Written by Guest Blogger Ashley Epping
I developed CRPS at 12 years old in my left wrist. After being diagnosed, I spent the
next six years dancing competitively, staying at the Pediatric Cleveland Clinic, creating
art, traveling abroad and applying to colleges. I never once thought about my shoe
choice because I didn’t need to. Though I would always see others in my support
groups posting photos of shoes that worked for them, and to be honest most were not
versatile enough to wear for specific occasions such as professional or dressy settings.
For the first six years my pain was only located in my upper body, but in the following
years the pain spread to the lower regions. For the first time in my life, I was not able to
purchase shoes based on the fact that they were cute. I am a 22 year old business
student, living in New York City. The typical CRPS friendly shoes were not an option for
I spent the next few months observing and researching shoes that could serve all
purposes. I needed shoes that were equipped for walking, standing, exercising, and
were standard for business, social, and/or dressy occasions. All the while serving relief
for CRPS symptoms. I needed shoes that could handle swelling, hyper sensitivity, poor
balance and support painful legs.
I was successful in finding shoes that fit my lifestyle, and I figure that others may have
the same issues I did when looking for shoes. I have put together a list of my findings
for all CRPS sufferers who are in need of some kicks.
The Top 10 Shoe Brands for CRPS Warriors
Teva sells an arrangement of sandals, sneakers and boots, but their most
accommodating shoe for swollen and sensitive feet are their adjustable strap sandals.
The sandals adjust at the ankle and around the ball of the foot to create the perfect fit
everyday no matter the severity of symptoms.
Eurosoft is made up of mostly fashion forward products; shoes that are meant to be
worn for style, while also keeping you comfortable throughout the day. The shoes are
created with padding in the sole and arch supportive. They offer casual open slip ons for
day to day wear, and also offer wedges for a more fancy occasion. Eurosoft is sold by
wholesalers, but the most convenient locations are Amazon, DSW and [sic] JCPenny’s.
Sketchers offer boots and sandals, but their sneakers are worn most often for CRPS.
Sketcher’s sneakers offer light weight technology, air-cooled memory foam, and flexible
4. Christian Dietz
This brand is on the [sic] pricy side, but if you are looking to make an investment these
shoes will last you years. Their products range from sneakers to dress wear to
orthopedics; allowing all different accommodations. These shoes are incredibly fit for
people who wear braces. Christian Dietz is sold through the store Enslow, which has
been serving the medical community since 1909.
5. New Balance
New balance is a commercial sneaker brand, but has recently come out with NBRx
Performance Foot Health products. These sneakers are categorized by running, walking
and insole options. New Balance connects doctor’s recommendations to certified retail
partners and trained fit specialists to fit you with the right sneaker.
Dankso has a wide range of products, but the most supportive and specialized shoe for
CRPS purposes is their clog model. Though these shoes are not highly recommended
for walking long distances, they are one of the top shoe brands for people who need to
stand for long periods of time.
The most CRPS friendly products from Birkenstock’s are the slip on Arizona sandals,
and the slip on Boston clogs. These shoes are made to be adjustable and roomy for
cozy socks, and/or in our case for swollen, sensitive feet. These products tend to be a
little pricy, but they are real leather, which does last for a very long time.
Ecco offers a variety of products, but the best ones for sensitive feet are their slip on
booties, flats, and casual sneakers. This brand has created a feature using premium
materials plus dynamic comfort. They use “next generation platform technology” which
is inspired by nature and old world leather. In case a fancy occasion arises they also
offer low heel pumps with the same comfort technology.
Adidas is a commercial brand, but they have come out with their Ultra Boost technology,
which are designed to propel you forward while maintaining your stability. They are
engineered to expand with your foot and avoid irritation, and come with rubber soles
that have extraordinary grip for wet and dry surfaces. These sneakers are the favorable
choice for the gym or physical therapy.
Naturalizer offers incredible options for professional shoes; if you are looking for a shoe
with a small lift, that are sleek, durable for walking and standing, than their a top choice.
Their prices have a wide range, but lower prices can be found through their retailers
such as Nordstrom Rack and DSW.