Footwear for arthritis patients: 9 keys to choosing the right one

Arthritis patients should choose their footwear wisely. Aesthetics or fashion must take second place because what is at stake is your well-being.

Last update: December 05, 2021

Patients with arthritis in the feet often have difficulty completing daily tasks and require special footwear. This is obvious, since feet support, absorb shock, influence balance and they fulfill many other roles in the movement.

Therefore, foot conditions have a great impact on quality of life. For the same reason, arthritis patients should choose footwear that alleviates their symptoms and allows them to preserve mobility without great difficulties.

Footwear in arthritis patients

If arthritis patients wear the wrong footwear, existing problems are more likely to increase. Likewise, future damages and complications increase; not only in the feet, but also in the other joints.

By contrast, when the right footwear is chosen, muscle activation and gait patterns are favored. This is because the pressure on the joints in the feet is reduced.

In general, arthritis patients who choose appropriate footwear report pain relief and improvements in foot function. This, of course, has an impact on better mobility and greater efficiency in everyday tasks.

Keys to choosing the right footwear when suffering from arthritis

Choosing the right footwear for arthritis patients is crucial. The point is that many do not identify the guidelines that they must apply to get the shoes that best suit their condition. The following are some keys to help you make the correct selection.

1. Proper fit

Arthritis patients need shoes with a flexible and proper fit. It must be taken into account that sometimes there is pain and inflammation, so the feet do not always have the same needs. That’s why adaptability is important.

What most guarantees this flexibility is the material of the shoe. Soft leather or neoprene shoes should be chosen. Those that have laces or velcro closures are very suitable, since they allow different graduations in the adjustment.

Tight-fitting shoes do not work well for arthritis, as they put extra pressure on problem areas.

2. Wider shoes

Arthritis patients need shoes that are wider than usual. You have to put aside the fashions and choose a shoe with a wide toe and body. Putting pressure on the balls of your feet or sides can be excruciating.

It is good to clarify that wider shoes are not those of a larger size. They are not required to be longer, but rather to fit the width of an arthritic foot. This usually has bunions, hammer toes, and misshapen joints.

3. Footwear with a lot of support

When talking about footwear with good support, reference is made to shoes with a hard and wide sole, which also provide stable heel coverage. This helps the foot stay in place and prevents friction and pain. Thin soles are not advisable.

4. Removable insoles

Orthotic insoles are very useful for arthritis patients. Its function is to help distribute the weight more evenly throughout the foot.

Therefore, these devices prevent more pressure on specific points and promote mobility. In order for orthopedic insoles to be used, it is necessary for the shoes to have removable insoles.

5. Oscillating soles

Oscillating soles serve a similar role to insoles. These are slightly curved soles. They generate a gentle momentum when walking and this helps the weight to be distributed more evenly. In general, they reduce stress on the ankles and fingers.

6. Never heels

Heels put the foot in an unnatural posture. That is why they are not recommended for patients with arthritis.

Having excess pressure in the forefoot is something that can cause a lot of problems, since it overloads that area. In addition, they also put pressure on the back, hips and knees. It is recommended that the heels are no more than 1 to 1.5 inches.

7. Neither flat shoes

Flat shoes, especially if they are rigid, are also not a good option when the foot is sensitive and needs extra protection. Footwear is much more comfortable when it offers good cushioning and arch support. On the other hand, if the shoe can be folded in half it is not advisable.

8. Boots: a good option

Boots can be very comfortable for those with arthritis in the ankles. However, it should be emphasized that they should not have a high heel.

Nor should they be extremely rigid, as is the case with hiking boots. The indicated thing is that they have a firm sole, but that offers enough cushioning.

9. Neither sandals nor clogs

Sandals do not offer more support to the feet and their designs are often problematic for an arthritic foot. They are not recommended at all. As for clogs, this style of footwear creates an artificial gait and often puts a lot of pressure on the knees.

Helpful Tips for Arthritis Patients Choosing Footwear

Arthritis patients should not wear the same shoes every day, however comfortable or pleasant they may seem. This can cause a condition called overuse syndrome. The shoe induces you to hit the floor in a certain way.

It is best to have at least 3 pairs of shoes and alternate them throughout the week. On the other hand, it must be taken into account that a foot with arthritis changes over time. Therefore, the size may not be the same as it was 6 months ago.

It is best to buy shoes in the afternoon. At that point in the day you have already walked and, therefore, your feet are somewhat swollen. The size indicated is the one that fits well at that time and not in the morning.

Shoes are one of the most important investments anyone can make. When the footwear is comfortable, not only are many difficulties in the joints prevented, but mobility becomes more fluid.

Inappropriate shoes become a real torture. Therefore, it is best to take the time to choose good shoes, put aside the fashions and spend a little more on higher quality products.

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