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Peripheral neuropathy in feet can make your favorite pair of shoes into an absolute no-go. Changing your footwear is a good step for some much needed relief. Here are some of the most cushioned shoes for neuropathy to help you get some relief in nerve damaged feet.
While some forms of neuropathy can impact motor nerves and change our ability to move and balance, others affect our sensory nerves causing symptoms like pain, numbness, tingling, and odd sensations. Both types of nerve damage can make day-to-day life more challenging, to say the least.
The most commonly-seen types of peripheral nerve damage tend to involve a combination of sensory (feeling) and motor (movement) symptoms, at the same time. Damage to these nerves usually starts farther away from the center of your body, where the central parts of your nerves live. The farther out your nerve endings extend, the harder they are to reach with nutrients and healing compounds — meaning the nerves in feet are usually the first ones to degenerate.
As a result, painful foot problems are among the earliest indicators of peripheral neuropathy, sometimes causing your feet to become extra sensitive to what would otherwise be considered normal stimulation.
This can even apply to something as simple as wearing a pair of shoes or socks. Depending on the type of nerve damage you’re experiencing, and its severity, your normal go-to shoes just might not be an option anymore. Understandably enough, this can make finding comfortable footwear an especially persistent problem.
Here are some of the top shoe brands designed for problem feet.
Great for Affordable Comfort
There’s a good reason Skechers has grown to become one of the top 10 largest shoe manufacturers in the world. Actually, two good reasons. Comfort and value.
Not only do they sell highly comfortable footwear that are affordable, but they have a wide variety of selections ranging from casual to performance for everyone — men, women, and kids.
What makes Skechers stand out in comfort? Memory foam. Originally developed by NASA, memory foam is a material that is sensitive to pressure and temperature. This allows it to mold to shape your foot. The comfort factor is often described in reviews as “it’s like wearing slippers” or “it’s like walking on a pillow.”
While memory foam isn’t for everyone, especially those needing a lot of support and stability in a shoe, it’s excellent for those with sensitive feet who are looking for cushion. Think of Skechers as slippers you can wear around town. But not to be worn for long distances because they lack the arch support needed to prevent joint issues with prolonged walking.
Adding to the comfort of several Skechers lines is their stretchy uppers that make getting sensitive feet into the shoe easier. Many of their designs even include a pull tab in the back to help you glide your feet right in. Additionally, those stretchy uppers eliminate pressure points for all day long comfort.
When it comes to selection of comfort shoes at an affordable price, Skechers dominates the market.
What Reviewers Say
“The cushion in the sole surpasses any other shoe I have ever owned and now makes everything else feel uncomfortable.” — Tom W.
“These (Go Walk) are the most fabulously comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. I’ve been wearing tennis-style type shoes 90% of time for decades now because of need for comfort. I can walk miles in these (4 or 5 anyway) or stand for a longer time in them than anything else I’ve ever found.” — Carol C.
Excellent Choice for Comfort and Performance
When both comfort and performance are equally important, HOKA has made a name for themselves.
In addition to offering outstanding cushioning, the brand is loved for their signature Meta-Rocker technology. Built into the sole, this feature is designed to create a rocking chair-like effect to support your stride with smooth, efficient transitions that take less effort.
Many of their shoe styles are so comfortable, in fact, they’ve earned the American Podiatric Medical Association’s Seal of Acceptance for promoting good foot health.
Balance issues? Check out the HOKA Gaviota stability shoe featuring their supportive J-frame system.
If cushion is your priority, HOKA Bondi is the one, packing an enormous amount of foam underfoot for an unrivaled softness. The cushy feel continues throughout the shoe with a padded tongue that helps reduce the pressure of laces across the top of your foot. And HOKA even gave it a padded heel collar for step-in comfort that conforms to the shape of our heel and distributes pressure evenly.
HOKA is an excellent choice for comfort and performance that’s also durable enough for high usage.
What Reviewers Say
“I am floored by how comfy and stable these shoes are. You feel like you’re walking on marshmallows as far as the plushness is concerned, but you are not wobbly, you are completely stable and balanced!” — footwearnews.com
“My orthopedic surgeon suggested Brooks and Hoka. I like Brooks but Hoka gave me a better comfort and stability.” — Gwen R.
“As a surgeon, I am constantly on my feet, standing and walking. I find that the HOKA Bondi provides excellent support and stability. Accordingly, I have happily recommended them to friends and colleagues.” — Stephen Barnett, M.D.
Recommended by Physicians for Problem Feet
Founded by a podiatrist, Vionic’s main focus is on foot health and comfort. Their experts created Vio-Motion Support, which means each shoe has biomechanical technology built into the insole that hugs your arch and supports your foot, providing relief from factitious, heel, knee or back pain.
Vionic specializes in technology that relieves pain caused by foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, the name for a condition that develops when the plantar fascia tissue becomes inflamed. Generally common in people with flat (or over-pronated) feet that roll inward, causing the plantar fascia to become excessively stretched and micro‑tearing, which then causes swelling and pain.
Vionic even received a stamp of approval by the American Podiatric Medical Association for their technology using stability, arch support, and cushioning to reduce foot injuries and pain.
What Reviewers Say
“I love my Tide II sandals! I have plantar fasciitis, so I wear them from the time I wake up until I go to bed. I even brought them with me to Disney World, and after wearing sneakers for a few days I switched to these sandals instead. My feet were so relieved. The arch support hits just the right spot and they last a long time too. Worth every cent!” — Amy on Vionic.com
“I’ve had these shoes for a few weeks now, and have already ordered them in another color. They are SOOOO comfortable! I’ve walked on the insides of my feet for most of my life, but the Vionic support is really helping me to walk straight again, which is helping to ease the stress from my back, hips and knees. They are a lifesaver! They didn’t take any getting used to either. The perfect shoe!” — Evette on Vionic.com
Where to Buy? We Like Zappos.
Let’s face it, when you have problem feet, shoe shopping can be a challenging. You may need to order several styles and take them for a spin around the house. Test out how they feet after a little time. That’s why we like shopping for shoes on Zappos. They have a full 1-year return policy and free shipping both ways. Unlike Amazon with just a 30-day return, you get more than ample time to make the best choice of shoes for foot pain. Not only that, but Zappos carries a much larger selection than anywhere else to find the best possible shoe for your needs.
Depending on the severity of your foot symptoms, your old shoe brands and styles simply might not be an option anymore. Peripheral neuropathy can require that you make some extensive accommodations in your life, and footwear is certainly one of them.
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