When arthritis has struck and you don’t know what shoes to buy that will offer the best comfort and stability. Well that is where we step in...literally. Searching for shoes that will save your soles doesn’t need to be an arduous task and it definitely shouldn’t be painful. Follow these three main points and a respite from the pain that you are feeling will come. A key thing to remember when looking after your feet is that it sets your entire posture. If your arches are supported, your knees and back will be in a better position and you can move around more comfortably for longer.
The Shape Of Your Foot
It's important to know the shape of your foot. This is key in ensuring the shoes you have chosen are going to comfortably accommodate your feet all day. If you are unaware of the natural shape of your foot, having your feet measured will quickly resolve this. It will soon become clear as to whether you have anything from a narrow to wide foot. All of which will require different footwear.
Arthritis (like your foot) comes in all shapes and sizes. For example, you may have inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis) or the more common kind, osteoarthritis. Whatever you are suffering from, the majority of people need a shoe with a roomy toe box. This provides accommodation for everything unwanted; bunions, hammertoes, and deformed joints that often accompany this disease.
With these unwelcome guests, your feet are sensitive and painful. Avoid aggravating your foot even more by paying special attention to the width of your shoe. Having been measured, you will be aware of the width you need to ensure that every day is a comfortable one. Commonly, wide or extra-wide shoes provide the most comfort by giving your feet room to move. Your aching joints shouldn’t be being pushed and pinched by shoes that are too narrow. Avoid simply going up a size, as this creates more problems and will not be supporting your foot in the right places.
Top tip: When shopping, take a tried and trusted insole with you. When thinking of buying a shoe, place the insole on top, if the shoe is narrower, shorter or much wider than the insole then those are not the pair for you!
Support and Soles
We all need support is many aspects of our lives and one of the most important areas is our feet. The more support a shoe provides, the less impact the joints in your foot and leg take with every step. We do everything we can to make our lives easier, so why not make sure that your feet are fully supported as they carry you through the day.
The primary area of support comes from the sole of the shoe - it should be spacious, rigid, and only bend at the toes, where your foot bends naturally. It should have a stable heel, supporting your heel and keeping your foot in place - preventing unwanted friction and pain.
You can make almost any shoe specific to you and your needs. Add your specially made orthotics into any shoe with a removable insole and you are ready to go, with all the support that you need. If you are suffering with hammertoes or other deformities caused by arthritis, look for shoes with added depth. These will house your toes without any problems and will, in the long run, prevent any more abnormalities. The deeper the toe box, the more room your toes will have to flex, and wriggle when you move them to prevent stiffness setting in.
Lastly, when thinking of support, look for shoes crafted from materials that are not too rigid. Think soft leathers, canvas and cork, these give your feet room whilst moulding to your shape over time. With wear they become customised to you and your unique foot shape.
High heels...they look great, but are they good for your foot health? Not really. Especially for those suffering with arthritis. They put your feet in unnatural positions which takes its toll over time with continuous wear. For those occasions in which you would like to wear a pair of heels; weddings, date nights or work functions, choose a pair of shoes with a heel height of no more than 2 inches. Anything higher and this will result in discomfort and excessive pressure in the ball of your foot, worsening any existing conditions...and you don’t want to end your night early do you?
Higher heels place pressure on the back, hips and knees - all areas that can be affected by arthritis. It is vital to your foot health and general comfort that you spend as little time as possible in heels that are too high. Having said this, try to avoid shoes that are too flat. For those of you living with arthritis make sure that your shoes offers shock absorption and arch support - easily detectable by a slight bump on the inside of the shoe.
When slipping into your shoes in the morning, or as you venture out to purchase your next pair, keep these three main areas in the forefront of your mind. You’ll come home with a smile on your face and a brand new, supportive pair of shoes on your feet.
Footwear at Home
Don't forget to look after your feet when your at home. We'd recommend also having comfortable footwear in the house, slippers or soft mules so that you have the benefit of shock absorption whenever you are on your feet. A comfy pair of slippers with a back to keep them secure on your feet as you go up and down the stairs and about the house. Although some people do tell us they like walking barefoot at home, the cool flooring brings relief to aching feet, for the majority, feet with arthritis are happier when they are warm and protected.