What is gout?
Gout is a painful type of inflammatory arthritis (sometimes called gouty arthritis) that is caused by the build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints.
Adults with gout can suffer from flare ups which are sudden episodes of pain, redness, swelling and/or extreme tenderness in one or more joints.
The pain can be quite severe for the first 4-12 hours before subsiding to a dull ache which can last several weeks.
Over time, gout can harm your joints, tendons and other tissues
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.
Chronic gout can also cause tiny white lumps to appear under your skin, especially on your ears, fingers or elbows.This is where uric crystals form under the skin and these can be painful. When formed on the toe joint they can rub painfully against the top of footwear.
Gout occurs more often in men than women and men are more prone to gout as they age.
Gout can be treated with medication such as non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and changes in lifestyle such as losing weight, adjustments to diet and drinking less alcohol (especially beer).
Recommended Shoes for Gout Sufferers
The University of Auckland has done some good research in this area and have found that proper footwear can help significantly with pain reduction and minimising the impact of gout.
The best type of footwear for people with gout is a sturdy shoe that offers appropriate support, motion control and cushioning. Avoid flip flops, light sandals, high heels and Moccasins.
If you suffer from gout then it is important that the shoes you purchase have these features.
1. Shoes for gout sufferers should be flexible but supportive. Soles which bend when you walk are important as they reduce stress on the big toe which can be sensitive in gout sufferers. Stiff soles put too much pressure on the big toe.
2. Shoe should also have good arch support so your body weight is properly dispersed when walking rather than being directed towards the toe and large pad underneath it.
3. Shoes for gout sufferers should be wide enough to give the toes plenty of room. If you have swelling of the big toe joint we would recommend either looking at styles with a width of 4E. This width fitting is not only wide but offers greater depth in the shoe, particularly the toe box area at the front which will stop any affected joints rubbing against the top of the shoe. If your gout is intermittent then the 2V fit is also worth looking at as they often have a removable insole which you can remove when you get a flare up and put back in the shoe when your foot returns to normal.
4. We would also always recommend soft leather uppers to anyone with gout. Not only does leather allow your foot to breathe and keep cool, it will allow the foot to bend and articulate easily when walking and reduce rubbing.
5. High grade insoles are a must. They will absorb the impact from walking and protect gout affected joints for jarring when walking which can be very painful.
Several studies have shown that proper footwear can really help gout sufferers so let us help you make the right choices. We have put two collections together for you to help you get the best footwear to mitigate the symptoms of gout. Every shoe in the collection has the above features and will help make walking pleasurable again.