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Living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Ugh, feet

I just survived the worst inflammation attack of my feet—foot (left)—! @Sybil, you had mentioned you bought some shoes that didn’t help. Well, same here. I replaced some old worn Naturalizer sandals with what I thought were the same exact ones (bought them online of course). They didn’t look quite as sturdy as the old pair, but they fit so I wore them to work Tuesday. Wednesday I nearly couldn’t walk! The inflammation from my arches to my toes was unbearable. I had to walk on my heel. IDK about everyone else, but when I have pain like that I feel sick all over. Needless to say, it’s been a rough few days and I really didn’t think it would get better because my feet are so bad anyway—I thought it was over for my left foot at least. But, yay, this morning I woke up with way less pain and I’m actually able to walk and bend my foot a little!!!

I probably should be wearing more supportive shoes all the time, but somehow I do really well with the cushy flip flops and slip ons, but can’t wear them to work.

The new sandals are now in my daughter’s possession—I couldn’t imagine giving them another try after what they did to me this week! :unamused:

Commiserations! Like you say, I’ve been there. Again & again.

My feet are so needy! I like buying online, sometimes the reviews are quite frank on the subject of bunions, hammer toes, blah blah … and that helps a bit. I’m probably best off avoiding sandals, but would love to find some that work in order to keep my feet cool in summer. If I find some I’ll recommend them.

One day I’ll probably need good old fashioned supportive shoes … the kind the doctor tells you to order. Meanwhile still searching for some that look good as well as offering adequate support. I don’t care if it means disposing of more pounds, the right shoes are my passport to freedom.

Like you, I find my feet need a few days at least to recover from wearing the wrong shoes. Probably the longest lasting PsA symptom of all has been all-over discomfort from ill-fitting shoes, affecting everything from feet to neck. I think that started in my '20s or '30s.

Have you got some other shoes to wear for work? Really good ones?

Hi Sybil,
I don’t think shoes help much. Bad shoes make matters worse, as in this week, but it’s more than my feet. It’s my ankles, too. They’re shot, and I’ve been thinking about whether I should go back to the foot/ankle clinic to see if there’s anything else they can do for me. The orthotics didn’t seem to help at all—the foot doctor told me they might not because of the degeneration.

I felt better for awhile this morning, but being on my feet has made them hurt again. I’m really disgusted.

If you do come across any really good shoes, please do share the details!

I know diddley squat.

Wide awake at 3.30am with horrendous pain in feet. Spent yesterday walking around London in my sensible Clarks shoes and thought I was doing just fine :grimacing:

Is the answer really not walking as much as we’d like to / think we can at the time? I find that so hard to contemplate.

Gosh @Grandma_J and @Sybil poor the both of you. The only shoes that truly work for me are crocs work shoes (no holes) which look fine under a pair of trousers for work as in the black ones. They also have the greatest non-slip soles I’ve ever encountered, essential when living with a dog whose idea of a drink of water is to make the kitchen floor wet. They give me the right support for the top of my feet and definitely the right sort of ‘give’ in the soles without being too soft. I can’t do memory foam soles at all.

And anyway I can’t walk on streets for too long. I can walk on grass and paths through the woods etc for quite a while but not concrete or asphalt, that can murder me.

Do they have Hotter shoes in the USA @Grandma_J? They might not as they’re UK manufactured but if you look them on line you’ll see the type of shoes they do and you might have something similar or they might anyway deliver to USA. Their lace up shoes (not boots) might be the style that helps you. Just thoughts. Have you tried Hotter @Sybil? I’m guessing so.

Well, that’s not good, Sybil! I mean waking up with pain—being in London sounds pretty cool to me! :heart_eyes: I hope your feet are feeling better now.

I never wake up from pain. If mine hurt really bad before bedtime I have a lethal combo that works good: apply diclofenac gel and swallow ibuprofen and acetaminophen arthritis pills. Lately I’ve actually been doing that twice a day. (My heart doctor has told me not to take ibuprofen because of a med I’m on, but sorry, acetaminophen and diclofenac gel don’t do much for my pain alone.) In the past I avoided pills and only took them if I was “dying”. Now, chronic pain wears me down, and if it gets really bad I’m not afraid to take a few pills. (Really bad to me is at least an 8 on the pain scale. Sybil, I’m pretty sure you’ve mentioned you avoid pills as much as possible, too.)

Thanks for the shoe advice, @Poo_therapy. There is a Hotter USA site! I looked at it and saw some sandals that could possibly help, but as I scrolled through I found some Clark flip flops much cheaper, so I’m going to try them first. I ordered two pair through Amazon Prime on a 7-day trial basis. The Clarks are Arla Glison style and had great reviews, even from people with bad feet (surgeries, etc.). Somehow, flip flops work fine for me if they have some cushion. Weird, huh? I think I will eventually try some of those crocs you’ve suggested. They sound promising.

As far as walking, everybody knows I can’t walk long distances without trouble. I didn’t tell you guys yet, but my doctor ordered a permanent disability parking tag for me. This is what she wrote: “Bilateral foot and ankle pain due to Degenerative Joint Disease and Pes Planus; muscular fatigability and soreness of thigh muscles with exertion”.
When we talked about me getting the tag she assured me I’m very eligible for it and shouldn’t be embarrassed. I will only use it when I absolutely have to—not just for convenience.

Thanks for the advice and support. I couldn’t get through this disease without it! :heart:

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Well these Berghaus fellows below aren’t exactly perfect for the office, but they’re miraculous. They’re heavy, which should be a bad thing but doesn’t seem to matter. They support my ankles so well it feels like I’ve got a new pair (of ankles). They’re a bit too big, but that doesn’t seem to matter either. Makes me think that somewhere there must be some shoes / boots, well winter ones anyway, that are more presentable but nearly as clever.

Disability tag sounds just the job. That’s something.

I’m a convert to NSAIDs when necessary, but this is nerve pain, non-stop electric shock things & NSAIDs don’t touch it. Sleep becomes impossible. It also started zapping my spine.

@Poo_therapy, do you find you can walk in Crocs? I agree with you that they’d be ideal for work … a lot of hospital doctors wear them & obviously they’re on their feet much of the day. They get my recommendation too Grandma_J. But I can’t go for a walk in them, somehow they only seem to work indoors …

Ugh, foot pain. My PsA started in my feet :frowning:
Right at the beginning of my PsA journey I was sent to see an expert biomechanical podiatrist and she told me two things:
(i) joint damage needs rigid support
(ii) soft tissue damage needs soft support
I have both!
My solution is to look for thick but soft/cushioned, supportive semi-rigid soles. Most of what I wear these days are FitFlops (they do a range of shoes, sneakers, boots, sandals), some Skechers are ok depending on my walking substrate (as slippers, on grass and the beach they are great) and, like Sybil, my walking boots - mine are from ComfyFeet and give me amazing ankle support.
I have several pairs of Birkenstock sandals, my joints love them but my soft tissue HATES them … I save them for an hour around the house when my feet tell me they are what is required to shift bones back in to place.
Lately the Friebergs (probably PsA mediated) in my 2nd left MTP has got worse so surgery may be in my medium term future and the docs talk alot about CAM (controlled ankle movement) boots … frankly that will happen over my dead body!
Vionics are another brand I’ve heard good things about but haven’t tried as all the styles I’ve seen have knobbles on the insole which I know will aggravate my plantar psoriasis (as does the stitching on alot of the Hotter insoles).
It’s totally trial and error. Good luck in your search @Grandma_J

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Sybil, I’d be concerned about those electric shock feelings! I had something like that years ago in my back…it wasn’t severe pain, but it was like I bumped into an electric fence. I never knew when it was going to hit, and I’m sure it was a nerve in my lower back being pressed on somehow. Anyway, it was awful, but it went away after a few weeks. Yours seems to be lasting forever. The fact that it wakes you up at night—you need to get to the bottom of this! Maybe back therapy would help…a good therapist would know exactly how to fix it. The pain in your feet probably stems from nerves in your back. All of my leg weakness and some of my foot pain comes from my damaged spine.

The Berghaus boots look like excellent walking boots. But, I probably wouldn’t do well with them because they’re heavy. I need lightweight shoes. I hope the flip flops I ordered are comfortable because they’re supposed to be light. I think I will try some crocs eventually, too. They’re lightweight.

Thank you, @Jules_G for all the shoe advice also! I’ll refer back to this discussion when I need to purchase more shoes—which lately is almost a monthly occurrence! I’ve never been a shoe-loving person, or much of a shopper for any kind of clothing, but my attitude towards that has definitely changed! Shoes seem to be my top priority in life lately! :roll_eyes:

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Morning all of you.

@Sybil, yes I can walk in the crocs. I tend to wear socks with them though if it’s a longer walk. As I said these ‘work’ crocs have the best non-slip soles ever. So pretty much I live in crocs, given the dog’s water drinking habits. I go shopping in them to the supermarket etc, I go to work in London in them and in the summer often walk the dog in them. I also have a croc pair of walking boots not unlike yours above. That gives ankle support too and are simply the best pair of walking boots I’ve ever owned. They’re over 3 years old now and I tend to them carefully.

And please @Sybil get that back electric shocking thing seen to. That surely has to be nerve induced?

@Grandma_J delighted you have the disability tag. Do use it properly, it will so help. And hope the flipflops work out.

@Jules_G, I’ve always wanted to try fitflops but can never find something I like. Sketchers memory form soles kill my feet. But I managed to buy a pair of flat ankle boots last winter in Bath without the memory foam which was my ‘good’ winter shoes. They worked. Never looked at Vionics so will now look them up

Have a great day ladies. :smiley:

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Prior to my PsA dx I had a morton’s neuroma and got some custom orthotics to help with that pain. I wear these with running shoes or boots. The trick for me is to ensure the soles of my shoes are as wide as my feet or wider, so I’m not cramping the joints where the ball of the foot is. I’m like @Jules_G in that I have some hard soled shoes like Birkenstocks sandals and Dansko clogs, and then some soft ones like Fitflop sneakers and Oofas flip flops. Depending on the type of foot pain I have, and how much walking I need to do, I choose the appropriate shoe for the activity. All of these shoes are quite pricey, but I haven’t had disabling foot pain in a couple of years, so something is working.

Right. I’ll go out and buy 2 surfboards & strap 'em on.

Thing is though, you are absolutely right.

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The width IS very important. I usually wear a 9.5 wide (40-41 Euro). The sandals that ruined my feet only came in whole sizes, so I ordered a 10. I could have ordered 10 Wide, but usually if I wear 10s, the Wide is too big and I can’t stand a sloppy loose shoe. When I slipped these on, they were snug, but not uncomfortable at all. In fact, I wore them all day with absolutely no pinching or pain! It wasn’t until the next day that the horror began!

I searched online what to do for painful tops of the feet and found some good info: icing 10 minutes every hour, don’t push through the pain—rest the feet, but mild p.t. to strengthen them. It showed some exercises to stretch and strengthen.

Thanks all of you for suggesting shoes that work for you. I plan on (over time-trial and error) purchasing those that I think will work best for me.

When the tops of my feet first started hurting 4-1/2 years ago, it was bad and at first I could only wear really sturdy shoes (old lady shoes). After the initial inflammation let up, I could wear cushy flip flops and good athletic shoes around the house and out and about. I haven’t been able to wear hard-soled shoes or go barefoot at all, but that’s ok—the options I have had are still good because they’ve enabled me to walk with less pain.

I’m hoping this current pain and inflammation will fizzle out and I can walk without a limp again!

I appreciate all the good advice!

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I wear orthopedic sandals made by Drew, they except custom orthotics, as they have a deep foot bed.