Shoes for feet that are old overnight thanks to Rheumatoid Arthritis?
For years, my feet were a big part of my Palindromic Rheumatism or (palindromic Rheumatoid Arthritis). I’d wake up some mornings and it would feel like I’d walked on those feet all day. It was always like I was finishing a marathon that had never started.
The Rheumatoid Arthritis became full-blown feet first. The joints at the base of my toes swelled so that the toes themselves pointed in odd directions. Overnight, there were bunion-looking deformities on all four of the outside toes. The older ladies at church said, “Well, welcome to the club.”
The quest for Rheumatoid Arthritis shoes
As I described in my onset story, the first day it was only one foot, so I limped. When the other foot joined in, I crawled. It didn’t matter if no shoes fit – I could not walk. There was something like rocks inside of my skin at the base of each toe.
Nothing relieved the pain, but the podiatrist made splints to try to straighten the toes and prescribed a certain shoe. Eventually, I drove the hour to the city to pick up the shoes. I went into the store in some worn out running shoes with the laces removed, over top of the splints.
At the shoe store, I gave the boy the doctor’s recommendation. I tried to put on several shoes, but it was too painful to stand. He looked at me as if I had four heads on my shoulders instead of four kids wandering around his store – and a baby in a stroller. I left empty-handed, tearful, practically crawling to the car.
A couple of weeks later, the feet weren’t as swollen, so I bought the shoes the doctor requested – only in a men’s size so that it would be roomier and touch my foot less. I’ve decided that the best shoe for me now that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis feet is whatever shoe is not touching my feet.
What kind of shoes work for Rheumatoid Arthritis feet?
I got lots of shoe advice and questions when I had to buy shoes this fall (pictured) so that I could dress like an adult and get on an airplane. Usually, I work at home in Florida. So, I don’t even have to wear socks. And I have these very stretched out super-cushy Bare Traps for ball games and the rare grocery story trips. But I keep trying to replace those since they’re loose enough now that they cause me to fall.
There is not huge foot swelling nowadays because of the treatments I take for RA. But my feet continue to change and they always hurt. Finding shoes has become the proverbial search for the Holy Grail.
Photos: Stacks of shoe boxes in the closet have shrunk, but I keep many, hoping eventually a treatment that works for me will let me wear them again. Pictured are the shoes I managed to put on for the ACR trip.