Tips on good footwear

The following tips on good footwear may prevent toe, foot, or ankle problems or injuries.

  • Roomy footwear has a wide toe box with more room for your toes and the ball of your foot. You should be able to wiggle your toes in your shoes.
  • High-heeled, narrow, and pointed-toe shoes should be avoided. High-heeled shoes increase pressure on the front of the foot. If you cannot avoid wearing pumps or high-heeled shoes, look for a pair that gives your toes more room.
    • Choose shoes with heels that are no more than 2 in. (5.1 cm) high.
    • Alternate these shoes with flat, roomy shoes to give your toes a chance to move freely.
  • Shoes made of materials that "give" or stretch will be the most comfortable for your toes and feet.
  • Shoes that do not have seams will prevent rubbing or irritation of the skin.
  • Laced shoes that have a wide, roomy toe box will give your toes plenty of room to spread out. Athletic shoes are a good choice. High-top laced shoes may give foot and ankle support.
  • Sandals, soft leather flat shoes, slippers, or inexpensive cloth shoes are good choices for at-home wear. If you have an enlarged toe joint, cut a hole in the cloth shoes.
  • Foot size may vary half a size from the morning to the evening or after a day at work, so purchase shoes at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen.

Last Updated: October 27, 2008

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