Guide to the Best Shoes for Post Surgery Recovery

Ultimate cushion and support for post-surgery healing.

Updated on May 29, 2024

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Did you know that your feet contain more than 20 bones? In total, just one foot has 26 bones, 39 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. All of these parts work together to ensure your feet work properly.

Just one bone, joint, or muscle tissue out of place or hurting can greatly affect your feet. It can lead to a lot of foot pain, general discomfort, and even lower quality of life.

In many cases, the best way to treat foot issues is through podiatric or foot surgery. But undergoing surgery doesn’t mean you’ll immediately be A-OK and pain-free—after all, you’ve just had an invasive procedure!

What foot conditions may require surgery?

Foot surgery is a fairly common procedure. However, it is not the first treatment option for many patients. It is usually only when your foot problems persist even after trying non-invasive and alternative treatments that your doctor will likely recommend you to get surgery.

Many of the most well-known or popularly administered types of podiatric surgery are for common foot problems. Some of these foot conditions are:

  • Bunions
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Hammertoes
  • Ankle arthritis
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Broken metatarsals or bones
  • Achilles tendon disorders

Foot surgeries may sound extreme, but many of these are outpatient procedures and completed in under an hour. But while the procedure may be fast, you should expect a lengthy recovery period.

Recovering from bunion and hammertoe surgeries typically lasts a maximum of six weeks. Full recovery from a plantar fasciitis surgery can take anywhere between three to ten weeks, though.

Regardless of which condition you may have and the type of surgery you may undergo, don’t expect to be on your feet and walking right after your procedure. You will likely need to wear a cast and stay off your feet for a few weeks.

Your doctor will prescribe a combination of rest, foot elevation, compression, and more to aid in your recovery.

And when you are given the go signal to start walking, you won’t be able to do so while wearing your favorite shoes. Instead, you’ll need to wear post-operative shoes to minimize pain and risks of complications.

Wearing the right recovery shoes plays a huge role in post-op care—some may even say it is the key to your full recovery. You need post-surgery shoes that are comfortable, offer sufficient support, and help relieve any post-operative foot pain you may have.

As previously mentioned, it’s important to take extra care to aid in your recovery. One helpful way to do so is through the use of a water bottle foot massage, which can help increase circulation, reduce swelling, and alleviate pain. In the video below, we’ll show you how to do a water bottle foot massage to aid in your post-operative recovery.

  • Woman wearing KURU QUANTUM best shoes for recovery.

Common Foot Injuries


  • Bunions
    Bunions or “hallux valgus” is a condition where your big toe bends towards the rest of your toes. This results in part of the joint at the base of the toe jutting out. This condition can also develop on your little toe’s joint.Symptoms of bunions include a bulging bump on the base of the toe, swelling or redness around the toe joint, ongoing pain, and limited movement of the affected toe.Many extremely painful cases of bunions are corrected via osteotomy, a surgical procedure where the big toe and connecting bones are straightened out.
  • Plantar Fasciitis
    In plantar fasciitis, your plantar fascia, a band of fibrous tissue from the heel bone to the sole of the foot, becomes inflamed. The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is a stabbing pain in the bottom of your feet, particularly in the area of your heel.Physical therapy is the first-line of treatment for this foot condition. Your doctor may also prescribe night splints or custom-fitted, arch-supportive orthotics. However, rare severe cases of plantar fasciitis may require surgery to release the part of the tissue connected to the heel bone.
    Plantar Fasciitis
  • Hammertoes
    This condition causes the middle joint of your toes to bend and your entire toe to curl upward and resemble a hammer.Symptoms include your toe joints going rigid, pain in the ball of your foot, calluses or corns at the top of your toe joint, and swelling or inflammation. Cases of inflamed joints may also be accompanied by a burning sensation and redness.There are different types of surgery that resolve hammertoes, either by cutting or moving the tendons, joints, and bones or holding the toes straight using pins and screws.
  • Ankle Arthritis
    Like other cases of arthritis, ankle arthritis happens when joints deteriorate and lose the cartilage that serves as cushioning in between them. Often caused by osteoarthritis, ankle arthritis can lead to a lot of pain, swelling, and occasional joint deformity. Other symptoms also include stiffness of the joint and reduced ability to move or walk.Physical therapy is often first prescribed to help relieve ankle arthritis. Three types of foot surgery used to treat severely painful ankle arthritis are ankle fusion, triple fusion, arthroscopic, and ankle replacement surgeries.
    Ankle Arthritis
  • Morton’s Neuroma
    Unlike bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis which involves your bones and muscle tissue, Morton’s neuroma is a foot condition involving your nerves. Its symptoms include numbness and tingling in your toes. You may feel like you have a pebble inside your shoes, accompanied by burning pain in the balls of your feet.In extremely painful cases, surgery is used to remove or cut out a part of the nerve that’s causing pain.
    Morton’s Neuroma
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Facts & Stats

  • Post-foot surgery patients generally wear a cast or protective boot for around six weeks.
  • It can take as long as 12 weeks before you can return to work following a foot surgery.
  • Feet generally return to full strength and health around 3 to 6 months after a surgical procedure.
  • Moderate to severe post-operative pain at rest occurs in 21% of foot surgery patients, while the same level of pain occurs while walking for 43% of patients.
  • Bunions can still return even after surgery, with a recurrence rate of 17% to 25% . Post-operative x-rays can help predict and potentially lower recurrence risk.
  • Elective foot and ankle surgeries have a low risk of surgical site infection.
  • A study found that 28.9% of older patients who had foot surgery reported falling within six weeks of post-operative recovery care.

Post Surgery Recovery

The key to successful recovery after surgery is arranging support, nurturing yourself, and focusing on what matters most. Here are some tips for making the journey as smooth as possible.

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions
    Regardless of the condition you may have and the type of surgery you underwent, there is one important piece of advice you should follow without fail: always stick to the treatment plan and recovery plan your physician outlines for you. It can be tempting to cheat and accelerate the timeline a bit when you’re feeling better, but one wrong move or decision can set back your recovery by a long shot.
    Follow your doctor’s instructions
  • Avoid normal or conventional footwear
    You may miss wearing your cute, colorful, and trendy shoes, but that is a sacrifice you need to make in order to help your feet recover faster. If you had surgery after breaking the bones of your feet, it’s best to wear an orthopedic shoe for broken toes. Look for post-op recovery shoes that offer maximum cushion, arch support, and protection like KURU shoes.
    Avoid normal or conventional footwear
  • Keep off your feet
    Your feet need a lot of time before they can recover and be back to full strength. Part of your recovery means keeping weight and stress off your feet for as long as necessary. Doctors also recommend keeping your legs and feet elevated to reduce swelling, particularly during the first two weeks post-surgery.
    Keep off your feet
  • Exercise carefully and regularly
    Once you’re given the go signal to exercise or undergo physical therapy, do so slowly and carefully. Remember that they are still in their recovery period. Performing mobility and stretch exercises regularly will help you build up strength and mobility in your feet again.
    Exercise carefully and regularly
  • Be conscious of your foot hygiene and health
    It’s important to remember that wearing the right type of shoes also counts as maintaining foot health and hygiene. Similar to the best shoes for broken toes, look for shoes that have a wide toe box to avoid cramped toes and toe pain.
    Be conscious of your foot hygiene and health


  • What is a recovery shoe for?

    There are two types of recovery shoes. The first are recovery shoes meant to aid in your recuperation from a surgical procedure. These footwear are also called post-surgical shoes or post-operative shoes.

    Depending on where you are in your recovery journey, your recovery shoes may resemble sandals in order to fit your foot cast or look like any other shoe but offer greater protection, comfort, and support. Take note that the best shoes for broken metatarsals will offer different benefits from the best shoes for ankle injury, so be sure to get the right recovery shoes for your needs.

    Another type of recovery shoes are those worn on your “off” days from the gym or your workout sessions. These shoes can come in different forms, from slip-ons to regular athletic shoes. However, they all serve the same purpose: to relieve pain and muscle tension. Like post-surgery shoes, these recovery shoes also offer strategic foot support and cushioning.

  • How do I know which shoe to buy? Which is best for me?

    The best shoe for you will depend on your unique foot type and the style you’re looking for.

    The best shoes for men and women alike offer adequate arch support and cushion. Whether you’re looking for bright blue shoes, dark blue shoes, or white shoes with blue accents, KURUs line of pain-relieving footwear help alleviate foot pain symptoms for all-day comfort.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • How is the arch support of KURU shoes?

    KURU shoes deliver excellent arch support without the need for thick inserts or expensive, custom orthotics.

    Superior arch support starts with our patented KURUSOLE technology, which delivers natural cushioning and dynamically hugs your heel with every step. Every foot is unique, and our ULTIMATE INSOLES adapt to fit your needs by using your own body heat to custom-mold to the shape of your feet over time.

    The corrective nature of our superior arch support is designed to neutralize your weight distribution and place your foot in the best anatomical position. This support can take some getting used to. We suggest slowly breaking in your new shoes over the course of 2–3 weeks.

  • 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.

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.

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  • How KURU brings relief


    Our KURUSOLE technology is at the core of each KURU shoe. This patented technology follows the curves and contours of your foot and flexes with each step. It not only protects your heel but also reduces wearing of the fat pad. The KURUSOLE is ideal for anyone recovering from plantar fasciitis or looking for the best shoes for ankle injury.

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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Surgery Recovery. I bought these for my wife as she had spinal surgery a couple weeks back. She loves them. The stability and cushioning have helped greatly with her recovery. Highly Recommend!

Greg B.

So much Pain Relief! I have spent many 100’s of dollars on trying to find shoes that will be comfortable and not UGLY. I’ve worn orthotics for 5+ years now (Arthritis, Bunions, Surgeries). Most recent mid-foot fusion surgery left me with extreme arch pain due to Plantar Fascitis. Bought an expensive pair of brand name “air” sneakers – and they made the pain worse! Stumbled upon Kuru searching for relief. Product came quickly, looked as pictured. The Quantum eased my pain in days, and they don’t require another insert! I just ordered another pair (slip ons) and the support socks. Will be ordering a pair of boots soon for winter, and will order some spring/summer shoes when that rolls around. If you have foot problems like me – don’t go budget! You are wasting your money and ruining your foot health. You are not going to find a better shoe at this price point for foot pain relief. And so many styles! Kuru has made a customer for life.”

Alison in Colorado

Active Lifestyle Possible. I have had feet issues severe enough I was told that I would need surgery to be able to walk consistently and might not be able to every gain full mobility back. It’s been 2 years and it’s weight loss, a healthier lifestyle, and equipment like this that has kept me going. This shoe has given me the most mobility of any previously, including another Kuru shoe brand. When I reinjure myself, I heal faster in these. If I want to hike, I now can. We haven’t tested rocky terrain yet, but no need. These help knock my mobility up a notch further than I have been able to do on my own, plus speed up my healing when I reinjure the ligaments. Love. These. Shoes.”


Freedom from foot pain. I’ve had a few foot surgeries since I was a teenager and double foot surgery 8 months ago for neuroma in both feet. I’m now 43. Shoe shopping has always been so hard for me, every shoe has hurt me. These are amazing. I tried them on and thought, no way. Then I gave it a week and no pain after standing on my feet. No pain at night after wearing these all day. I even wear them golfing and they are amazing. I just bought Kuru sandals too, received them this week and they are too, so very comfortable.”


Kelli R

Comfort. I have mid-foot arthritis (bone on bone), so I needed a sturdy shoe that would minimize my foot movement, but still was comfortable. I wore the Chicane for 2 days + they gradually molded to my feet. They were a little uncomfortable at first, but have helped my foot pain immensely….so much so, that I’m thinking of postponing my foot fusion surgery. I ordered a 2nd pair of Chicanes (different style) and they’re just as comfortable. Very cushiony, but also lots of support.”


Hugged foot like never before! Had custom orthotics for 10 years, annoyed with regular shoes that weren’t deep enough, my narrow heels always slipping. Month ago had corrective surgery on right foot, desperate for a truly supportive shoe to wear to physical therapy. Right out of the box, hugged my foot like never before. Especially good for my left foot which has been swollen and hurting because of my right foot being unusable. Using crew slow braking method of a couple hours a day in shoes for a week etc. but I’m really impressed with internal construction. Paid ridiculous price at shoe company for a $150 shoe ended up with lame shoe, cheap as a $30 shoe at Walmart with a stupid insert that let it claim being an orthotic shoe Ha! This company Kuru is the real deal!! Planning on replacing a pair of shoes once a month!”


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