Best Shoes? | Arthritis Information


Shoes can be such a problem.  I have RA in 3 toes each foot.  I have one toe fused.  I will be having 2 more toes (the one will be the big toe) getting surgery in the next month or so.  I currently wear New Balance tennis shoe model 620.  They fit the best currently with the one toe fused.  They look good and they feel good currently.  Once the big toe gets operated on, I'm afraid I won't be able to wear them anymore.  What type of shoes be it casual or tennis shoes that you folks seem to have the best fit/comfort with?


Hi Jane,

Welcome to the board!

I have had the same problem with wearing shoes. My high heels are all now at the very back of my closet and will probably never be worn again. SO SAD!

But the shoes that I have found the most comfort with is Birkenstocks...the kind that look like clogs.....with an open back and a closed toe. If you don't know which kind I mean let me know and I'll give you the exact name of them. I have found that they are really comfortable on my feet because they are flat and also because the kind I got have cushion in them to give your foot support. They're great. Other than that, I always wear flat shoes.


I am a Birkenstock gal myself.  I have several styles.  They last forever and they are so comfy.  Conform to your foot.   In the winter I wear UGHS.  They are like slippers but can be worn with skirts or pants.  I used to love heels.  I liked being tall, I could get almost 6' with heels

Someday I will have to give away all those wonderful high heel boots I have in my closet


I guess here's a "Lucky you Live Hawaii".  I don't wear shoes anymore.  Well, rubber slipper for outside.  And I have one pair of soft comfy slip-ons for going to Dr. or out to eat.  My many boxes of heels were donated to salvation army earlier this year.

I am searching for socks with "toes" so I can wear with my rubber slippers in case we have some cool evenings, now and then.

It wasn't that long ago I wouldn't even go down to check my mail without being completely dressed w/makeup, hair, real shoes, etc.  All that's sure gone out the door!!!



I bought a pair of NIKE Free a few months ago. Very light weight running shoe (no, I don't run). Not your typical sneaker. They are very comfortable for me, they don't bind and you can pull them off/on without untying them. Check 'em out online.



Lucky you Hulagirl!!!!!!!!  I actually don't wear shoes around the house and in the winter time I just wear socks.  I'd rather not wear shoes if I could



Yeah, NO SHOES are the best.  and NO BRAS.  Gave those up due to RA in the shoulders.  Now I have a valid excuse, anyway.

No comments from you, Mike 


Hula,  I have never worn a bra because I was always small and I was a cute little hippy girl. 


Well padded soft sandels with velcro straps work for me. My poor feet are not always the same size so when I'm having a 'no' size day out come my velcro sandels. They adjust so much they always fit.

Phoenix Az doesn't get too cold so sox and sandels will do! Yeah I know dorky.

You and I real fashion slaves.

p.s. Toe sox are soooo cool. Try to find some in primary color stripes where each toe is a different color. Now that will turn heads. Even bird watchers are gonna take a look!

I will check out UGGS.  Yes, the expense is steep but I guess any shoe that is out of the ordinary will cost.

I wear New Balance 620 now.  They are the only tennis shoes that fit well with a fused toe.  Now I will have 2 more toes on that foot worked on (Big toe and 3rd toe).  The 2nd toe was fused 11 years ago.  I did check in the phone book and more than an hour away there is a place that sells New Balance shoes and orthotic one's too.

I was looking for toe socks several years ago.  My toes rub against each other because of their deflection and I wanted them to wear when I walk so that I don't get blisters. 


There are plenty toe socks online when I googled for the image to post.  My toes don't even bend anymore.  Just stiff.  But at least they don't hurt.  Am grateful for that.

Hope you find your shoes, Jane.   

Both of my big toes are fused and the right foot is
usually larger than the left. One type of shoe I can
definately not wear are sandals that have a toe strap.
I tried some on a while back and OUCH! my big toes
went into major shock. I can wear short heals once
or twice a week at work, but otherwise I wear flats.
And I can't wear the same pair of soes more than
two days in a row.   

But there are a few brands I have really good luck
with: dansko, birkenstocks, ecco walking shoes,
clarks walking shoes, and for flats, enzo angelino
(on sale! ) and I have found some soft leather
naturalizers that work well too. (I can't wear open
back shoes because I keep walking out of them
going up the hills in san francisco!)

And Roxy-I used to be a hippie, barefoot, non-bra
wearing flower girl/nature person. Guess i'm still
there in some ways-love long skirts & boots and
beads, as well as shorts, hiking boots and a

Hope the shoe Ideas help!!

Any and all ideas are welcome and appreciated. 

Tara, you mentioned you have both of your big toes fused.  I go for my surgery consult next week.  We did discuss fusion and other surgery options on my big toe, but the doctor (again, more details next week and probably won't be final until he does surgery) is leaning towards a Keller Bunionectomy for the big toe.  He says he wants to try and keep my gait as normal as possible because the toe next to it is fused.  I don't have a bunion but the doctor says that this is used on RA patients also.  The end result is still a shoe that will not cause discomfort in the toe zone!!!!!


I can't wear any kind of lightweight/flat shoes. I usually waer a good sneaker, or a Cobbie Cuddle tie oxford. or a good solid structured pull on short boot.I have 1 pair of cobbie cudler sandals, tat actually tie across the instep. they have more support than most sandals, and I wear them ocasionally. I don't own heels or "dressy" shoes.

When I wear a a flat, like a loafer, or balerina flats, I have terrible cramps in my foot as soon as I take off the shoes. My toes go into awful contortions and just hurt terrible.

My guilty secret?I buy ALL my shoes at Kmart.. I could probably afford more, but I'm terminally cheap.


hula girl,

how's the cost of living in HA?  Never really thought about retiring there, always thought the cost of living would be to high.  But I could save tons from not buying shoes and bra's.  Since I have gotten older, there is not any bra's or any shoes that I can say I actually LIKE>>>>Maybe Hawaii is for me.... Send some Cost of Living Info. my way...PLEASE.

Hope your Sun is dancing the day away...




Hi Toni

I don't know where you are now, but yes, Honolulu ranks #4 in cost of living per attached article I found on web, along with a couple of other sites for you: 1p.html _economic_information

I think some places in Calif are catching up to us.  I always tell people "Bring plenty toilet paper"  LOL.  All these items that have to be flown or shipped in costs more.  There are a bunch of cost of living calculator programs you can google to plug your personal info in.  I tried one just now.  Used Alabamba to Honolulu. Said need 2.5 times the income to live here.

Housing eats up a big chunk of income.  Many forgo the automobile and use public transportation as parking, insurance all high. Well gas is high everywhere, so won't include that.

But you will be stunned at your grocery bill the first time. 

These are things I'm told by other mainlanders who have relocated. I've lived here for 35 years, so I have no personal experience to compare mainland to hawaii with.

Hope this helped a little?

PS. You must spend big bucks on bras! 



Hula those are exactly the toe sox I meant. We must have been sisters in a former life.



I like the no bra idea, however, I have too much "support" needed.  When I had my arthroscopic shoulder done in May, I couldn't wear a bra for a while and "missed it" if you can believe that. 

I am a barefoot kind of person all year round except wintertime I will have socks on.  As soon as I get in the goes the shoes.  Having RA in the toes though doesn't always like that.

After I had my toe fused 11 years ago, I was prescribed orthotics for the shoes.  This is before my other toes got affected by the RA.  Orthotics didn't fit well in any of my shoes and when my other toes started in their RA mode the inserts actually hurt my toes more.  I gave up then.  Of course in this day and age it seems that shoe makers allow removable lining for orthotics--------I used to have to rip and peel the bottoms out of shoes to get the inserts in!!!!

I checked out the shoes on line.  I have never ordered shoes on line because I haven't tried them on.  Might have to start!


I have a Connective Tissue Disorder (nonspecific) I am being treated for RA, CRPS (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.) 

I have lots of pain in my joints, and high inflammation. 

Not wearing shoes at all, is not good for your joints and your body.  It puts too much pressure on your joints, so those that decide not to wear shoes, though you have feet problem and wearing shoes, are hard, I have another suggestion that you may try.

In April I found a shoe called Crocs:  Here is the website:

They started out as boat shoes, for slipping (however, mine are worn and I need a new pair, because the bottoms have worn away.)

I live in a quad-level home, and have no carpeting, all hard wood floors, two levels are concrete one with rug not much padding, the other is solid concrete.  My knees, my back, my ankles have had so many problems.  I hate wearing shoes, until I bought these.  I used to wear Birkenstocks or gym shoes (I don't like wearing shoes in house, for cleanliness purposes.)

These shoes, have helped me tremendously.  The pain relief i feel  from all the tairs and the walking in my house has been tremendous.

They are not the prettiest shoes in the world, but are becoming quite popular and even fashionable.

This is the style that I wear:
The beach, our original crocs model; comfortable, cool, and molds to your feet; orthotic foot bed; advanced toe-box ventilation system; slip-resistant and non-marking soles; anti-microbial and odor resistant; ergonomic italian styling; wide, roomy foot bed; made from PCCR material; buoyant; weighs only ounces

I found out they have boots now and they also have shoes that are better for winter and I am going to be purchasing a few more. 

I highly recommend these shoes.  I have very square feet and shoes are hard to find.  They are easy to slip into and have a wide variety of styles and sizes. 

I like Merrell's a lot. Well padded, ventilated, easy fit, big toe box, not too pricey.

Thanks for the Crocs suggestion! 

 I'm a shoe nut!

I love Merrell's too. I have a few different pairs, 2 are slip on clogs and one pair is a sneaker with a zipper. I also like Acropedico. They're a bit pricey but they are very light and comfy. Plus the lining comes right out making a deeper shoe. They are simple enough to be called dressy. Sometimes I find the best shoes at Target. They're inexpensive and cute.

A friend of mine has crocs and I tried them on. They're quite comfortable.

I buy shoes online and return them all the time and they never give me any trouble when I return them. Many offer free shipping and free returns. Plus you can search for wide, flat, size 5 for example, quite easily. Try these places:

Good luck!


[QUOTE=mcmarcia]I can not walk barefoot without pain. 

I can't either. I need lots of padding.

ps Brikies now make a 'soft' footbed.

Thanks for the tip on soft birkies.  Just last night I was going thru my closet and I tried a pair of my birkier on and they felt pretty good standing on carpet.  My foot pain seems to be getting less noticible since the MTX. 


Always a wonderful thing when the feet stop hurting so much.

My knees are shot (I'll be having TKR within 5 years) but how much good will new knees do if my feet are killing me.RYKA cross training or running! They're pretty expensive, but VERY worth it! 

I love how everybody has different brands of shoes out there that they like.  It helps knowing that there are more shoes out there than I thought.  Comfort and style are important.