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10 Best Comfortable Shoes After Foot Surgery

Medical information provided by Dr. Josh White DPM - Written by OrthoFeet Team on Nov 28 2023

After foot surgery, it's crucial to wear specific footwear for proper recovery. Initially, a shoe to alleviate the treated area is common, and later, orthopedic shoes help restore support and normal walking. 

Here's our guidance and recommendations on finding suitable shoes after you’ve had foot surgery.

What shoes to wear after foot surgery?

After foot surgery, the choice of appropriate footwear is crucial for a smooth recovery. There are two main types of shoes to consider:

The recovery shoe

Shoes that are recommended by surgeons to provide quick support to the healing foot. These postoperative shoes, sometimes called healing or Barouk shoes, relieve pressure from the operated area and offer fitting flexibility.

They have a discharge area at the toes or heels, which aids in the healing of the surgical procedure. These shoes also feature a spacious design to accommodate bandages and swelling. 

It's essential to follow your surgeon's advice regarding when to stop wearing these shoes.

The supportive shoe

Regaining normal support and comfort after foot surgery may take time. Once the incision site has healed and swelling is reduced, it's best to wear accommodative shoes or comfortable sneakers that best meet your specific needs. These shoes offer a combination of foot protection and comfort. 

Consider the following factors when selecting supportive shoes:

  • Type of shoes. Athletic semi-orthopedic shoes provide protection and comfort, and are highly recommended for post-surgery footwear.
  • Capacity. Choose shoes with ample room to accommodate potential foot swelling, ensuring your foot is not compressed. In addition, look for shoes with removable insoles that can accommodate orthotic inserts or other medical devices.
  • Material. It's best to choose shoes made from soft materials, like leather or stretchy textiles, to prevent pressure on your foot.
  • Closure. Look for shoes with adjustable closures, allowing you to customize how snuggly they are as your foot recovers from surgery.
  • Comfort features. Choose shoes that are flexible, lightweight and with a seamless inner lining to protect your foot. In addition, choose airy and breathable design features to manage perspiration and prevent issues like infections.

Best shoes to wear after foot surgery

Best boot after foot surgery

Women’s Siena

Siena

Why you’ll love it

  • Keep your feet warm, supported and comfortable during the recovery process
  • Water repellant uppers create a dry environment, reducing the risk of infections

Specs

  • Sizes: women 5-12
  • Widths: Standard (B) - Extra Wide (2E)
  • Upper materials: leather
  • Available colors: taupe, black, brown

 

The inside

The Siena boots are designed with a wide toe box, which is essential for people recovering from foot surgery as it accommodates the swelling that often accompanies the recovery process. This wide toe box effectively alleviates pressure on sensitive areas, ensuring comfort and reducing discomfort during the recovery period.

The high quality, removable orthotic insoles are designed with anatomical arch support that helps realign the foot and correct overall body posture.

In addition, your sensitive, post-surgery feet will be spared from any discomfort. The soft and padded fabric interior of the boots has no overlays, preventing irritation and ensuring a comfortable and gentle environment for the foot to heal.

The outside

The water-repellent leather uppers of the Siena boots keep wetness and moisture at bay, safeguarding your feet against potential infections. These uppers offer a non-binding fit, ensuring there's no constriction or discomfort around the foot.

The Siena boots feature a cushioning sole with a mild rocker design. This feature not only enhances walking ease, but also adds a spring to every step you take, promoting a smoother and more natural gait.

The slip-resistant sole provides reliable traction and stability on various surfaces, reducing the risk of accidents even in slippery conditions. To top it off, the cozy faux fur detailing around the collar and within the boot adds a stylish touch while providing extra comfort and warmth.

The closure

The side zip and adjustable strap make putting on and taking off the boots easy, while allowing you to adjust the fit as your healing process progresses.

Feedback from users

“These are exactly the winter shoes/boots I’ve been looking for. I have had other extra wide shoes but without the rubber no-slip soles. I have adjusted the arch with the included extras and so I don’t even need my usual insert. Thanks!!!”

 

Men’s Glacier Gorge

Glacier George

Why you’ll love it

  • Tongue and straps open extra wide for easy foot insertion
  • Pliable leather uppers provide a pressure-free fit, accommodating any swelling

Specs

  • Sizes: 7-14
  • Widths: Standard (D) - Extra Wide (4E)
  • Upper materials: leather
  • Available colors: black

 

The inside

Through their internal construction, the Glacier Gorge boots cater to post-foot surgery needs. 

The substantial shock dispersing materials integrated into the insoles play a significant role in cushioning and protecting the foot from various angles, contributing to a more comfortable and protected experience during the healing process.

In addition, the built-in anatomical arch support insoles help alleviate pressure and strain on the plantar fascia, ensuring that it's not overworked, thus making walking more comfortable. 

The outside

The boots’ exterior, constructed with a soft leather upper, offers a blend of durability and timeless style. Despite its classic appearance, the leather used is exceptionally pliable, accommodating various foot shapes without compromising on its elegant aesthetic. 

The outsole design ensures a transition from rugged terrain to paved ground, allowing for versatility in use. 

The extra depth from the heel to the toe area, coupled with a wide, round and tall toe box construction, provides ample space for swollen or sensitive feet. This design ensures a pressure-free fit and maximum toe movement, making them suitable for accommodating the swelling after foot surgery.

The closure

The two hook and loop straps of the Glacier Gorge boots not only facilitate easy on-off wear, but also provide adjustability for a custom fit, securing the boots based on individual preferences and foot shapes. 

What makes these boots exceptionally comfortable is the unique upper design, which allows the straps to open wide and the tongue to fully open, enabling effortless foot insertion. The wide opening created by the design allows you to quite literally step into them without unnecessary pressure or discomfort, a convenience that's particularly helpful after foot surgery. 

Feedback from users

“Absolutely LOVE them! They are comfortable and good looking ! When these wear out I will order another pair!!”

 

Best slippers after foot surgery 

Women’s Charlotte | Men’s Asheville

Charlotte

Why you’ll love it

  • Straps that allow you to adjust the fit while your feet heal 
  • Soft and cozy faux fur padding, for some indoor pampering

Specs

  • Sizes: women 5-12; men 7-14
  • Widths: women Standard (B) - Extra Wide (2E) | men Standard (D) - Extra Wide (4E)
  • Upper materials: leather 
  • Available colors: Charlotte - brown, black, taupe | Asheville - brown, black

 

The inside

Post-surgery feet need all the TLC they can get, even when you’re indoors. 

The women’s Charlotte and men’s Asheville slippers are not your regular house shoes. Their premium orthotic insoles, complete with anatomical arch support, cradle your arches, relieving pressure on the plantar fascia and heels. This enhances overall comfort and significantly reduces the effort required for each step, ensuring a smoother and less painful walking experience.

The outside

Both slippers feature a carefully designed rocker bottom sole. This clever design minimizes heel impact and helps alleviate any discomfort or leg fatigue you might be feeling during your recovery.

The lightweight ergonomic soles and air cushioning at the heel create a soft and supportive walking experience for your feet.

The closure

Both styles of slippers prioritize adjustability. 

The Asheville slippers feature dual adjustable straps, ensuring a secure fit and easy customization to your unique foot contours. Opening both straps provides an extra wide entry for easy foot insertion. 

On the other hand, the Charlotte slippers offer a single wide strap across the instep, making it simple to adjust and secure the fit.

In addition, both models have a convenient back lip at the heel for added ease and heel protection. 

And last but not least, the soft and padded faux fur interior guarantees your feet stay incredibly cozy and warm, rounding up the perfect package.

Feedback from users

Charlotte

“...I had foot surgery a year ago and some days these were the only shoes I could wear. I recommend ordering the arch boosters to give the slippers more support. (They are not included with the purchase of the slippers automatically.) The removable spacers that do come with the slippers allow one to adjust the fit and are very helpful. OrthoFeet is a great company for anyone with foot pain. And the shoes, sandals, sneakers and boots are good looking.”

Asheville

“Perfect slippers after ankle replacement surgery. Went from cast to boot to sneakers. Needed slippers for around the house. The Asheville slippers support my ankle almost like the sneakers. Fit as described; one size smaller. Will buy them again if and when these wear out. Cheers.”

 

Best slip on shoes after foot surgery

Women’s Kita | Men’s Yari

Kita white

Why you’ll love it

  • Uppers that hug your feet, moving with them even when they swell
  • Slip-resistant soles help you stay stable on your feet

Specs

  • Sizes: men 7-14 | women 5-12
  • Widths: women Standard (B) - Extra Wide (2E) | men Standard (D) - Extra Wide (4E)
  • Upper materials: stretch knit
    • Available colors: Kita - black-black, black, blue, gray, rose, white | Yari - blue, white, black, gray

     

    The inside

    With the women's Kita and men's Yari sneakers, your feet will naturally realign with your overall body posture, reducing foot pain and discomfort. This is achieved through their professionally cushioned and ergonomic orthotic insoles, complemented by premium arch support. 

    In addition, the wide toe box ensures a pressure-free fit for your feet during the healing period and beyond.

    The outside

    These sneakers come with trusty slip-resistant outsoles, keeping you firmly grounded on any surface, offering stability and safety.

    With their stretch knit uppers, these sneakers are like a custom fit for your feet, hugging your unique foot shape and moving with it as it swells, with cozy comfort and unwavering support. 

    Plus, the breathable upper material allows the feet to be constantly aerated, supporting the healing process of your post-op feet and keeping infections at bay.

    The closure

    Although they have a regular lace closure, with these sneakers the time consuming lace tying ritual is over. Thanks to a hidden spring mechanism in the back, you can slip your foot in and let the shoe gently embrace your foot with a reassuring bounce. No more fumbling with laces or even making the effort to bend down. The Kita and Yari are all about quick and easy wear.

    Feedback from users

    Kita 

    “I absolutely love my Kita hands-free shoes! I just had minor foot surgery on my left foot and these shoes are amazing. Not only do I not have to tie them but I don’t have to undo them either. The comfort is out of this world ~ definitely 100% would recommend to anyone... with or without foot problems! THANK YOU!”

    Yari 

    “After recently having surgery for swollen legs and feet, I was skeptical about getting into my shoes...the Yari was extremely flexible in adapting to the changes and went on without any issues or problems. BRAVO, Orthofeet!” 

     

    Best sneakers after foot surgery

    Women’s Verve | Men’s Sprint

    Sprint

    Why you’ll love it

    • Fit can be easily adjusted during the swelling phase, even at the heel
    • Smart strap system eliminates the need to fumble with laces

    Specs

    • Sizes: women 5-12; men 7-14
    • Widths: women Standard (B) - Extra Wide (2E) | men Standard (D) - Extra Extra Wide (6E)
    • Upper materials: stretch knit
    • Available colors: Verev - turquoise, fuschia, black | Sprint - blue, black, gray

     

    The inside

    The women’s Verve and men’s Sprint sneakers are structured with premium insoles featuring an antimicrobial top cover and seam-free interior, ensuring a gentle, clean and healthy environment for your feet. This is particularly essential during post-surgery recovery when foot health is a top concern.

    The insoles also feature an air pocket and foam cushioning to minimize discomfort, while the built-in orthotic insoles offer essential arch support and promote proper foot alignment. These insoles play a significant role in your walking gait cycle, enhancing stability and propulsion.

    The outside

    The non-binding, breathable uppers of the Verve and Sprint sneakers provide support to your feet, while allowing natural movement and keeping your feet dry. This design is well suited for various foot shapes and sizes, making them a good choice for those with sensitive or healing feet dealing with the swelling that is common after foot surgery.

    In addition, the cushioned sole with a gentle rocker design enhances walking comfort and adds a bounce to your stride.

    The closure

    The Verve and Sprint sneakers feature a tie-less lace system for their closure. This system combines laces and straps on both sides of the shoe, eliminating the need for traditional laces. This design is especially helpful for those with limited mobility or difficulty reaching either side of the shoe. 

    But that's not all – the state-of-the-art heel strap enables you to customize the fit at the back of the shoe, ensuring your sneakers feel tailored to your feet, both during and after the healing period.

    Feedback from users

    Verve 

    “I absolutely love my tennis shoes. Having had foot surgery, the size D toe box is great for my feet. They cushion my feet and I am walking better than ever.”

    Marlene Lovejoy

    Sprint 

    “Great shoes once again!

    I recently had surgery on my foot and needed special Orthotics. I have very wide fronts and very narrow backs. The Sprint Tie-Less with the back strap were perfect. No more slipping. Thanks!”

    Lor

     

    Best sandals after foot surgery 

    Women’s Laguna

    Laguna Blue

    Why you’ll love it

    • Stretchable, breathable uppers accommodate swelling and maintain foot health
    • Velcro closure at the heel allows for wide opening and easy foot insertion

    Specs

    • Sizes: 5-12
    • Widths: Standard (B) - Extra Wide (2E)
    • Upper materials: stretch knit
    • Available colors: blue, gray, peach

     

    The inside

    The interior of these sandals is all about enhancing foot alignment. The orthotic insole provides anatomical arch support, ensuring your feet are correctly aligned, reducing strain and discomfort.

    The ergonomic sole design alleviates pressure on your feet, providing a soft, cushioned feel with minimal impact. The sole evenly transfers forces from the heel to the toe, making walking easier and more comfortable.

    The orthotic insole is also removable, allowing you to use custom orthotic inserts or other foot devices if needed, providing the flexibility required for your specific foot needs. The sandals also feature a wide toe box, accommodating your feet during the recovery phase, where they may require extra room and comfort. 

    In addition, the seam-free interior ensures a gentle touch against your bare skin, enhancing comfort as you navigate your recovery journey.

    The outside

    The outsole is well cushioned and designed with a mild rocker, making walking easier and requiring less effort. The rubber outsole comes with advanced grip, providing improved stability during the post-surgery healing process.

    The design of the closed toe is stretchable, and the fabric conforms to the specific shape of your foot. This offers your feet a custom-made feel that's gentle and accommodating for sensitive, post-surgery feet.

    The sandals' knit fabric is exceptionally breathable and lightweight, making them ideal for hot weather and everyday comfort during your recovery.

    The closure

    These sandals offer two ways to adjust the fit, catering to various foot shapes and sizes. A bungee cord across the instep can be tightened or loosened, and a strap along the heel opens the back of the sandal completely, making it easy to both insert your foot and find your perfect fit.

    Feedback from users

    “Love them. I have had eight surgeries on my right foot and it’s still very painful, especially the heels. When I wear these shoes I have very little to no pain. I would like more pairs if they came in different colors.”

    Gloria Stefanko

     

    Men’s Clearwater

    Clearwater

    Why you’ll love it

    • Closed toe design protects your post-op feet wherever you go
    • Multiple closure options help you achieve a custom fit

    Specs

    • Sizes: 7-14
    • Widths: Standard (D) - Extra Extra Wide (6E) 
    • Upper materials: stretch knit
    • Available colors: brown

     

    The inside

    Every part of the Clearwater sandals offers a fully padded interior, ensuring comfort even during extended wear. The padded interior eliminates rubbing and irritation, making these sandals the perfect companions on your recovery journey.

    At the bottom, the fully cushioned ergonomic soles offer anatomical support, enhancing comfort and helping alleviate pain.

    The outside

    With a closed toe fisherman style, these sandals ensure full protection for your feet and toes. The design provides a non-binding fit, preventing pressure on your feet—crucial after foot surgery when comfort is paramount. 

    The upper material offers flexibility and breathability, adapting to your feet as they swell and allowing moisture to evaporate, promoting the healing process.

    The closure

    Designed with a two-way strap, the Clearwater sandals allow you to fasten and unfasten them from either the inside or outside. This feature is a game-changer for many, especially those facing mobility issues, making it easier to put them on and take them off. 

    You can customize the fit using the bungee cord, instep strap and Velcro strap for added convenience.

    Feedback from users

    “Great sandals!

    I had stopped wearing sandals years ago, until I found this OrthoFeet product. Great arch support, toes protected, yet the feet breathe. Perfect! And I like the velcro straps which make adjustments easy.”

    William Flanigan

     

    FAQ

    When can I wear normal shoes after foot surgery?

    “How soon one can wear shoes following surgery depends on the type of surgery and the style of shoes wanting to be worn,” says Dr. Josh White, DPM. "Some foot surgery necessitates avoiding all weight-bearing for a month or two; others are quite minor and may not require changing shoe wear at all."

    Dr. White explains that when there are stitches, a post-op shoe is usually worn for a couple of weeks until the stitches are removed. A post-op shoe is a specialized shoe designed to provide support and protection during the initial healing phase after surgery.

    “There is often associated swelling such that more casual shoes are best first worn,” adds Dr. White. “Orthofeet shoes, in particular, offer the benefits of having additional depth and also come with thin fitting spacers. As the swelling goes down, shoe fit can be customized by adding the first spacer and then a second one.”

    Dr. White also recommends styles with wide opening and Velcro closures, which offer a wide range of adjustability and ease of entry.

    What should I avoid after foot surgery?

    If your bones need to heal, it’s important to follow your doctors’ instructions regarding weight bearing. The actual duration depends on the location of the surgical site and can range from being able to walk right away (toe surgery) to no weight-bearing for eight weeks (rearfoot surgery).  

    In addition, if there are stitches, you have to prevent the foot from getting wet. 

    There is typically swelling following any foot surgery, so it’s necessary to wear roomier, stretchable shoes and avoid shoes that are too narrow or otherwise put pressure on the foot.

    What happens if you walk too soon after foot surgery?

    “Walking too soon after foot surgery may interfere with healing, whether it’s preventing a fracture site from maintaining proper alignment or a skin wound from closing up,” says Dr. White. “Walking too soon can also lead to prolonged swelling. Swelling can sometimes be controlled using compressive dressings, which are specialized bandages designed to apply pressure to the affected area. In addition, pain can sometimes be relieved by keeping the foot elevated.”

    For best advice, it's important to have regularly scheduled post-surgical visits with the foot surgeon.