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Best Shoes for Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2022

When you have rheumatoid arthritis in your feet, the shoes you wear can either contribute to your pain or relieve it.

The best shoes for rheumatoid arthritis have a high level of adjustability, excellent support, a wide toe box, and a rocker bottom.

Our favorite is the Brooks Addiction Walker V-Strap 2. It has easy-to-use hook-and-loops straps, offers excellent cushioning and arch support, and has a roll bar to stabilize the foot.

Here are the shoes we have found to be excellent for rheumatoid arthritis.

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Brooks Addiction Walker V-Strap 2

 

  • Easy to put on and remove
  • Supportive, breathable leather upper
  • Excellent cushioning and arch support
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

New Balance 813Hv1

 

  • Semi-formal style
  • Supportive, lightweight midsole foam
  • Rollbar technology
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Apex Double Strap Active Walkers

 

  • High and wide toe box
  • Adjustable hook-and-loop closure
  • Antimicrobial mesh lining
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

Best Overall

1. Brooks Addiction Walker V-Strap 2

The Brooks Addiction Walker V-Strap 2 offers everything someone with rheumatoid arthritis needs in a comfortable and supportive shoe.

They come in black and white, and the leather uppers make them ideal for casual and professional wear.

What We Like

The Addiction Walker V-Strap 2 is a comfortable shoe, with BioMoGo DNA foam in the midsole providing excellent shock absorption and arch support.

As well as the soft cushioning, the shoe features an Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar to align and stabilize the foot, which helps reduce strain and lower pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

With two Velcro hook-and-loop straps across the foot, this shoe is easy to put on and take off, even if your feet are achy or stiff.

There’s also a removable insole, so those who need custom orthotics can easily fit them into these shoes.

The leather upper is supportive and provides a classy touch, making the shoe appropriate for many professional environments. A spacious toe box allows the toes to splay comfortably and naturally.

A full-length rubber outsole provides excellent grip on many different surfaces to keep you safe while walking.

Why We Like It

The Brooks Addiction Walker V-Strap 2 offers excellent support and comfort for those with rheumatoid arthritis in their feet.

What’s New

There are slight changes to the upper, and they are mainly cosmetic.

PROS:

  • Easy to put on and remove
  • Supportive, breathable leather upper
  • Provides excellent cushioning and arch support
  • Extended Progressive Diagonal Bar stabilizes the foot

CONS:

  • Some may find that the Velcro straps are too long when tightened

Top Runner-Up

2. Propet Stability X Strap

The Propet Stability X Strap is a more athletic and casual-looking shoe. It has multiple supportive features, which are great for rheumatoid arthritis.

It’s available in black, blue, and gray, as well as a black and pink color combination for ladies.

What We Like

The Propet Stability X Strap is a casual, athletic-looking shoe with a breathable mesh upper.

There’s plenty of room in the toe box, which helps reduce hotspots and is comfortable to wear for many hours at a time.

It has a single thick, adjustable strap across the foot. The strap allows you to tighten it for a customized fit, ideal for swollen feet.

This shoe has subtle support features. An EVA midsole offers excellent arch support, which keeps the foot properly aligned and takes pressure off the joints.

A polyurethane insole features a shock-absorbing gel pad in the heel. The heel is kept stable by internal and external heel counters. This ensures that there’s minimal lateral movement that could aggravate the joints.

The footbed is also removable. If you need a custom insole, you will have no trouble inserting one.

A stiff rubber outsole not only offers added stability but also helps to keep you safe and secure on several different surfaces.

Why We Like It

These shoes look casual and athletic enough for everyday wear as well as light or brisk walks. They offer excellent subtle stability features and a high level of comfort.

PROS:

  • Provides all-day comfort straight out of the box
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • EVA midsole cushioning cradles the arch
  • Removable cushioned footbed accommodates custom orthotics

CONS:

  • These shoes run a little narrow

Most Durable

3. New Balance MW813 Hook and Loop

The New Balance MW813 Hook and Loop shoe features a durable, supportive upper and two sturdy straps to lock your feet into the shoe.

You can get it in black, white, and gray, and the smart-casual style works well for both formal and casual occasions.

What We Like

The leather upper and rubber outsole of the New Balance MW813 Hook and Loop makes the shoe quite durable.

There are two hook-and-loop Velcro straps across the top of the foot, which allows you to tighten the shoe to your comfort and get it on and off quickly.

The midsole is “damage-resistant.” It’s made of lightweight foam, which reduces the shoe’s weight and eases foot fatigue.

Despite being lightweight, it provides a high level of shock absorption and resists flattening as you walk, making it even more durable.

The shoe features a built-in Rollbar, a system of dense posts in the heel and arch, which helps stabilize the rearfoot and prevent overpronation and supination.

The Rollbar helps keep the foot in a neutral position and reduces pressure on the joints, lowering inflammation and pain.

There’s also Walking Strike Path technology in the sole, which allows for a smooth heel-to-toe transition and helps to distribute body weight evenly across the foot during your gait.

Why We Like It

The New Balance MW813 Hook and Loop is supportive, durable, and great for feet with rheumatoid arthritis. Its semi-formal style makes it ideal for work, events, or just running errands.

What’s New

There’s only a small difference to the 813 from the previous version, the 812. The upper of the prior version used synthetic material, while the upper of the 813 is made of leather.

PROS:

  • Semi-formal style is great if you wear them to work
  • Supportive, lightweight midsole foam
  • Features Walking Strike Path technology
  • The Rollbar technology supports and stabilizes your heel

CONS:

  • Some may find the rollbar to be uncomfortably stiff

Best Orthopedic Shoes

4. Orthofeet Alamo (men’s)

5. Orthofeet Quincy (women’s)

Orthopedic shoes are specifically designed to improve foot health and reduce foot pain. The Orthofeet Alamo for men and the Quincy for women are great options to increase foot fitness and lessen pain.

They are slightly different in style, but both have similar features that are excellent for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

What We Like

The Alamo and the Quincy shoes are casual-looking shoes with hook-and-loop straps. The men’s has two straps, while the women’s features a single thin strap. Both have roomy toe boxes with plenty of wiggle room.

Aside from being easily adjustable on the upper for a secure fit, they’re also customizable inside the shoe.

The orthotic insoles offer excellent biomechanical arch support and keep the foot properly aligned, but they’re also removable if you need to add a custom orthotic for your foot.

Another feature that helps keep the foot aligned is the heel counter, which holds your foot in place. And an optional arch booster can be added to the shoes if you need more support under the arch.

The women’s shoe has a polyurethane outsole with a slight rocker shape to help with a smooth heel-to-toe transition.

There is no rocker shape on the men’s shoe, but the outsole is made from grippy rubber that keeps you safe on your feet.

Why We Like It

Both the men’s and the women’s Orthofeet are highly adjustable to suit your own feet, as well as being incredibly supportive and stable.

PROS:

  • Wide, round toe box provides ample wiggle room
  • Removable orthotic insoles with built-in arch support
  • Heel counter helps reduce lateral heel movement
  • Durable, shock-absorbing rubber outsole

CONS:

  • The sizing of these shoes is inconsistent

Most Comfortable

6. Apex Double Strap Active Walkers

The Apex Double Strap Active Walker is designed to help reduce foot pain. It has several features that provide extreme comfort for those with rheumatoid arthritis.

You can get the shoe in black, white, and tan. The dressy, relaxed design makes it an excellent choice for those who need a shoe for both casual and professional use.

What We Like

The advanced anatomical design of this shoe helps to reduce foot pain, ideal if you have rheumatoid arthritis.

They use leather for the uppers, which is supportive but also soft and comfortable. It’s lined with antimicrobial mesh that wicks away sweat and has a padded collar that provides extra comfort.

They use Apex Conform Foam and EVA in the footbeds for shock absorption, cushioning, and comfort.

The footbeds can be removed so you can add a custom orthotic if needed. They also allow you to create extra depth in the shoe when more room is required.

As well as double depth, the toe box of this shoe is spacious and has plenty of room for your toes to splay and stretch.

A rigid heel counter and midfoot shank add extra support and stability to the shoe, reducing unnecessary movement and pain.

Why We Like It

This shoe is highly comfortable and removes the worry of chafing or pressure points for those with rheumatoid arthritis.

PROS:

  • High and wide toe box
  • Adjustable hook-and-loop closure
  • Antimicrobial mesh lining promotes good foot health
  • Removable insoles allow you to use the double depth of the shoe

CONS:

  • Some may find that the straps are too short

Best for Walking Off-road

7. Apex Trail Runner Active Shoe

If you love walking on trails or rougher ground than the sidewalk, we recommend the Apex Trail Runner Active Shoe.

What We Like

These shoes are built on a V-last, which offers support and stability for mild overpronators.

They also have a support “pod” on the medial side of the shoe. This will help prevent the foot from rolling on rough ground and protect the joints.

The nubuck and mesh upper is breathable and features Scotchguard water-resistant protection, allowing you to go confidently along rough and wet trails.

A multi-density midsole offers excellent cushioning and shock absorption as you walk. 2 insole layers can be removed, allowing for double-depth in the shoe. This is ideal for those who need a custom orthotic.

An external molded heel counter keeps the foot stable, while a synthetic toe bumper protects your toes from hazards on the trail.

It also has a slip-resistant outsole for exceptional traction on various surfaces.

Why We Like It

This shoe is supportive enough to reduce the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis while still protecting the foot for off-road adventures safely.

PROS:

  • Breathable mesh upper features water-resistant coating
  • Multi-density cushioned midsole
  • Molded external heel counter supports your heel
  • Slip-resistant rubber outsole

CONS:

  • These shoes may not be very durable if you walk often on rough terrain

Most Breathable

8. Propet Viator Strap (men’s)

9. Propet One Twin Strap (women’s)

If you’re looking for shoes to wear in warm weather or find that your feet sweat a lot when you walk, the Propet Viator for men and One Twin Strap are good choices.

They’re both casual, athletic-style shoes that would be great for everyday walking and doing daily tasks, as well as light exercise.

What We Like

Both of these shoes feature a lightweight and breathable mesh upper that will easily allow air to flow through the shoe and keep your feet cool and dry.

The men’s shoe has a single thick strap across the foot, while the women’s features two thinner straps. Both can be easily adjusted to fit the foot even when swollen.

The tongue of both shoes is padded to prevent hotspots caused by the straps. They also both have padded heel collars for increased comfort.

A high-density open-cell foam midsole underneath the foot cushions the feet and absorbs shock on every footstrike.

The rubber outsole also helps reduce shock and protect the joints from vibration, offering excellent traction and being highly durable.

Why We Like It

These shoes have very breathable mesh uppers, which allow excellent airflow through the shoes to keep your feet cool and dry.

PROS:

  • Lightweight, breathable mesh upper
  • High-density open-cell foam cushioned insole
  • Padded tongue and collar for increased comfort
  • Durable rubber outsole

CONS:

  • Some may find that there’s not enough arch support and they need to add insoles

Best Leather

10. Drew Force V (men’s)

11. Drew Paradise II (women’s)

Leather shoes are both supportive and dressy enough for work. The Drew Force V—men’s—and Paradise II—women’s—are our top leather shoes.

They both have a range of features that make them excellent for those who have rheumatoid arthritis.

What We Like

The men’s and women’s shoes are quite similar, with both featuring two Velcro hook-and-loop straps and smooth leather uppers. They come in various neutral shades.

A Drilex lining in the shoes helps wick moisture away from the skin, keeping your feet as comfortable as possible.

Both the men’s and the women’s shoes have two removable insoles. This allows you to make extra space in the shoe if you need and offer space for custom insoles.

Both have a heel counter, a mild rocker bottom, and a tempered steel shank for support.

Why We Like It

These shoes are supportive and professional-looking. The leather design provides structure and makes the shoe smart enough for work purposes.

PROS:

  • Supple, supportive leather upper
  • Drilex lining draws moisture away from your skin
  • Two removable footbeds add extra depth
  • Rocker bottom sole provide smooth transitions

CONS:

  • Some may find that these shoes feel heavy on their feet

Buyers Guide – Shoes for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Stability

Choosing a stability shoe—or a motion control shoe—is helpful for those with rheumatoid arthritis.

The added support helps reduce pain as it keeps the joints of the foot properly aligned and helps to relieve pressure on the muscles and joints.

Roomy Toe Box

A spacious toe box will prevent the toes from rubbing against the sides or upper of the shoes, which will help to reduce chafing and keep inflammation to a minimum.

Stiff Soles and Rocker Bottoms

A stiff sole will prevent the foot from flexing too much, which helps to reduce muscle and joint movement. This reduces the chance of pain with movement.

A rocker bottom is also a good feature, as it helps to distribute pressure evenly across the foot and reduce foot fatigue as you walk by promoting a natural, smooth gait.

Other Important Features

There are several other features you should look for when shopping for the best shoes for rheumatoid arthritis.

Adjustable fasteners will allow you to open the shoe wide both when putting it on and taking it off, so there’s no need to force your painful foot into the shoe.

Breathable, soft material on the upper will help keep your feet well-ventilated and prevent chafing that could worsen inflammation in the foot.

The upper should also be seamless or have no seams over the foot where it could cause rubbing. A removable insole is necessary if you need a custom orthotic.

Tips When Shopping for Shoes

When shopping for shoes, you should go in the afternoon or evening rather than early in the day. This is because your foot swells slightly throughout the day. You want to try on the shoes when your foot is at its largest.

If you’re between sizes, choose the bigger size of the two. This will give you more space for your toes and lower the chances of chafing.

It would help if you also avoided high heels as they place excessive stress on the forefoot, and flat shoes with no support for the arch or cushioning.

FAQs

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis—RA—is a common type of arthritis and autoimmune disorder. The person’s immune system malfunctions and begins to attack the synovium—the thin lining of the joints.

The joint lining becomes inflamed, which causes it to thicken. This can lead to pain, discomfort, redness, stiffness, and a limited range of movement in the joint.

How Does RA Affect the Feet?

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect multiple joints, but the first symptoms will arise in the ball of the foot or the toes when it impacts the feet.

As the symptoms worsen, you may begin to notice pain in the arch and the heel, and eventually, it will spread to the ankles.

As well as the joints becoming painful, stiff, and immobile, the ligaments supporting the arch may also weaken. This can lead to the arch collapsing, leading to further foot problems.

What Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet?

Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis in the feet will vary depending on the effect the arthritis has on the feet.

Medical professionals may recommend exercise, a specific type of shoe, an orthotic, a brace, medication, or surgery as a last resort.

Medication can help control the inflammation in the synovium, which can reduce the pain and improve the joint’s mobility.

Is Walking Good for Arthritis in the Feet?

Walking is a low-impact exercise that doctors often recommend for people with arthritis, as it helps keep the joints flexible.

Because walking is a weight-bearing exercise, it also reduces the person’s risk of developing osteoporosis.