Shoes for PA in feet and toes

I have had Psoriasis since I was five years old and diagnosed with PA in 2004. The past couple of years, I’m having a real problem finding shoes, other than Rainbow flip flops, that do not contribute to more painful feet. Has anyone found a brand or specific shoe that is good for PA, specifically for the ball and toes?

Hi Trish, definitely try the search facility as this has come up before and I know we had some great responses.

For me the only really comfortable shoes are those with thick, fairly rigid (but cushioned) soles because of the PsA in my MTP's and toes. FitFlops are my favourite, especially now they do everything from slippers to sandals to boots. Some of the Sketchers styles are ok too. I'm not too bad with Birkenstocks so long as I don't have any psoriasis on my feet. I've tried other brands, like Reiker, and not found them so good.

There are, for sure, other brands that people have mentioned in past discussions. Good luck ... you're going to find some great shoes from this post :-).

I have custom orthotics that slip in. That said, when I’m not wearing sneakers or loafers that they fit into, I live in Crocs. I now have sandals even that are the first comfortable sandals that I’ve had in forever.

I live in Crocs too, around the house anyway. I used to love going barefoot but as Crocs are cushioned they're basically the next best thing to that.

Apart from those, I've found that the brands many recommend don't necessarily work for me. I have some Think! boots which shouldn't really work, the sole's not that thick, they're fairly pointed, but they're fine unless I really need to pound the streets. I tend to order shoes online, sometimes the same ones in a couple of sizes, try them out at home and send them back unless they're as near perfect as they can be.

I live in the countryside so walking boots - light-ish ones, roomy, rounded toe, supportive - are just the job. If my feet get any worse I can see myself wearing them more often, in more situations. Oh, and I often take a spare pair of shoes with me wherever I go because pain affects my feet differently on different days so I'm never 100% sure which shoes to wear and like to have different ones in reserve if at all possible.

When I had plantar fasciitis 20+ years ago, my doctor told me to wear good, sturdy athletic shoes 24/7--yes, sleep with shoes on!!! So I did and with that, p.t. and anti-inflammatories, the PF went away. Fast forward to the neuropathy I had a few years ago and ice packs and Nortriptyline "cured" that. Now with the damaged feet from PsA, I wear good athletic shoes and New Balance WW847 shoes, which are very sturdy and the tongue is so soft and cushy it feels good. They definitely look frumpy but all I care about is the comfort!

I'd love to try a pair of crocs--they're cute and I've never had them. I've been wearing flipflops occasionally if I don't plan on doing much walking.

My feet have significant damage, but more in my arches on the tops of them, not so much in my toes, so not sure if my advice will be helpful!

Well Trish, I second everything that everyone else has said. Getting your feet to a podiatrist/chiropodist/orthotist is one of the best things you can do when you have foot issues like ours. Unfortunately, your orthotics will limit your shoe selection, but comfort has to win out, as Grandma says. I'd also like to put a good word in for Crocs. They are the only footwear that I have that I don't put my orthotics into, and although I never wear them for very long, they are what I wear to the pool and when my feet are going to get wet.

Basically, I wear rocker bottom shoes with a deep toe box. Yes, they are ugly. But they work. And I hate them. And such is life. Last year I found a great line of rocker bottoms on sale that fit well with my industrial-strength orthotics, and are rigid enough to support my unstable feet. When they went to about half price, I bough six pairs. Yes, six. At least they are not big, black and ugly.

My foot story is a long one. (OK, I hear everyone thinking "Oh no, please Seenie, please don't start going on about your feet ... we are SO sick of hearing about your feet. ) So no, I'm not going to bore everyone all over again. What I will say is that if your feet are sore, pester and bug and do whatever you need to in order to get your doctors to address the problem. Please don't take "Yes, well we all have sore feet, get orthotics" for an answer. If your pain is caused by PsA inflammation, insist that you try to find treatment that works. PsA damage in feet is very difficult to deal with, and awful to live with. Hips and knees and all kinds of joints can be replaced and repaired. Feet, however, are very difficult to fix once they are broke. Trust me, I know.

I have a couple of blog pieces about my feet that may be of interest: Listen Up, Take Notes [Just Call Me Granny]([](

My feet have been horrible. What has helped is throwing out old shoes and investing in high quality footwear. It's expensive but has made an enormous difference, for my toes and my back. Plus, good shoes last forever and do not have to be hideous.

Brands I like: Dansko (I have the practical clogs, and a pair of dress shoes), Birkenstocks, Chacos, Josef Seibel (strappy sandals), Brooks (for walking/exercise), and I have a pair of Fry's boots.

Aim for a big toe box, and arch support. Try specialty or higher-end shoe stores. The salespeople will have more anatomical and product knowledge than at a big box store (coming from a girl who worked in footwear at a big-box store). I also buy a half-size up for swelling and to avoid rubbing on the sides of my feet.

Good luck and happy shopping!

NBNW22, you have great taste in shoes!

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I like Ecco, sketchers and new balance. I also have off the shelf orthotics for metaratalsgia which help some. I find changing shoes often is they key for comfy feet for me - any pair worn for too long starts to hurt but on my worst days sketchers would usually be good.

I just ordered 3 pairs of B.O.C. clogs/shoes. I have an entire closet full of shoes that I cannot wear. I am a teacher who stands all day on my feet. I can barely stand straight at the end of the day. I own several pairs of Crocs (not the clog ones) which help my back pain, but not the foot pain. I never walk barefoot anymore, I used to never wear shoes.

Hey Teacher! Welcome to our community.
I tried to fix the links in my post above, but obviously I didn’t do a good job. If you’d like to read my blog pieces, you will have to cut and paste the URL in, I think.
Please look after those feet of yours: you need them to do your job. If I were doing it over again, I would have made my feet a treatment priority. As it was, I accepted the casual low-and-slow treatment approach of my first rheumatologist. Hindsight’s always 20/20 isn’t it?
Glad you’ve joined us, even if it’s a shame that you’ve got this fascinating disease too. I’m on another board where someone said “PsA develops character”. I laughed, but I think in a lot of cases it’s true: we’ve got some real characters here! :grin:

Hi I’m new,
Suffering with pa, am on enbrel pens as methatrexate didn’t work, my hands and that are better , but today I was shown my X Ray at hospital to find that I have 2 Spurs? On my heels… I’ve not been given any info on how to deal with this excruciating pain at times. Last yr I found Birkenstocks helped for short periods and they cooled my so so hot feet, can’t wear em in winter… Croc type shoes are quite comfy, what are rocker shoes? And do they help? Thank you x

Hi there Treacle
Here’s a quick explanation.

Thank you, I see that these are American, I’m in uk, are they’re any where in uk I can look at, …your right about them being ugly but comfort outweighs fashion I suppose I did buy sketchers shape ups , a while ago now , these are not the same thing no? I’ve not worn them yet. As I moved and 2 yrs later finally unpacked them, my cortisone jab is wearing off so I know the pain will start up soon .x