What Shoes to Wear After Foot Surgery

Although many foot problems can be corrected through nonsurgical methods, other problems will require surgery 1. Foot surgery is often necessary for bunions, flatfoot condition, severe arthritis, deformities of the feet or toes, torn tendons and various problems associated with the heel 1. After foot surgery, it is important to wear appropriate shoes to allow your foot to fully recover 1. You should speak with your surgeon to determine the appropriate footwear after surgery 1.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Orthopedic Shoes

Some foot surgeries will require the use of specialized orthopedic shoes after the surgery 1. Orthopedic shoes often feature a firm heel and wide toe box that provide plenty of room for your foot. The shoes typically have a heel between ¾ and 1½ inches high. You should look for an orthopedic shoe that has a rubber sole, which prevents slips on slick surfaces. Shoes must have plenty of room for the foot, because you will likely experience swelling after surgery 1. It is important to speak with your podiatrist regarding the proper type of orthopedic shoes to use after 1. Unfortunately, these shoes are often quite expensive and will only need to be worn for a short period of time after surgery 1.

Athletic Shoes

If your doctor does not require you to wear orthopedic shoes after your foot surgery, you will want to wear a comfortable and secure pair of athletic shoes 1. When shopping for a pair of athletic shoes, there are a few important qualities to seek out. The shoes should not be too tight or narrow, as your foot will likely be swollen or wrapped in bandages. Look for a shoe that provides adequate space in the heel area and toe box, especially if you are suffering from bunions. Speak with your surgeon or podiatrist regarding the proper arch type for your feet. Athletic shoes offer a variety of arches; choose the shoe that best accommodates your foot.

Dress Shoes

If you need to wear dress shoes after your foot surgery, avoid wearing shoes with a heel, as these will likely cause additional stress on the foot 1. Instead, opt for flat shoes with cushioning along the insole. Shoes that slip onto the foot (no laces or buckles), are your best choice. Dressy sandals are another great option if you've had foot surgery during warm weather 1. However, sandals often do not provide great support for the foot, so they should only be worn for short periods of time.