The aim of the present research was to study the prevalence and severity of vitamin D deficiency in patients with diabetic foot infection. Patients were enrolled in two groups: diabetic patients with foot infection (n 125) as cases and diabetic patients without the infection as controls (n 164). Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) was measured by RIA. Data were presented as means and standard deviations unless otherwise indicated and were analysed by SPSS. Results revealed that 25(OH)D (nmol/l) was significantly lower (40·25 (sd 38·35) v. 50·75 (sd 33·00); P < 0·001) in cases than in controls. Vitamin D inadequacy (25(OH)D < 75 nmol/l) was equally common in cases and controls (OR 1·45, 95 % CI 0·8, 3·0; P = 0·32), but cases had a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D < 50 nmol/l) than controls (OR 1·8, 95 % CI 1·1, 3·0; P = 0·02). Risk of severe vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D < 25 nmol/l) was significantly higher in cases than in controls (OR 4·0, 95 % CI 2·4, 6·9; P < 0·0001). Age, duration of diabetes and HbA1c were significantly higher in cases than in controls and therefore adjusted to nullify the effect of these variables, if any, on study outcome. The study concluded that vitamin D deficiency was more prevalent and severe in patients with diabetic foot infection. This study opens up the issue of recognising severe vitamin D deficiency ( < 25 nmol/l) as a possible risk factor for diabetic foot infections and the need for vitamin D supplementation in such patients for a better clinical outcome. This could be substantiated by similar data from future studies.