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Funky Feet

Funky Feet

My feet are strange and unusual. Perhaps I should call them unique. They are abnormally small, which I attribute to my rheumatoid arthritis constricting their natural growth trajectory. Additionally, many of my toes have dislocated joints and so several curl over each other or bend in contortionist ambitions. I like to think that I always have my toes crossed for luck!

My husband teases me sometimes because despite the fact that I have some foot neuropathy (or lack of nerve feeling), my toes can act as my Achilles heel. I can be jumpy when I stub my toe or wrong them in some way. The rest of me may act all tough, but don’t dare harm my toes!

I can’t remember when my foot deformities began, but I started wearing leg splints at night and a walking leg brace at a young age. Since I was a teenager I have been wearing custom orthotics in my shoes to prop up my sagging arches and encourage the best position for my feet. When I stand, they tend to turn as if seeking an angle on which to best prop me up.

Periodically orthopedic surgeons have tried to coax me into having my toes broken and reset or other procedures on my feet. But I have to admit I am extremely reluctant. My feet are far from perfect or model-beautiful, but they definitely work and I feel there is no guarantee that surgery will improve their functionality.

I sometimes wonder what other people would think of my feet, if they weren’t constantly hidden in supportive shoes. Would people recoil at the swollen, curving joints? Thankfully, my feet do not give me much pain. While my feet are not pretty, they do hold me up and support the walking I need to do.

I like to think of my feet as funky. Not in the stinky way! But in that they can jam and dance within their own groove. My toes may be twisted, my arches flat, my bones swollen and hot—but my feet can still get down!

It helps me to see a podiatrist every few months for regular foot checkups and maintenance. And my loving hubby periodically gives me a foot soak and rub to help soothe them against aches or cold. But it’s funny to consider that despite how terrible my feet may look against ‘normal’ feet, they give me some of the least trouble compared to my other joints.

Maybe it is because I don’t expect a lot from my feet—some standing and limited steps per day. But I have more complaints about my arms and shoulders. I want them to do more and feel less discomfort. With my feet, I am fine with just getting by.

In a meaningful way, I like having original feet. No one else can replicate them! My footprint is original and fairly unchanging, with my bones frozen into place by rheumatoid arthritis. They have a sort of reliable constancy for both being strange and yet the same for many years.

Like with my other RA joints, the long term game is maintenance—trying to keep my feet as healthy and capable for as long as possible. I don’t ask a lot of them, but I do want them to stick around and do their funky dance for many years to come. My feet have already traveled to funky town and I am just hanging on for the ride.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RheumatoidArthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Indigo2
    8 months ago

    I have found that shoes with a 1 inch to 1.5 inch heel (podiatrist recommends at least a inch, no flats) and that are closed toe, made of natural leather (gives) and are classic, like Mary Janes or pumps work well for my feet.
    Also, I like the tie up athletic shoes for casual. Low ankle boots that have a zipper work well.
    I need shoes with great arch support, try on the shoes always & walk around.
    Happy Feet!

  • Kelly Mack moderator author
    7 months ago

    Well done Indigo2! Glad you found shoes that help you have happy feet. 🙂 Best, Kelly (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • sharoncookie57
    2 years ago

    Where do you find good shoes that don’t hurt and look somewhat nice?

  • Mary Sophia Hawks moderator
    7 months ago

    Sharon,
    I like Alegria shoes. You can find them online. They have a replaceable foot bed made of memory foam, latex and cork which molds to your foot. And they are really cute! I try to order them when they are on sale.
    MS

  • Lauren Tucker moderator
    2 years ago

    Sharoncookie57,
    Great question. While I hope others can offer you some support, may I suggest you look at any online retailer, I thought this article would be helpful in finding those name brands to look for online. https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/do-you-have-a-favorite-pair-of-shoes/
    I hope this is helpful. Thanks for being part of our community.
    Best, Lauren (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

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