The Best Running Shoes for Arthritis

Man skipping on pebble beach, low angle view
Arthirits need not slow a runner down. (Image: Nick White/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Arthritis is a painful and debilitating medical condition that can affect the joints in almost any part of your body, including your feet. If you enjoy jogging or running, arthritis can keep you sidelined because of pain and discomfort. However, knowing what to look for in a running shoe can help you stay active in the sport you enjoy. Speak to your doctor for more information on the right shoe for your condition.

Wide Toes

Look for a shoe with a wide toe box if you are hoping to run despite your arthritic condition. Shoes with a wide toe box allow adequate space for any swelling that may occur. Having this extra room in your shoe will help limit toe rubbing during athletic movement. Narrow shoes can cause your swollen toe joints to press on the sides of the shoe, which can cause blisters. Companies like New Balance and Saucony offer shoes with a variety of different widths to accommodate your condition.

Padded Heels

Look for a shoe with support and padding in its heel. Your heels act as shock absorbers during each stride, especially when running on cement. If your foot is swollen due to arthritis, this natural shock absorption can be compromised and become painful during athletic movement. Shoes with added padding in the heel can help offset this discomfort, allowing you to run longer.

Custom Fitting

Have your shoes professionally fitted. Ankle, toe, and internal foot joints can become inflamed due to arthritis, leading to an unnatural movement in the foot that can be amplified in a loose-fitting running shoe. Your medical doctor or personal trainer can help fit your foot to a well-padded running shoe that will not lose its shape and promote proper joint movement.

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