Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae—fluid-filled sacs in the joints, that act as padding between the joints, as well as between bones, tendons, and muscles. It occurs most often in the elbows, hips, and knees.
It can be caused by trauma, infection, or overuse and leads to pain during movement. Bursitis in the knees is one of the most common forms and it can affect your day-to-day activity.
Wearing the best shoes for bursitis can help to alleviate the pain and encourage the inflammation to heal. Most people treat their bursitis at home, so choosing the right pair of shoes can be a valuable part of pain relief.
Let’s have a look at the shoes that are recommended.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Hoka One One Bondi 7
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Propét Stability Walker
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Brooks Glycerin 19
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1. SKECHERS Expected – Avillo (Men’s)
Slip-on shoes, thanks to their stretchy nature, can stretch with the foot if it swells, in the case of bursitis in the foot.
The Skechers Expected Avillo are smart-looking men’s slip-ons that look equally good in a business casual setting as they do around the house.
They come in a range of different designs, some more casual than others. They’re made from soft woven canvas that’s easy on the feet, with a suede overlay at the heel for extra support. On each side you’ll find a concealed but stretchy elastic panel that allows you to slip it on and off easily.
The Relaxed Fit stitched seam moccasin-toe front is spacious enough for the toes to splay comfortably. It’s very well-padded inside, with a fabric lining and a soft padded collar. Underneath your feet is a memory foam insole on top of an impact-absorbing midsole. These will help prevent vibrations from traveling up to the affected joints and making them worse.
The heel is about 1-inch in height, and although it creates a slight angle leaning forward.
For some, this may be uncomfortable but it shouldn’t be too much of a heel-to-toe drop that it causes any pain in the joints. A flexible rubber outsole offers effective traction on a variety of different surfaces.
The insoles are not removable, which some people may find a disadvantage.
- Deep elastic fabric panels
- Shock-absorbing midsole
- Soft suede overlay on the heel
- Rubber traction outsole
- The insoles are not made to be removable
SKECHERS Bikers – Penny Lane Loafer (Women’s)
Ladies who are looking for an easy slip-on shoe that could double as a business shoe or a casual one may like the Skechers Penny Lane Loafer.
It features a feminine design that’s available in a few different colors and is made from durable and soft suede.
The Relaxed Fit design allows more than enough room for the foot to flex and the toes to spread out. The raised toe front design adds an element of style.
These shoes are perfect for ladies who either don’t want a high heel or need a flatter shoe to ease the pain of bursitis, as the heel is just ¼-inch high.
The midsole is shock-absorbing and the shoe also features an Air-Cooled Memory Foam insole for added comfort and pain relief. It’s easy to see that the outsole offers a lot of traction, and will keep one stable on almost every surface.
These shoes can run large and you may need to order a size down from your regular size to get a good fit.
- Soft suede upper
- Air-cooled memory foam
- Rubber traction sole
- Raised toe front
- These shoes run large and one would need to order a size lower than usual
2. Hoka One One Bondi 7
A lot of cushioning can be extremely helpful if you have bursitis. It absorbs a lot of the impact while walking and prevents vibrations from reaching the painful joints.
Hoka One One has a reputation for making highly cushioned shoes. The Bondi 7 is their most cushioned offering and it would be ideal for those who suffer from bursitis.
It features the traditional Hoka full-length EVA midsole, which feels luxurious on every step. With a heel-to-toe drop of just 4mm, your foot will be padded from front to back, and the shock that comes with every step will be effectively absorbed.
You’ll also find an early-stage meta-rocker in the sole of the Bondi 7. This makes the transition from heel to toe much smoother without you needing to put more effort, reducing fatigue on the feet, ankle, and knee joints. A beveled heel also helps propel you forward with less effort.
The Bondi 7 is a very stable shoe, despite its stack height. An open-engineered mesh upper encapsulates your feet with being restrictive and TPU overlays provide extra structure and support to the foot. It also has a plush ankle collar that’s made of memory foam, which is both comfortable and helps to lock the foot in and prevent excessive movement. The internal heel counter also helps with this.
Although the Hoka is wider than some other brands, some people may find that the forefoot of the shoe is slightly too tight for their liking.
- Early-stage Meta-Rocker
- Thick EVA midsole cushioning
- Internal heel counter
- TPU overlays provide targeted support
- Some people may find the forefoot of the shoe to be a bit too snug
Best Leather Shoes
3. Propét Stability Walker
Individuals looking for sturdy leather shoes that also help alleviate pain from bursitis should check out the Propét Stability Walker.
Depending on the style and color you choose, the upper will be made from either full-grain leather or nubuck, both of which offer good external support for the foot.
For comfort, the inside of the shoe is lined with soft brushed nylon. A padded tongue and heel collar increase the comfort and keep your foot locked down properly. A speed lacing closure system allows you to get the best and most comfortable fit.
The EVA midsole offers adequate arch support, which keeps the foot properly aligned and prevents joint strain due to misalignment. The firm heel counter also helps with this.
The shoe also features a wider forefoot and heel base for extra stability. A rubber outsole ensures the best grip on any surface.
If you find that the arch support isn’t enough, the PU footbed can be removed to accommodate a custom orthotic. However, these shoes are Medicare-approved and known to improve foot health.
These shoes may run narrow so you may need to order a size up from normal.
- Wider forefoot and heel base
- Perforated leather upper
- Rigid heel counter
- EVA midsole
- These shoes can run narrow
Best Running Shoes
4. Brooks Glycerin 19
Running with bursitis can be painful. But for non-runners, running shoes are comfortable for everyday wear.
The best running shoes we recommend are the Brooks Glycerin 19.
The Glycerin midsole is made up of DNA LOFT foam, which is both soft and responsive. It will not only cushion your feet and absorb impact—saving your joints and reducing the pain of bursitis—but it also gives you a bouncy toe-off which will propel you forward faster. A transition zone under the foot also makes the heel-to-toe movement smoother.
The blown rubber outsole keeps you safe on uneven surfaces and prevents slipping. The outsole also features OmegaFlex Grooves, which allow the foot to move through its natural gait cycle fluidly, helping you to run smoothly.
An engineered mesh upper and an internal bootie with 3D Fit Print technology create a customized fit around the foot for the best support.
- Engineered double jacquard mesh upper
- Omega Flex Grooves
- Full-length DNA LOFT midsole cushioning
- Full-blown rubber outsole
- Some may feel that the cushioning is too firm
Best For Walking
5. Orthofeet Edgewater (men’s)
These sporty-looking shoes are a good choice for individuals who walk regularly. They have a wide toe box, allowing your toes to splay naturally.
Anatomical arch support also helps your foot to stay in the correct position, preventing joint pain. If the arch support isn’t right for your foot, the orthotic insole can be removed. The double-depth shoe offers plenty of space for you to add your own insole that provides you with the right amount of arch support.
A gel-padded heel provides shock absorption on every step. This not only prevents pain from bursitis but reduces vibration in the ankle and knee joints. The Ergonomic-Stride sole features air pockets in the heel as well as a generous layer of cushioning.
These shoes are diabetic-friendly, and use Dry-Plex material, which has antimicrobial and antifungal properties to keep your feet healthy throughout the day. A non-binding, soft upper keeps your foot well-supported and ventilated and a rubber outsole provides grip on all surfaces.
- Anatomical arch support
- Ergonomic-Stride sole
- Spacious toe box
- Dry-Plex anti-odor fabric
- These shoes may not fit men with narrow feet comfortably
Orthofeet Coral (women’s)
The Coral is an athletic shoe that would be ideal for walking. They’re both aesthetically pleasing and practical. They are diabetic-approved so anybody can wear them comfortably and safely.
A soft and stretchy upper offers structural support as well as ventilation. The stretchy nature also reduces pressure points on the top of the feet.
The upper itself is padded, especially around the ankle collar area, for extra comfort. It also has a wide toe box, to prevent cramped toes that may lead to incorrect form, putting pressure on the joints.
A gel-padded heel set provides protection against impact, and reduces the chance of vibrations jarring the ankle and knee joints and worsening bursitis. EVA midsole cushion and an insole featuring anatomical arch support also help to keep the foot properly aligned and absorb impact.
- Gel padded heel set
- Stretchable knit fabric upper
- EVA midsole cushioning
- Seam-free interior lining
- The outsole of the shoe may not be durable
Best Casual Shoes
6. Dr. Comfort Ruk Chukka Boot (men’s), Annie Casual Shoe (women’s)
We recommend the Dr. Comfort Ruk Chukka Boot for men and the Annie Casual shoe for women. They’re both smart-looking shoes, made from leather and suede which offer both structural support and a sense of style.
Both these shoes feature a protective toe box that’s also a generous size, so your toes can spread out naturally and be protected from bumps and bruises. In the back, a firm heel counter keeps the foot safely in place and prevents lateral movement that could contribute to joint pain.
They also both have removable insoles. The women’s shoe features gel pods in the forefoot and heel for extra impact absorption and a full-length polyethylene cushion. The men’s shoe is a lace-up, while the women’s has a hook-and-loop closure for an adjustable fit.
Some people may find that these shoes are a little bit heavy on their feet.
- Firm heel counter
- Protective toe box
- Removable insoles
- Full-grain leather upper
- Some people may find the shoes to be a bit too heavy
Best Office Shoes
7. Rockport Garett Wingtip Oxford (men’s)
Bursitis can feel worse when you’re on your feet in the office and your work shoes are working against you. We recommend the Rockport Garett Wingtip Oxford for men who work in an office and need to wear smart shoes.
The leather upper is smart and durable and provides good support to the feet. In the midsole, an EVA footbed absorbs shock when you’re on your feet and is also lightweight. truTECH technology in the heel helps to improve the impact absorption.
This smart shoe has a more effective grip than other office shoes thanks to its flexible EVA outsole. They run slightly narrow, especially in larger sizes.
- Leather upper
- EVA outsole
- truTECH technology
- Flexible outsole
- These shoes run narrow, especially in larger sizes
Rockport Stacie Perforated Ballet Flat (women’s)
Ladies who want something pretty and practical to wear to work that will help to alleviate the symptoms of bursitis should consider the Rockport Stacie Perforated Ballet Flat.
The synthetic upper of this slip-on shoe is perforated to increase breathability. Rounded toes offer plenty of space for your toes to be comfortable and your foot to stay properly aligned without being cramped.
A molded EVA-cushioned midsole offers good padding and comfort, and a breathable Ortholite footbed increases the comfort when you’re wearing this shoe all day. The truTECH comfort technology system in the heel adds extra cushioning to protect your feet and joints.
The TPR outsole adds even more shock absorption and also gives you good grip on a variety of surfaces so you can move comfortably and safely throughout a corporate environment.
- Molded EVA cushioned footbed
- TPR outsole
- truTECH comfort technology system
- Breathable Ortholite footbed
- May not be suitable for cooler weather due to their perforations
Best Hiking Boots
8. Orthofeet Hunter Brown (men’s), Delta (women’s)
Traversing rough terrain when hiking can aggravate painful bursitis if one wears the wrong shoes. The Orthofeet Hunter Brown is the ideal hiking boot for individuals who suffer from painful joints. For women, the Orthofeet Delta is the equivalent.
A wide toe box gives the toes ample room to splay, offering not only pressure reduction but better stability on rough terrain. To keep the foot in place, a sturdy but well-padded ankle collar stops the foot from moving around too much in the shoe.
A gel pad in the heel provides effective impact absorption and relief from a variety of foot pain. Anatomically designed orthotic insoles provide effective arch support. If one finds that the arch support is not enough for their feet, custom orthotics can easily be placed into these shoes, with a double-depth design that can be adjusted using two spacers.
An Ergonomic-Stride sole cushions every step and is also lightweight to reduce fatigue when walking in these boots. Seam-free interior lining reduces the chances of chafing and pressure points so you can hike for many hours pain-free.
- Wide toe box
- Anatomically-designed insoles
- Two sets of removable spacers
- Ergonomic-Stride design
- These shoes can run large and you may have to order a half size smaller
9. OOFOS OOmg eeZee Low Shoe
This unisex shoe is approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) for being a shoe that contributes positively to foot health. It’s a slip-on design that’s easy to put on and take off and has a minimalist quality to it.
Lightweight 4-way stretch material makes it very comfortable and soft on the foot. Inside, there’s good arch support that keeps the foot aligned and prevents rolling of the foot which could put strain on joints and cause more pain in the bursae.
In the midsole, OOfoam technology is more shock-absorbing than most others, absorbing up to 37% more than regular foams. This significantly reduces strain on the joints and alleviates the pain in the bursae.
A rubber outsole offers impressive grip on a range of different surfaces as well as adding even more vibration absorption.
- 4-way stretch mesh upper
- OOfoam technology
- APMA Seal of Acceptance
- Textured, rubber outsole
- These shoes run slightly large and there’s no way to tighten them
Best Wide Toe Box
10. Altra Torin 5
Those with wide feet will appreciate the spacious toe box that the Altra Torin has to offer.
It’s an athletic shoe that’s suitable for both men and women and the FootShape toe box is designed specifically for comfort in the forefoot and extra stability and the toes spread.
Working with that is FootPod outsole technology, which maps the tendons and bones of the foot and helps the outsole to flex with the foot, promoting natural movement that isn’t restrictive. InnerFlex grooves in the midsole help with the same purpose.
The Quantic foam midsoles provide balanced cushioning that eases joint pain thanks to superior impact and vibration absorption. There’s no heel-to-toe drop on this shoe—zero drop—which promotes a natural and low-impact walking or running form.
A 5mm PU-sculpted footbed offers a slight extra cushion with some support, and the padded collar and tongue also increase the comfort of this shoe. The mesh upper is extremely breathable and a traditional lace-up closure allows one to get custom fit on their feet.
- FootPod technology
- Breathable knit upper
- PU-sculpted footbed
- Spacious toe box
- Some people may find that the ankle collar cuts into the Achilles or the ankles and causes pain
What is bursitis?
Bursitis is inflammation of the bursae—fluid-filled sacs that are present in the joints and act as shock-absorbers and padding between bones, tendons, and muscles.
When the bursae become inflamed, one feels pain in or near the joints. The joints most commonly affected are the elbow, knee, and hip, although any joint can be affected.
What to look for in shoes?
When choosing the best shoes for bursitis, one should look for the following features. A flat, flexible sole will help to keep the foot properly aligned and promote a low-impact stride.
Ample cushioning is essential, as it will absorb the shock on every foot strike and prevent jarring to the joints, which can make bursitis worse. You’d also want to look for a wide toe box, which will prevent the toes from being cramped and allow for a more natural stride.
A rigid heel cup will prevent lateral movement within the shoe which could place extra strain on the joints and cause more pain. The rubber outsole should also offer good grip so that one is stable on any surface, reducing the chance of slipping and injuring joints.