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Walking or hiking shoes for arthritis

As years of hiking, my feet are starting to rebel. Does anyone have any recommendations for hiking (and or walking shoes) for arthritic feet? I'm hoping to find shoes that don't look like shoes for arthritis.

Posted by
1247 posts

I’ve had 3 neuroma surgeries and need another plus a broken foot and arthritis in my toes which do not like seams over my toes. I have had good luck with ryka sports shoes and Alegria shoes, walking close to 10 miles per day in Italy last year. I would not call these hiking shoes but rather walking shoes. Both are designed for women with wide toe box and narrower heels.
Also, talk to your podiatrist about arch support and insoles. I changed the insole to one with more arch support in the Ryka but the Alegria was good as is.

Posted by
8234 posts

I think you are just going to have to try a bunch and see what feels good on your feet. Since you are in Miami you should have a good choice of shoe stores. I live in the back of beyond and the stores within 50 miles don't even carry above a Women's 10 so I am out of luck. I order from Zappos - free shipping and free returns. I'll order 2 different sizes if it's not a brand I'm familiar with.

I have awful feet - several bouts of Plantar fasciitis, probably some arthritis, in general I need comfortable shoes and then, like Horsewoofie, I can go 10 miles in Europe, lol!! I've settled on Altra Zero Drop shoes as being very comfortable for my feet. They are foot shaped to have a wide toe box and forefoot. I wear toe splints called Correct Toes to strengthen my feet and have added Pedag metatarsal pads because I was having some pain at the base of my toes and these have corrected that. I usually wear the style called Lone Peak which are trail runners although my running days are so far in the distant past that I can barely remember them, lol. They have good traction which for me is essential on cobblestones.

Good luck on your search! At least you'll have a bunch of brands to consider!

Posted by
6332 posts

If you're a woman, some of the Ryka brand shoes may work. They have a wider toe box and some have a great arch support. I have arthritis in one foot and I've used several of their styles. For me pretty much any shoe with a sturdy sole and a wider toe box work well. If they don't have a good arch I have arch support inserts that work wonders. Have you worked with a podiatrist to see if you need custom inserts? They can be expensive but no more than trying several different shoes and finding out none of them work for you - that gets expensive too.

Posted by
1348 posts

Have you tried Hokas, MBT, or Viktor? I have also found some very supportive styles from Earth. Best is a store with a good return policy, which allows you to actually wear the shoes outside, and return for reduced refund if it's not a good match. [I've been thru this challenge, as I had toe surgery in May, with a December xmas trip in the plans. ] I believe REI has that policy, and also Nordstroms, who does carry some comfort shoes.
I gave up on getting waterproof shoes, as they seemed less forgiving, and just used waterproof spray on the comfy shoes that I did find- it worked!
Good luck!

Posted by
182 posts

Currently the only shoes I can wear are Altra brand and for me the best is the Escalante. I put my prescription orthotics in the shoe with no problems. Other brands such as Merrill, and some of the other ones mentioned in the thread I used to be able to to wear I can no longer wear.

Posted by
6332 posts

I put my prescription orthotics in the shoe with no problems.

And that's the key for anyone with real foot problems. Get thee to a foot doctor and get prescription inserts made for your feet. The price is little enough to pay for pain free walking.

Posted by
2798 posts

Some great suggestions up thread. That said, you might consider consulting a savvy Podiatrist or Orthopedist for shoe recommendations if needed. I recall a recent thread that a contributor reported a solution from her Podiatrist. I do a lot of walking and some hiking but fortunately no issues so far! My husband has some foot issues and got shoe recommendations from his Podiatrist. His latest shoe of choice is ECCO 7's. He adds extra padding. I wear the same with good results. We usually walk 5-15 miles when traveling. Hope you find resolution.

Posted by
555 posts

For walking shoes, I like Naot and Arcopedico. They have lots of different shoe models to choose from. Super comfy AND stylish!

For hiking, I second the idea of going to REI and any local sports supply store. You may have to try on shoes there several times to find a good pair. Go during the later part of the day, when you feet have enlarged a bit. Bring hiking socks with you. REI may not have the best selection, and thus visiting a local shop is a good alternative.

Posted by
10 posts

Thaks for all the awsome replies. Something else i am thinking is rather than getting women's hiking boots, possibly male's. (I think the men's sizes tend to be a little wider)

Posted by
272 posts

WW...As much as I like to support physical stores in our area, I usually turn to Zappos if I am looking for a shoe to fit a specific need. Shipping is free both ways; very easy to return a pair of shoes. You can "shop" by brand, style, and width. My feet are quirky; no specific problems at the moment, but a couple of years ago I had problems with my Achilles tendon, and now wear insoles in my shoes.
Last year, I wanted waterproof shoes I could wear in Ireland, as well as the streets of Paris (not necessarily fashionable, but I didn't want shoes that looked too clunky). I must have "bought and returned" at least 6 pairs of shoes, but in the end, I found a pair that served me well on our trip.

Posted by
5654 posts

While I have other medical issues, RA is not one of them. Curious about what RA issues affecting shoe selection, I found this NIH article:

Arthritis, Foot Pain & Shoe Wear: Current Musculoskeletal Research on


Biomechanical evidence indicates that foot orthotics and specialized
footwear may change muscle activation and gait patterns to reduce
joint loading. Emerging evidence suggests that orthotics, specific
shoe types and footwear interventions may provide an effective
non-surgical intervention in rheumatic diseases.
Yet good data are
sparse, and it is premature to recommend guidelines. As there are a
limited number of studies that underpin the foot’s role in arthritis
etiology and progression, clinical trials and prospective studies are
of utmost importance to unravel the links between foot pain, foot
conditions and interventions that lessen the impact of rheumatic

Keywords: arthritis, pain, feet, osteoarthritis, orthotics, footwear,
shoes, shoe modifications

Posted by
8234 posts

That may work but they’ll be wider in the heel as well. Try they to see if your foot slips. Altra has a page on alternate lacing methods that might help if you are slipping a little but not a lot.

Posted by
2 posts

Having planar fascitis and bone spurs, have found the Ryka Dominion style the best for lots of walking. They come in wide, leaving plenty of room for toes, and have lots of padding for comfort. Been using these for years, and they don't sell them in stores where I live anymore (used to buy in Lady Footlock/hawaii) but knowing size I can order online. Highly recommend these shoes.

Posted by
358 posts

I absolutely swear by Lowa's for hiking! I have been wearing the Renegades for over 20 years. I have a few other styles, including low ones, and they are all so comfy for me. They are not cheap, but are very durable.

Posted by
1 posts

In general, provided they are happy with them, I would recommend that people stick with the shoes they wear now for extended walking. But if you haven't found your ideal walking shoes, I suggest that you check out Brooks shoes.

Top end New Balance shoes used to be my go-to walking shoes but the quality and consistency dropped considerably in recent years. I discovered Brooks and will never go back. I've been wearing their Addiction style walking shoes for several years now and regard them as the best walking shoes I've ever worn. They also come in narrow and wide (up to EEEE, I believe) sizes for men and women (yes, for women!). They're a godsend for people with narrower or wider than "normal" feet. They are very well cushioned and supportive (a rare combination) and I think they'd be ideal for someone with arthritic feet. I know they work well for people suffering from plantar fasciitis.