Footwear is an essential component of an effective treatment plan for people with arthritis. Having the wrong shoe can mean the difference between pain and comfort for your activities of daily living.
When dealing with pain and stiffness often associated with arthritis, there are a few features that can alleviate some of your symptoms, or make everyday tasks that little bit easier to complete.
What To Look for When Choosing Footwear for Arthritis
A Wide Base of Support and Stable Cushioning
When your joints are inflamed, small movements made to adapt to changes in terrain or posture can be painful. For people living with arthritis, a shoe with wide, stable base of support minimizes unnecessary movements and can significantly improve comfort.
In footwear with a higher heel, stability is decreased and pressure through the midfoot and forefoot are increased, often leading to an increase in pain. If you are living with arthritis, choosing footwear with a low heel, no more than 1” (2.5cm), keeps your foot in a better position to avoid discomfort.
When joint degeneration has led to restrictions in range of motion, a rocker sole can help your foot move through the normal motions of walking with less strain through the joint itself. A rocker sole allows the shoe to do some of the work for your foot, alleviating strain on the joints affected by arthritis.
Shoes with Soft Uppers with a Wide, Deep Toe Box
When managing arthritis in the forefoot, in the ball of the foot and toes, having enough room for bunions, hammer toes and your sore joints is imperative.
Velcro Closure or Elastic Laces
We know that arthritis pain is not limited to the lower body. Arthritis in your hands can make lacing shoes very difficult or painful. Alternative closure options like Velcro or elastic laces can make this easier for arthritic hands.