Approximately 20% of Americans suffer from some kind of arthritis. In the UK, over 10 million people suffer from the same condition with others experiencing joint problems. Globally, more than 350 people have arthritis.
Arthritis is a common condition in ageing adults with a smaller percentage of young people experiencing joint inflammation. The studies indicate that women are more susceptible than men. Arthritis is an umbrella term encompassing around 100 conditions-one of it being arthritic feet.
Understanding Arthritic Feet
Arthritic feet is the inflammation of the feet joints. The symptoms appear mostly in the foot and ankles. There are different kinds of feet arthritis. Let’s see how each affects the feet.
- Osteoarthritis (OA)-this is a type of arthritis that attacks the joint connecting your big toe to the foot. Also called wear and tear, this condition can spread to the midfoot and ankles. The affected joints will be stiff, hurt or swell.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis-this is another common inflammatory arthritis that worries many people. Unlike OA, Rheumatoid arthritis agents cause the body to attack its own cells resulting in pain through the feet, knees, wrists, and other bigger joints.
- Gout-this type of arthritis usually affects the big toe.
- Ankylosing Spondylitis-this is a rare type of arthritis that attacks the spine causing pain and stiffness. The condition can spread to the lower body and feet resulting in Bechterew disease, plantar fasciitis, and joint aches.
- Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) – this condition results when joint inflammation happens at the same time as Psoriasis skin condition. The results? A sausage-like swelling, bone spurs, plantar fasciitis and tendon inflammation.
There are many ways to deal with arthritis. You can use pain meds, start a weight loss program, move more, use ice or heat on inflammation sports, go for alternative treatments, surgery, or wear proper footwear. We are experts at the latter. To help you recover from joint inflammation, we are going to review for you some of the best shoes for arthritic feet.
Our list comprises seven reliable shoes with the best ratings and reviews sourced from previous buyers and also recommended by podiatrists and chiropractors. Some options bear the seal of acceptance from APMA and Medicare.
Out of all the options reviewed, we strongly feel like Orthofeet Tahoe Women’s takes the crown. This shoe is very comfortable, certified and reasonably priced compared to the rest. Let’s now move on to the long-awaited list.
Best Shoes for Arthritic Feet
1. Orthofeet Tahoe: Most Comfortable Shoes Arthritic Feet
Patients with confirmed arthritic challenges should consider Orthofeet Tahoe Women’s Orthopedic Diabetic Orthotic Shoe. As the name suggests, this is an orthotic (foot medical device) and therefore particularly designed to heal foot arthritis.
The shoe is richly padded with ultra-soft fabrics. This considerably reduces the pain for patients suffering from sciatica, foot, heel, knees, and lower back pains. The mesh system it comes with promotes maximum breathability.
The interior design further includes a premium orthotic insole. This insole forms to your feet (kind of a hug) thus preventing the arch muscles from overstretching. Like most pain-reducing sneakers, the tongue and collar are also heavily padded to promote a luxuriously comfortable feel.
Here is the best part; Orthofeet Tahoe Women’s Athletic Shoe is lightweight. It doesn’t take on the bulk design of conventional running shoes. This ensures painful feet are overloaded any further. Part of the shoe’s tech aims towards fixing abnormal gait-a plus for those in advanced stages of arthritis.
Orthofeet Tahoe Women’s Orthopedic Diabetic Orthotic Athletic Shoe core features are:
- Padded collar
- Rubber outsole
- Air pockets
- Orthotic insole
- Foam padding
- Soft leather and fabric for overlays
- Cushioning heel pad
The pros of Tahoe include:
- Top-level comfort thanks to the soft padding and insoles
- Promotes easy gait courtesy of the heavy cushioning that makes the foot spring back easily and smoothly.
- Relieves medical conditions such as foot pain, diabetic feet, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, and many more.
- Offers reliable arch support
- Fairly priced, considering its ability to take care of many medical issues.
The cons for this shoe include:
- Limited color options
As one of the most comfortable shoes for arthritis, Orthofeet Tahoe Women’s Athletic Shoe is a must-have for patients struggling with foot pains, gait problems, and joint pains.
This a carefully engineered shoe that takes care of your pain so you can get back to your normal life. The shoe is backed up by an incredible number of positive reviews on Amazon and other online stores.
2. Orthofeet Diabetic Flat Feet Gramercy Men’s Dress Shoes
Like Orthofeet Tahoe above, Gramercy Men’s shoe brings to the table premium comfort, high-quality sole, and top-level interior lining for the best experience. Certainly, this isn’t just an ordinary walking shoe. Rather, it is tailored for those in need of arthritic and joint pain relief.
This is a formal shoe and thus perfect for those looking for dress shoes for arthritic feet. It is ideal for smart casual and formal wear for everyday work and business duties. The toe box is wider so your feet can have more room for breathing and flexing.
Besides arthritis, Orthofeet Gramercy can also help with knee pain, arch pain, foot pain, pronation, diabetes, bunions and a few tender feet problems.
Other men’s dress shoes for arthritic feet include Burlington Waterproof Oxford, Dr Scholl’s Men’s Winder II, and Hush Puppies Gil Slip-On. The latter is also majorly regarded as one of the best shoes for arthritic feet and ankles.
Orthofeet Diabetic Flat Feet Gramercy Men’s Dress Shoes has the following features:
- Leather top
- Easy gait design
- Non-binding design with extra depth
- Foam paddings
- Arch support
- Ortho cushioning
- Premium orthotic support
Orthofeet Diabetic Flat Feet Gramercy Men’s Dress Shoes boasts of the following advantages:
- Promotes natural foot motion
- Ultra-comfortable technology
- Takes care of many medical conditions including arthritis, bunions, pronation, plantar fasciitis, etc
- High-quality, motion-enhancing outsole
The only obvious disadvantage for this pair is:
- Comes at a pretty coin
Orthofeet Gramercy Men’s Dress Shoe is ideal for candidates who want the best level of comfort when dressing up for work. Its design takes care of a wide variety of medical conditions – including arthritis. If you don’t like this choice, then read our guide on the best dress shoes for plantar fasciitis. It has some more comfy options.
3. Propét Women’s Cush N Foot Slipper
Propét Women’s Cush ‘N Foot Slipper has is another podiatrist-designed slipper for women whose feet pains are on another level. This slip-on consists of a neoprene topping and a creative “hook and loop” fabric for easy slip-on and slip-off. The fabric is adjustable and makes it fit anyone-whether their feet are narrow or wide.
As the name implies, this shoe’s primary role is to provide support and comfort to ladies suffering from foot complications like diabetes, sciatica, heel spurs and arthritis. The interior is so soothing that you might forget you are wearing anything at all.
The neoprene top provides the softest touch, especially around the heel. The rubber outsole is flexible and bears some treads for proper traction of slippery floors. Budget-wise, Propét Women’s Cush N Foot Slipper is pretty affordable.
Propét Women’s Cush ‘N Foot Slipper sports the following:
- Neoprene upper
- Ideal for Diabetic patients
- Hook and loop closure
- Rubber sole
- Available in three color options
Propét Women’s Cush ‘N Foot Slipper has the following advantages:
- Easy on and off thanks to the hook and loop closure
- Heavily cushioned for extra comfort
- Quite affordable compared to its competitors
- Can accommodate custom diabetic insoles
The few unfavorable issues this shoe pose include:
- Ideal for indoor walks
- The quality wears down not long after the purchase
Even though considered one of the best slippers for arthritic feet, the durability of Propét Women’s Cush ‘N Foot Slipper remains a major drawback. Nevertheless, it is in the nature of soft paddings to thin out with each use.
4. Vionic Women’s Walker
Vionic Women’s Walker is a reliable solution for medical issues like plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, arthritis, and other foot pains. It boasts of a top leather/suede covering with a mesh network that increases air circulation.
The stitching is robust, ensuring that this shoe will brace the tough times for a couple of years without ripping apart. Unfortunately, it’s this kind of stitching that makes the break-in period a little longer – usually a week or two.
Nevertheless, Vionic Women’s Walker comes with a cushy interior boasting of EA footbed and padded sideways. It is APMA certified for those in need of a gentle caress that abates arthritic pain. The embedded Active Motion System also corrects your gait and promotes stability to do away with pain that comes with a bad posture.
This is going to be your everyday shoe for walking, running and doing other activities that move the needle in your life.
Vionic Women’s Walker boasts of the following components:
- 100% leather
- Removable EVA footbed
- Rubber outsole
- Active Motion Technology
- Mesh upper
Vionic Women’s Walker stands out because of the following:
- Multiple color options to choose from
- Durable construction
- Breathable mesh
- Affordable price tag
There is only one noticeable disadvantage for this shoe:
- Requires one week break-in period
Women looking for the best sneakers for arthritis should consider Vionic Women’s Walker. This is a heavily reviewed shoe on Amazon and other online shops. This is an indication that it delivers on its promises. Give it a spin if it checks out many of your boxes.
5. Brooks Men’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoes
Brooks Men’s Addiction Walker Walking packs quite a heck boatload of features for everyday walkers. It definitely could be the solution to your flat feet problems. And this is not our opinion-uh-uh. This is exactly what many reviewers said about this shoe.
Virtually every section of it bears premium level paddings and cushy materials so no part of your foot suffers from pressure or friction. The MoGo midsoles play two roles: shock absorption and energy return which, in turn, helps to make walking easy for those with foot aches.
Brooks Addiction Walker is one of the podiatrist recommended shoes for enhancing support and stability. It’s perfectly balanced thanks to the MC pod construction and the heavily treaded outsole that keeps you on your feet even while walking on wet or polished floors.
This leather sneaker is optimally breathable and the front is roomier enough for those with wide feet. However, the sizing is available in narrow, medium and extra-wide dimensions.
Brooks Addiction Walker consists of the following:
- 100% leather
- Available in three color options
- Synthetic sole
- Lace-up closure
- Casual but contemporary walking shoe
- Rubber outsole
- Velvety nubuck upper
- Removable sockliner
Brooks Men’s Addiction Walker comes highly recommended largely because of the following:
- It is durable and lightweight
- Has superb shock absorption abilities
- Eye-candy design
- Well-balanced for maximum motion control
- Premium quality tread for maximum traction
- Energy-returning midsole
Here’s where Brooks Addiction fails to score good marks:
- The narrowing front may not give your toes enough room for stretching
- The price is on the upside
Brooks Men’s Addiction Walker does come at a pretty penny. Nonetheless, the cost is totally sensible considering the in-depth engineering that has gone into its manufacturing. With such glowing customer feedback all-round, this shoe is definitely a go-to for anyone with arthritic feet.
6. New Balance Women’s W1540V2 Running Shoe
New Balance has been a go-to brand for many people. The reason is obvious; superior technology. Given that they cater mostly to athletes, their sneakers are some of the most comfortable globally. One of their shoes that help with arthritic feet is New Balance Women’s W1540V2 Running Shoe.
The shoe boasts of soft paddings on the collar, tongue and the interior walls which provide unrivaled comfort standards. The foam midsoles also play a huge role in absorbing shock so you don’t feel anything while running on rough terrain.
New Balance W1540V2, being an exceptional running shoe, has some of the most traction-ready outsoles. On top of that, ROLLBAR and medial posts in the heel help to boost stability. The overlays are meshed to keep you cool all day.
Worth mentioning, this sneaker is versatile. Anyone doing aerobics or taking Zumba classes can benefit from it hugely.
New Balance Women’s W1540V2 Running Shoe boasts of the following features:
- 100% synthetic
- ROLLBAR foot stability
- Breathable mesh panels
- Dual-density foam collar
- Synthetic sole
- Only two colors available
The pros for this shoe include:
- Excellent foot stability
- Removable insoles that pave the way for custom varieties
- Flexible upper
- Medicare verified
The cons are:
- Limited range of colors
New Balance W1540V2 is a high-end shoe designed with the best technology for ladies struggling with diverse foot conditions. Since it is recommended by many podiatrists and chiropractors, you can expect it to curb your pain – albeit at a higher price, though.
7. Propet Women’s Travelfit Slide Walking Shoe
Slip-ons are great for indoor hangouts or light strolling around the neighborhood. One of the reasons we buy them is because of their convenience. Unfortunately, not all slippers can ease your pain if you are living with arthritis. One option that can help is Propet Women’s Travelfit Slide shoe.
This slip-on comes highly recommended as one of the best slippers for arthritic feet. The heel section is open while the front section is enclosed like conventional shoes. You even get a quick bungee lacing which is ideal for those with arthritis in fingers.
The top overlays consist of both textile and synthetic material with a mesh network that offers better ventilation. So yes, Propet Women’s Travelfit delivers the best comfort so you don’t have to be reminded about your medical conditions every other minute.
The top synthetic material is ultra-soft, yet thick, so it forms a cushy covering over your leg while keeping your feet cool in hot environs. In case you are restocking some slippers for painful feet, this should be on your list too.
Propet Travelfit Slide features the following:
- Synthetic material
- Flexible outsole
- Breathable mesh upper
- Synthetic sole
- Wide Widths
- Pull tab
Pros of Propet Travelfit include:
- Available in Numerous color options
- Easy on and off
- An inexpensive solution to arthritic feet conditions
- Adequately padded for comfort
The cons include:
- Designed for indoor and around the home walks only
Value-wise, Propet Women’s Travelfit is a good buy as it delivers a good experience to those with painful feet, knees, and joints. Although it is made for short-range walks, the quality is solid enough to ensure it serves you for many months before wearing out.
Criteria for Selecting the Best Shoes for Arthritic Feet
You know the nature of your feet. You know where they hurt, and you have an idea of the type of shoe recommended by the chiropractor or podiatrist. However, it could be possible your shoe specialists were not as thorough in providing all the necessary details and you still have some questions unanswered.
To help you out, here are a few things to keep at the back of your mind while shopping for the best arthritic feet shoes:
There is one golden rule to observe when it comes to picking the right shoes for arthritis feet: keep the heel low. No matter how cheap or attractive the shoe is, as long as the heel is high, drop it like it’s hot!
So, what’s the problem with heels, you may be wondering.
Podiatrists warn that those who wear high-heels daily and for more than three hours have a higher chance of developing foot pain, back pain, and joint problems later on in life compared to those who wear flats.
Heels measuring 1½ inches and above put pressure on the foot’s ball, shorten your Achilles, and bend the joints more than is necessary.
With time, most of your joints will start to ache due to misalignment created by your obsession with heels. Rather than deal with such problems later in life (or if it’s already advanced at the moment), go for shoes with the right heel-to-toe drop and great arch support.
Support is vital for anyone with arthritic feet or any other related kind of joint pain. Good arch support is important for those with flat feet or overpronation. Arch support practically hugs the arches thereby preventing unnecessary muscle stretching.
If you accidentally buy a shoe with improper support, you can talk to a podiatrist to design for you a custom insole.
Mules (slip-ons) don’t provide the best arch support but they are a great option for evening relaxation so you are not forced to walk in other improper shoes.
You need to be cautious about the top material a shoe is made of. Yes, leather is good, but if it’s inflexible, it doesn’t help. The bottom line here is this: go for any material as long as it is flexible, soft, and breathable.
Some of the common materials you might bump into include leather, canvas, suede, and other synthetic varieties. You need to check on padding as well. This is a must for any shoe that purports to lessen foot and back pains. By the way, the absence of seams could be a good thing as they tend to rub and pinch.
Never buy a shoe with a narrow toe box if you know you have arthritic feet or bunions. These problems will get worse if the toes get cramped throughout. There are many shoes for big toe arthritis, plantar fasciitis, and even rheumatoid arthritis.
If you still don’t know what options would work better for you, then go with some of the choices we have reviewed. As you have seen, almost all of them are podiatrist inspired and Medicare-approved to help those with arthritic feet.
Just to be safe, when shopping for arthritic feet shoes, order your size in a unit or a half size up. This way, you’ll have more breathing room.
The nature of your shoe’s sole can make walking easier or harder. Be that as it may, rubber soles are highly recommended because of their better flexibility and cushioning feature. It also pays when the sole flexes at the ball of the feet and can return energy for an easy rebound while walking.
Ease of Use
Last, but not the least, consider ease of use.
As an arthritic victim, there is a possibility your hands (will) have mobility issues. Thus, tying up shoes will not be easy, or could be impossible altogether. The sensible choice, in this case, is to go for Velcro straps or hook-and-loop fasteners.
Some of the best walking shoes for arthritic feet are actually slip-ons with dual gore panels. This makes wearing and removing less of a hustle.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What conditions do shoes for arthritic feet help to mitigate?
A. Shoes for individuals with arthritic feet are extremely comfortable and spacious. Therefore, they are good for anyone with diabetic feet, bunions, bad knees, back pain, pronation, heel pain, and plantar fasciitis. Make sure the size you order leaves some room for breathing. Otherwise, your pain could get worse in tight shoes.
Q. Are flip-flops recommended for someone with arthritis?
A. Yes and no! Flip-flops can be a savior at the end of the day when you are getting out of your work shoes. So basically, they will continue to do what the work shoes were doing while making it easier for you to put them on/off.
Mostly, flip-flops don’t offer proper arch support. However, some Birkenstocks and slippers for plantar fasciitis tend to excel at providing the right conditions.
Q. Is it a must for the shoe to be wider?
A. Yes, wider pairs are a safer bet. They have more room for toe movement and that can be a good thing for those suffering from bunions.
Narrow shoes will cramp your toes up; this is not something you should be looking forward to if you have arthritic feet. Just like Steel Toe Shoes, that precious space at the tip could mean a healthy set of toes or constant hurt.
Q. What are the best shoes brands for rheumatoid arthritis?
A. There are many reliable brands that help with rheumatoid arthritis. Some of the notable options include Vionic, Propet, Dr Comfort, Drew, Mephisto, Clarks, Klogs, and Orthofeet.
If you suffer from foot-related conditions and are looking for a way to take care of that, this list containing the best shoes for arthritic feet would come in handy.
Even those who do not struggle with arthritis (yet) but crave for the most soothing shoes can have a look at them given that they offer unparalleled comfort. Most of the options we have reviewed have also been massively recommended by podiatrists and chiropractors.
Remember, arthritic shoes cater to tender feet problems and thus specialized. This means you might find some of them to be costly. But hey, we spend so we can be happy right. And happy feet means a happy and cheerful you…that’s a win. Happy hunting!
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