JRA.... Journal of a Radical Arthritis Chick

Here I give advice, speak of my experiences and give information to those who want to better understand Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am NOT a medical professional, and you should always seek advice from a doctor.

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Location: MA, United States

Hello everyone! I am 28 years old and was diagnosed with JRA (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis) when I was just 3 years old. I've had my battles with this disease over the years, and have decided to create a blog. I want to share my stories and adivce with other RA chicks, or anyone interested, to raise awareness and get insight from others. Feel free to comment/question me about anything. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The right shoes, for the wrong feet

I've seen many posts and questions about finding the right shoe that is comfortable for our sore ankle joints.  I am curious myself, as I seem to have a hard time finding one that isn't too expensive and has the right support for us.    I've given up wearing sexy heels, and wear flats instead.  It's hard find a shoe that is not only comfortable, but stylish as well.  I've seen some great comfortable shoes, but were made for older women's style.  I'm 25 and still want to look some-what stylish!  Are there any shoes out there like this? After doing some research, I found a few different options.

The first is this great website called The Healthy Feet Store, and they make custom shoes specific for arthritis sufferers.  This quote was taken from their website:

"As the disease progresses rheumatoid arthritis sufferers are likely to be prescribed custom orthodtics. A good rheumatoid arthritis shoe would be an extra depth shoe with removable insoles. Since rheumatoid arthritis is frequently present in the hands as well as the feet an adjustable strap shoe may be preferred to a lace-up style. Another option is to fit a lace-up shoe with a no-tie lacing system. A shoe with a rocker bottom out sole can help reduce stress to the ball of the foot where rheumatoid arthritis pain is often present. Many people with rheumatoid arthritis are drawn to very cushy shoes thinking that will improve their walking comfort. While some cushioning can be present, effective rheumatoid arthritis shoes should prioritize support over cushioning. Proper arch support and progressive shock absorption decrease foot joint strain, thus helping to prevent new damage and subsequent new inflammation. It is also imperative that rheumatoid arthritis shoes provide a roomy fit, especially in the toe box, as pressure points in a shoe's fit can be excruciating for already tender arthritic feet."Their shoes are a little pricey, but they have a very good selection of sneakers, clogs, and some stylish shoes! You can view their site HERE 

Another website I found is FootSmart, which has an entire section where you can "shop by condition".  Not only do they sell shoes, but they sell gloves for our hands, shoe aids, accessories (like socks & slippers) even their own version of Biofreeze, called DynaFreeze!  It has a great selection and vary in all kinds of prices.  I really enjoyed looking through this site, they have so many aides like a hair-dryer holder which I know would help me out! So many times my elbows bother me, and I just don't blow-dry my hair because it's too sore to hold my arms up for so long.  This site is so worth looking through.  Another favorite, which is shown in the photo to the right, are Cool Soles, which "Kick off your shoes and let these temperature sensitive Cool Soles work their cold / hot magic. Use cold therapy to reduce foot pain and swelling, while heat helps improve circulation, and soothe sore muscles and joints. Simply fasten straps to feet and wear in slippers or directly on a flat surface." You can view their site HERE 

A women on RA Chicks suggested Alergria Shoes, she said her doctor and nurse recommended them, and they are well worth the price!  These shoes are very cute, colorful and comfortable! The sole is called "Mild Rocker"  the site describes this as: "Engineered to roll naturally, Alegria Shoes' rocker bottom out sole induces a normal walking motion while naturally toning leg muscles. It also benefits users by promoting a perfect posture, reducing stress on muscles, joints and back, giving you energy all day long."   The inside of the shoe has a perfect fit sole: "Alegria creates comfortable shoes with an anatomically correct patented interlocking foot bed system with arch support loaded with latex, memory foam & cork to yield a "perfect fit" every time by forming to the natural contours of the foot, giving each user their own customized fit. Foot bed is removable and available in medium and wide widths."   They have clogs, boots, professional shoes, and sandals.  Pictured left is a photo of one of their clogs, which is available in many different colors. You can view their site HERE
The last shoe I am going to talk about are Merell Hiking Boots.  I know you're going to say, hiking shoes?! I've know a lot of women and men with RA who rave over these shoes.  They are great, because they have excellent support for the ankles, and are long-lasting.  They have a variety of boots, sneakers and casual shoes.  The sneakers are actually stylish, and come in many colors. Again, they are expensive, but I've heard they are well worth the price.
You can view their website HERE

There are many, many shoes out there to choose from.  Sketchers make cheaper shoes, that I've had luck with in comfort, they just won't last as long as these more expensive shoes.  If you're like me, and can't afford these shoes, buy a comfortable cheaper pair and also look into buying a shoe insert, like Dr. Sholls.  You can also talk to your doctor who can recommend you to a foot doctor and have them make a special-made insert made just for you and your needs.  Your shoe taste is just that, yours and everyone person have different tastes and styles of what they like.  It make take you some time to find the proper shoe, but hopefully some of these site will help keep you on the right track.  The site FootSmart website is great, because it has other aids and tools that can help ease our troubles a bit.  (((pain-free hugs to all)))


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