Best Shoes for Neuropathy 2019 Reviewed & Rated
Do you live with constant foot pain? Do you live with even a little pain? Do you have numbness in your feet? Tingling? Shooting pains? Neuropathy can be hard to live with, but it can be lived with. The right pair of shoes can relieve that pain, and we can help you find them.
Neuropathy stems from nerve damage in your feet (it is also common in your hands too). It can be caused by an injury, but it can also be caused by the degradation of the nerves in your foot (often caused by wearing the wrong type of shoe). It is often signaled by pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, burning, and more. Choosing the best shoes for neuropathy can alleviate these symptoms. The right pair of shoes can stop these symptoms before they even begin to appear.
It does not matter if you have lived with neuropathy for years, are only just developing it, or are worried about developing it, the shoes are where you need to start. Millions of people, around the world, suffer from neuropathy, but you need not to suffer if you make the right decisions when it comes to your shoes.
Changing your footwear will be the best decision you ever made. It might take you a while to find the right pair of shoes, but by using our guide, your decision will be a whole lot easier.
Last update on 2019-08-20 PST – Details
Best Men’s Shoes for Neuropathy
Last update on 2019-08-20 PST – Details
How Important is Comfort
A big part of the comfort of shoes comes from the material they are made from. We have often found that if you can find softer materials which are also flexible, then the shoe is not going to rub against or constrict the foot. So, what are the best materials to choose from?
The leather is always a good choice, but choose soft leather over patent leather. Patent leather will often have a coating which will prevent it from flexing. It will be a protective and supportive shell, but it will start to irritate your feet after time. Soft leather is perfect. It gives you enough support for your feet while remaining soft to minimize the irritation from rubbing, and flexible enough to conform to your feet instead of constricting them.
Other materials which will flex with your feet, provide a soft cushion, and also help them to breathe are canvas, fabric, and mesh. This is only a broad guide to the materials we recommend. You may only learn through trial and error which materials work best for you. Stay away from rigid materials. Look for those which are soft, supple, and breathable.
While we are on the subject of the best materials, let’s talk a little about why breathability is a must-have feature for your shoes. You may have suffered from neuropathy for many years, and your feet seem to cycle through the numbness, pain, tingling, and burning. They are all annoying in their own little ways. It always the burning sensation which affects people the most, especially during the warmer months. That’s why when you set out to buy a pair of shoes, breathability should be at the top of your list.
If you find that you are suffering from a burning sensation a lot, then you know that if your foot is hot and sweaty, the sensation is only worsened. The material plays a big part in how breathable the shoe is. I like to look for leather shoes for dressy occasions and mesh shoes for casual times. The shoes with large mesh uppers are the best in my opinion. They keep my feet cool no matter what the temperature is. The air can flow, my feet stay cool, and they are a lot less sweaty.
If you want to go all the way, then you can also choose a shoe based on the style. Sandals and flip flops have never been comfortable, in my opinion, and I have always found that the discomfort the style provides negates any of the cooling that they bring. Mesh is the way I go, but I have also found some success with open upper shoes. New technology is also seeing cooling gel pads added to shoes, and while I have not yet tried these, I hear great things about them.
If you need a shoe without mesh (perhaps for a dressier occasion or in a wetter climate where you need waterproofing), then look for shoes with technology which helps the air to flow around the shoe and your foot. Some shoes come with perforations in the sides to promote the flow of air. There are also some shoes which wick the moisture (sweat) away from your foot before there is time for blisters to form and make your problem a whole lot worse.
If you do not have enough room for your toes, then your pain is not going to go away. Your toes need space to move and spread as you walk. Having a wider, and a more spacious toe box is a must-have feature for anyone suffering from neuropathy. Firstly, it allows the toes to spread when the foot is placed on the ground. This means that the pressure on the foot is distributed more evenly with each step, and the impact is lessened. This is only good news for people like us.
Secondly, the pressure is taken off of the toes. If the toes are crammed into a toe box, then the pain and tingling are only going to be worsened. If you have any nerve damage in your toes or the area around your toes, you want to leave your toes as free as possible. More room means that they do not rub up against the side of the shoe or against each other. Not only do you irritate the nerves less, but you also leave yourself with less chance of developing blisters and sores. Keeping your toes in check will not only keep them pain-free but will go a long way toward keeping rest of your foot pain-free.
Cushioning is a must for relieving or removing foot pain. One of the most important parts of the shoe to cushion is the insole. If your foot is cushioned when you are standing, walking, or running, there is not going to be as much impact on your foot and this is going to lead to less pain. The only thing you need to know before you look at the cushioning is your arches. Higher arches will need more cushioning in the arch area, while flatter feet will need a more uniform cushioning across the entire foot. There is no point in getting a lot of cushioning when you do not need it.
Once you have found a comfortable shoe, one where your toes have enough room, the material is breathable, and your skin is not irritated, the cushioning is next on your list, and could take the pain away completely. A lot of pain in your foot comes from the impact of your foot hitting the ground. A well-cushioned insole will remove this impact and remove the pain.
With insole cushioning, more is not necessarily better. You do not want to just look for shoes with more cushioning; you want to look for shoes with better cushioning. You want shock absorption. I like to buy shoes which have memory gel inside of them. I find, that for me this takes away the impact when I step on the hard ground. You should also look for shoes which have memory foam or air pockets.
The cushioning should be across the entirety of the foot. If part of the foot is cushioned, but another is not, then you are still going to feel the shock and impact when your foot hits the ground. Even distribution of your weight over your entire foot and even cushioning will ensure that your pain is lessened.
The same goes for the midsole. You should look for a midsole with some shock-absorbing qualities. Look for some memory foam or air pockets. If you can combine a shock-absorbing insole with a shock-absorbing midsole, then you are going to have well-cushioned feet.
The insole and midsole will take the brunt of the impact which comes through the outsole, and will cushion the shock so that your foot does not get hit by it, but you should still be looking for an outsole which will absorb some of the shocks before it begins to run through the shoe. The less shock and impact which gets to your foot, the better. Look for a material which has some spring to it, such as rubber. The outsole of the shoe should also have some flexibility to it. You do not want a rigid outsole, or it is not going to flex with your foot. You also do not want a super-flexible outsole, such as a fabric outsole, or it is not going to support your foot at all.
The other thing to look for in the outsole is the tread. It is easy to absorb the shock from underneath a shoe, but what about from the side? If a shoe does not have good traction, then there is the chance of slipping. This can worsen the pain in two ways. If you slip slightly, then your foot can be pushed against the side of your shoe. This usually happens quickly, leading to a sharp contact with the side and a jolt of pain.
A slip can also mean that you collide with something. If your foot does collide with another object, the sides of the shoe are not going to offer you a lot of protection. Look for an outsole which offers good support, some flexibility, cushioning, and great grip.
Will My Pain Ever Go Away?
Wearing the right shoes will take a lot of it away as you are walking around, but the truth is that your pain will never be cured. There are many things which you can do to alleviate the pain, such as a better diet and exercise, but there is no real cure. The only thing you can do is to manage the pain. You may need to take pain medication to manage the intensity of the pain, but I would recommend starting with the right shoes and working from there.
Your pain will stay with you for life, but that does not mean that it will get worse, or even stay the same. By making simple lifestyle choices, mainly changing my shoes, I have found that the pain has lessened over the years and become more manageable.
Neuropathy is something which you have to accept, but if managed correctly, you will find that you can live your life with almost no pain at all. I have found that over the years, my pain has almost disappeared, and this is down to many small changes.
I have changed my diet, exercise more, rest when I need it, and occasionally take some pain medication, but the biggest change has come from my footwear. By wearing the correct shoes, my feet feel more comfortable, and I can live a life without much pain at all.
It does not take much to find the correct pair of shoes. There are millions of pairs of shoes out there waiting to be chosen. The hard part is narrowing it down to the pair which best suits you. Take the time to look for the right material, cushioning, and structure, and you will never look back.
My top tip is to find shoes with the features described and then choose the shoes which showcase you. Just because you are buying shoes to alleviate your pain, that does not mean that you should not look stylish too.