Shoes for Rheumatoid Arthritis
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Giving the Rheuma the Boot
My quest for shoes for Rheumatoid Arthritis began when I had returned back to work a little while ago. Within an hour of being back at work, I had slipped and fallen. Boy did that HURT! Unless you have Rheumatoid Arthritis, you have NO idea how much a fall can hurt! I consciously and cautiously stepped onto a grate to assist a student but still managed to slip and land on my knee. I had also put my hands down instinctively to break my fall and that’s what hurt the most, my wrists. Both my wrists swelled up immediately and I knew I was going to be out of action for a while… again.
That fall put me on edge and made me anxious to walk anywhere. But of course, being a mother to 3 kids and 2 fur babies, I had to move. I guess that just wasn’t my week because I ended up slipping and falling twice more that week. Man, I was a mess. I was hurting and my stress levels were through the roof. I really don’t know what’s worse: joints so inflamed that you can’t walk or being able to walk but continually falling over. No prizes for the winner there, both options suck!
For anyone that knows me, know that I love shoes. More specifically, sneakers. I am an obsessed Nike shoes collector and even have a Nike shoe-box to keep all my Nikes! My collection began when I became a gym junkie over 10 years ago. In total, I’d have close to 100 Nikes, all in great condition and for just about every occasion: running, walking, basketball, football, weight-lifting and even wrestling.
Even though I had an endless supply of very expensive and great quality shoes, I still found myself not just falling over but my feet actually hurt when I walk. I can’t begin to tell you how much of an emotional wrestle it was for me to consider buying a non-Nike pair of shoes. But then again, I had never had sore feet before or falling over just from walking! All I knew was that if I was going to buy a new walking shoe, I was going to make sure that they were going to be top notch. They had to be anti-slip, comfortable, easy to put on and take off. If the planets all lined up for me, I might even find a pair that were somewhat stylish.
Arthritis Shoes R Us
It’s not easy finding shoes for RA because not a lot of people know what we have to contend with and there are no specific shoes for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis. If only there was an arthritis shoes store that sold shoes for arthritis sufferers. Imagine that? Walk into Arthritis shoes R Us, go up to the shop assistant and ask ‘ best shoes for arthritic knees please?’ or walk straight to the Arthritis Shoes for Women aisle. Wouldn’t it be nice?
So this post is about what to look for when buying shoes for Rheumatoid Arthritis and my recommendation. Yes, I found shoes that were comfortable, easy to maneuver, stylish (YES!) and keep me on my feet!
There are 3 things you need to consider when finding the best walking shoes for your feet: socks, insoles and the shoe itself.
Put a sock in it!
Socks add that extra layer of support, cushioning and compression to ensure that your foot is secure in the shoe. Have you ever worn an anklet sock in your shoe only for it to continually slip down and annoy you! This is something I consciously avoid now because it’s hard enough getting shoes on, the last thing you want is to take shoes off to fix your socks!
I also have Raynauds so I basically live in long, thick, wool hiking socks that keep my feet warm, easy to put on but fit snuggly so I don’t have to ever pull them back up. When my feet and ankles are swollen, I exchange these for my compression socks. If this is you, you will need a shoe with added depth.
Insert the Orthotics here ->
Orthotics are great for foot pain as they help to correct foot positioning that Rheumatoid Arthritis can cause. Orthotics also offer cushioning to take pressure off certain parts of your foot so it can perform better. Rheumatoid Arthritis can affect the balls of your feet, toes, under the heel or on the top of your feet. Subsequently, you will want to find an orthotic that will support those areas as well as give you arch support. You can find orthotics in any shoe store but the best ones are those recommended by a podiatrist. In any event, you would want to make sure that whatever shoe you buy, it will have room for an orthotic insert. Conversely, if you buy shoes with inserts, you want to make sure that they are removable.
Support the Walk
The most important thing you need to consider when buying shoes is support. Support is important to relieve any pain and discomfort. This is particularly important if you also want to do some running or play sport. Look for soles that offer cushioning and shock absorption. In saying that, be sure to not buy a shoe with a sole that is too thick which, can be a tripping hazard.
Because you are now consciously wearing better socks and have orthotics, you need to keep in mind that these will take up more space. If you have curled, swollen or bent toes, having that extra depth in your shoe is crucial. You may also want to look for shoes with a wide toe.
Heel to heal
Heel pain is very common for those living with Rheumatoid Arthritis. This can be exacerbated by wearing a high heel so look for shoes that don’t put extra pressure on the balls of your feet.
Tie up loose ends
Some days, tying shoe laces can be a real drag. You can’t bend down to do them up, even when you’re sitting. Even putting your feet up is hard so you can’t do it that way either. On days when you can, your hands might not even let you. Sound familiar? Ah, the joys! Nowadays, I find myself using these stretch no-tie shoelaces for my sneakers. They are easy to install and you only have to do it once! After that, your favorite sneakers or shoes become slip-ons. These laces only cost you $6.99 or you can buy 3 sets for $15 with free shipping.
Staying on my feet
After having fallen over 3 times in the course of a week, I was inevitably home bound so I went to Facebook to air my grievances. I don’t usually do that but it proved to be very fruitful as I received a tonne of private messages from friends. 3 of these messages led me to finding Omegawalk shoes. You see, one of my friends has a leg-length discrepancy, another one very bad gout and one with plantar fasciitis (inflammation in the arch of the foot). These 3 friends of mine, recommended that I look at getting these Omegawalk shoes. 3 recommendations for the a brand that I had never even heard of! So naturally, I headed off to their website to have a look and this is the first thing that I saw:
A sneaker in the same colors of Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness. It was definitely a sign! Reading the reviews, there were nothing but rave reviews about how great the shoes were. I ended up buying 3 pairs! An athletic shoe, a casual shoe that can double as a dress shoe and sandals. I don’t usually buy sandals because I like a toe box but I was sold on the velcro strap. Usually, I don’t like to buy shoes online but their measurement chart meant that I got the right shoe size. You know what was the best thing about it though? The price. I am used to paying over $200 for my branded athletic shoes but I ended up getting 3 pairs of Omegawalk for A LOT less than that.
The shoes didn’t take long to be delivered and I took them for a test walk straight away. What can I tell you? It was literally like finding custom made shoes for Rheumatoid Arthritis. They are definitely the best shoes for Rheumatoid Arthritis and are the best walking shoes for arthritic feet and ankles as they are comfortable, sturdy, cushioned, attractive and most importantly, anti-slip! If you are looking for affordable, good quality shoes with arch support for arthritis, definitely have a look at Omegawalk. They have really designed and produced their shoes with arthritis in mind which makes them the best shoes for arthritic feet. Their great selection also means that you can find boots for arthritic feet, sandals for athritic feet, shoes for arthritic toes and even women’s dress shoes for arthritis.
Because I think they are the best shoes for arthritis, I have asked Omegawalk for an exclusive discount for my readers so you can try them too. If you use the code RHEUMAMILL, you will get 15% off their entire range. You will love them as much as I do!
Standout brands that a lot of my readers recommend is Ecco, Vionic and Isotoner but I haven’t tried them so can’t personally recommend them. I have included links for those that are familiar with the brand and may want to try them at the recommendation of fellow Rheum mates.
If you have other recommendations, please comment below! I want to continually build up the resource library and approach recommended brands for exclusive discounts for the Rheumatoid Arthritis community. Together we can get better prices for the things we want and need!