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Choosing the Best Shoe to Support Your Joints

Woman wearing red high heeled shoes

Choosing the right shoe can make a difference to your lifestyle and your joints. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to protective footwear, and there are a variety of shoes available for different purposes, terrains and activities. The question is – what are the most supportive shoes for your joints? 

Shoe Types and How They Affect Your Joints

The different types of shoe can make an impact on your joints. Let’s take a look at the popular variety of footwear to see which the best shoe for joint support is:

Running Trainers

While there are a variety of running shoes available to support different shaped and sized feet, it’s hard to know what the best running shoes for bad knees and other joint discomforts are. You should try to find something that’s comfortable and supports your feet when running.

If you experience joint discomfort while doing high impact exercises, try taking part in low impact exercises instead to help avoid additional pressure on your joints instead to avoid any additional pressure on your joints.

Flat Shoewear

It’s important to try and go barefoot where possible such as walking around the house. In the warmer months, try wearing flat, flexible footwear as much as possible and only wear elevated shoes such as running sneakers and high heels when necessary.

High Heels

While high heels are usually worn daily for work, or for long periods of time during an evening occasion such as a dinner or party, this type of footwear can actually be harmful to your joints. Regular use of high heels can cause a woman’s body to overcompensate to keep the upper back of your body balanced with the lower[1].

Overuse of high heels can also lead to changes in your anatomy, as regular wearing of them can put stress on the back and knees as the weight of the body shifts forward[1]. To prevent this, opt for a lower heel or flatter shoe for your day to day activities and minimize how long you wear your high heels or on occasions.

The Importance of Shoe Sizing and Fit

For Joint Health

When selecting the right shoe, it’s important to make sure that if fits correctly. Just because you may have been a certain size a few years ago, that doesn’t mean you are the same size now. Your feet can change shape over the years[2], therefore it’s important to regularly measure your feet to ensure you’re wearing the correct shoe size.

Top tip: Try shoe shopping later on in the afternoon. If your feet have a tendency to swell, they will be at their largest around this time. This gives you a clear indication as to when your feet are at their biggest and therefore you can purchase accordingly, making sure you leave a little extra room for when your feet do swell.

Additional Shoe Support for Joint Discomfort

As well as choosing the appropriate footwear in the correct size, there are other measures you can take to ensure you experience comfort in your day to day life. These include:


Adding insoles into your shoes can help provide additional comfort where necessary. For example, if you have shoes that are too large for your feet, adding in an insole will pad out the shoe. This is a great solution if you find you have one foot bigger than the other!


If you have feet that tend to swell up, choosing shoes with fastenings such as laces are great for tightening and loosening the shoe to fit your foot. If you struggle with joint discomfort in your hands, then tying laces can prove difficult. As an alternative, choose a Velcro or zip fastening to make it easier to fasten your shoes.

Joint Health Supplements

Taking a daily health supplement such as Move Free® Advanced Tablets with Glucosamine and FruiteXB can help support the 5 signs of joint health: mobility, flexibility, strength, lubrication and comfort*. Incorporating dietary supplements into your routine can help you maintain your joint health.

So, there you have it. There are certain precautions and actions you can take to help lessen joint discomfort – and it can all start with the right shoe!




[1] The Spine Health Institute, How High Heels Affect Your Body, N/A,

[2] Gait & Posture, Age-related differences in foot structure and function, Genevieve Scott, Hylton B. Menz, Lesley Newcombe, June 2007.


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