Almost everyone knows how uncomfortable it is to wear shoes that don’t fit properly. And many of us are guilty of trading comfort and function for style from time to time. But if you have gout in your feet, you probably understand how critical it is to wear the best shoes for gout.
Gout is a painful type of inflammatory arthritis that is caused by the build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints.1 Adults with gout can suffer from attacks (also called flares), which include sudden episodes of pain, redness, swelling and/or extreme tenderness in one or more joints.2 Although gout can affect the joints in the elbows, wrists, fingers, knees and ankles, it often appears first in the feet, especially the big toe.2
Preventing flares with medication
If you have gout, you may take a uric-acid lowering therapy (ULT) such as allopurinol, Uloric (febuxostat), Zurampic® (lesinurad), Krystexxa® (pegloticase) or Duzallo® (lesurinad and allopurinol).3–7 You might also take Mitigare® (colchicine) 0.6 mg capsules to help prevent gout flares.8 The safety and effectiveness of Mitigare for acute treatment of gout flares during prophylaxis has not been studied. Mitigare is not an analgesic medication and should not be used to treat pain from other causes. The most commonly reported adverse reactions with colchicine are gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Talk to your doctor about the gout flare prevention strategy that may be right for you.
While ULTs have been shown to reduce uric acid and Mitigare® (colchicine) 0.6 mg capsules have been proven to help prevent gout flares in adults3–8, recent studies show that wearing the right kind of footwear may make a difference for people with gout as well9–11.
Why footwear matters
If you are living with gout, you may have had at least one gout flare in your feet. Keith Rome, PhD, professor of podiatry at Auckland (New Zealand) University of Technology (AUT), claims that wearing the proper shoes may help people with gout reduce the amount of pain, impairment and disability they experience as a result of the disease.9
Dr. Rome led the very first study to determine whether wearing the proper footwear could reduce foot pain and impairment in people with gout.9 He and his group observed that shoes with adequate motion control (i.e., the ability of a shoe to hold the foot in place), cushioning and stability may be helpful in reducing foot pain and disability in people with gout.9
Another study of gout patients with moderate to severe foot pain, impairment and disability was published about a year later by Sarah Stewart, PhD, also of AUT.10 This study found that wearing the proper shoes for gout can promote a more efficient stride and thus may help reduce foot pain and foot-related problems.10
Best shoes for gout
Based on this research, the best type of footwear for people with gout is a sturdy shoe that offers appropriate support, motion control and cushioning.9,11 Examples include:
- Athletic or running shoes
- Walking shoes
- Orthopedic shoes
Worst shoes for gout
Adults who experience gout flares should avoid flimsy footwear that lacks support and adequate cushioning, including9,11:
- High heels
- Lightweight plastic clogs
Test Your Gout Knowledge
How much do you know about gout? Take this interesting and informative gout quiz to find out.
Talk with your doctor
According to Dr. Rome, footwear should be considered part of the management plan for people with gout.9 If you have questions about the best shoes for gout, talk with your doctor. Your doctor can make the best recommendation based on your individual case.
All trademarks and registered trademarks mentioned in this article are the property of their respective owners.
NOTE: This article was not written by a medical professional and is not intended to substitute for the guidance of a physician. These are not Hikma’s recommendations for gout flare prevention, but rather facts and data collected from various reliable medical sources. For a full list of resources and their attributing links, see below.