Best Shoes For Arthritis Foot Pain

Maximum cushion for increased joint protection.

Updated on May 3, 2024

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a broad term that refers to dozens of different disorders and diseases, but the common theme is issues with your joints. The most common symptoms of arthritis are swelling, stiffness and pain in your joints. These issues can occur in young people, but generally they tend to get worse with age.

There are two main types of arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis results from wear and tear on the cartilage that cushions the ends of your joints. That cartilage is there to prevent friction, and when it wears away or is damaged your bones can rub together in painful ways. This damage can occur gradually over time, or more rapidly as the result of an injury.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Another common source of arthritis involves issues with your immune system. This occurs when your immune system attacks the linings in your joint capsules, causing pain and inflammation—and sometimes damage to the cartilage.

While many arthritis patients fall into one of these two broad categories, there are dozens and dozens of other less common forms. A doctor is the best person to diagnose you if you believe you have arthritis, and various medications and treatments can help manage the pain and inflammation. No matter the source, wearing supportive shoes for arthritic feet can help protect your body from shocks and impacts that further stress out your joints.

In addition, incorporating yoga into your daily routine can be an effective way to reduce pain and stiffness. In the video below, you’ll learn how to perform the Vajrasana yoga pose, which can be helpful for relieving arthritis foot pain.

  • Man standing on rock wearing KURU CHICANE trail hiking shoes.

Most Common Causes & Risk Factors for Developing Arthritis

The causes and risk factors discussed below can contribute to the development of arthritis in the feet, but it’s important to note that there are many factors involved and the exact cause can be difficult to pinpoint. It’s important to take steps to protect your feet and joints, such as maintaining a healthy weight, wearing appropriate footwear, and seeking medical attention if you experience foot pain or discomfort.

  • Age
    As people age, the risk of developing arthritis in the feet increases. This is because the joints in the feet are subjected to wear and tear over time.
    Age
  • Genetics
    There is evidence to suggest that some people are more genetically predisposed to developing arthritis in the feet than others.Injury: A previous injury to the foot or ankle can increase the risk of developing arthritis in that joint.
    Genetics
  • Obesity
    Being overweight or obese places additional stress on the joints in the feet, increasing the risk of developing arthritis.
    Obesity
  • Occupation
    People who have jobs that require them to stand or walk for long periods of time are at higher risk of developing arthritis in the feet due to the additional stress placed on the joints.
    Occupation

Symptoms & Types of Arthritis

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, and many of them have different causes. The mechanisms may differ, but the symptoms are largely the same across the different kinds of arthritis. These include swelling, tenderness, pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility—specifically in your joints. The location, frequency and duration of these symptoms may help you pinpoint which kind of arthritis you have. Even within the same type of arthritis, different patients may experience these symptoms in different joints.

Let’s go over some of the more common types of arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis
    This is the most common form of arthritis and is defined by wear and tear on your joints, either occurring gradually or from a traumatic event. This kind of arthritis is more common the older you get, and it tends to get worse with age. Osteoarthritis can affect any of your joints, particularly the ones you subject to regular stress.
    Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    This kind of arthritis is a disorder that causes your immune system to attack the cartilage in your joints, causing swelling and pain and even damage. Rheumatoid arthritis can have a family history component and is also more common in women than in men. Age, obesity and smoking are all risk factors for RA. RA can affect more than one joint, commonly those in the hands, wrists and knees.
    Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Gout
    This painful type of arthritis is common and affects the big toe joint. Gout cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be managed with medication. The pain will often “flare up” for periods of time and then go away. More common in men than in women, gout occurs when your body builds up too much uric acid. Your diet may be a factor if you experience gout.
    Gout
  • Juvenile Arthritis
    Juvenile arthritis is the term for arthritis in children, which is less common as age is a major risk factor. Juvenile arthritis can have several different causes but the most common is juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, which is an immune disorder.Gout almost always affects your big toe joint, but other kinds of arthritis can affect many different joints including those in your feet and your knees. Because arthritis involves inflammation and sensitivity in those joints, wearing supportive shoes with plenty of cushioning can help. While your doctor is treating your arthritis, comfortable footwear can relieve some of the pressure and prevent some of the pain that occurs when those vulnerable joints suffer impact from walking or strain from standing.
    Juvenile Arthritis
Shop arthritis shoes from KURU today!

Facts and Stats

Read on for some facts and stats about arthritis.

  • There are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis, and it can affect people of all ages.
  • Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States.
  • Almost 60 million adults in the United States have some form of arthritis

Treatment

Learn ways to manage and prevent foot pain from arthritis.

Most of the treatment plans for arthritis focus on two things: relieving pain and improving joint function. While you may not be able to cure arthritis, you can manage it for a better quality of life. Here are some of the options:

  • Medication for Pain and Swelling
    You may find success with basic over the counter NSAIDs like Advil or Ibuprofen. These medications can help with pain and also reduce inflammation. Reducing the inflammation can also relieve some of the stiffness and pain in your joints.
    Medication for Pain and Swelling
  • Steroids
    Steroids given via an injection directly into the painful joint, or sometimes in pill form, can help reduce inflammation and even slow the progress of damage to the cartilage in your joints.
    Steroids
  • Physical Therapy
    Depending on the type of arthritis you have, physical therapy may be helpful. Exercises that strengthen the muscles around your joints can help increase your mobility and range of motion, or a physical therapist may recommend a splint or brace to support the painful joint.
    Physical Therapy
  • Supportive Shoes
    If your arthritis impacts the joints in your feet, comfortable and supportive shoes can help. Increased tenderness in these joints can make everyday activities like walking and standing more painful, so look for shoes that cushion and support the areas where you feel pain. Shoes that help guide you to a natural gait are also important, as changes to the way you move can put increased strain on muscles, ligaments and joints. Over time these changes can cause foot pain or pain that radiates to your legs and back—or to joints like your hips and knees.
    Supportive Shoes
  • Surgery to Repair or Replace the Joint
    Conservative options are generally the first step in treating pain from arthritis. But if these other options aren’t helping, your doctor may recommend surgery to either repair the damaged cartilage or completely replace the joint in question.
    Surgery to Repair or Replace the Joint

FAQs

  • What shoes are the best shoes for arthritis?

    Arthritis can affect many different joints, so the best shoes for arthritic feet for your needs may vary. Look for shoes that offer plenty of room around the affected area, so wide toe boxes for gout sufferers are a must! Forgiving materials with some stretch may also help spare sensitive spots.

    More generally speaking, arthritis of all kinds involves pain and swelling in your joints. This can make walking or standing even more painful. Flimsy flip flops or shoes with a high heel put increased strain on joints that are already struggling. Look for shoes that cushion your body and support a natural gait. The best shoes for arthritis feet cushion and cup your heel as you walk, while offering support along your arch and plenty of room for sensitive toes.

  • Can I use custom orthotics with KURU shoes?

    Due to the anatomical shape of the KURUSOLE, custom orthotics with a rounded heel fit best inside our shoes. If the underside of the custom orthotic (the part that sits on the footbed) is squared off, then it may not fit into our deep heel cup—which is rounded like your foot.

    That said, many of our customers tell us the KURUSOLE technology offers better support and stability than they expected, and that they don’t need to wear their custom orthotics with KURU shoes.

  • Are your shoes considered orthopedic shoes?

    While our shoes are not currently considered orthopedic by a medical standard, we have received thousands of positive reviews from customers who say their KURU shoes with good arch support helped reduce or eliminate their pain—from plantar fasciitis to bunions.

    Each of our shoes feature a wide toe box, superior arch support, shock absorption and patented heel technology, engineered for pain relief.

  • I just received a pair of your shoes and my feet are sore/hurt after wearing them. Why is that?

    Some customers experience tenderness when they first start wearing a new pair of KURUs. That’s ok! Your body may need time to adjust to the new levels of anatomical support you experience with our patented KURUSOLE technology.

    Our shoes are also designed to mold to your unique foot shape, which takes a bit of a break-in period. To help mitigate this, we suggest you follow our break-in procedure, including wearing your KURUs for a couple hours per day around the house in the first couple of weeks as they break in and form to your foot.

Three Layers of Support

At KURU, we pride ourselves on our unique approach to shoe design. We believe that shoes should be shaped to fit the natural contours of your feet, which is why we create every pair in three distinct support layers, not just an insole.

 

Our revolutionary ergonomic design starts with a curved footbed and adds unparalleled triple-layer support that includes shock-absorbing KURUCLOUD, heel-cupping KURUSOLE, and arch-supporting ULTIMATE INSOLES. The result? Shoes that are so comfortable you’ll stop thinking about your feet.

  • 1

    KURUSOLE

  • 2

    KURUCLOUD

  • 3

    ULTIMATE INSOLE

  • How KURU brings relief

    KURUSOLE

    Your body comes with a natural pillow of cushion beneath your heel. But this fat pad can wear down over time, leading to increased pain and discomfort. Our patented KURUSOLE technology works with your body to maximize this natural cushioning. The key is the way our technology dynamically flexes with each step to cushion and cup your heel, containing your fat pad while protecting it from stress.

Our Secret

Animated GIF showing KURUSOLE tech in KURU shoes vs. typical flat interiors for plantar fasciitis pain.
Why Others Love KURU

Why Others Love KURU

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ratings.

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I have Rheumatoid arthritis. As of the past few years I’ve been battling my rheumatoid arthritis and it’s been very difficult. It’s become severe I’ve had to have a few surgeries and I have future upcoming ones I’m working towards. My ankles and my knees are inflamed and I was looking for new shoes that would help support me and actually make a difference. From the moment I put these slides on they’ve been wonderful. They’ve helped take weight off my ankles, and their design is simple. I’m looking for a pair of shoes now that way I can help my body fight back against my arthritis. If you have arthritis I would definitely suggest trying these out!

Jacob

So Very Comfortable. I need a slip on-off shoe/slipper to wear in the house that would provide relief and support to my feet. I have issues especially with one foot that was injured years ago and arthritis in both feet that is on-going. At first I wasn’t sure how these would be, thought they seemed a bit large but as I continued to wear them, I knew they were keepers. So happy to know of Kuru brand, am sure I will have more different models of their shoes in the future.”

Suzanne D.

As Advertised. I’m 62 and my hobby is racing sailboats. I also have arthritis in both feet. I needed orthopedic non-slip shoes to wear on the boat. These shoes are exactly as advertised right down to the size/fit. Not only does the boat heal (tip) radically from side to side but it also is not an even surface. I stuck to the deck like glue and have had zero pain even after all day – multi-day regattas. Not what you designed them for but they work great!”

DaveB

Most Comfortable. I have several issues with my feet, arthritis, these shoes are the most comfortable shoes ever. I stand for 8-10 hrs each day, I am amazed at how well I feel at the end of each shift.”

Sheila U

He loves them. I bought these for my husband who has terrible foot and leg pain due to arthritis and circulatory problems. He loved them immediately and wanted to wear them not only in the house but outside. It was tough getting him not to wear them all day at first but he complied with the break-in period. Once we got through that he wanted to join me on my walks. I’ve bought him 3 pairs of Kurus now and they are really helping him us they look great.”

CoastalSteph

Life changing. I thought my walking days were over. I have rheumatoid arthritis and thought all my foot pain was due to bone degeneration associated with that disease. I finally realized I also had plantar fasciitis. The difference with these shoes is profound. I found very little break in necessary.”

Shannon M

Shop KURU shoes for arthritis today!
Recommended Shoes for Arthritis

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