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The best shoes for arthritic feet in 2024, according to podiatrists, physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons

Ease your tight and achy toes, feet and ankles with the most comfortable, arthritis-friendly footwear from brands like Kizik, Hoka and Orthofeet.

The best shoes for arthritic feet in 2024, according to podiatrists, physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons

There's no sugarcoating it: Having arthritis in your feet is a major drag. After all, the chronic condition causes joint pain and inflammation, which can make it difficult to go about your life as usual. But the best shoes for arthritic feet can make a difference in how you feel.

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If you have arthritis, know that you're not alone. Up to 18.9% of American adults have some form of arthritis, and it's common to have the condition in your feet. That said, the right footwear can help. Choosing the right sneakers, sandals or slippers can deliver much-needed comfort while helping to improve your mobility. "Typically, the biggest issue with someone who has arthritis in their feet is that they can develop a bump where the arthritis is, which makes traditional shoe gear feel too tight," Dr. Melissa Lockwood, a podiatrist at Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates in Bloomington, Ill., tells Yahoo Life.

As with all health conditions, foot arthritis has a range of symptoms, and not everyone experiences them the same way, says Dr. Richard Graves, a podiatrist at Sol Foot & Ankle Centers in Long Beach, Calif. The biggest key is getting the right fit. "People with arthritic feet may have to look for wide shoes, shoes made out of stretchy or conforming materials or even extra-depth shoes," he says. "Besides that, the amount of support and stability is very important. Usually one of the goals with arthritic feet is to limit foot motion as much as possible."

Shoes with stretchy fabrics or adjustable features like velcro straps or laces that can be loosened can help, shares Ashley Rawlins, a physical therapist at Origin in Dallas. "You may also want to consider shoes with a slightly larger toe box so that your foot has space for swelling, without being at risk for compression," she adds.

Doctors stress the importance of finding the best shoes for foot arthritis. "I've seen how the right footwear can make a substantial difference in patient outcomes when dealing with orthopedic issues," Dr. Robert McLaughlin, an orthopedic surgeon at Boston Concierge Orthopedics, tells Yahoo Life.

To better understand the needs of people with arthritic feet, our team spoke with four experts across a range of specialties who treat individuals with the condition. We also researched the market to better understand available options, as well as which products can help meet those needs. With that in mind, these are the best shoes for arthritic feet, whether you're in search of a running sneaker, dressy shoe or something in between.

Cost: $69 and up | Sizing: Women's 6–13 / men's 4.5–13 | Colors: 12 options | Weight: 13 ounces | Additional features for arthritic feet: Stretchy fabric, removable insole

The Kizik Roamer has a slew of features that make it ideal for someone with arthritis, making it our choice for best overall. This sneaker is hands-free — meaning, you can just step into it. That's especially helpful for people with arthritis in their hands too. These shoes have stretchy, breathable fabric to help accommodate swollen days without sacrificing on comfort. 

The Kizik Roamer is lightweight at 13 ounces and has a removable insole, which is handy if you want to use custom orthotics. There's also a roomy toe box. Another nice feature? These sneakers have machine washable insoles to help lower the odds they'll get smelly over time. Fans also rave about how they look and feel. "Comfy and cool. Getting lots of compliments," shared one.

Pros
  • Stretchy fabric
  • Large color selection
  • Slide on
Cons
  • Not available in wide sizes
  • Moderate arch support
$69 at Kizik

Cost: $165 | Sizing: Women's 5–12 / men's 7–16 | Colors: 16 options | Weight: 8.9 ounces | Additional features for arthritic feet: OrthoLite sockliner, APMA seal of acceptance

The Hoka Bondi 8 is our top choice for women due to its comfort-supporting features and flexibility. This sneaker has the coveted APMA seal of acceptance and features extra cushioning to make sure every step feels good. In fact, one owner said that "they feel like clouds on my feet."

Despite their impressive cushioning, these sneakers use lightweight foam to create a shoe that's just 8.9 ounces. The Bondi 8s also have an OrthoLite sockliner and are vegan. These sneakers come in your choice of 16 fun color combos and in regular and wide sizes, creating a shoe that works for most people.

Pros
  • APMA seal of acceptance
  • Wide sizes available
  • Fun colorways
Cons
  • Expensive
  • May need to go up a half size
$165 at Hoka
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$165 at Zappos

Cost: $110 | Sizing: Men's 7–15 | Colors: 3 options | Weight: 11.5 ounces | Additional features for arthritic feet: Stretchy upper, wide toe box

The Orthofeet Men's Orthopedic Knit Edgewater Sneakers have hidden features that make this our top choice for best men's shoe for arthritic feet. These sneakers come in your choice of medium or wide to fit most feet. They naturally have a wide toe box to accommodate swollen days and moments.

The Orthofeet sneakers offer a stretchy knit upper that moves with your feet (giving you that extra space on particularly swollen days), along with a mild rocker at the sole to help propel you forward with each step. These sneakers come with an orthotic insole and a specialized arch booster for a customized feel. That said, they only come in three colors, so if you were hoping for a more fashion-forward color combo, you may end up needing to choose comfort over style when grabbing a pair of these sneaks. 

Pros
  • Stretchy upper
  • Wide toe box
  • Orthotic insoles
Cons
  • Only 3 color choices
  • Expensive
$110 at Amazon

Cost: $100 | Sizing: Women's 5–13 / men's 6–16 | Colors: 26 options | Weight: 9.2 ounces | Additional features for arthritic feet: Rocker sole, knit upper

The Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 offers an impressive level of cushioning with a rocker-style outsole to help propel you forward as you walk. These are two straightforward factors that make this sneaker our top choice for walking. The Gel-Nimbus 25 also offers a knit upper that stretches with your foot, providing space even during days of high swelling. 

These shoes come in a surprising array of color choices, making it easy for most people to find a style they love. Just be aware that some people say these shoes run narrow, so you may want to size up if swelling is a huge concern. However, know that many owners with arthritis say they're a great fit. "I ordered these due to arthritis in my feet and toes," shared one commenter. "The sole provides so much support and cushion, and the shoe material is forgiving and flexible."

Pros
  • Cushioned rocker sole
  • Lots of color choices
  • Soft knit upper
Cons
  • Some say it runs narrow
  • May feel less bouncy with time
$130 at Amazon

Cost: $99 | Sizing: Women's 5–12 / men's 7–15 | Colors: 29 options | Weight: 9.1 ounces | Additional features for arthritic feet: Plush upper, wide sizing options

The Brooks Glycerin 20 sneakers have a wide platform and plush feel, making them our top choice for best running shoe. These sneakers offer a secure fit to hold your foot in place without crowding you out. There's also a soft lining and insole for extra cushioning as you run. It's also hard to ignore the fact that the shoe has earned the APMA's Seal of Acceptance, so you know it's podiatrist-approved for promoting good foot health. 

A cushioned tongue and collar provide extra padding all around to support your feet on any given run. These sneakers come in a huge range of neutral and standout color options and are available in regular, narrow and wide sizes. They also get high marks for comfort. "They’re perfectly supportive, yet padded and very durable," shared one fan. 

Pros
  • Good support
  • Flexible upper
  • Wide sizes available
Cons
  • May need to size up
  • Some pairs have gray laces
$100 at Amazon

Cost: $93 | Sizing: Women's 5–11 / men's 7–17 | Colors: 51 options | Weight: 13.4 ounces | Additional features for arthritic feet: Stretchy straps, large toe box

The Keen Newport H2 Sandal is our pick for the best sandal thanks to its flexible upper and roomy fit. This sandal is packed with features to keep you supported and comfortable, including an outsole with multidirectional lugs that help you keep your footing, even on wet terrain. A specialized toe bumper helps to protect the front of your feet as you go about your day. 

These sandals have fast-drying synthetic straps, so you can wear them in and out of the water. They also feature a special lace-lock bungee system to make them easy to get on and to provide extra give. The Keen Newport H2s are machine washable, making cleanup a breeze. "Needed a wide toe box sandal due to arthritis in toes," shared an owner. "This shoe fit the bill perfect."

Pros
  • Large size range
  • High level of give
  • Machine washable
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Heavier than many sandals
$93 at Amazon

Cost: $70 | Sizing: Men's 6.5–14 | Colors: 8 options | Weight: Unspecified | Additional features for arthritic feet: Wide and extra-wide sizes, large rubber outsole

Typical dress shoes tend to be tough on arthritic feet — they often run narrow and don't have the same level of adjustability you may need. While the Rockport Eureka Walking Shoe is technically not a dress shoe, it's dressy enough to wear for a range of more formal occasions. 

These leather shoes come in a number of neutral shades and have a latex foam footbed to cushion your feet throughout your day. The shoes also feature a moisture-wicking mesh lining to help lower the risk you'll build up a smell over time. A thick rubber outsole helps to ensure you get and keep solid footing. Choose from regular, wide and extra-wide sizes.

Pros
  • Wide sizing range
  • Several color options
  • Leather upper
Cons
  • Not as breathable as sneakers
  • May need a break-in period
$70 at Amazon
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$70 at Zappos

Cost: $60 | Sizing: Women's 5–13 | Colors: 4 options | Weight: 7 ounces | Additional features for arthritic feet: Wide sizes, easy to put on

The Skechers GO Walk Flex Lucy Sneaker is our pick for the best budget sneaker thanks to its inexpensive price tag and comfortable features. This sneaker is lightweight at just 7 ounces and won't drag you down as you walk. It also features the brand's Ultra Go cushioning to provide extra padding underfoot. 

These sneakers feature elastic bungee laces, creating a slip-on design. That's a nice perk, whether you have arthritis in your hands or you just don't want to be bothered with laces. "Really good fit and comfort in this shoe," shared an owner. Choose from four color options.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Slip-on style
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Limited color choices
  • Fit is too loose for some
$52 at Amazon

Cost: $186 | Sizing: Women’s 5–11 / men’s 7–14 | Colors: 4 options | Weight: 8.4 ounces | Additional features for arthritic feet: High level of cushioning, removable insole

Toe arthritis can be tricky to deal with, but the On Cloudrunner 2 has several features to keep you as comfortable as possible. These sneakers are packed with cushioning to cradle your feet all over. They also offer a rounded, large toe box to give your toes room to spread out as needed. 

The insole is removable to make room for your orthotics, and the shoe is lightweight at just 8.4 ounces. While these are more traditional lace-ups, this feature allows you to create extra space around your toes as needed. 

Pros
  • Great cushioning
  • Rounded, roomy toe box
  • Upscale colorways
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Have to be laced
$150 at Backcountry
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$150 at Nordstrom$150 at REI

Cost: $95 | Sizing: Women's 5–12 | Colors: 3 options | Weight: Unspecified | Additional features for arthritic feet: Wide toe box, adjustable straps

Why we recommend it

The Orthofeet Orthopedic Black Faux Fur Lined Charlotte Slippers are our top choice for the best slippers thanks to their impressive support and comfort features. These slippers have a wide toe box and adjustable side straps to make them easy to get on and off. 

The slippers have a soft faux fur interior for a plush feel. They also have an orthotic insole to help provide pressure relief and arch support. The Orthofeet slippers have a tough outsole, making them a good choice for walking to the mailbox or just padding around your place. 

Pros
  • Thick outsole
  • Plush feel
  • Wide toe box
Cons
  • Expensive
  • May be hot in summer
$95 at Amazon

There are several features to keep in mind when shopping for shoes for arthritic feet. Experts suggest considering:

  • Support and cushioning: "The best shoe for a patient with arthritis is one that has a supportive bottom and a very soft upper part of the shoe that would allow for any swelling," Lockwood says. Arch support and extra cushioning in the midsole and outsole can also be helpful.

  • Fit and comfort: A wide toe box is ideal. "Wide toe boxes give toes room to move," McLaughlin says.

  • Stability and motion control: Every foot and gait is different, but you may benefit from features that control overpronation or supination, which can make arthritis pain worse.

  • Adjustability: It's usually helpful to have adjustable features. Those can include lace-up closures, Velcro straps or adjustable buckles to customize your fit and allow extra room in case of swelling. If you prefer a slip-on style, look for shoes with a soft and stretchy upper.

  • Breathability: Moisture-wicking materials can help keep your feet dry and prevent fungal growth. They also lower the risk your feet (and shoes) will stink at the end of the day.

  • Lightweight design: A lightweight shoe is ideal to lower the risk you'll develop fatigue and strain on your joints.

  • Heel height: A low to moderate heel height of less than 1.5 inches is often ideal to to maintain proper foot alignment.

To choose the best shoes for arthritic feet, we consulted with four experts across a range of medical disciplines. These include podiatrists Lockwood and Graves; physical therapist Rawlins; and orthopedic surgeon McLaughlin.

After receiving the experts' input, we reviewed dozens of products and evaluated each for elements like materials, support, cushioning, toe box size, weight and adjustability. Because everyone's feet are different and symptoms for arthritis can vary, we carefully analyzed reviews from real customers to see how these shoes perform in the real world, over time. Author Korin Miller is a health and commerce writer with more than a decade of experience reviewing footwear.

If you have arthritis, it's important to look for special features in your shoes. However, you don't necessarily need special arthritic shoes. "People with arthritic feet really only need 'special' shoes if the arthritis is severe and/or causing a major deformity," Graves says. "Shoe considerations may have to be made if the arthritis necessitates using a brace or special insole."

Yes, the right shoes can help with arthritis pain in your feet. They can also lower the risk of issues in the future. "Comfortable, supportive shoes can help preclude the need for surgery down the road," Lockwood says. Graves agrees. "Proper shoes and insoles can play a key role in helping to control foot arthritis pain," he says. "The proper orthotic or shoe insert can also be very helpful."

There are a few features to consider in shoes when you have arthritis. Look for shoes with a roomy toe box and flexibility, whether through laces or a stretchy upper, to accommodate swelling in your feet, Lockwood says. A lightweight design is also helpful to avoid straining your joints.

Lockwood recommends trying to time when you get fitted for shoes. "The best time to get fitted is in the afternoon when feet are most swollen," she says. It's also a good idea to have a cushioning pair of socks on for additional comfort.

Yes, orthotics can be helpful if you have arthritis in your feet. "Orthotics can be very helpful to make a shoe more supportive and fit for your feet," Rawlins says. "There are over-the-counter and custom-made options that can provide additional support to the arches and joints in your feet, so that pressure can be distributed more evenly, without creating pain or limiting the helpful mechanics of your feet."