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shoes or no shoes

  • By rndon94

    Does anyone else have any input or opinions on wearing shoes or no shoes. I feel like when I am at home cleaning house, for instance, for 2-3 hours at a time, if I do not have my good shoes on the whole time, the pain intensifies much worse. Is this common and “normal” to need the support with RA that’s affecting the hands and feet the worse? I am recently diagnosed and waiting appointment with Rheumatologist.

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  • By Erin Rush Moderator

    Hi, mdon94! I think you will get different answers from different community members. I know that many in our community find wearing the right shoes to be very helpful and comfortable. For some members, it is normal to need that extra support while walking or doing chores. You might find this article on shoes (and the brands that work best for each person), interesting — https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/springtime-sandal-shopping/comment-page-1/#comments. If you haven’t checked it out already, you might find it very relatable. You might also like the comments following the article.

    I hope your first appointment with your rheumatologist goes well! I thought you might also like this article about what to expect at your first rheumatologist appointment — https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/what-to-expect-at-your-first-rheumatologist-appointment/.

    Thank you for reaching out to the community. We’re glad you found us! Best, Erin, RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member.

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  • By Richard Faust Moderator

    Hi mdon94,sorry to hear that your having some feet difficulty. I have a little bit of experience with this through my wife, Kelly Mack, who has RA and is a site contributor. Kelly has special inserts in her shoes to help with her balance. You may want to speak with a podiatrist to see if they can help. Here is an article on dealing with shoes and RA.

    Best of luck and keep us posted. Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

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  • By Michael Booth Moderator

    Hi mdon94, I just wanted to chime in here as well.

    In my personal experience I like to have a pair of sandals, a pair of very minimal and breathable shoes, and a pair of really supportive shoes with orthotic inserts. I don’t know if there is any rhyme or reason to it, but what shoe is most comfortable changes by the day it seems. I too find that being barefoot around the house can cause my foot pain to intensify. But so can shoes that are too tight.

    Best of luck and I hope your appointment with the Rheumatologist goes well. Please stop by the site and Facebook page if you need any support or have more questions.

    Best wishes— Michael (RheumatoidArthritis.net team member)

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  • By Whit

    My first symptoms were sore feet. I had bummed around in flip flops all summer and assumed that was the problem. I started wearing my New Balances and socks and the symptoms mostly subsided, but I had a family Dr appontment anyway so I told him about it and he ordered some blood work. Then I went on vacation and got a call telling me my RA factor was thru the roof. That started my journey into this.
    I recently bought some good fitting inserts from a running shoe shop and they seem to help quite a bit.
    So get thee to a sports shoe store and get some good stable walkers with well fitted inserts.

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  • By malmooge

    Hi Mdon94, like many others with RA…the symptoms started out with my feet as well. In the 1st year I had varying difficulties with my feet and ankles that required a complete overhaul of my shoe game. In addition to that, I started trying different toe spacers and I came to try Correct Toes Toe Spacers. Gradually transitioning to the spacers and a slow transition to shoes that will fit them (WIDE TOE BOX SHOES) has slowly started to improve the status of my feet. I am now able to walk barefoot for a longer period of time around the house. In general, I am able to stand on my feet for about 15-20 minute at a time before needing to sit down. I think the progress is due to the spacers, meds, and gradual diet changes. This was NOT the case before.

    Overall: if you need/want professional advice- definitely seek out a specialist and speak with your rheumatologist as well! Comfort levels and needs always shifting with RA, so its important to track symptoms and address things that are really impacting your daily living!

    be well and take care!

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  • By Olfalatumas

    Interesting posts here. I am barefoot most of the time, at least in the house. When I go out to garden I wear good flip flops with arch supports and when I am out in public I either wear Birkenstocks or a high end running shoe for support. I have very little pain in my feet as long as I am on them. It is when I sit for over 30 minutes or lie in bed is when I experience, often excruciating, pain.

    I often have to get up in the middle of the night and just walk around a bit until the pain subsides.

    Does anyone else experience the same… No/little pain as long as you are moving, but once you stop it is hard to get going again? This also beginning to happen with my knees as well. So much to look forward to, but we soldier on.

    Glad to find this community as I am a newly diagnosed RA sufferer and find that most folks just don’t get the complexity of the disease. Even my wife, who loves me dearly, often seems to shine me on.

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  • By pchoate@tampabay.rr.com

    Greetings! 1st, sorry for your recent RA diagnosis but, this community will be a great source of information and very helpful. Living in FL, flip flops are about all I wear….or sandals. My problem with my feet are when I walk barefoot, I feel as though I have a golf ball in the balls of my feet. I don’t feel the ‘balls’ when I wear even my flops or any other shoe. I’m also a hiker, and do wear a good walking/hiking shoe at those times. And Olfalatumas, I feel EXACTLY the same! if I keep moving everything feels better. If I sit just for an hr lunch break…it’s very difficult to get moving again….with….or without shoes. I’ve been diagnosed 6 yrs and am currently taking a break from any treatment. Good luck and check back after your first Rheumatology appt! Pauline

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