Users’ needs and expectations and the design of a new custom-made indoor footwear solution for people with diabetes at risk of foot ulceration

Renske Keukenkamp*, Jaap J. van Netten, Tessa E. Busch-Westbroek, Frans Nollet, Sicco A. Bus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: To assess users’ needs and expectations regarding custom-made indoor footwear, and to design such footwear with similar biomechanical efficacy and better usability compared to regular custom-made footwear in people with diabetes at risk for foot ulceration. Materials and methods: Multidisciplinary systematic design approach. Needs and expectations regarding indoor footwear were evaluated via a questionnaire in 50 high foot ulcer risk people with diabetes using custom-made footwear. We systematically designed indoor footwear, and manufactured this for nine participants. Primary requirement was similar plantar pressure compared to participants’ regular custom-made footwear. Results: Eighty-two percent of participants expressed a need for custom-made indoor footwear and 66% expected such footwear to increase their adherence. The custom-made indoor footwear had the same bottom construction as participants’ regular custom-made footwear, but with softer and more light-weight upper materials. Peak pressures were similar or lower, while qualitative evaluation showed better usability and lower costs for indoor footwear. Conclusions: People with diabetes at risk of foot ulceration expressed a clear need for custom-made indoor footwear, and expected such footwear to increase their adherence. Our indoor footwear design provides adequate pressure relief, with better usability, and can be produced at lower costs compared to regular custom-made footwear.Implications for rehabilitation People with diabetes at risk of foot ulceration express a need for special indoor footwear. We developed indoor footwear with similar offloading capacity as regular custom-made footwear. The indoor footwear is lighter in weight, easier to don/doff and lower in costs. At-risk people with diabetes expect this footwear to increase their footwear adherence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8493-8500
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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