Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints in your body. It often occurs as a result of injury to the joint but can also be a part of the cartilage's normal wear and tear between your joints. The predominant symptoms of arthritis are pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected area. Your foot has 28 bones and 33 joints – making it a vulnerable part of the body to get arthritis...Learn more
Arthritis is pain and inflammation that usually occur in your joints. Since each of your feet has 52 bones, 66 joints, and more than 200 muscles, they are highly susceptible to developing arthritis.
Why You Should Wear Special Shoes When You Have Arthritis
Well, you don’t have to wear special shoes when you have arthritis – but wearing a specialized walking shoe could make a massive difference to your quality of life. Shoes that keep your feet comfortable could mean the difference between sitting in the corner and tearing it up on the dance floor.
The wrong shoes could not only mean pain and discomfort now, but they could make your arthritis and any other foot condition, like plantar fasciitis, worse. Wearing shoes that are uncomfortable or even painful can make you adjust the way you move. That places an abnormal strain on your body, especially your joints, which could increase your arthritis symptoms, not only in your foot and heel but also in your ankle, knee, hip, and back.
Shoes That Help Alleviate Pain for Arthritis Sufferers
Some shoes are better at alleviating joint pain and heel pain and keep your feet more comfortable. There are a few things that you can look for when buying shoes for your arthritic feet.
Look for the right shoe that fits your type of foot. Foot arches differ; you can have low arches (also called flat-footed), neutral or normal arches, or high arches. The best arthritis shoe is the one that provides your foot with the most cushioning and shock absorption (particularly in the heel) and supports your unique foot arch.
Look for a shoe with a wide toe box – that’s the front part of the shoe, like Kuru’s KINETIC. Narrow toe boxes tend to scrunch up your toes, especially your big toe. This could not only aggravate existing arthritis symptoms but also increase the risk of getting arthritis. A roomy toe box allows your toes to move naturally as you walk, helping to improve your gait and protecting the joints of your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back.
Orthotic insoles are inserts that you can place into nearly any shoe to give you the support you need. You could also find shoes, like the Kuru STRIDE, that already have an orthotic insole built into the shoe.
Features of a Good Shoe
A good shoe should be well-constructed and sturdy while being comfortable and lightweight. It should securely hold your feet and fit your specific foot type while not constricting your foot arch or toes. Good shoes provide plenty of cushioning, especially around the heel, which takes most of the impact. They also have an orthotic insole already built-in or space for you to add a custom made, removable insole.
The right shoes provide support while not being overly rigid. You should be able to bend and twist the shoe when you put slight pressure on it with your hands. On the other hand, footwear that bends or twists too much might not give you enough stability and support, which is why Kuru uses a rubber outsole.
Shoes You Should Not Wear
We know how tempting it is to wear that pair of very cute shoes. We know that sometimes we all think that foot pain and discomfort are justified in order to look good. We also know the immense relief that comes with taking off a pair of uncomfortable shoes at the end of the day. Some shoes are best avoided – especially if you have arthritic feet.
The notorious high heel. That is any shoe with a heel higher than 2 inches. These shoes provide little support and require you to carry most of your weight on the arch and ball of your feet. This increases the pressure you put on the foot joints in those areas and magnifies your pain and discomfort.
Very flat shoes. You know, those ballerina flats that you love? Flat shoes themselves are not bad for your feet – if they give you enough support and cushioning for adequate shock absorption. However, some flats have super thin soles that provide little to no support to your feet – especially your arches. These shoes are likely to make your feet tired. The absence of cushioning means there is little shock absorption, leaving your joints vulnerable to taking most of the pressure and strain that you incur as you move around. It may be time to try trading in your ballerina flats for Kuru's equally stylish BELLA flats.
Flip-flops. The very nature of flip-flops is that they flip and flop around. Instead of the sandal gripping onto your feet, your feet have to hold onto the sandal. This can place a significant strain on each toe joint, increasing arthritic pain. Instead, opt for a sandal that has velcro around the back, like Kuru's LETTI.
Stylish, Comfortable, and Practical
Here is the excellent news: the days when specialized orthopedic shoes looked, well, like orthopedic shoes are long gone. Our Kuru women’s footwear range is practical and comfortable. They are stylish and come in various designs, from sneakers to boots and flats to sandals.
Shoes that are good for arthritic feet can be stylish, look good while being comfortable and practical, and help ease your foot pain.
See our complete line of Kuru footwear for women here.