How Do I Choose the Best Footwear for Arthritis?

Misty Amber Brighton

When you are looking for footwear for arthritis, it can be very important to avoid shoes with heels. Having your feet professionally measured can ensure you are buying the right size. Insoles may or may not be helpful, so you may want to consult a podiatrist before buying these. Shoes made from leather are a good choice because this material generally provides a great deal of support. The footwear should also have a rubber sole that is somewhat flexible to absorb shock properly.

Shoe insoles.
Shoe insoles.

High-heeled shoes are generally thought to increase the amount of strain on your knees, and this is typically true for both men and women. Over time, this can cause degeneration of the knee, and may be one of the leading causes of arthritis in this area. Arthritis sufferers may notice pain even when wearing low-heeled shoes, so ones with even a moderate heel should be avoided. It is also helpful if footwear for arthritis does not have a platform or wedge-type sole in lieu of a heel.

Wearing high heels can exacerbate arthritis.
Wearing high heels can exacerbate arthritis.

Insoles may be helpful if you have arthritis in your feet or ankles, but may cause more pain if you have problems with your hips or knees. If you do a great deal of walking, it can be helpful to check with a podiatrist before you purchase insoles. He can advise you whether using them might be effective for treating arthritis and may even be able to make you a custom pair.

It is very important that footwear for arthritis fits properly, and buying the right size can be essential. When choosing the proper size, you should consider not only the length of your foot, but also the width of it. Buying narrow shoes can strain your toes and affect your balance, causing pain in the legs and hips, worsening arthritic pain. For this reason, you should also avoid buying shoes with pointed toes, especially if you are found to have very wide feet.

When buying footwear for arthritis, it is important to choose shoes that will provide support, yet be flexible enough for movement. They should also be able to absorb shock so that there is not a great deal of strain on the joints. A leather shoe with a rubber sole will typically fit this bill nicely, because the leather material generally holds its shape well, while rubber can absorb shock and provide flexibility.

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