Common Issues From Osteoarthritis and Considerations When Buying Shoes

Common Issues From Osteoarthritis and Considerations When Buying Shoes

May 20 , 2021


Tags - Common Issues From Osteoarthritis and Considerations Buying Shoes

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that can affect your ankles and feet.

Although there are 33 joints in the foot, it’s the big toe that is most commonly affected.

Typically, our bodies go through a cycle of damage and repair.

Sometimes though, when the body goes through this cycle and repairs joints by changing the structure - this is osteoarthritis. 

Consequently, osteoarthritis causes damage to the cartilage (surface between the joints and bone), which causes the bones to rub against eachother and thus causes pain, swelling and discomfort. 

There are three common issues that arise from osteoarthritis:


1. Hallux Rigidus

If the foot is left untreated, it can cause the cartilage to completely wear out.

As a result, the bones of your foot can begin to join together.

And, when this happens to the big toe in particular, this is known as hallux rigidus.

Consequently, it can make it difficult to move your big toe and you may have difficulties when walking.

2. Bunions

As mentioned above, osteoarthritis can cause structural changes in your foot.

As such, when your big toe begins to lean towards the others, there could be a chance you\re actually developing a bunion.

Furthermore, you’ll notice a bony lump on the outer side of your foot, beneath the big toe, which can be swollen and again, cause pain when walking.


3. Corns and Calluses

When your foot is exposed to repeated pressure, corns and calluses can form.

In case you’re not sure, corns are smaller, hard lumps of skin, whereas calluses are patches of rougher, thicker skin.

In fact, this could be a direct result from wearing uncomfortable, ill-fitted shoes.


Things to Consider When Buying Shoes

It’s essential to prevent further damage to your feet and ankles, especially if you suffer from osteoarthritis.

With that said, your shoes are either going to help you or hurt you more.

Therefore, it’s vital to invest in a comfortable, properly fitted pair of shoes to ease some discomfort you may be experiencing. 

When buying shoes with osteoarthritis, you should consider the following:

  • Shoes with a low heel and wide front - you want your toes to be able to spread out when you’re walking.
  • Try to buy shoes that have a 1cm gap in front of your longest toe. If you haven’t been fitted for a while, see a professional. Our feet can change size, more specifically change shape with osteoarthritis. 
  • Look for shoes that have thick, cushioned soles that will minimise the stress impact and shock absorbed by your feet.
  • Shoes with laces or adjustable straps are good to keep your foot in place and stop your toes from being pushed to the front of the shoe.
  • You may have noticed, your feet are slightly more swollen in the afternoon. With this in mind, you should shop for your shoes later in the day to get a better idea of how they will fit in the long run.


Let’s say your job doesn’t allow you to wear the shoes you want.

In this case, you should look into specialist insoles that you can insert into any shoe, which will help to relieve pressure from your joints, cushion your feet and ease the pain during walking. 

And, if you’re struggling to find insoles that are right for you, you can book an appointment with your podiatrist who can help.

In most cases, they will create insoles that mould specifically to your foot, to give you more support and improve your overall foot alignment. 


Final Thoughts

It’s no secret, osteoarthritis will cause you some kind of pain.

But, with the right shoes, you can begin to manage this yourself and help support your feet in day to day activities. 

To find out more get in touch.

In the meantime, check our ranges:

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