The 7 Best Shoes to Wear After Foot Surgery in 2019
For those entering into foot or ankle surgery, many hours can be spent going over the procedures and what to expect, but sometimes little thought is given to how you’ll get mobile once you’re bandaged up and healing.
Thankfully, there are lots of great products that allow you to be on your feet (with your doctor’s permission, of course) and protecting your injury for an affordable cost!
After looking at seven of the top options for the best shoes after foot surgery, we think that the Aircast SP Walker Brace/Walking Boot offers a supportive, customizable, and comfortable option for those healing from both foot and ankle injuries or surgeries.
Check out the rest of the list to compare this to the other options and find out which would be the best fit for you!
Best Shoes to Wear After Foot Surgery
Aircast SP Walker Brace/Walking Boot
Low rocker sole
Vive Post Op Shoe
Non-skid rocker sole
Premium Post Op Broken Toe
Rigid rocker sole
Corflex Orthowedge Broken Toe
Orthotic hard sole
Aircast AirSelect Walker Brace/Walking Boot
Alegria Women's Alli Flat
Complete Medical Slimline Cast Boot Black Square Toe
1. Aircast SP (Short Pneumatic) Walker Brace/Walking Boot
For those that have a foot injury or are recovering from surgery, this removable cast boot will keep your foot protected, stable, and still during healing while still allowing mobility and walking.
It features a low rocker sole, large foot base to accommodate dressings, and adjustable air cells within the boot for customized cushion and support. The air cells are filled or emptied of air using the included hand bulb air pump.
This boot has a universal fit that can wear on either the left or the right foot.
It features a non-skid sole to keep you stable during wet or slippery conditions.
Many reviewers found these boots to be a better option than the common black boot given to them by their podiatrist—they liked the smaller profile of it, the adjustable air cells, and the room for extra padding and bandages.
Some had trouble finding the right size and were upset when they realized that this distributor doesn’t accept returns.
If you’re looking for a smaller profile and adjustable walking boot to help with foot issues or to keep your mobility while recovering from surgery.
2. Vive Post Op Shoe
This protective shoe is a practical, affordable option for those who need some foot stability after surgery or injury. This would not be a good option for those with ankle issues, however.
It features a rocker bottom sole, three Velcro straps to get a secure fit, and a wide, square toe box that protects the toes and allows for lots of bandage room.
It’s a lightweight, low-profile option in comparison to more bulky boots. Many users with broken or fractured toes found it to be a great way to let their injury heal while still walking throughout the day.
Overall, this looks like a simple, affordable, low-profile option after foot surgery and has many happy users to back up its reputation.
It may not offer enough support for those with more extensive injuries—in those cases, and the air boots may be a better option.
3. Premium Post Op Broken Toe
This boot by Mars Wellness is similar in style to the previous shoe by Vive. It designed for those with foot or toe injuries and those recovering from foot or toe surgery.
Some of the user photos of this shoe differ from the product photo, but both appear to have three adjustable Velcro straps, although the placement of them is different in some pictures.
It also features a rigid rocker bottom sole and square toe box for protection and ease of mobility.
Many reviewers were pleased with this shoe. Some found that it affected their balance a bit, which is to be expected with this type of shoe.
Others found the Velcro straps to be much too long but were able to trim them as needed.
This is another great option for those recovering from foot surgery, and runs a little bit cheaper than the comparable shoe by Vive—and some users even commented that this one was a bit more comfortable!
4. Corflex Orthowedge Broken Toe
This unique protective sandal design is set apart from the others in this list by its 15-degree dorsi-angle bottom that allows weight to be shifted towards the back of the foot and allow toes to heal.
As expected, this sandal is specifically designed to protect and aid in healing toes that have been operated on, injured, or are currently suffering from things like bunions and fractures.
Like the others in the list, this sandal features a squared toe that is roomy enough for bandages but will also act as a buffer to keep the toe from becoming re-injured.
There aren’t many reviews to go off of on this shoe online, but those who have used it was pleased with its performance in helping their toe stay elevated and healing after surgery.
If you’re someone who is having surgery on their toe or frequently injure their toes and need to keep weight off the front of your foot, this affordable sandal seems like it would be a great purchase!
5. Aircast AirSelect Walker Brace/Walking Boot
This boot by Aircast comes in three different styles and heights and a wide variety of sizes.
The semi-rigid shell supports and protects the leg. SoftStrike technology helps absorb shock while walking.
Duplex air cells line the shell and are adjustable for inflation and deflation. The rocker sole aids in a natural gait and the rubber tread keeps you stable on slippery surfaces.
Many users found this to be a high-quality, affordable, and comfortable boot that allowed their foot and ankle injuries to heal without too much discomfort.
Some found that while the boot functioned fine, the elevation of the leg wearing the boot could cause back and hip issues when walking or standing a lot.
Others found the flatness of the footbed was painful on their arches and suggested adding an insole to the bed of the boot.
With the reputation of Aircast and the many positive reviews to back it up, you really can’t go wrong with trying this when looking for the shoes to wear after foot surgery.
It would work for a variety of foot, ankle, and leg injuries or recoveries in the future if you foresee yourself being on that road for a while!
6. Alegria Women's Alli Flat
A bit different from the other shoes in the line-up, this flat from Alegria is a right shoe that has some comfortable features which could make it one of the best shoes after foot surgery.
This shoe comes in four leather colors and a variety of whole and half sizes. The leather is stain-resistant and easy to keep clean. The footbed is a mix of cork, memory foam, and leather covered latex.
The outsole is made of polyurethane and features slip-resistance and a rocker bottom.
Many wearers found the roomy toe box and supportive sole of these shoes to be perfect for standing on their feet all day, and also for recovering from toe injuries.
Another benefit they found to these shoes was to wear them in conjunction with a recovery type boot.
The platform sole of the shoe kept both feet at the same level and prevented hip and back issues due to an uneven stance.
This looks like a great shoe for when you’re ready to get into “normal” shoes again after surgery on your toes or feet. However, it probably won’t be a good fit for your bandaged foot right after surgery.
7. Complete Medical Slimline Cast Boot Black Square Toe
This primary black boot is similar to some of the other models in this list, but with a notable exception—this boot is more conducive to recoveries involving the ankle than the boots that stop below the ankle.
It has the same square toe design featured in similar models, which allows plenty of room for the bandage and protects the toes from re-injury.
There’s a rocker sole and 10mm of padding in the removable EVA sole, although some reviewers did mention that the footbed was a bit hard and uncomfortable.
Amongst users, there were mostly positive experiences with this boot.
Many users liked how low-profile the boot was, especially when it’s accompanying an already large and bulky cast.
If you’ve got a large, bulky cast that requires protection and reinforcement over the ankle, or if you’re looking for a low profile boot that can offer some stabilization when almost recovered from a foot or ankle injury, this would be worth considering!
What to Look Before Buying Shoes to Wear After Foot Surgery
After foot surgery, you may need more support than usual, so more of a rigid shoe fit in certain areas will be helpful.
The material of the uppers should not be the most rigid area. You will still benefit from a breathable, soft upper material.
For the uppers, the rigidity should come from the laces or straps that allow you to get a secure fit over the top of your foot, without irritating any incisions. A rigid toe box could be helpful, as long as it fits properly.
The toe box may need to be more extensive than what you wore before surgery, and there should be a quarter to half an inch of space between the end of your toe and the end of the shoe.
A heel cup will be a necessary area of rigidity. A solid heel cup will keep your foot from slipping and sliding within the shoe while stepping and can improve stability.
The sole of the shoes will be supportive, comfortable, and comprehensive for stability.
The outsole should be of a durable material that has traction features to keep you from slipping on wet or smooth surfaces. The heel of the outsole should be nice and wide to provide stability and support. Ideally, there should be close to an inch of heel lift in the outsole.
The insole of the shoe needs to either be of a supportive material like memory foam or gel or have space to add an orthotic insert for support.
Above all, these shoes need to be comfortable! You may need to buy a bigger size than you wore pre-surgery to be able to handle the swelling that comes.
Everyone usually has one foot that is slightly bigger than the other. When shoe shopping, always buy shoes that fit the larger foot. Don’t be tied to a specific size—all brands are different.
Find a shoe that offers plenty of room in the toe box that doesn’t slip off the heel, and that doesn’t press in any way on the top of the foot.
Try on shoes in the afternoon as opposed to the morning, as your feet will generally swell throughout the day.
As mentioned above, some removable insole that uses gel or memory foam could be helpful support after foot surgery. Removability ensures that if that insert doesn’t fit well, you can take it out and find one that does.
A rocker bottom outsole may help in stability and strengthening of the leg muscles. Treads on the outsole can help with stability on wet or slippery surfaces.
This is an essential factor, especially since you may be using these shoes exclusively during the months after surgery.
The uppers material should be sturdy enough to withstand lots of wear and tear. Leather or a faux leather material will be very sturdy, but may not be as comfortable as a mesh material.
The outsole should also be durable—polyurethane or rubber are two materials that can be used to make supportive and durable soles that won’t wear away in a couple of weeks.
This aspect goes hand in hand with comfort as one of the most critical elements of the best shoes to wear after foot surgery. The support for the shoe has two aspects—what’s going on with the outsole, and what is going on with the insole.
On the outsole, a sturdy material, a slight heel lift, and a wide heel bottom will all help with support.
In the insole, you’ll want a semi-rigid heel cup, and supportive but shock-absorbing material like gel or foam in the insole, and a wide toe box towards the front of the foot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the best style for a shoe to wear after foot surgery?
A. Depending on what point you’re in your recovery, different styles will be better than others.
If you’re in a structured, hard cast, a soft fabric boot with Velcro straps will suffice to protect the cast and offer some padding between you and the ground.
After the cast removed or if you need stabilization with the cast, a structured air boot or wide toe box shoe would be the best style for you.
Q. What are some of the best brands of shoes to wear after surgery?
Q. Do I need to wear socks with shoes after surgery?
A. If you have a cast, you will not need to wear a sock with a walking boot after surgery.
If you are wearing shoes without a cast, socks are recommended. Many people find it helpful to wear socks that come above the top of the shoe or boot for comfort.
Q. What should I do if I need shoes to wear during summer after surgery?
A. There are many roomy, open-toe options for shoes for hot-weather climates. Check out one of those for the support and a squared toe box that will allow airflow but also protect the foot.
Q. Are there waterproof shoes to wear after surgery?
A. Many waterproof shoes or shoes can get wet that can be worn, depending on what condition your feet are in.
If your foot is still in a bandage or cast, you can buy a plastic protection sleeve to be worn around your boot and cast in wet conditions.
Foot surgeries and injuries are no fun, but the minute your procedure is over you can start the healing process and look forward to increased mobility and strength.
An essential part of the healing process is resting the injured areas, but sometimes the demands of life require us to still be on our feet even when it’s not ideal.
Thankfully, supportive shoes and boots can stabilize the foot and keep us healing even when we’re on the move.