOVE THESE … bought 3 pairs … cool colors too!!!  (more below)


  • i just got these at costco && i’ve been wearing them every.single.day!! Jane & Bleecker Slipper Socks!  who wouldn’t?! THEY’RE SO CUTE!! xxx (cass)

  • Snoozies are the very best soft slippers. Available on Amazon. For a slipper with a little more support, I like LL Bean slip-ons.  Enjoy! (Joann)



  • I have very strong opinions about socks. 😁 Because we now live in CO, I wear many different types depending on the season.  I have, over the past few years, looked for socks with “grippers” on the bottom (I slipped down some carpeted stairs at home wearing merino wool). I’ll spend a decent amount on a sock that really suits.

However, what I wear mostly in the summer are an inexpensive brand I found at Walmart.  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Dr-Scholl-s-Women-s-Soothing-Spa-Low-Cut-Gripper-Socks-3-Pack/780097945?selected=true  (NOTE:  These only fit Women’s Size 4-10 and there are NO equivalents in men’s socks)  They’re super soft, just above the ankle, not tight (very important for me), and have grippers on the bottom. They also come in a variety of colors if you cannot wear pink socks! Great for around the house.

What I’ve found is ALL socks wear, and some get holes faster than others. These last awhile, but I don’t mind buying new ones at this price.  Hope this helps!  (Carrie)

SANDALS  (Watch out for your toes and falling objects!)

  • I have been running around the house in cushy foamy Sketchers flip flops. Very comfy! 😊  (Kelly)
  • LOTS of votes for OOFOS (www.Oofos.com(MY COMMENTS:  They are very cushy and well-made.  Sadly they are only in one width.)
    • Best slip on shoes ever that I wear only indoors are OOFOS. I wear a Women’s size 8 and hit the Men’s/Women’s unisex in size M5/W7 and its a perfect fit. Just ordered another pair for outdoors. (Gayle 💝)
    • These are very comfy.  I wear them in and outdoors.  Even though they are made of plastic, the sandals do not make my feet sweaty.  They cured my brother-in-law of his plantar fasciitis.  (Karen)
    • I LOVE my “OOFOS” flipflops!  Amazingly comfortable. I wear them ALL the time, even for short walks.  Online has a money back guarantee.  Looks like they have MANY styles, but I haven’t seen or tried any others. Bet they’re all comfy.  (Rita)

Joanne’s Savvy Diabetic favorites, after a bunch of purchases on Amazon (and returns!):

1st Place:  Merrell “Barefoot” Vapor Glove:  large toebox, very lightweight, breathable, fun colors.

2nd Place:  Crocs Classic Lined Clog: kinda a cross between clog and slipper, sooo comfortable, inexpensive, fun colors, men & women, easy to slide in/out of. You can dress ’em up with Jibbitz charms!

3rd Place:  Tiosebon Athletic Walking Shoes:  available for men and women, lightweight, breathable, cushy, fun styles, inexpensive. PLUS:  PEDS No-Show or Low-Cut Socks with Coolmax

And some comments for my long-time podiatrist, on this topic:  Please be reminded the folks with diabetes require continued appropriate selection of shoegear, even during the summertime months.  Although sandals and open shoegear are convenient, protection & stability could be the cost.  Closed shoegear, dedicated to indoors, should be considered due to the protective features including:  overall skin breakdown protection, prevention from tripping/ stumbling due to lower extremity extensor/ flexor muscle group imbalances, and protection of existing foot pathologies. 

Furthermore, closed shoegear selections provide stability, including arch support and protection from progressive foot/ ankle muscle imbalances associated with instability.  The choices are many, however closed shoegear provides the best in protection & stability.

Dr. Steven B. Ris, DPM, foot and ankle surgeon, Santa Ana, CA

We Tried It: ‘Diabetic’ Foot Creams was written by Wil Dubois (one of my favorite T1D writers) for DiabetesMine.com, 28 August 2020. 

Sometimes it’s easy to think that the “d” in diabetes stands for dry — as in dry skin. And not just in the cold, low-humidity winter. Many people with diabetes (PWDs) struggle with dry skin year-round. And dry skin is more than just an annoyance: It’s a potentially serious health threat for PWDs. Dry skin can be the first link in a chain that leads to debilitating complications, especially those related to feet.

These facts have given rise to an entire industry that produces, markets, and sells lotions and creams said to be specifically formulated for the needs of PWDs.

But are they any good? Are these creams any different from generic lotions? Or are they just the same goop with a fancy label and a higher tab at the cash register?

But for an expert opinion, we asked California-based Dr. Diane Koshimune, a podiatrist and spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association, what she thought about diabetes-branded skin care products.

“There’s no scientific evidence to support items labeled as ‘diabetic’ to be clinically better than a typical lotion or cream,” she said.  So, what’s the takeaway in all of this? Perhaps Koshimune sums it up best. “Take a closer look at the difference in ingredient lists before purchasing a product that claims to be formulated for diabetics,” she said. “You may find that the difference, if any, is very subtle.”

Read more:  We Tried It: ‘Diabetic’ Foot Creams

More Diabetic Foot Amputations Seen During COVID-19 Lockdown was published by HealthDayNews, 29 July 2020, reporting on a study published online in DiabetesCare.com, 23 July 2020. 

Patients with diabetes admitted to a tertiary care center for diabetic foot ulceration (DFU) during the COVID-19 lockdown in Italy had a more than threefold risk for amputation versus patients seen in 2019, according to a study published online July 23 in Diabetes Care.

Don’t be scared … this is NOT meant to scare you! JUST PROTECT YOUR FEET!!!!

Read more:  More Diabetic Foot Amputations Seen During COVID-19


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