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Many people with arthritis develop foot problems at some stage. If you develop foot problems ask to see a Podiatrist. Having good shoes is vital. Good shoes help reduce aches and pains and enable you to walk more. If your job involves standing and walking, good shoes reduce foot, leg and back pain.
Check your feet regularly. Are you developing any foot problems? Toes bending up or drifting? Painful ball of foot? Dropped arch? Ankle changing shape? Callouses? If yes then ask to see a Podiatrist.
For an on-line foot health course see:
What to look for:
Comfort should be the main consideration when choosing shoes, although for most people it’s important that their footwear looks good too. If your feet are painful or unusually shaped you may need to compromise a little on style. Shoes that don’t fit properly can damage your feet, and high heels or shoes that pinch your feet are likely to cause deformities such as bunions or hammer toes.
Your feet may change shape as you get older, especially if you have arthritis, so you may need to try a different size or width fitting.
Look for dark colours and a suede finish if you’re worried about the appearance of your feet – they’ll help to disguise the problem.
You may need insoles in your shoes for a number of reasons:
Insoles will often take up half a shoe size, so take along your largest shoes when you go for an insole fitting. Sometimes you may need to buy bigger shoes to fit your insoles, although this isn’t always the case. Take your insoles along when you buy new shoes.
Lace-up shoes can be difficult to fasten if you have arthritis in your hands. Here are a few alternatives:
Many people prefer to wear slippers in the house. However, slippers aren’t a good idea for those who have to wear special insoles, and they may increase your risk of having a fall. The uppers of slippers are often soft, so they’re comfortable for hammer toes and prominent joints, but the soles may not have enough cushioning and grip.
Like outdoor shoes, slippers should fit properly and shouldn’t be too loose. You should avoid backless or high-heeled slippers. The features of the ideal slipper are generally the same as for the ideal shoe. Always wear shoes when you’re outside to make sure your feet are properly supported.Please note:If you need to wear a prescribed insole, don’t try to wear it all day when you first get it. Wear it for a short period at first and gradually build up to longer periods. If you change your shoes indoors, either have a second pair of insoles for your indoor shoes or remember to swap the insoles over. Your feet will return to their old shape while indoors and will never be comfortable if you don’t continue to wear your insoles.
If you have difficulties getting shoes to fit it is possible to have footwear prescribed for you by your consultant, GP or HPC registered podiatrist. You must have a medical reason for the prescription. People who have been given a prescription will be provided with either readymade, modular or made-to-measure footwear. These shoes are usually made by an orthotist. You can also choose to see an orthotist or orthopaedic shoemaker privately. . It may also be possible to have high-street footwear adapted by an orthotist so ask them for advice. Each NHS hospital trust will have its own arrangements for footwear referral and entitlements
Looking for new shoes?A number of shops are beginning to stock extra-wide and extra-deep shoes, which can help. Some mail order catalogues also specialise in shoes with extra depth and some will make to your measurements. Podiatrists often recommend brands such as Hotter, Ecco, Joseph Seibel, Padders and Clarkes.
The British Footwear Association has suppliers of specialist footwear listed under headings in the section consumer information:
British Footwear Association
3 Burystead Place
Tel: (01933) 229 005
Fax: 01933 225 009
11 Pydar Street
Tel: 01872 279 463
Wider Fit Shoes Ltd
19–21 Inchester Road
Tel: 01933 311077