Studies have emerged to demonstrate bidirectional changes in circulating cytokines of inflammation in active diabetic foot ulcers (DFU). To further expand the understanding of inflammatory status present in chronic active DFU, we comparatively assessed the associations of selected pro-inflammatory cytokines and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) with the presence of DFU. In a cross-sectional setting, thirty patients with type 2 diabetes and active DFU matched with thirty control non-ulcerative patients with type 2 diabetes and twenty-eight healthy subjects underwent anthropometric and biochemical assessment of study parameters. Recruited patients with DFU were selected from the grade II active chronic DFU at the time of hospitalisation according to the University of Texas wound classification system. Patients with DFU and controls had comparable age, sexual distribution, diastolic blood pressure and TAG, LDL-cholesterol and glycated Hb. The trend changes from healthy controls towards DFU showed a significant increase for serum monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, IL-6, 25(OH)D and highly sensitive C-reactive protein and a decrease for IL-8. In the multivariate adjusted logistic regression model, 25(OH)D emerged as the only independent correlate of DFU (OR 2·194; 95 % CI 1·003, 4·415). Unprecedented increase of serum 25(OH)D in chronic active DFU is possibly related to a selective alteration in the inflammatory status. In particular, 25(OH)D and IL-8 seem to share a common pathway in the pathogenesis of diabetic foot.