Therapeutic footwear with cushioned insoles was supplied to 50 diabetic patients with severe peripheral neuropathy and/or peripheral vascular disease (age 59(SD 12) years, known duration of diabetes 17(7) years), 36 of whom had a history of foot ulceration. A follow-up examination was carried out 25(14) months later, except in 8 patients who died from conditions unrelated to their foot lesions, and 1 patient who died from sepsis due to upper limb amputation. Among the surviving 41 patients, intercurrent foot lesions during follow-up occurred in significantly fewer (42%) of the 26 who had worn the shoes regularly than of the 15 who had worn the shoes irregularly (87%, p less than 0.01). At follow-up, only 15% of the 41 patients were being treated for foot-lesions, compared with 78% of these 41 patients before cushioned shoes were provided. It is concluded that the availability of therapeutic shoes with cushioned insoles for diabetic patients at risk of foot lesions decreases the morbidity due to the diabetic foot syndrome.