Best Shoes After Foot Surgery Reviewed & Rated

Any kind of surgery can set us all back a few steps.  Our bodies need to rebuild, rest, and work our way back into our pre-surgery shape.  We can, usually, get back to our normal day-to-day routine in a short period of time with a little care and caution to the area of the operation. The foot, however, is our lifeline to mobility and needs special attention post-surgery if you need to be on the move, as we all do.

Last Updated: June 22, 2018
By Tony Skye:

The recent update reflects the best of 2018’s shoes after foot surgery of all types, shapes, sizes, colors, with new information as to how to choose the best shoes after foot surgery and our criteria for evaluation. Also, included are some of the most frequently asked questions about shoes after foot surgery.

Featured Recommendations

Vive Walking Boot
  • Vive Walking Boot
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Rocker Sole
  • Left/Right Compatible
  • Price: See Here
Aircast Short Pneumatic
  • Aircast Short Pneumatic
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Universal Fit
  • Low Rocker Sole
  • Price: See Here
ProCare Squared Toe
  • ProCare Squared Toe
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Square Toe
  • Rocker Sole
  • Price: See Here

So, we have compiled a list of the 10 best shoes after foot surgery to help you make a wise choice if this unfortunate situation ever happens to you.

 

10 Best Shoes after Foot Surgery

 

 

1. Vive Walking Boot

Vive has offered up a shoe that is both lightweight and durable, giving a great approach to an, otherwise, heavier build. This post-op shoe has a square toe for those having toe injuries and accommodates both bandages and casts. Furthermore, this shoe is left and right foot compatible. It is made with a non-skid rocker sole which provides arch support and helps to relieve pressure away from the forefoot and heel.
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Versatility
This is a multi-use shoe ready for most types of foot injuries. It is stiff; yet, effective in its design; allowing features to be enjoyed by several types of injuries. The extra-strong Velcro straps are adjustable to fit around a minimalist casting if needed. This shoe, also, allows you to alleviate pressure at several different points in the shoe.

Rocker Sole
The Rocker sole of the Vive shoe ensures no soreness around the forefoot and heel areas often associated with foot recovery, as the rocker sole provides arch support and alleviates pressures in both the forefoot and heel area.

Cost and Value
A midrange priced shoe seems to be one of the favorites. Some have voiced that they used the shoe past the allotted time, as it was a good shoe for the money. It brings you stability and comfort which are important attributes when considering life after foot surgery.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Square Toe
  • Accommodates Bandages and Casts
  • Non-skid Rocker Sole
  • Left and Right Foot Compatible
Cons
  • Size runs big

2. Aircast Short Pneumatic

Much more popular today than most other post-surgical shoes, the Aircast will look familiar to most of us. Specifically designed to provide you with mobility and support for everyday use, there is, also, no hiding this cast for the weeks you may need it. With many adjustable points, anyone will benefit from this walkable cast.
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Aircast
The most evident feature is right in the name, Aircast. Built right in, you will find a hand bulb air pump which allows the Aircast to be filled to the amount you need, in order to provide you with the comfort and support needed.

Multi-point Adjustment
A generous full boot insole provides a tremendous amount of comfort. There is a substantial strap at both the top and forefoot of the boot. It allows for the foot an easy entry; as well as, full support to dissuade movement.

Cost and Value
This is a pricier shoe to buy. I believe technology of the air pump is the reason for the price. All-in-all, this is a good value for the elevated price and it has its return on investment for sure.
Pros
  • Rigged support
  • Universal Fit
  • Multi-adjustable
  • Low Rocker Sole
  • Right/Left Leg Compatible
Cons
  • Expensive

3. Darco Slimline

Designed more for surgeries that involve heavy bandaging or different levels of casting, this boot will protect your foot well. Higher on the calf to provide all-around stability, this is a shoe ready to give you ample comfort and support, as this can be important; depending on the location of your foot surgery.
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Early Stages
This boot is designed for use immediately post-surgery. The overall larger design allows for larger dressings, compression wear, fiberglass casts and other lightweight casts. This will allow you to be mobile from day one.

Forefoot-to-Ankle Support
This boot is designed to hold your casted foot in place. The strapless forefoot closure system can be adjusted to accommodate the cast or bandages and can, also, be switched from a left to right closure to suit your needs. The center strap made from wide elastic secures the neck of the ankle to set the casted foot in place securely.

Cost and Value
This shoe falls into the midrange of cost association when compared to other post-op shoes on this list. It is an ideal choice for someone who needs something a bit more stable and secure than a minimalized version of a post-op shoe. In other words, this is a good investment.
Pros
  • Full Support
  • Left/Right Foot Compatible
  • Velcro Closure
  • Bulky Bandage-friendly
  • EVA Sole
Cons
  • A little heavy

4. ProCare Squared Toe

4. ProCare Squared Toe
ProCare’s post-surgery shoe is not a unique design but has all the qualities one would look for in a post-op shoe. Many of the issues we have post-surgery have to do with comfort, ease of use, and pressure-relieving abilities. This shoe has a square toe design which acts as a bumper to help prevent further injury while in recovery. Furthermore, a rocker sole provides decent mobility and reduces pressure.
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Design
The architecture of this shoe is its best trait. It provides maximum mobilization and adds further protection of the forefoot and toe areas. This helps to ensure progression for post-operative rehabilitation. The rigid rocker sole allows a firm transition from heel to toe.

Support
This shoe has a lot of coverage, ensuring your foot is well supported and protected. The high ankle strapping secures your foot, thus allowing your foot to remain in the correct position during recovery. The reinforced heel area, also, helps to prevent unnecessary movement, thereby providing you with a secure environment.

Cost and Value
This shoe is in the lower tier price wise and seems to provide a lot of features. Buyers have been left with the feeling of a decent bang for their buck and happy with it. Quality is there, as is the technology to back it.
Pros
  • Square Toe
  • Reinforced Heel
  • Firm Support
  • Velcro Strap System
  • Rocker Sole
Cons
  • Size runs big

5. Darco Med-Surg

5. Darco Med-Surg
The Darco Med-Surg Post-Operative shoe has been designed with your recovering foot in mind. Darco’s research team ensures that most injuries are addressed and they support that research by addressing many of the common needs of a post-op shoe.
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Technology
The square toe design protects the front part of the foot as a bumper to further damage and, also, provides the space you would need if K-wires were part of your foot surgery. They have designed MetaShank™ protection which gives more rigid control under the metatarsals. This is a huge bonus if it was your tender tootsies that were injured.

Fit
Foot surgeries have many different stages of healing. Darco’s entry into this list has a fit that is great for all stages of recovery. While your foot is fully dressed post-surgery, the expandable forefoot closure relieves any pressure; yet, also adjusts to the point that even without bandages you have a comfortable-fitting shoe.

Cost and Value
Price point can be high for something you may only use for a short time, but the quality is there; reflecting each dollar you spend. You may not be in it for long but you will appreciate the money spent, as this shoe performs well in protecting you after a foot surgery.
Pros
  • Forefoot Closure
  • Square Toe
  • PegAssist Insole
  • Rigid
  • Multi-purpose
Cons
  • Size runs small

6. MARS Wellness Premium

6. MARS Wellness Premium
This square toe post-op shoe is perfect for those having broken toes or after having toe surgery. the structuring allows you to get around without movement in the toe area, thus you can remain comfortable in knowing that the procedure will remain undisturbed. A removable insole helps to provide you with other options, and this is a shoe which is both left and right foot compatible.
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Soft Inner
Soft padding in the inner helps you to remain comfortable should you need to wear this shoe for long periods of time. Furthermore, the padding ensures a nice fit after surgery.

Padded Heel
The padded heel allows for better foot placement. This, in turn, prevents unwanted slipping while moving about; an important feature when considering the pain involved after a surgery.

Cost and Value
This is a budget-friendly purchase. It is well worth the investment for anyone having toe surgery or dealing with a broken toe. Furthermore, this shoe is well built and should last, as well.
Pros
  • Square Toe
  • Removable Insole
  • Right/Left Foot Compatible
  • Padded Heel
  • Adjustable Ankle Strap
Cons
  • Better for toe surgery

7. FLA C3

7. FLA C3
This post-op shoe is great for allowing you the room you need to accommodate bulky dressings or a cast. It has a moisture-wicking liner which helps to remove sweat away and into the antimicrobial inner. In this, the shoe works well to help maintain a healthy foot environment; a critical attribute when pondering the delicacy of the body after a surgery.
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Adjustable Straps
These straps are adjustable, so as to accommodate bulky dressing or a cast. They are Velcro; and as such, are made to relieve the nuances of messing around with laces. More importantly, they make life much easier after surgery.

Foam Inner
The inner is made of foam and, thus, brings comfort along with it. Additionally, the inner has antimicrobial protection to help maintain a healthy foot environment.

Cost and Value
This shoe is budget-friendly when considering other shoes on this list. It is well built and a great post-op shoe. Keep in mind, however, this price only reflects one shoe, as they are not sold in pairs.
Pros
  • Adjustable Straps
  • Foam Inner
  • Antimicrobial Protection
  • Moisture-wicking Inner
  • Accommodates Bulky Dressing/Cast
Cons
  • Not sold in pairs

8. Darco Softie

8. Darco Softie
To help ensure healing remains undisturbed, a semi-rigid shank is present within this post-op shoe. This provides control with your forefoot motion; thereby, allowing you to move easier. The tri-laminated, tricot-foam upper conforms to the foot. As such, this shoe is best for after surgeries involving osteotomies.
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Hook-and-Loop Straps
Adjustable straps allow for ease of use; as well as, providing you with a comfortable fit. They are not opposing straps, however, which means the fit might not always be optimal.

Tricot-foam Upper
The upper is made to conform to bone abnormalities. This, in turn, helps to bring you more comfort after surgeries involving osteotomies.

Cost and Value
The cost of this shoe budget-friendly. It should be noted, however, this shoe is for short-term use only. As such, it will not last very long. On the other hand, this is the kind of shoe you want after osteotomies, as the upper is designed to conform to bone abnormalities.
Pros
  • Semi-rigid Metatarsal Shank
  • Tri-laminated Upper
  • Tricot-foam Upper
  • Hook-and-Loop Straps
Cons
  • Short-term use only

9. Medline Semi-Rigid

9. Medline Semi-Rigid
This is a good shoe for both post-op and pre-op. A removable tongue is present to help aid in better foot placement. In addition, a molded heel collar helps to prevent foot slippage. The nylon upper brings breathability; as well as, provides ample structuring. A loop lock closure helps to bring you a better fit, as well.
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Nylon Upper
The nylon upper allows your foot be within a breathable environment. Furthermore, it adds structure to help stabilize while you get around.

Removable Tongue
Dependent on your needs, there is a removable tongue present to help ensure the best fit possible. As such, this setup is desirable for optimal foot placement.

Cost and Value
This is a shoe which is budget-friendly. Moreover, it can be an ideal choice for both pre-op and post-op; dependent on the recommendation of your doctor. It performs well in what it is designed to do; and as such, it is a good investment.
Pros
  • Nylon Upper
  • Molded Heel Collar
  • Removable Tongue
  • Loop Lock Closure
Cons
  • Size runs small

10. Health Design Classic

10. Health Design Classic
This is another nice addition to the post-operative shoe market. No frills; just hit all the marks of the mandatory requirements for post-operative shoes. A rich history of providing quality shoes, Health Design does its name proud with this model, regardless of its simplicity. After all, after a surgery, sometimes simple is better.
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Design
Basic but functional, the dual straps position the foot nicely with the overlapping material of the shoe; not much room for movement once you are strapped in. A higher heel marker allows for a normal flow of design; yet, still settling the heel in place. At the end of the day, it is all about securing the foot.

Sole and Rigidity
The Classic provides a moderate rigidity for an even step. With a slightly thicker sole, it provides the comfort while in recovery. These two things combined provide all you need for a post-op shoe.

Cost and Value
At the lower end of the spectrum, you are essentially getting a great value shoe for a lower price. This shoe is wonderful for those with larger feet; especially, when in need of a decent post-op shoe after surgery.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Effective
  • Comfortable
  • Great for Large Feet
  • Adjustable Straps
Cons
  • Sizing

Foot surgeries are common among both active and inactive people given that we are on our feet every day.  Be it a stress fracture from worn out shoes and lots of miles or a pulled ligament from twisting your ankle at the mall, recovery is paramount. Your foot has quite a few ligaments, 26 bones, and a few isolated muscles that can break, tear, or detach. Healing is harder and takes longer if you do not help it along the way.  The best way to take care of the two feet you have is by investing in protective, supportive, and therapeutic post-operative shoes.

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Shoes after Foot Surgery

Purpose

Foot surgeries can vary from the minor removal of a bunion to the more invasive Achilles tear or plantar fasciitis repair. So, depending on what surgery you had or may be facing, the purpose of the shoe in question is crucial. You would not get an AirCast boot when you are trying to gently ease your foot into a walking motion; nor, would you get a Slimline Cast boot when mobility is a key to your rehabilitation. The designed purpose of your post-surgery shoe is the foundation of your checklist of must-haves when considering this type of shoe in conjunction with your recovery.

 

To Rock or Not to Rock

One of the key factors to most foot surgeries is returning your foot to its natural rocking motion while walking forward. The rocker sole, which seems to be the basis for many of the designs, is designed to roll the foot forward for you, instead of overworking those many muscles and tendons in your foot. You will note that most post-operative shoes have a varying degree of rocker design to them. Once again, the specific surgery you have undergone may dictate the degree of rocking you would require. Always ask your doctor to be certain, as this is both good in practice and helps you to make a more informed decision.

Material

You may notice that Nine West or Louboutin do not have lines in this facet of the shoe world. Function over fashion is the name of the game in the post-surgery shoe market. The construction material used for each shoe should serve a purpose. If it is a soft, subtle feel you need for your foot, you will find it. If weather-resistant or easy cleanup is what you have in your sights, it is out there, as well. Oddly enough, you will, also, find post-op shoes that do concentrate on the fashionable side; albeit, ever so slightly.

Moving and Grooving

Support in a post-surgical shoe is an often overlooked feature in this type of shoe, as most concern themselves with the rocker feature; yet, both are keys to recovery, as many of these industry’s customers are sporting this footwear immediately following a casted foot. Once the cast is off, a well-bandaged foot will need a continued level of support, in order for the muscles to gently get back into form. High-sided, wide Velcro strapped shoes provide the support needed to restore your foot gingerly and gradually to the shape it was well before that first ache or pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Where do I start?
A: Best bet for a perfect shoe for you is to speak to your doctor or even perhaps your post-surgical care specialist. They will advise you what the key features you will want for your particular case. You can never ask too many questions!

Q: Most of these types of shoes look weird like they have warped in shape. Is this normal?
A: There is some serious engineering behind the funny look of these shoes. The rocker bottoms you find on these shoes alleviate the foot from having to bend, in order to have a normal walking form. This rocker feature you see is a key to protecting the small muscles underfoot during the healing process; making walking more natural and easy for you.

Q: How accurate is the fit on these shoes? Should I go a size bigger or smaller?
A: Many of these shoes are designed to fit a full cast, heavily bandaged cast, or a socked foot. Depending on your needs and given the Velcro adjustments on most of these models, bigger would be better. You need room, just not too much of it. Again, it is important to ask your doctor what can be expected. Multiple surgeries may cause a lot of swelling, and so forth. Also, keep in mind that each shoe is different. This means some may run smaller than others when considering the same size.

Q: Are these shoes ambidextrous?
A: It would be fair to say that 95% of the shoes offered in this range would be good for either left or right feet. Best to read the description, carefully, or fully investigate their ability to fit either foot.

Q: Do post-op shoes come in pairs?
A: Most of the time, these shoes are sold as a single unit; that is, you would need to make two purchases to receive a pair, per se.

Q: What is the difference in the square and round toe post-op shoes?
A: The square-toe design is specific to handling toe surgery. It provides a bumper, as it were, and further protects the toes from injury and limits movement via a rigid shank. If your surgery occurs in the heel area, however, a round-toe design may suffice. At the end of the day, however, you need to ask your doctor for the accurate expectations you need to find in your post-op shoe.

Sources

  1. Sheehan, K., What Shoes to Wear After Foot Surgery, article; blog, Jul 27, 2017
  2. hortonsoandp.com, How to Find the Best Post-Operative Shoes for Your Feet, article; blog, Jul 07, 2015
  3. Hughes, M. DC., Six Ways to Restore Foot Health After Surgery, article; blog, Jan 01, 1970
  4. webmd.com, What is the treatment for a broken foot?, article; blog, Jul 14, 2009
  5. Mayo Clinic Staff, Broken toe, article; blog, Jan 01, 1970


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