Our Guide to Buying Shoes for Amputees

Modern technology makes it much easier to handle disabilities with ease. Living with health problems no longer has to be as debilitating as it once was. In fact, some people are on track to remove the “dis” from “disabled.” From regenerative treatments to state-of-the-art exoskeletons, modern treatments have become a multi-billion dollar industry, catering to any type of case and challenging what was once speculated to be “impossible.” As impressive as these solutions may be, not all life-changing and innovative treatment options have to come with a whole range of bells and whistles; in fact, one solution that has made a difference in millions of lives for over a hundred years is the prosthetic limb.

The importance of choosing the perfect pair
Whether its purpose is to replace a missing hand, foot, arm, finger, or toe, prosthetic limbs and applications change lives on a daily basis, restoring a sense of normalcy to those who have lost a body part. While there’s no way to tell which type of prosthetic application is better than another, we can wholeheartedly say that a prosthetic foot is a modern treatment method that has been shown to invoke drastic changes in people’s lives within a short amount of time. To the surprise of most people, the hardest part of losing a foot aside from the actual amputation is choosing the best shoe to wear. If you think about it, shoes make a huge difference in whether or not a prosthetic limb can properly do its job. After all, the right footwear can make it possible for an amputee to engage in activities such as rock climbing, basketball, and hiking.

Buying shoes made easy
Although choosing the right shoe for a prosthetic foot might seem like a simple task, the truth is that many people make costly, time-consuming, and avoidable mistakes during the selection process. In order to make sure that you won’t run into any obstacles when selecting a shoe for your prosthetic limb, here’s a simple step-by-step guide:

1. Determine the cause of amputation
When people buy a pair of shoes for their prosthetic foot for the first time, they often make the mistake of failing to consider the cause of amputation. Different causes, such as diabetes, complications arising from vascular disease, and even frostbite can lead to different types of needs that have to be catered to in the surviving remnants of the limb. By shopping with the cause of amputation in mind, you’ll be able to determine which type of shoe can actually cater to your needs.

Shoes can be categorized according to their primary and secondary functions, making it much easier to find the perfect shoe to have around your feet. For example: diabetic patients with a prosthetic leg or foot need extra protection on their feet for their surviving foot because of the complications that might be brought about by wounds and ulcers.

2. Go for a pair that isn’t too loose, yet not too tight
One concept that is most applicable when buying shoes for amputees is the idea of balance and its importance in the purpose and comfort of a prosthetic limb. Shoes that are too loose can allow sliding to happen, which leads to further irritation and shearing as a result of regular movement. On the other hand, shoes that are far too small can cause blisters and reduced circulation— two conditions you definitely want to avoid if you have to have your foot amputated for health reasons. Aside from comfort, it’s important to have shoes that fit properly because stabilization can occur much easier, making for a more practical and functional experience with a prosthetic limb.

3. Make your shoes a perfect match with toe fillers
In some cases, prosthetic feet fail to come with toe mouldings that can be used to fill out the extra space in a shoe. Although they can work wonderfully at times, they can also lead to issues in walking due to crumpling in the upper shoe and a lack of a solid foundation to step on. Adding a toe filler can help preserve both your shoe and the prosthetic limb that fills it because chances of slippage and crumpling can be significantly reduced.

Learn more about our prosthesis solutions on our product page. Feel free to get in touch with us today to see how we can help!