There are over 29 million adults in the United States with diabetes.  People with diabetes have an increased risk of foot ulcers, and diabetes is the leading cause of nontraumatic lower-limb amputations.

Proper shoes are important parts of managing diabetes.  Deformities such as hammertoes and bunions can cause pressure points that rub against the insides of shoes.  Wearing improperly fitting shoes can lead to calluses and ulcers.

The Medicare Therapeutic Shoe Bill was started with the goal of reducing diabetic foot ulcers and preventing lower limb amputations in high-risk patients.  It makes extra-depth shoes and inserts available to patients with diabetic complications.

What are diabetic shoes?

Medicare Diabetic Shoe Program

Diabetic shoes decrease the risk of diabetic foot ulcers and thereby reduce amputations.  They provide support and protection while minimizing pressure points on the feet.  They also have extra depth to accommodate diabetic inserts.  There are many styles to choose from, and the shoes look much like any other shoe.

Who is eligible for the Medicare diabetic shoe program?

You must have diabetes


You must have one or more of the following diabetic foot problems:

  • History of partial or complete foot amputation
  • History of previous foot ulceration
  • History of pre-ulcerative callus
  • Peripheral neuropathy with evidence of callus formation
  • Foot deformity
  • Poor circulation

What does Medicare cover?

If eligible, Medicare (and most private insurances) will provide one pair of extra-depth shoes and three pairs of inserts each calendar year.

Medicare Part B covers 80% of the approved cost of the shoes and shoe inserts. Many secondary insurances cover the remaining 20%.

Call to schedule an appointment

If you have diabetes or have questions about the Medicare diabetic shoe program, schedule an appointment by calling (425) 455-0936.  You may also schedule an appointment online.