Save Up to 56% in Our End-of-Season Sale

Free Shipping For Orders $100+


How Arch Support and Functional Shoes Help Relieve Arthritis

, by Edmond Elsina, 11 min reading time

holding the foot due to psoriatic arthritis

Arthritis is complex, given its complexity and the fact that it is of different types. For instance, there are over one hundred types. Arthritis, which is an inflammation of the joints, manifests itself in the form of stiff joints, arch of muscles, swelling of joints, pain in the joints, and can result in loss of mobility. Arthritis affects nearly half of all the people aged the 60s and 70s in the U.S., according to statistics from the Arthritis Foundation. It is thus essential to understand the best methods for relieving arthritis.  

The problem for joints and muscles suffering from affected is overworking and putting pressure on joints and muscles. Further problems also arise when there is no stability on the foot and joints suffering from arthritis. Wearing arch support can help the diabetics who have reported positive improvements after using these supports to help relieve arthritis.

Selecting your best fitting arch support

Many sellers, designers, and manufacturers of arch support shoes and those meant to help relieve arthritis do provide free fittings, and test walks to their customers. This means customers can take time to find out what best works for them and what feels comfortable.  

To find the right arch support for you, and relieve arthritis effectively, understand there is no one-size-fits-all approach. This is because precise fitting is needed, and that different people have different arch lengths the same as shoe sizes. Further, all feet do not require the same amount of support on the arch.

Talking about the performance of the arch supports, different persons require different kinds of supports that function best in their work and activity environments as well as lifestyles.

There is also the consideration of the feel and experience people want on the arch support in addition to the fact that there are variations in the performance of the support from one person to the other. For instance, some will like the ultra-firm support feel, while others will prefer the software accommodative kind of support. It all comes down to an individual's taste.

How arthritis relates to the foot and how the arch supports work

The knees, ankles, and feet are the common targets for arthritis, although it also affects joints at the hips, lower back, wrists and hands, shoulders, and neck.

Arthritis is divided into two, namely osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis, with the former being the most common around the world. It happens when bones at joints begin to grind against each other due to the wear and tear of the cartridge existing between these bones. Arthritis (Rheumatoid arthritis) can also occur when the body's immune system attacks joints, causing inflammation.

If and when the cartridge at the base of the big toe degenerates, as happens in most arthritic persons around the world, the big toe begins to hurt. The joint of the big toe starts being less mobile even as body spurs develop at the joint. Gout is a form of arthritis on the big toe and which mostly occurs in men and women, mainly after menopause.

The cause of this kind of arthritis, and which causes severe pain on the big toe, is the depositing of sodium urate crystals around joints and at times in the kidneys in the form of stones. The deposits occur due to the presence of high levels of uric acid in the blood. The kind of arthritis mainly attacks at night through a very painful big toe. It also means that using your ordinary shoe may become problematic. In addition to using anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to cure and allopurinol and other medications; thereafter, it is helpful to learn proper exercising and to use the right arch support wear.  

Arthritis in the feet is a source of pain for millions of people who can no longer perform walking, running, standing, and other important activities in a normal way. It leads to loss of ability to exercise, loss of strength, and loss of flexibility. In other kinds of arthritis, the tendons attached to the bones, especially the tendons at the heel, become inflamed or disordered, causing difficulties in using the foot.

The benefits of arch support shoes and fittings include aligning the feet and the body. This is because back, hip, and knee, in addition to foot pain, can result from poor biomechanics.

The human foot has four arches and providing good, and the right support on the four of them can help relieve foot pain and relieve arthritis. Since the human feet support tons of body pressure above them, improper alignment can cause pain in the back, hip, knee, and on the feet themselves. Properly designed arch support shoes will keep the body well aligned to relieve the unnecessary pressure on each of these parts of the body.

Almost every person can benefit from the use of arch support shoes and other structures meant to align the body and relieve arthritis because they are made in different styles and sizes to provide a personal touch, fit and taste. Persons who can benefit from these kinds of support include persons as young as six years of age.

Although we are talking about arch support for persons with arthritis, it is important to understand that poor feet and leg biomechanics is also one of the many causes of arthritis. Thus arch support can be used as a prevention tactic for those with a high risk of suffering from arthritis. For instance, people born with structural malfunctions of bones can easily suffer from arthritis later on in life. Faulty foot structure is a cause of arthritis in the lower back for many people.

Sore injuries can also lead to arthritis, especially those that damage the parts close to body joints. Being overweight is also a risk factor for arthritis because your body, in such a condition, will stress the joints at the knees, feet, and back of the body. The other risk factor already discussed is age. These risk factors, individually or a combination of them, can provide cues as to when or if to start wearing arch support shoes.   

What kind of arch support to wear to help relieve arthritis

If and when suffering from bunions and calluses, shoes wide enough to not press these bunions and calluses are preferable. It is not advisable to wear high heels with painful joints on the big toe. This is because they will put more pressure on the feet balls.

You can use the now popular toning athletic shoes to provide good stability and arch support to overly active joints. These shoes have rocker-bottom soles that will do all the work the foot could be doing.

While many people avoid movements completely when under arthritis, physical therapy can be combined with medication and surgeries (surgeries to replace ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders and surgeries that help to reduce deformities on hands and feet which cannot be replaced) to relieve arthritis daily. Joints can be moved with less pain and discomfort through carefully planned physical therapy. The footwear should, therefore, support this kind of therapy.   

Features to look for when buying orthotic shoes

The fact step towards treating arthritis is selecting the right arthritis footwear that aids in managing and relieve arthritis.

Shoes for arthritis are specially designed to relieve arthritis pain and manage compensations that could worsen arthritis. These shoes are selected based on your condition of arthritis. For instance, shoes with toe boxes can be purchased when there are hammertoes and toes deviate sideways. In this case, these shoes will provide a good room for the toes to avoid rubbing them on the top.

Some shoes designed to relieve arthritis come with stretch materials to prevent irritation on the toes.   

Orthotic insole support - Shoes having this support will prevent excessive pronation on the feet by providing support to the arch of the feet and by aligning the feet with other parts of the body.

Room for orthotics inserts - Doctors may recommend different kinds of orthotic inserts for people with arthritis, and hence the shoes need to have enough Room - in particular deep enough between the heel and toe area, to provide this Room.

Low heels - These will prevent the toes, back, and knees from being damaged further. For instance, high heels can accelerate arthritis by causing microtrauma on the back, knees, toes, and feet. If low heels start becoming a problem, flat shoes or those shoes made specifically for arthritis are the best choices for people with arthritis. Actually, low heels may contribute to painful joints under arthritis only at a lesser degree than high heels.

Otherwise, use low heels with roomy toe boxes, wedge heels, and rubber soles. In addition to being slip-proof, the sole will absorb pressure from the foot.

Heels are defined as high when above 2 inches in height. They are hard on the balls of the feet and the heels. These shoes can also lead to wearing of the foot joints. As such, you can make arthritis pain worse by wearing stilettos and other kinds of high heels. Studies show that the increase in the risk of degeneration of the knee joint increased with the use of high heels. This is in addition to these kinds of shoes, increasing the risk of low back pain.

Enough width at the forefoot area - One of the deformities of arthritis is a wide forefoot, and this should be freed from excessive pressure by wearing wide shoes that also provide the needed comfort.

Toe boxes - A toe box on shoes meant for arthritis will allow for adequate and maximum movements of the toes, especially if it is wide, tall, and round. Toe boxes can also help protect against deformities such as hammertoes.

Type of shoes, good stability, and other factors - Arthritis shoes should help create a normal body gait pattern. Rocker bottom shoes are most preferable for big toe joint arthritis. These will roll the foot through the suffering joint.

You, therefore, should avoid flip-flops because they are unstable and increase the risk of falling. In a study by researchers from Rush University, these kinds of shoes were found to reduce knee load, which is good for arthritis. The study found that flip flops reduce knee load nearly by the same measure as bare feet to persons with arthritis, and better than the so-called flat shoes - firm clogs and sneakers with cushioning of the heel and forefoot.

Sandals should be worn with more support. If choosing those with straps, go for those with one strap at the back to avoid foot strain and hammertoes due to the toes over-gripping at the edge of the shoe. Adjustable straps are also more preferable for a custom fit of the shoe on foot.

Stability sneakers athletic shoes are the best choice when you want to distribute the body weight optimally and to achieve optimal shock absorption because the feet will not roll inwards more than is required. They also have a dense cushioning of the heels and midsole.

Neutral sneakers athletic shoes do not prevent over or under-pronation. However, they can be used by arthritis persons due to their extra cushioning and shock absorption characteristics. They also allow the insertion of custom-molded orthotic inserts that can be recommended to people with arthritis. These shoes are most preferable for those with normal pronation and who do not have problems with over and under pronation.

Clogs may not be suitable for people with arch, ankle, or big toe arthritis. The same case applies to those suffering from swollen foot joints and stiff joints. Flat boots that provide better arch support can be good for ankle arthritis as those boots with low, more stable, and rubber-soled wedged heels. Avoid foot gloves if suffering from arthritis. Knee OA can do better with flats that are flexible to walk in.  

Good flexibility, soft uppers, and padded interior - In addition to providing cushion to the feet, stretch materials will also provide a pressure-free fit.

Hook and loop closure or tie-less shoes - These shoes are most suited to persons who do have hands suffering from arthritis as it becomes difficult to put on shoes on their own.

Use with non-custom orthotic inserts - These inserts such as orthotic gels can provide moisture and other environments needed to provide soothing and to prevent the drying out of the feet and other unwanted conditions.       


Blog posts


Forgot your password?

Don't have an account yet?
Create account