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10 Best Shoes for People with Lymphedema

Medical information provided by Dr Steven Gershman DPM - Written by OrthoFeet Team on Jan 23 2024

Managing lymphedema poses unique challenges, and the right footwear can make a significant difference. 

As explained by podiatrist Dr. Steven Gershman, “Lymphedema is caused by an accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the soft tissue and is often genetic in cause. Often, this condition causes significant swelling (edema) of the limbs. Legs are a common area of this swelling, particularly the lower legs and feet. Swelling can be mild to severe, where the edema is disfiguring.”

What type of shoes are best for lymphedema?

“As the feet are often swollen severely, shoes are often hard to fit,” says Dr. Gershman. “In mild cases, shoes need to be extra deep with a wide, round toe box. Often, extra wide or even extra extra wide width shoes are required.”

He goes on to note, “Severe cases often require stretchable shoes as the only shoes that will fit. Again, these shoes also need to be extra deep and extra extra wide.

In addition, compression socks for lymphedema are a staple of treatment or management of this condition. Lymphedema is difficult to manage with few treatment options. Compression is critical,” concludes Dr. Gershman.

Now that we understand the unique challenges of managing lymphedema, let's explore some highly recommended footwear options that can provide the necessary support and comfort for individuals dealing with this condition.

Best shoes for lymphedema

Best Walking shoes for lymphedema

Women’s Francis

Francis

Why you’ll love it

  • No-tie bungee lace closure for quick and easy on-off
  • 4-way stretch upper material moves with your feet

Specs

  • Sizes: 5-12
  • Widths: Narrow (A) - Extra Extra Wide (4E)
  • Upper materials: stretch fabric
  • Available colors: blue, black, gray, maroon, rose

 

Imagine slipping into footwear that understands your needs, where each feature is a step towards comfort and freedom.

Designed with a wide, round toe box and available in an exceptionally diverse range of widths, these sneakers offer enough room for swelling, ensuring that each step is both painless and more comfortable. 

The no-tie bungee lace closure isn't just a convenience; it's a pathway to quick and easy on-and-off, a relief for those dealing with mobility issues or leading a very busy lifestyle.

With stretchable uppers that move harmoniously as your feet ebb and flow throughout the day, the Coral offers full flexibility. The 4-way stretch upper material embraces your feet with a gentle touch, accommodating their natural rhythm. 

The stretch knit uppers create an airy haven, allowing air to circulate and keeping your feet healthy and dry.

The special rubber sole and tread design bring an assurance of traction. As your feet touch down, feel the cloud-like comfort provided by the air pocket under the heel and the soothing foam cushioning.

What the users say

“I have lymphedema in one of my feet and order extra wide shoes to accommodate the swelling. Usually one of my feet is happy while the other one is miserable, but the roomy foot box and stretchy exterior means both feet are extremely comfortable! There's even room for my orthotic inserts! I will be buying another pair soon!”

Men’s Sprint

Sprint

Why you’ll love it

  • Multiple straps allow fit customization and replace lace-tying
  • Flexible uppers adapt to your foot’s swelling

Specs

  • Sizes: 7-14
  • Widths: Standard (D) - Extra Extra Wide (6E)
  • Upper materials: stretch fabric
  • Available colors: gray, blue, black

 

The men's Sprint sneakers go beyond just being shoes.

The first thing you notice is the wide, round toe box and wider widths, not just a design choice but a nod to the unique needs of your feet. It's like stepping into a roomy haven where your toes can breathe and move naturally. No more cramped spaces, just a comfortable fit that adapts to your foot's swelling, making each step a sigh of relief.

These sneakers also feature stretchable uppers that move with your feet throughout the day, ensuring they are embraced in flexibility. The material is also breathable, creating a well-ventilated environment, ensuring feet remain infection- and odor-free.

The extra cushioning is probably where the true magic happens. Every step feels like walking on air, thanks to the air pocket under the heel and the soothing foam cushioning. It's not just a walk; it's a stroll on a cushioned pathway designed to alleviate pain and discomfort.

Now, the Sprint sneakers address the struggle of tying laces with a game-changing tie-less lacing system - no more dealing with bothersome laces. The three adjustable straps give you the power to customize the fit both at the heel and at both sides of the shoe.

What the users say

“Great shoe. Very comfortable. I have CVI and lymphedema, these shoes ‘work’ when others wouldn’t.”

Best slippers for lymphedema

Women’s Charlotte | Men’s Asheville

Ashville

Why you’ll love it

  • A wide, round toe box accommodates any swelling
  • Adjustable, comfortable and fully cushioned

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 Charlotte slippers for women and Asheville slippers for men redefine the concept of indoor footwear as a sanctuary of comfort.

Step into the embrace of orthotic insoles that feature anatomical arch support, cradling your arches with tender care. The wide, round toe box accommodates any swelling, offering relief as the pressure on your plantar fascia and heels dissipates.

These slippers are also equipped with a rocker bottom sole. This design minimizes heel impact, alleviating any discomfort or leg fatigue that may occur. The extra depth and wider widths ensure your feet have the space they need.

The lightweight ergonomic soles, coupled with air cushioning at the heel, create an environment of soft, supportive bliss for your feet.

Adjustability forms the foundation of both the Asheville and Charlotte slippers. The Asheville features two adjustable straps, ensuring a secure fit while allowing for easy customization to the unique contours of your feet. Open both straps, and you're greeted with an extra wide entry, facilitating effortless foot insertion.

Meanwhile, the Charlotte embraces simplicity with a single wide strap across the instep, making adjustments a breeze. 

Both models also feature a back lip at the heel for added ease and protection.

As a final touch, the soft and padded faux fur interior cradles your feet in cozy warmth.

What the users say

Charlotte

“My lymphedema makes buying slippers impossible until I bought these. They are adjustable and comfortable.”

Louise Flak

Asheville

“Your feet will thank you. They go on and off easy as slippers, but support like your most comfortable shoes. You won't accidently walk out of them like some slippers. If your feet swell you can adjust easily to fit. Been looking for this slipper for years.”

Best boots for lymphedema

Women’s Siena

Siena

Why you’ll love it

  • Side zip and adjustable strap ensure easy on-off and a customized fit
  • Soft leather upper create non-binding environment

Specs

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

 

At the heart of the Siena boots is a wide toe box that accommodates any fluctuations in foot and ankle size.

Nestled within the Siena boots’ design are removable orthotic insoles, crafted with anatomical arch support, that are all about realigning your feet and correcting your posture.

Step inside, and you'll find a world of softness with a padded, seam-free interior that prevents irritation.

Venturing outside, the water-repellent leather uppers keep wetness at bay, protecting your feet at all times. These uppers feature a non-binding fit, allowing your feet the space they need.

Walking in the Siena boots feels lighter, thanks to the cushioning sole with a mild rocker design that creates a more natural and smoother gait.

With the taupe version, you can worry less about slipping and sliding, as the slip-resistant sole provides a reliable grip on various surfaces. Meanwhile, the black and brown versions feature a quality rubber sole with unique tread design for improved traction and stability.

The cozy and stylish faux fur detailing adds flair and provides an extra layer of comfort and warmth, while ease is a priority with the side zip and adjustable strap. Putting on and taking off the boots becomes a simple task, and the adjustable strap offers flexibility, ensuring your boots can adapt to any swelling.

What the users say

“I have severe lower extremity lymphedema and the fluid often pools in my feet…It’s almost impossible to find shoes that will fit over the swelling. And forget about winter boots, which is a problem since I live in Eastern Idaho, which sees A LOT of snow in the winter. Previously, I was forced to use the sneakers that I wore the rest of the year. Walking through several feet of snow and trying to keep my balance over icy walkways in that situation was terrifying. I fell repeatedly last year.

Men’s Glacier Gorge

Glacier George

Why you’ll love it

  • Substantial shock dispersing materials cushion and protect the foot
  • Extra depth and a wide, round and tall toe box construction

Specs

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

    Nestled within the design of the Glacier Gorge boots is a dedication that addresses the unique needs of people with lymphedema.

    Internally, substantial shock dispersing materials cushion and protect the foot from various angles, offering a heightened level of comfort.

    Externally, the soft leather upper, while providing durability and timeless style, is exceptionally pliable. This adaptability accommodates various foot shapes and most importantly swelling, ensuring both elegance and comfort. 

    The rubber outsole design, with its advanced grip capabilities, allows for versatility, seamlessly transitioning from rugged terrain to paved ground.

    The extra depth and wide, round and tall toe box construction cater to swollen or sensitive feet, offering a pressure-free fit and enough space for toe movement. 

    Two hook and loop straps provide easy on-off wear and adjustability for a custom fit, securing the boots based on individual preferences.

    What sets these boots apart is the unique upper design, allowing the straps to open wide and the tongue to fully open. This feature facilitates effortless foot insertion, creating a wide opening that enables you to step into them without unnecessary pressure or discomfort. 

    What the users say

    “The Glacier Gorge boots are perfect for my elderly fathers swollen feet & ankles. They came in wide which is what he needed. He says the fit [is] great and [the shoes] are comfortable! Thanks for making products to accommodate all foot sizes & widths!”

    Best casual shoes for lymphedema

    Women’s Joelle

     Joelle

    Why you’ll love it

    • Easily change the fit throughout the day with an adjustable strap across the instep
    • Stretchable knitted uppers mold to the contours of your feet

    Specs

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

     

    Crafted to bring a touch of relief, these shoes unfold a story of comfort and support.

    The narrative begins with a wide, round toe box, offering a roomy environment for lymphedema feet. 

    The stretchable knitted uppers mold to the contours of your feet, accommodating their unique shapes. No constrictions, no bindings - just a tailored fit that moves harmoniously with your feet throughout the day. These uppers also allow constant aeration of the feet, preventing infections and odors. 

    Step deeper, and you'll encounter an orthotic insole, a contour of support for your arches and heels. It's a powerful feature, ensuring that pressure is evenly distributed, alleviating stress on the feet.

    Venture further, and the lightweight sole becomes your foot’s ally, absorbing shocks, cushioning each step, reducing the impact on your feet and offering a reprieve from the strains that may accompany lymphedema.

    To complete the story, a Velcro strap across the instep provides not just a practical touch but also adaptability. 

    What the users say

    “Lymphedema and shoes! These fit over my wraps I have to wear because of primary lymphedema. It's nice to find shoes that look "normal" compared to so many orthopedic shoes.”

    Men’s Siron

    Siron

    Why you’ll love it

    • Not just a stylish choice, but a highly functional companion
    • Hands-free design eliminates the hassle of constant lacing and bending

    Specs

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

     

    The Siron casual shoes are tailored for those navigating mobility challenges or a bustling lifestyle. A unique hands-free design eliminates the hassle of constant lacing, thanks to a patented slip-on system. Tie the laces once, and a hidden spring mechanism at the back seamlessly accommodates your feet, ensuring swift and secure entry.

    The Siron feature a stretchable and breathable upper that adapts to the unique shape and size of your feet. This thoughtful design alleviates pressure, especially crucial for conditions like lymphedema. The water-repellent feature adds practicality, making cleaning a breeze.

    The shoe's wide toe box provides relief by alleviating pressure on toes and accommodating various foot conditions. Internally, the soft, padded fabric, devoid of overlays, offers a shield against irritation, prioritizing protection for sensitive feet.

    Stepping into the Siron means embracing a world of enhanced comfort and support. Premium orthotic insoles, complete with removable anatomical arch support, align not just your feet but your entire body posture.

    The bio-engineered cushioning system is the unsung hero, maximizing mobility while diminishing the impact of each step. Walking becomes a pleasure, thanks to the cushioning sole with a mild rocker, imparting ease and a subtle spring to your every stride.

    What the users say

    “Amazing! Normally, I hate wearing shoes, but these are SERIOUSLY the most comfortable pair of shoes I've ever owned. When the listing says ‘Extra Wide’ they are telling the Gospel truth. Simply an amazing pair of shoes. *WILL* order again.”

    Michael Alpert

    Best sandals for lymphedema

    Women’s Naxos

    Naxos

    Why you’ll love it

    • Three fully adjustable straps, including a two-way strap
    • Look great and feel even better with a blend of quality design and functionality

    Specs

    • Sizes: 5-12
    • Widths: Standard (B) - Wide (D)
    • Upper materials: leather
    • Available colors: brown, black, yellow

     

    The Naxos sandals, with their carefree elegance, feature a clean and flowing style and highly effective support. 

    First and foremost, the three fully adjustable padded leather straps, each opening into two pieces, ensure a customized fit tailored to your comfort. Say goodbye to the struggle of putting on shoes; the two-way top strap allows easy on-off on both sides of the sandal. 

    As you slip into these sandals, the premium orthotic insoles welcome your feet with anatomical arch support that works to realign your foot and improve overall body posture.

    The soft, padded fabric interior creates a gentle surroundings, eliminating irritation and ensuring superior protection for sensitive feet.

    Crafted with a soft leather upper, these sandals prioritize a non-binding fit, accommodating the unique shape and any swelling of your feet. The cushioning sole, with a mild rocker, transforms your steps, making it easier to walk.

    Stepping confidently, the rubber outsole provides advanced grip, ensuring stability on various surfaces.

    What the users say

    “Love these, the fit is perfect! First pair to fit me as I have lymphedema so I was ecstatic.”

    Men’s Gemini

    Gemini

    Why you’ll love it

    • No less than three Velcro straps allow full adjustability
    • Soft leather upper shapes to your unique foot contours

    Specs

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

     

    The Gemini sandals embrace adjustability with a unique two-way strap system, giving you the flexibility to open them from either side. Opening from the inner side creates a wide entrance, allowing effortless slipping in and out. Meanwhile, the outer strap allows personalized adjustments for the perfect fit, ensuring comfort from the very first wear.

    There is also a back strap that cradles your heels and a strategically placed toe strap, preventing any unwanted slipping and providing additional support. 

    The cushioning sole, with its mild rocker design, adds a subtle rocking motion to your stride, making each step feel more natural and effortless.

    Step confidently with the rubber outsole, offering advanced grip and stability on various surfaces. The soft leather upper, that shapes itself to your unique foot shape, is padded without overlays, promising a snug and irritation-free fit.

    Inside, premium orthotic insoles dynamically conform to your foot contours, distributing pressure evenly and offering customized support. Multiple foam layers ensure top-notch cushioning from heel to toe.

    What the users say

    “Wonderful! My foot swells, these are the only footwear I can use.”

    Steven Beever

    Does walking reduce lymphedema?

    Dr. Gershman explains that on top of shoes and compression socks, “exercise, including walking, is another important aspect of management of lymphedema. It helps pump the fluid out through calf muscle activity while walking.”

    “It is important to wear compression socks and proper shoes while walking for maximum effect. While there is no true cure for lymphedema, it needs to be managed to avoid worsening of the swelling,” he adds.