Comfortable shoes and arthritis

By Lana Latest Activity September 2, 2011 at 11:50 am Views 14,408 Replies 21 Likes 9


Like most of you, arthritis has affected my feet as my feet are constantly swollen. My shoes often feel tight and other times, I can barely get them on my feet. My search for comfortable shoes has not been successful thus far.

People with arthritis can suffer from pain in the small joints of the feet and/or from foot deformities. Gait may also be altered by knee and arthritis. Wide shoes with supportive arches can help. Lightweight shoes, slip-ons and Velcro closures can also help. When looking for shoes, you need a mix of comfort and support. While this may seem simple, finding the right pair of shoes for painful arthritic feet isn’t that simple.

The quest to find the right pair of shoes can be quite costly. How many times have you purchased a pair of shoes that didn’t work out? Once you have worn them, it is too late to return them.

Have you found a great pair of shoes? If so, tell us where we can find them and what benefit they have offered.

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Replies (21 replies)

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  • ldylarke
    ldylarke April 15, 2013 at 10:13 am   

    I live in crocs while I'm at home. I wear orthotics in comfy running shoes when I'm out and about (which isn't often).

  • Sly Kitty
    Sly Kitty April 14, 2013 at 11:23 pm   
    Edited April 14, 2013 at 11:25 pm by Sly Kitty

    Great subject here for most of us. I have found that Crocs are the most like being barefoot only better. My foot doctor recommended clogs and approves of my Dansko Professional Clogs. I wear them for work when I have to stand and be on my feet a lot. They give the most support and my doctor tells me I need a hard sole therefore I have several Dansko clogs and I must admit they are the most expensive, but I don't think they will ever wear out. Something similar to Crocs I have purchased at the drugstore are called Doggers or Hounds (not sure why) which I have several of. Generally speaking croc types are the most comfortable and there are so many variations and varieties and the prices are so much more reasonable than the Brand Name Crocs and they come in all colors. I find that most sneakers are the luck of the draw as to which ones work for you so I will not attempt to get into that as you must try them to know which works for you. I have had so many that start out comfortable, but then become not so comfortable so unless you are into a very active life style (as we should all be) I would recommend Crocs or Clogs. I have suffered with Arthritis in my feet along with gout and have suffered with broken toes so I am very familiar with foot pain and know that comfortable shoes are a must.

  • Sheri26
    Sheri26 April 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm   

    Crocs, is the only shoes I can wear. (Thank goodness they come in all styles and colors) I can't stand for long periods of time, I have arthritis, and flat feet, my feet hurt and swell. Crocs get me through the day, they range in price from $19-$75. My foot doctor told me to try a pair, been wearing them every since, I had bought several costly ortho footbed products which only made things worst for my feet. Crocs is the way to go, go online and check them out, they have for summer, winter all seasons. Please try a pair, I have my parents in their 70's wearing them, all my friends with feet problems are wearing Crocs now.

  • judyrags
    judyrags April 27, 2012 at 1:56 am   

    I have been wearing Skechers for several years. I have several of the Mary Jane styles in a variety of colors, some for winter and some for summer. I also like their dressier flats which come in black and grey patent. They have great arch support and a cushioned non-skid sole. I usually add a store-bought insole for extra cushioning. And last summer I bought a pair of peep-toe sandals…same good arch support and cushioned sole. They are available at Famous Footwear, many department stores such as JC Penneys, as well as at Skechers stores in the mall and at their outlet stores as well. LOVE EM!

  • Lizziebell60
    Lizziebell60 November 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm   

    Hi, I have changed my shoes also, I wear Easy Spirit Traveler or Clark Clogs most of the time but I have some Bear Trap and others, The main thing is to try them on and if they are not comfortable, do not buy I also had to go up on the size due to swelling! Yes Gel soles are great to have also I have many pears for all my shoes. I have a problem when it comes to shoes everyone kids me because I buy in every color and at Curves they laugh because my water Bottles also match my clothes. I probably have 150 pairs of shoe LOL and now no place to hide them, I am addicted to shoes I do believe LOL. Thanks Lana

  • tharr
    tharr November 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm   

    I recently added 2 new comfort items to my closet. I gave up my Nike Air's for a pair of Asics Gel Nimbus and I just recently bought a pair of Reef Fanning (Leather) flip flops. A bit pricey but man are they comfortable!

  • acebass
    acebass October 10, 2011 at 11:16 pm   

    I have more shoes than I care to admit! At first, I got custom orthotics and New Balance sneaks - They have sneaks for people with walking problems. They watch your gait and find shoes that will help you walk better. I wore NB 1108 with my orthotics and then put NB pressure absorbing insoles on top. Worked for years, 'til it got worse. After that, it was high boots, then miltary boots (they're VERY comfortable) , as it got worse. Now that my foot's been rebuilt a few times, I 86'd the boots and wear Bite sandals - they have room for orthotics, and of course, the NB 1108's (motion control) sneaks with all the stuffing.
    I found a place called Foot Solutions that does sensibly priced made to order custom mens' shoes with room for orthotics. It drove them crazy, but I got a pair of vintage looking blue suede shoes! I've been wearing them with my tux, instead of parachute boots.
    Anyway - Check out New Balance for the sneaks and Pressure Relief Insoles. If you need more support, try on a pair if GI boots at an Army Suplus Store - They're in this year for women!

  • Grandma Joyce
    Grandma Joyce October 10, 2011 at 9:28 pm   

    I had found one pair of hiking boots ten years ago and they were the best. A doctor in Arizona where I was working at the time recommeded them to me. I have struggled with this problem constantly. My feet and ankles are always swollen also. I have had all my toes operated on at least twice. My big toes four times. I wouldn't be able to walk if not for the surgeries. I found another pair of hiking boots in a sporting goods store here in Utah about 5 years ago, but they were not as good as the first pair I found. I suggest you check out your local sporting goods store. Hiking boots are not glamorous, but they sure are comfortable and the doctor that talked me into buying them told me to stop the swelling, you need good support. They support better than any other shoe.

  • Toni Eich
    Toni Eich October 10, 2011 at 8:28 pm   

    I had orthodics made for my feet early this year and went from Nike's back to Asics. I recently started working more and noticed that my feet were killing me. I had my orthodics adjusted and purchased from Brooks. Pricey Pricey! I hate paying so much for shoes. I have only had the shoes a week and the adjusted orthodics a few days. They help some but I have wondered if I should look into Dr. Sholes massaging gel inserts. I am in a quandry about what to do. I definately can not walk barefooted anymore. Right now I am wearing my sons Nike flip flops. My feel do not swell as much as ache. I am wondering if this is where alot of my back pain comes from????

  • peggyjane
    peggyjane October 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm   

    I loved Birkenstocks before the arthritis, and they are still my most go to shoes. I have them in sandals, clogs, shoes and boots. I purchased most of them on EBAY at really good deals.

  • ChildofHipHop
    ChildofHipHop October 10, 2011 at 12:19 pm   

    Good Topic!! Thank you so much for posting! I just (JUST) had this conversation with my rheumatologist last Thursday. I had to show him photos of how swollen my feet get. He was upset because I was squeezing them into the only pair of work shoes (no opened toe shoes allowed) that I can manage.

    I told him about how this board (yeah friends!) recommended the compression socks and they are the only thing that make my feet small enough for my regular shoes. Unfortunately, I also wear lots of skirts/dresses so compression socks don't work all the time.

    My sister (who has lymphedema) recommends some Nikes that look like old-time Mary Janes but have an adjustable velcro strap. They are still athletic shoes but they are black and can pass at her very dressy financial services firm. I don't know how to put a picture in my post so that's all I know to describe them.

  • rabidrabbit
    rabidrabbit September 4, 2011 at 11:39 am   

    I get my shoes through my podiatrist. Perhaps you could get some there too.
    To offset the cost, maybe you should try Payless shoes. I used them for years…got 1/2 size longer and wider and had no pain when swelling occurred
    God Bless.

  • sister - 15457
    sister - 15457 September 3, 2011 at 8:00 pm   

    I also have foot problems and am on my feet all the time for the last 25 years. I have recently found shoes that truly help they are called Gravity Defeyers the are sold on line only. The heel has a tramploline effect in it and they come with 2 different insoles to adjust the fit. They are not cheap. the ones I have were $150.00. I now have 2 pairs 2 different sizes. You get to wear them for 30 days before you pay for them if they aren't for you, you can return them no questions asked.

  • hobber
    hobber September 2, 2011 at 10:41 pm   

    New Balance are comfortable and the higher the number, the more support they offer.

  • Gramma K
    Gramma K September 2, 2011 at 5:51 pm   

    Oh what a good topic! I try to get shoes when my feet REALLY hurt and then I go to stoes that specialize in shoes that are for problem feet. I try to save my $$$ to buy good shos and inserts. I have Birikenstocks, Finns, Nike, etc. and they are VERY expensive but they last a very very long time. I try to get shoes with velcro starps and also I prefer open toed shoes. When I go out in the winter i wear boots with Splenta (? can't remember the name exactely but my psychiatrist, not psychiatrist, recommended them. In fact my hubby and I celebrated our 35 anniversary 16 years ago by buying matching insoles! :0) I have given up on "pretty" shoes so I can be comfortable and safe. I can get cute shoes though. I have some that are red with black soles and white stitching and they look like cats. I also ave 2 pairs of "wearable art". One has jazz musicians and one has "breathe" on the inside of both shoes and "in" and "out" on the outside. I'm a wild woman with some wild shoes!

  • Ehcanna
    Ehcanna September 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm   

    Birkenstock type shoes that have adjustable width will work for summer. Maybe some type of lace ups for winter. I like Earth Shoes brand because not only do I have arthritis in my knees, I have plantar faciitis, so I need good arch support too. They are pricey, but since you have computer access, you can probably do some hunting and find them at a bargain price.

  • marieanne
    marieanne September 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm   

    Thanks Lana, I, like you, am struggling with this issue of swelling in
    the feet, only mine- is in 1 foot. I have even gone to a larger shoe
    just to compensate the larger 1- this doesn't work either bc then
    I fear tripping over these too big- shoes! They are clumsy. So, I am
    the woman with many, many shoes that I keep changing out some-
    times 3 times per day! LOL To complicate matters, I have this huge
    arch that is painful without proper support, as it is near impossible to find
    shoes anymore, with proper arch support. So, I am buying insoles-
    the good ones, and using these in my shoes! I have also takin some
    of these insoles & super-glued them to my flip-flops, which they say
    are bad for your feet. Yes, they are- but I hate hot feet in the summer,
    so around the house, I wear these flip-flops with my own custom
    insoles super-glued on them, funny, but it works for me. LOL I do
    buy only "New Balance" tennis shoes though, bc they don't "break down"
    as fast as other brands, & you can find them on sale. I do know that
    this may be different for others with other foot issues & sizing issues.
    Even while doing this "addition" to the flip-flops, I still do not wear
    them 24/7 & I find that the tennis shoes are still my best option.
    Good luck to all~ Hugs, marieanne

  • Palm Princess
    Palm Princess September 4, 2011 at 2:19 am   

    Flippies are the ONLY thing I can wear. But they have to be a solid sole with an arch support, not the $3.00 ones
    Winter is not fun at all :S

  • kittenpurr1
    kittenpurr1 September 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm   

    I have always had problems with shoes, so if I find some that don't hurt my feet, I will usually get another pair. Even when I was a child, I had to wear corrective shoes, then as I got older I didn't. I remember having so many shoes in my closet, b/c they felt okay at the store, then they hurt my feet when I wore them. This was going on when I was 13 years old, so shoes have been a problem for a long time. Now, my feet swell, so wider in width, no very high heels, you don't have to get shoes especially made for diabetics either, always, because I am diabetic- just has to be one that has enough room in them. My feet swell from arthritis, diabetes, being on them, and medications. I have heard that support compression knee highs, thigh highs help with the swelling, too.
    They make dark colors for men so it's not like you are wearing the hose like women. Also, they come in white, so you could always wear socks over them in the times you have on pants. For summer months- I don't know what to say.
    Good shoes are very important- you need some that absorb that shock and weight we put on them. Check out some places on line. Also, it's best to try on shoes, after you have been up a while, therefore any swelling is there, and you can tell better how they feel, you can always add insoles for the days they don't swell as bad, so they aren't moving around on you- shifting as you walk, which can lead to a fall- none of us, need any falls. Best wishes, and happy shoe shopping.

  • birch21
    birch21 September 15, 2011 at 11:28 pm   

    I have just recently found a wonderful pair of shoes that are Dr. Scholls. I found them clearanced out at Walmart for $20. My foot doctor saw them on Monday and he liked them very much. They are called Neptune and they have the most wonderful insole in them I have ever felt. They are light weight and somewhat open but they stretch which is a great help when feet are swollen. When I go back to Walmart I am going to see if they have any more and get another pair. I can usually find good foot ware for my feet by wearing Dr. Scholls. Good luck.

  • marieanne
    marieanne September 15, 2011 at 11:53 pm   

    Thanks for this info. on these Dr. Scholls shoes that you found, they
    do make good quality shoes, I've had a pair that I found very comfortable-
    I forgot about this, until I saw your post here. Hugs, marieanne

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