Shoe Shopping Tips for Women with Painful Foot Conditions

Recently I wrote a blog called “Are Your Shoes Ready for Your Feet” in which I talked about how many miles to go before purchasing new athletic shoes and other shoe buying tips. While a person with few foot issues can easily glean what they need to know about shoe shopping from that blog if you’re like many of my patients who have hammertoes, bunions, or need to accommodate orthotics, shopping for shoes takes some solid knowledge about the best shoes to buy for your foot type and foot condition. Here are some of the basics. If you have particularly problematic feet, you may consider the last option—going shopping with your podiatrist.

Avoid high heels:
If you already have bunions, hammertoes, or a painful neuroma it makes no sense to cram your foot into a high heel shoe that may have been the culprit of your foot problems to begin with. High heels will only worsen these conditions.

Avoid flat, flat shoes:
The latest craze is the ballet flat. If you stand on your feet all day and have the tendency toward developing plantar fasciitis or heel pain, flat, flat shoes will only hasten the development of this condition.

Buy shoes with a low heel:
Low heeled shoes (one inch or less) are the antidote to high heels or flat, flat shoes. They will help you avoid development of plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis and at the same time they won’t aggravate your bunions or hammertoes.

Buy shoes with a large toe box:
Although you may be thinking how unfashionable, not all shoes with a large toe box need to look like your Grandma’s. Naot’s, Clarks, Dansko, and Keen all make shoes that will look good and give your toes space at the same time.

Buy shoes that will work with your orthotics:
Fortunately there are a lot of shoe companies that now make shoes with removable foot beds that will work with orthotics and are fashionable at the same time. Sally McGraw makes some suggestions in her article Stylish Shoes that Accommodate Orthotics. A store that I highly recommend to my woman patients is Mirage in Wallingford. The owners are fantastic to work with and can make recommendations for your particular foot situation and orthotics.

Go shoe shopping with your podiatrist:
Dr. Robyn and I will be at Nordstrom on Saturday, May 3rdfrom 10am – 12 noon to help five of our patients shop for shoes.

If you like the last option, call the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City at 206-368-7000 or send an email to [email protected] to register for this event.